The annual SharePoint Conference 2012 (SPC) is here and it’s in Las Vegas!
This time around it is particularly big news as SharePoint 2013 RTM was released at the end of last month, not to mention the recent Windows 8 release, the Surface and the acquisition of Yammer. I was lucky enough to be sent to the conference on behalf of Concentra to learn firsthand from those in know including MVPs and Microsoft themselves. It’s not only my first time at the conference but my first time at an event while it’s trending globally on Twitter.
Before coming to Las Vegas I had a few preconceived ideas about what to expect and what I considered to be the greatest improvements with the new version. The new App model was always going to be a highlight and naturally it was the focus of the keynote session. It’s powerful, it’s agile, it’s accessible and I’m really looking forward to getting deep into it. Jeff Teper and Scott Guthrie spent a good portion of the keynote session just on this very topic but equally represented was Yammer. For myself, I was surprised at the amount of attention the Yammer acquisition received. Both David Sacks and Adam Pisoni (Yammer Founder and Co-founder) took the stage and although I wasn’t blown away it looks like SharePoint has a strong future in regards to social especially seeing as most of Yammer now comes for free with SharePoint 2013. It was mentioned that the 3 year software development cycle has come to an end and a new 9 day cycle has begun – so hopefully we can expect more features more often going forward.
I spent the remainder of my day in sessions about the new App model. I plan on writing another blog in the near future that will get technical on the subject so for now I’ll pass over it but will say that it’s looking like a great model and along with the greatly improved RESTful services and Client Side Object Model (CSOM) is really quite exciting. The biggest surprise for me so far: Office Apps are very cool. It is now possible to do anything that can be done in SharePoint (think BI tools like geographically mapping table data or productivity tools that let you turn that table data into a SharePoint list or allows you to search for and reference specification documents) directly via Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Project with a single app (an App will work across the suite unmodified). And because Office Apps are built using the same web technologies as SharePoint Apps, you can make your SharePoint Apps available via Office applications with minimal effort and vice-versa.
There is a lot more to come with over 300 sessions being presented. There is at least three sessions I’d like to see for each and every time slot and it is tough work choosing the best track. I missed out on what I heard was a great session on search but thankfully there are plenty more. Search is destined to be another highlight of the conference as a lot of work has been done empowering both information users and developers to create more relevant solutions more easily. With well over 10,000 attendees here it is also a great opportunity to network – I was lucky enough to take a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon with none other than MVP Chris O’Brien.
Look out for more blogs in the near future about all the new SharePoint goodness in greater detail.