Well, I am sitting here on the plane returning home to St. Louis, MO after a lovely week in Anaheim, CA. SharePoint Conference 2011 is finished. Many people are worn out and folks are going home with a lot of information to think about. I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of my thoughts and experiences from the conference.
Beginning the week with KnowledgeLake
I arrived in Anaheim, CA on Saturday to be able to attend KnowledgeLake’s first user conference which occurred all day Sunday. For those who don’t know, KnowledgeLake is a software solution that works along with SharePoint to extend its enterprise content management features. In the way of announcements, we learned about new integration with Office 365, the ability to use their Capture product on Windows Azure, new features coming down the pipe for their current products, the overall software roadmap, and a new solution released called Unity are the ones that come to mind. KnowledgeLake has several press releases which provide more details.
In the couple breakout sessions, we reviewed information and tips for upgrading a SharePoint environment to 2010 which has KnowledgeLake’s Imaging solution deployed. From Russ Houberg (@rhouberg), we reviewed important new items that Russ learned while upgrading his Microsoft Certified Master’s certification to 2010. Congratulations Russ on passing!
SPC11 gets fully under way
Then came Monday, when the SharePoint Conference got into full swing. There was so much going on and information shared that if I wrote about all of it, I would have a book chapter. That isn’t very effective for a blog so I just wanted to hits the highlights.
The conference was exactly what I expected and I was pleased to see Microsoft did a good job with it. Some folks I talked to were disappointed. I think it was a difference in expectations. For me, with this being a non-release year, I didn’t expect to be overwhelmed at the keynote or to have a lot of sessions where I was exposed to an incredible amount of new concepts and information. The keynote was as I expected except for the incredibly brave demonstration of SQL Server “Denali” “Always On” failover and the new Office 365 BCS being able to use web services announcement. The “Denali” demonstration went beautifully and Microsoft has done some fantastic work on that product. I look forward to being able to implement “Denali” for SharePoint 2010 at customers in the near future and was pleased to find out they added support for it in SP2010 Service Pack 1. From the sessions, I regularly got useful “nuggets” of information that I can go back and utilize immediately which again met my expectations. Finally, there was the joy of being able to catch up with and see so many of the great folks in the SharePoint community.
I spoke a little before about the sessions but there are a couple I wanted to highlight as they are still in the forefront of my thoughts.
Eric Shupps’ SPC373 Performance Tuning SharePoint 2010
Eric Shupps (@eshupps) had a wonderful session on different items you can do to improve the performance of your SharePoint sites. He reviewed items such as the different methods of caching, IIS compression, and the developer dashboard. His use of the Visual Studio Load Testing application to show the improvements was a great choice and Eric kept the presentation fast paced and interesting. I have to point out a couple great blog posts by Sean McDonough (@spmcdonough) if you want to dig in even deeper into the subject of blob caching:
Spencer Harbar’s SPC407 Enterprise Deployment Considerations for the User Profile Service Application
Spencer Harbar (@harbars) did a fantastic 400 level session with detailed information about everyone’s favorite subject, the user profile service application. Spence reviewed the importance of planning your identity management solution, explained the overall architecture, how to properly provision the UPS using PowerShell, and reviewed deployed considerations just to name a few things.
In the end, it was a great week with a great group of folks and has me energized again to go back and do exciting things with SharePoint. But even more exciting is the announcement of SharePoint Conference 2012 occurring in Las Vegas on November 12-15, 2012. Look forward to seeing you there!!!