SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Rundown...

SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference

Despite the recent travel chaos, the SharePoint 2010 Evolution conference managed to go ahead in London last week, consisting of x6 session tracks covering "IT Pro", "Developer", "Power User", "Business Adoption" and two new session tracks "Community - Tales from the trenches" and "Deep Dive - level 400"

For some, the event began with a Football Tournament which took place on the Sunday evening. (...which I unfortunately missed, as although in London, I failed to spot the announcement on the conference website and so unknowingly went to watch the "Exit Through The Gift Shop" movie)

The conference itself kicked off with a Keynote Session which took a look at SharePoint's Evolution, from SharePoint Portal Server 2001 through to MOSS 2007

From there, attendees were free to choose from the numerous SharePoint session tracks on offer.  Which though affected by some last minute re-scheduling (and huge amount of work from the guys and gals at Combined Knowledge) were all able to go ahead in one form or another.

 I tended to stick to the "IT Pro", "Developer" and "Deep Dive" for the majority of the conference, but occasionally found myself sensing that I should have attended a couple of the "Community" sessions.


Day 1

SharePoint's Evolution

Introduction to SharePoint 2010 development.
Eric Shupps

PowerShell for SharePoint 2010.
Penny Coventry

DEV103 - Part 1
Managing the SharePoint Application Lifecycle - going beyond version
Chris O'Brien

SQL and Storage.
Mike Watson

Using SharePoint search to develop custom solutions.
Mirjam van Olst


Day 2

What, Why, When & How Sandbox solutions.
Mirjam van Olst

The SharePoint Iron Man.
Mike Watson

Managing the SharePoint Application Lifecycle - going beyond version
Chris O'Brien

Mashups for the Enterprise.
Daniel Wessels

The client object model in SharePoint 2010.
Eric Shupps & Ben Robb

SharePoint scaling out and capacity planning for SharePoint 2010
Steve Smith


Day 3

SharePoint 2010 Mythbusters
Spence Harbar

What's new with Web Content management in SharePoint Server 2010.
Chris O'Brien

Deep drive into RBS
Neil Hodgkinson

IT Pro Ask the experts Panel

Developer Ask the experts Panel



Some of the main focal points for SharePoint 2010 that I came away with were:

  • PowerShell
  • Learn it, use it... unless you enjoy clicking through the "central admin pages".

    (...and for all those old ".vbs" scripters looking for a reason to finally learn PowerShell ... well you found one!)

  • Sandbox Solutions
  • Appear to be a step in the right direction, in spite of the potential "full trust proxy" issue highlighted by Eric Schupps

    We all know deploying ‘custom code' to the GAC is a bad thing, but anyone who has attempted to implement CAS successfully (and deploy to 80\bin instead of to the GAC) will know the potential headaches that come with it...

    Sandbox solutions address things from a slightly different angle (...and arguable move some of the responsibility from the "Dev" to the "Admin") by allowing ‘custom code' solutions to run in a type of "isolation", which SharePoint can then monitor or even terminate based on variety of "points" calculated on various ‘quota metrics' which are designed to

    "monitor the resource usage of the server to accurately reflect the true health of the server"

    Although these ‘quota metrics' are configurable, SharePoint does not provide any administration pages for adjusting them. However you can access and update them using the SharePoint object model or Windows PowerShell (... see, I said you're going to need it)

  • SQL Databases
  • Simply put there are more... lots more. This highlights the need and importance of a well performing back-end SQL Server configuration

    The working demo of "SQL RBS" (Remote Blob Storage) from Neil Hodgkinson was first-rate. With the only obvious ‘gotcha' being the fact the OOTB provider from Microsoft currently only supports "local disks" (3rd party providers apparently being available for SAN, NAS storage etc)

  • Feature Versioning
  • No more entering "" in all your code. You're going to have to start thinking ‘upgrades'. Or more specifically, starting thinking how are you going to deal with your ‘upgrades'.

    The two part session from Chris O'Brien on the subject was a particular highlight of the conference.

    Not that I felt this was a particular area of SharePoint 2007 which was in desperate need of significant improvement, but again it‘s definitely has the potential to be yet another "feather in the cap" for SharePoint 2010.

  • Client Object Model
  • Accessing SharePoint data directly from client applications just got a whole lot more interesting...

    The new Client Object Model that comes with SharePoint 2010 provides a common API for accessing all SharePoint data regardless of the client app being used/developed.

    (However it does currently only contain a ‘sub-set' of classes, so do expect to see all SharePoint classes and methods available in your Visual Studio intellisense)

    Slides from Ben Robb are available from his blog



A complete Photo Rundown of my conference sessions are also available here:



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