Notes from SharePoint Conference 2009

Here are the notes I took while at the conference:


  • Web parts are now open and can be extended
  • WSS is now called SharePoint Foundation
  • 2010 requires 64 bit OS
  • Chrome can support languages (ribbon, ui features; does not apply to all site content)
  • Targeting based on rules-based audiences
  • MySites have been enhanced with status updates and activity feeds
  • Tagging and tag clouds
  • New Bookmarks feature replaces the MyLinks feature
  • Ability to rate content
  • Taxonomy tag hierarchies, managed metadata, unique document id’s, document sets
  • New web analytics service

Session: Enterprise Search:

  • FAST- was a competitor; offered more robust search capabilities.MS bought FAST and is including it in the new enterprise license for SP 2010
  • 3 flavors of search:
    – Search Server 2010 Express (free)
    – SharePoint Server 2010 (intranet search; has upgrades from existing search)
    – Fast Search Server 2010
  • Additions:
    – Phonetic and Did You Mean… capabilities
    – metadata extraction
    – push results to your desktop
    – visual preview of results on Results page
    – visual best bets
    – user context
    – ability to connect to corporate assets outside of SP with connectors (BDC)

Session: Web Content Management in 2010:

  • Ribbon editing interface
  • You can restrict what users have access to in the ribbon
  • Fields have Suggestions, can create constrained fields
  • Easier to format data in the Content Query Web Part
  • Content to Content targeting feature
  • Data view mapping
  • Managed metadata
  • Can create reusable workflows; can import workflows from Visio
  • Enhancements to traffic analysis and site health monitoring; developer dashboard
  • Can use the Mac to do branding changes within Safari
  • Masterpages now affect _layout pages

Session: SharePoint and Silverlight:

  • SL is browser plugin, works in all major browsers
  • Has 100 OTB controls
  • Uses XAML (xml language); serialization of .net objects into xml
  • Build with Expression Blend
  • Designers can create UI but need developers for coding (they use Visual Studio)
  • Can add SL apps to SP pages within new webpart (comes in SP 2010); 2007 users can download Webpart from Codeplex
  • You can create a whole app in SL and host in seamlessly on a SP page.
  • SL works in 2007 as well as 2010

Session: Electronic Arts Case Study

  • They have an open contribution environment bc anything a user posts has their name attached; they have never had to remove anything a user has posted
  • Their site supports videos/streaming
  • They allow users to skin their own MySites/teamsites
  • They have customized their edit screens
  • Have a custom-create “type ahead” control for their fields
  • Use Firebug and yslow to determine the speed of their sites
  • Through research determined that users view pages in an F pattern, making content on the left and the top right the most important to users. With this in mind, EA designed their screens to have the most important content in the left column and top right areas of the page.

Session: Governance and Planning

  • Defines policies as to what SP is for
  • Give people appropriate training
  • Views aren’t made to support large volumes of items
  • Treat SP like an enterprise app
  • Test your back and recovery solution
  • Why have Governance plan?
  • Helps you figure out who does what
  • Avoid sprawl
  • Ensure content quality
  • Establish clear decision making authority
  • Defines roles, people, guidelines, technology
  • Clarifies plans
  • Create structure
  • Defines metrics to measure the success of your deployment
  • Define policies for service levels and appropriate use
  • Define procedures for common tasks

10 Points:

  1. What are the business goals?
    Examples: improve collaboration, improve search, replace shared drives…
    Focus on business outcomes not requirements
  2. Roles and Responsibilities
    Executive sponsor
    Governance board
    Business owners
    Solution admin
    Tech support team
    Site sponsor/owner
    Site steward
    These are roles and as such one person may perform multiple roles
    Each site or content area needs an owner
  3. Deployment Model
    Central vs. regional
    Will you have one centralized farm to serve as users, or multiple farms setup to serve different region, countries, etc.?
    There can be multiple modes of deployment
  4. One size does not fit all
    Different orgs have different needs and may deploy differently
    Some orgs may want project and workspaces while others stick to team sites, while others have centralized portals, or a combo of any of these.
    You can have multiple governance models, one for each type of site (rules for mysites; another gov. plan for team sites; yet another for blogs and wikis, etc.
  5. Policies
    Define the policies for your deployment
  6. Guiding Principles
    Consistent user experience
    Keep end users in mind
    Standards tied to scope
    Existing company rules apply (if there is already a company rule about sending out profanity in company communications, then that also applies to your SP deployment-reuse existing policies)
    Default user access should be Read-start open and then lock down
    Publish once, link many
    Metadata for content retrieval versus folders (particularly for 2007 deployments) (folders have been updated in 2010)
  7. Launch and Rollout Strategy
    Launch is not a one-time event
    Allow culture time to absorb changes
  8. Content Management Plan
    Decide who can change and approve content
  9. Training Plan
    Train the helpdesk
    Figure out who needs training; train the trainer
  10. Governance Plan Document
    Don’t include implementation details
    Don’t leave HR out of the loop

2010 Considerations:

Social computing implications (tagging and rating features)
Managed metadata service

Session: Branding SP 2010:

  • Themes for 2010:
  • You can easily edit theme colors from within the browser
  • Colors and fonts are in open xml format
  • Css files marked up with variables
  • Comment-based design
  • Only 1 css files
  • Masterpages affect the _layout pages as well
  • Blogs and wikis are customizable
  • UI framework pieces are extensible
  • Can add and position the ribbon
  • Make sure you remove redundant code on your existing 2007 pages before pulling them into 2010 (take site actions out as this is replaced by the ribbon)

Session: Sapient Intranet Accelerator: Case Study:

  • Sapient is a high-end web design company
  • They created a base installation of SP that can be used as a preconfigured intranet
  • They created custom web parts
  • Their portal is not link-centric, shows snapshots of content rather than tons of links
  • Use of rollups
  • They use custom webparts to surface data to the portal
  • Have a  poll webpart that allows users to answer short polls right on the home page
  • They use Silverlight slideshows to display pics and features
  • Design uses a grid and has lots of white space to aid readability
  • Use of color is subdued and used as accents rather than as large swaths of color-increases usability and readability of content pages

Session: Creating Dynamic Sites:

  • Recommends going totally custom for masterpages and themes-enterprise level sites deserve a custom look and feel, even more important for internet sites
  • UX and solution first, technology second
  • Be aware of web technologies such as RESTful programming, AGILE, AJAX, JSON, JQUERY…
    Support content with variations
  • CQWP has been enhanced to  show related content; don’t need xslt in order to define display

>> This blog also has a great overview of 2010.


I’ll Be at the SharePoint Conference!

I will be in Vegas next week for the SharePoint Conference. I went last year to the one in Seattle and loved it. I will condense my notes from the conference and post the best stuff here.

UPDATE: Wow, that was a long week! Vegas is like another planet-I missed all the green I usually have in NOLA. I am very excited about 2010 and have registered for the trial already (go to the SharePoint 2010 site and click on Try It to register. One note-the nav is in Silverlight and seems slow/buggy…)

Question: what admin software are you guys using? Anyone using any of the following: Quest, ControlPoint or DocAve?