Last week I delivered a session at Microsoft WebCamp 2014 event. A full-day event, with 3 simultaneous session tracks, focused on web technologies, not only from Microsoft but also open source, and design/communication topics. A lot of good stuff was shown, from node.js to service stack.
The European SharePoint Conference 2014, Europe’s largest SharePoint-focused conference, took place last week (May 5th to May 8th) in Barcelona, and it was a great! I was fortunate to be a part of the Programme Team and contribute, although just a little bit, to the success of this huge event. A few statistics about the conference:
- 6 pre-conference full-day tutorials by SharePoint all stars like Dan Holme, Rafal Lukawiecki and Joel Oleson.
- 4 keynotes by Simon Skaria, Dan Holme, Christian Buckley, Mark Kashman and Rafal Lukawiecki
- 110 breakout sessions over 8 simultaneous tracks
- Over 80 speakers
- More than 1200 attendees from all around the world
- 55 sponsors
Each day was focused on a specific theme based on the main trends in the industry:
- The first day was focused on Cloud and Office 365
- The second day’s theme was Enterprise Social, Enterprise Content Management and Best Practices
- The third day was about Solutions and Devices
Without getting into too much detail, here are the general trends around SharePoint and Office 365, some of which were already shared in Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference, last March:
- The future is the cloud but SharePoint on-premise is not going away anytime soon. Next year a new version of SharePoint Server will be released and, after that, there are plans for an additional one. However, all the new features will first appear on SharePoint Online (Office 365) and some might never be released on-premises.
- When developing for SharePoint on-premises, always try to use the cloud-proof App Model to allow your solution to be used in SharePoint Online. Only go for Full Trust Code (old school solutions) if there is no other way.
- SharePoint Social will not be developed further because Yammer will end up replacing it completely.
- Yammer will be integrated into all Office collaborative experiences, from Outlook to Word, both Online and On Premises. Outlook will feature Yammer groups, Office documents will have an associated Yammer thread, and Yammer groups will have an associated calendar.
- The “Codename Oslo” Experience will bring us a new way of working, where the information you need is brought too you automatically through the power of the Office Graph, FAST-based search technology and the use of machine learning. It will be available through Office 365 and my guess is that it will become the new Office 365 homepage – an personalized information hub tailored to each user’s needs.
- Microsoft’s Business Intelligence stack continues to evolve. PowerBI, PowerPivot, PowerQuery, PowerMap and PowerView are all very impressive pieces of technology and I hear there will be announcements soon around these topics…
- SharePoint development is now achieving a maturity level that allows real Application Lifecycle Management. Source control, continuous integration, automated testing, automated code analysis and continuous deployment, are concepts that can currently be applied to SharePoint projects.
The Expo Hall featured the sponsors’ booths where everyone could meet their products and services, and meet some familiar faces such as Mike Fitzmaurice (Nintex), Edin Kapic (Beezy), Chris McNulty (HiSoftware) and Christian Buckley (Metalogix). The Community Area was also located in the Expo Hall, and a lot was happening here, especially during breaks:
- Soapbox sessions were being delivered by some of the SharePoint all stars (Dan Holme, Michael Noel, Mike Fitzmaurice, Joel Oleson, Jeremy Thake, Geoff Evelyn, Paolo Pialorsi, Agnes Molnar, Edin Kapic and Eric Overfield)
- The ShareMentor program was kicked off by Agnes Molnar
- Book signings
- Prize draws
Just like in previous years, one of the highlights of the ESPC is always the Gala Dinner. A social event that mixes attendees, speakers and organizers, and where the European SharePoint Community Awards winners are announced, as well as the Top 25 SharePoint Influencers. As expected, it was a great occasion to meet new people and the fact that |create|it| won an ESPC award for the third consecutive year only made it better.
Overall, it was a great experience and I just hope I get to attend it next year.