Wednesday, 13 April 2011

IW User Group - JBG ToolFest

Yesterday I present Community Kit for SharePoint - Developer tools (CKSDev) as a tool for SharePoint 2010 developers to improve productivity at Microsoft in Johannesburg to the IW user group

CKSDEV is a great tool built by people in the SharePoint community and lives on codeplex.  I highly recommend CKSDev if you use VS2010 - it gives you so much extra functionality from within VS as a SharePoint developer.

My Impression of IW User group Jbg - Brilliant, I was amazed by the whole toolfest idea and think it's a good idea for user groups to follow.  Michael O'Donavan, Veronique Palmer and Rob MacLean are doing a great job for the SharePoint community in SA.  Good idea, great venue, smallish turnout.  SharePoint is flying in SA and the community is good. 

About ToolFest Jbg - This is the second toolfest that has been held in Jbg, I have no doubt there will be more as I learnt tons.  Rob MacLean showed Light Switch using SP lists (In my head i always call it LightBox - no idea why) - it was impressive.  All the presenters showed me new tips and tricks.  I have some thoughts on some of the presentations below:

Installing SP2010 using SPAutoInstaller, I knew Brian Edwards presentation on Brian Lala's Powershell autospinstall was key, all i can say is I wish I had thought of presenting this but alas there are always so many topics and CKSDev I am a big supporter of.  This looked at installing SP2010 using Powershell.  Anyway, Brian is a fellow from Benoni (I did most of my schooling on the East rand).  Brian raised the key point of installing SharePoint correctly using multiple managed accounts. The wizard is fine if you are small and don't have resource but it's an extremely simplified start that I am not a big fan of.  Here is a post on installation options in SP2010 - AutoSPInstaller from Brian Lala is my preferred option, this is under the PowerShell installation option.    Managed Accounts I use for SP2010 installations.
Update: 22/06/2011 - Current versio of AutoSPInstaller is 2.5, additionallly the codeplex project is called AutoSPIntaller not SPAutoInstaller as previously named.

Wicus van den Berg did a good session on upgrading to SP2010 using PS and scripts he build with a nice XML config file.  Also I was unaware of the Powershell ISE option, I use PowerGui but Powershell ISE is built in a looks to do a very good job.  I voted for Wicus - his 1st script failed which made the presentation even better as he showed why it's important to perform the upgrade using Powershell and allowing us to watch the variables returned.

All the presenters gave me info from learning about zipping for document library's to raising my awareness of content types in the eyes of enterprise users.  Workflow and SPD were discussed.  And Rober MacLean had an absolutely blinder with Light Switch - it was brilliant.  His claim to be the greatest person he knows - it may be true!  The reason some sessions are better covered are I feel I am better qualified to discuss these topics but I took a lot from all the presenters and speaking to people at the event.

Veronique Palmer the only SharePoint MVP in SA lead a session "How mature is your SharePoint implementation?" And Veronique walked us through the SharePoint Maturity Model, so this was interesting but the conversation and input from people with actual experiences was the real gem.  I got smashed out the park by a guy from a engineering background when I suggested Workspace easily had sufficient space for all the required documents when going offline.  Well I was wrong and I loved the way he told me.  why - Engineering company's in Africa have a unique set of challenges to say the least, many files, remote locations and absolutely huge files with a requirement for literally thousands of docs.  I said "Who would ever work on more than 500 document offline", now I know this does happen.

Summary:  I loved presenting and people asked me great questions about CKSDev.  The community in Johannesburg is going well.  I have been to a lot of SharePoint user groups and I can honestly say this is the best evening event I have participated in. 


Anonymous said...

It was great to have you join us Paul. Thank you so much for making the effort. Looking forward to having you at future events.

Paul Beck said...

I enjoyed the event thanks for all your help last week. Hopefully I'll see you in August - already looking at a spending a few days in the Kruger.

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