Sunday, 11 November 2012


Sunday 11 Nov 2012:  It's the middle of the night in Las Vegas and I'm wide awake still being on UK time, registration for SPC12 is in 18 odd hours so I thought I'd write a post about #SPC12.

Booking has been easy and glad it's in Vegas again.  I've looked at the sessions for the conference and they look good.  I'm pretty eager to jump into SP2013 so I have done some prep such as reading Sahil Malik's pamphlet/book chapter on "SharePoint 2013 Planet of the Apps" and I watched a couple of video's from the \\Build\ conference last week that they are repeating at SPC2012.

As always for SPC the sessions look good and there are just way to many of them so I have to try figure out what I want from SPC12.  Personally the big to changes for me in SharePoint 2013 are "Apps" & "Search" and with the architecture being more of an amendment than a fundamental shift, these are the 2 areas for me.  There are arguably other areas to focus on such as workflow & WCM but Apps & search are game changes for in my world.  Saying that there are so many sessions on these 2 topics I'm still double or triple booked using the MySPC tool (really nice tool by the way).

Register & collect my Surface & Nokia phone (probably not).  Walked thru the vendor stands see what is out there.  I also have a challenge with a colleague to find the most useless piece of SWAG for our team to judge once we are back next week  -their is a lot of utterly useless SWAG out there.  I did see Skytap that is worth a look at.  It's pretty much a development cloud solutions but I definitely think this is a great service - Good

Anyway I'll keep updating as time permits. 
Registration has been open all day - but going t the evening reception and too see the vendors.

Monday 12 Nov 2012:
Monday: Looks like a moan for Monday
  • Wifi Access  is lousy at the conference. - Poor
  • Keynote - no great shakes, yes there is yammer/social, developer model is a big change.  I'm pretty underwhelmed; not nearly as good as I was expecting.  The pitch of trust us it's good and what a great community - isn't really what I was looking for.  It ended pretty well with Scott Guthrie's Azure/developer piece - Average
  • Hands-on labs where closed most of the day - Poor
  • What’s New for developers in Office 2013 & SharePoint 2013
    Session has been informative on the app model.  It’s all CSOM, REST and azure apparently for SharePoint developers.  I’m certainly not sold on the app dev model, the security looks like a minefield - Average
  • Met 2 people from Texas over lunch – interesting stories and their thoughts quite different on the keynote - Good
  • The 1st afternoon session went to “What’s New in Search for SharePoint 2013”, search looks great, the UX is really good and all the best parts of FAST have been used for the SP2013 search.  FAST and SP search are now 1 product.  Management of search is great – I’m really glad I attend this over the dev session that that from all reports was brilliant - Great
  • Last session of the day I decided to go to “Search Architecture in SharePoint 2013” as I enjoyed the last session.  It was good.  Architecture is more like fast than SP2010 search.  The big component areas are: 1) Crawl 2) Index 3) Query 4) Analytics – relevance, links.   The is no managed property database in SP2013, it stored within the index.  Management of the crawl and query components looks good - Great
  • Met up with 2 guys to discuss the sessions we all went to for 1 hour at the end of the day, got their thoughts and really useful insights into other sessions and points- Great
Tuesday 13 Nov 2012:
Tuesday:  Pretty long day with some mixed sessions.
  • I couldn't get into my 1st 2 session options for the 1st morning session "Hybrid Overview Connecting SP2013 on-prem. to Office 365" or "Customizing Search Experiences in SharePoint 2013" - Poor
  • "0-60 with Office and SP2013 apps using Napa and VS2012" was my 4th choice session and it was OK - tool seems OK, it is good that it can move the code from the online IDE (NAPA) to VS 2012 - Average.
  • "Crawl and Index all enterprise Content for SP2013 Search - good presentation with lots of good tips - Great
  • Hands-on labs worked for me and I did 2 on search they are really good.  Others were having connectivity issues but it worked for - Great
  • "Understanding OAuth, REST & OData" with Ted Pattison was full - Poor
  • In it's place I went to "People search Extensibility in SP2013" there are excellent improvements in people search such as phonics search, improved user profile integration, both presenters were engaging and there demos we good to watch  - Great
  • "Step-by-Step: Building search driven applications" by Scott Hillier was good - search is so powerful and he showed great improvements for non-coded solutions.  The CSOM/REST search api's are great and his explanation of when to choose the options we good.  In summary for C# use CSOM for JavaScript either is good.- Brilliant
  • Getting pretty tired and the last session was "SharePoint 2013 Identity and Authentication Smackdown" fire alarm pretty much ruined the session and I was too tired to take in the content, the guys seemed knowledgeable but I got very little out of this session. Poor
Not looking forward to the Bon Jovi BBQ evening but going to check it out as I need to get dinner anyway.  Poor
Booze Session with Vitali & Chad was fun but burnt myself out.

Wednesday 14 Nov 2012:
Wednesday:  Missed the morning sessions (sic).
  • "Understanding 2013 tools and best practices for creating enterprise forms" - InfoPath is still there but not a preferred option and it looks like no improvements have been done.  Access services looks good, you use the access client app to describe for views (used to be called forms) and the underlying tables.  These tables are created in SQL or SQL Azure.  This looks like a good tool to cover the mini application space in organisations that is taken care of by Lotus Notes or Access client dbs (mdf).  Lastly we looked at using HTML5 and JavaScript to interact with SP lists as the underlying data source, this works but it remains to be seen if developers and organisations will embrace this manner for form generation - Good
  • "Custom Security Trimming for Search in SP2013" a really interesting session where the extremely knowledgeable guys looked at having ACL's/security trimming for 3rd party indexed systems.  It can be done but it get tricky real fast.  Early vs late filtering in the query pipeline were reviewed - Great
  • "Creating Custom Workflow Activities and Actions" was good - The tooling SPD is good for declarative workflows.  Obviously code activities are only available for on-prem. full trust farms (not on SP365).  Workflow is based on .NET 4.5 so a lot better than workflows in SP2010 - Good
  • Went to ask the experts and spoke to some folks at the vendor stands, nothing outstanding - Average
Thursday 15 Nov 2012:
Thursday:  Glad it's coming to an end

Highlight was the beer house in Vegas.  Didn't speak to much SharePoint at this Corey Roth Organised event.  Met some good guys and went onto a soiree/booze session in a suite in the Mandalay bay, continued talking and met some really nice folks.  Dean the reluctant SharePoint barmen pours way to a strong drink - Brilliant

Overall: SPC was good again, couple of small improvements such as poor Wifi & room size selection but overall this is always streets ahead of the other SP conferences.  Met some good people, learnt a lot from the speakers and attendees.  I'm kind of done with Vegas and it's a long trip for the folks from Europe but it's so good. I'll hopefully come to the next big release SPC - paul. 


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