SharePoint Saturday UK 2011 Rundown...

Well SharePoint Saturday UK (#spsuk) has been and gone for another year...

For anyone who's not aware, it's

"an educational, informative & lively day filled with sessions from respected SharePoint professionals & MVPs, covering a wide variety of SharePoint-orientated topics.  SharePoint Saturday is FREE, open to the public and is your local chance to immerse yourself in SharePoint!"

This year's event was held at Nottingham Conferences University Park and was attended by 500+ avid SharePointers.

The day kicked off with a great Keynote from Todd Klindt (@ToddKlindt) entitled "Making Nerds Better People" in which Todd attempted to encourage people to "step out of their comfort zone and/or their area of personal expertise". Touching on his own personal experiences of taking the SharePoint Dev exams, whilst primarily being an SP Admin/IT Pro (he did also admit that the x2 main reasons for even attempting the exams were ‘Knowledge' and ‘Spite'). When asked how many people in the room had currently taken (and passed) all x4 SP exams, very few hands went up. Which probably only goes to prove he's got a valid point... we can all learn a bit more about the areas we already focus on, simply by learning about the areas that we don't. - Making Nerds better People.pdf


SharePoint Saturday UK 2011 - Session Agenda

My first session of the day was "Putting you at the centre of the Social Intranet" presented by Wes Hackett (@weshackett), in which he covered the various challenges and approaches of successfully implementing a truly "Social Intranet" using SharePoint. A few of the highlights were ‘making a big social change - centre on collaboration not publishing', ‘attempt to make social spaces primary places of work' and a particular favourite "Location Based Subscriptions" - a custom extension to the in-built SP alerts.

twitter: #spsuk16


Next session was "Deploying SharePoint 2010 Globally - The options" by Paul Grimely (@paulgrimley), in which he covered the various supported architecture options for deploying SharePoint 2010 across geographically dispersed locations (single farm, multi-farm or 3rd party replication). As well has the vast amount of considerations that need to be painstakingly thought-out, planned and tested (from Business Requirements and Budgets to careful planning of ‘SP Variations' for Multilanguage deployments)

twitter: #spsuk07


Next up was "How we did it - Combined Knowledge SharePoint Design" presented by Matt Hughes (@mattmoo2), in which Matt not only showed us an "under the hood demo" of the new website (previously known as the "European SharePoint Best Practices Conference"),  but also presented the entire session sporting "full face paint". He also made the recommendation (amongst others) of avoiding the use of "!important" (or bang important) in CSS, whenever attempting to brand SharePoint ...although personally I think the practical do's and don'ts of this in real world scenarios is yet another thing the SP camp could discuss at length (and could even add to the "SharePoint > To Brand or Not to Brand ?" discussion)

twitter: #spsuk13


I followed this up with Mark Miller's (@EUSP) "Something Awesome" (aka ‘To Host or Not to Host - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly Decisions') session, which turned out to be one of the most informative sessions of the day. Mark initially covered the pros and cons of ‘On-Premise' vs. ‘Cloud'. Highlighting such issues as ‘On Premise: gives full control but at what cost?' usually has significant on-going infrastructure, monitoring and management overheads. Whereas ‘Cloud' gives less control (no farm solutions - sandbox solutions only,  no ‘Central Admin' access - ‘Tenant Admin' access only) but is potentially far more cost effective for SMEs (However, annual subscription costs can quickly spiral for larger enterprise deployments). The session then went on to discuss other potential issues which should also be considered such as the ‘US Patriot Act' (anyone considering Office365 and/or Cloud solutions should seriously look into the implications of this before signing up to anything),  using ‘generic cloud providers' who provide reliable infrastructure with %99.9 uptime, but are often not experts in supporting SharePoint. He then continued with the conclusion that in reality the majority of ‘Cloud' solutions over the coming years, will in fact be a combination of both of ‘On-Premise' and ‘Cloud' or "Hybrid solutions".

twitter: #spsuk34


My final session of the day was Todd Klindt's (@ToddKlindt) "PowerShell", which again was another fantastic session from Todd. Even though some may argue that it was less complicated when compared to some other SharePoint PowerShell sessions (such as Gary Lapointe's ‘PowerShell Best Practices for SharePoint Administrators' at last year's "Best Practices conference"), it was still full of various useful tips: such as use ‘Start-Transcript', try to avoid using aliases and always ensure you understand the difference between "evaluation" and "assignment" before running any script (Todd gave an example of how he'd learnt this the ‘hard way' by once successfully re-naming all of his SP databases to "SP_Config")

twitter: #spsuk10


The day ended with a Closing Keynote "SharePoint and the Cloud: Crash or Convergence?" from Steve Fox. In which he ran through various demos (at the audience's request) on using Azure with both SharePoint as well as the new ‘Power View' which will ship with SQL Server 2012 aka ('Denali') (His "no code" demo of combining an Azure data source with Excel and publishing it via  Excel Services was particularly impressive).


From what I understand there were numerous other "highlight sessions" that ran throughout the day which I wasn't able to attend, as ran simultaneously to those above (Becky Isserman's "HTML 5 vs SilverLight 5" #spsuk01, Eric Schupps' "Customizing the SharePoint Packaging and Deployment Process in Visual Studio 2010" #spsuk02, Chris O'Brien's "Custom Ribbon Development" #spsuk03, Ant Clay and Andrew Woodward's "SharePoint ‘Innovation Games' Workshop" #spsuk38  to name but a few).


All in all another great SharePoint Saturday!

As usual a HUGE THANKS goes to the event organisers Brett Lonsdale (@brettlonsdale) , Tony Pounder(@WorTony) and Mark Macrae(@m_macrae) as well as all of the event sponsors who made the day possible.


Photos of the day's events are available "here"


Published by aobi



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November 13, 2011 6:51 PM