Category Archives: European SharePoint Conference

the European SharePoint Conference 2015 was great!

The fourth edition of the European SharePoint Conference has now finished and it was bigger and better than ever. It took place in the wonderful city of Stockholm, in Sweden, from November 9th to November 12th. Like in previous years, the first day was dedicated to pre-conference full-day tutorials and the conference actually started in the second day. It featured a large exposition floor for sponsors to present their products and services, and also a community area with soapbox sessions during session intermissions and meals. The conference got over 1,500 delegates from over 50 different countries.

The programme team did a great job going through over 700 session submissions and putting together a stellar lineup of great speakers while also broadening the scope of the conference to include Office 365 and Microsoft Azure along with the SharePoint-related content. Congratulations to Wim Dierickx, Göran Husman, Adis Jugo and Nicki Borell. I was on the programme team last year and I know how hard it is to select the sessions and speakers, and put together a compelling programme.

The first keynote was delivered by Seth Patton, Jeff Tepper and Bill Baer, and this fact alone demonstrates how much Microsoft is invested in connecting with the community. The keynote was mostly focused on:

  • Usage and adoption statistics for Office 365
  • New and improved features that recently rolled out in Office 365
  • Near future roadmap for Office 365
  • What’s New in SharePoint Server 2016

Regarding usage and adoption, Office 365 has some impressive statistics:

  • Over 75,000 customers which account for more than 160 million users
  • 200% monthly active user growth
  • 7 Billion Office documents stored in OneDrive for Business, team sites and other SharePoint portals, which represents a 500% year-on-year growth in content
  • Runs on 30,000 servers, with 20,000 SQL databases, on 19 datacenters around the world.

As for new features and near future roadmap for Office 365, Jeff Tepper and Bill Baer shared that:

  • OneDrive for Business will now have a new rock-solid sync client (which has been in preview for a few weeks) and already has mobile apps for all devices. It recently got a revamped UI with a better browsing and sharing experience, and better tooling for IT management.
  • SharePoint Online has rolled-out improvements in collaboration, co-authoring and external sharing features.
  • The new Office 365 groups and their tight integration with Outlook 2016 is helping people to be more productive, adapting the technology to the users and not the other way around.
  • Delve and the Office Graph are also evolving, with new APIs and the new analytics features that are now in development.

The biggest announcement was the release of a second and last beta version of SharePoint Server 2016 before the end of the month, which will be nearly feature complete. The new features of SharePoint Server 2016 were already known since Microsoft Ignite a few months back, but it was still interesting to hear about the enhanced mobile experience, robust and cloud inspired infrastructure, and the compliance and data loss prevention features.

My session was about “Content Recommendation with SharePoint Search” and I think it was well received by the 100 or so attendees in the room, but having to deliver a session on the afternoon of the last day usually means I’m not going to enjoy the conference because I’ll be too worried fine tuning the slides and demos, and practicing the presentation until almost the end. If you’re interested in the presentation contents check the slide deck on SlideShare.

Nevertheless, I still managed to attend a few sessions by really good presenters:

  • Radi Atanassov (@RadiAtanassov) presented a great session on Office 365 Dev Patterns and Practices.
  • Chris O’Brien (@ChrisO_Brien) gave some fantastic tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when developing for Office 365.
  • Marius Constantinescu (@c_marius) showed us how to use Lightswitch to build cloud business apps in Visual Studio.
  • Nuno Costa (@ndocosta) and João Oliveira (@joaopcoliveira), fellow Portuguese Microsoft guys, delivered a brilliant talk on Office 365 governance with PowerShell and CSOM.
  • Rodrigo Pinto (@ScoutmanPt), fellow Portuguese MVP, got to present two great sessions: one on PowerShell Desired State Configuration and another one on techniques to migrate full trust solutions to the add-in model.
  • Edin Kapic (@ekapic) made complex topics such as authentication and authorization seem simple as he showed how to build a custom claims provider for SharePoint. Pretty epic stuff.
  • Knut Relbe-Moe (@sharePTkarm) dove deep into the Office 365 group and filled a room even on the last session slot of the conference.

It was a nice surprise to find Pedro Serrano and Daniel Pereira from Cave Digital showing off their Smart Governance product in the expo floor, and Alex Ferreira (@alexaem) and Tiago Duarte (@tduarte85) attending the conference. It’s always great meeting Portuguese friends when we’re far away from home.

Overall it was a great experience and the team in charge of the organization has done a tremendous job. If I had to point out three highlights of the event, those would be:

  • The venue for the awards gala, which was absolutely fantastic, and the venue for the conference. It will be very hard to top that next year.
  • The networking opportunities.
  • The speaker and session lineup, which included top Microsoft executives.

Next year the European SharePoint Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria, on November 14-17, and I hope I can be there again.

European SharePoint Conference 2015

The programme for the European SharePoint Conference 2015 was announced yesterday and guess what? I’ll be presenting a session on day 3 (November 12th) about Content Recommendation with SharePoint Search! You’ll also find my good friend and SharePoint MVP Rodrigo Pinto, as well as Nuno Oliveira Costa and João Oliveira, from Microsoft Portugal, among the speakers.

The conference will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, from November 9th to November 12th, and has a fantastic session lineup from some of the best speakers in the business. The programme team did a great job putting it together. I know how hard it is to select 100 breakout sessions and 8 full-day tutorials out of several hundred candidates to build a balanced and interesting session lineup.

If you have not attended in previous years, I highly recommend it. It’s well worth it.
You still have 7 days to grab the ticket at Super Early Booking Rate (ends on April 17th) so, if you’re considering attending, don’t wait!

I’ll see you there!

Webinar: Information Rights Management in SharePoint

On April 7th at 11am CET I will be presenting a live webinar to the European SharePoint Community on Information Rights Management in SharePoint.

Here’s what I’ll be talking about:

Information security is one of the most important concerns when designing a content management solution. Learn about Information Rights Management (IRM) and what it allows you to do to protect your information and control its usage. Learn how it can be applied to SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online and the main differences between the way it works in each version.

In this webinar for IT Pro’s you will:

    1. Learn what is Information Rights Management (IRM)
    2. Learn how IRM works in SharePoint 2013 and SharePoint Online
    3. Learn how to manage IRM

You can register for my webinar on Information Rights Management here. I hope you can join me!

European SharePoint Conference 2014

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.

I’m Coming Back!

I’ve just noticed that I haven’t posted anything for more than a year now and I have no good excuses for this absence. It’s actually a bit unfair to this blog, since I’ve been publishing some new content elsewhere. Anyway, I intend to make it right by means of a comeback so here’s what I’ve been up to recently.

I’ve published an article on What’s New in Search in SharePoint 2013 on two Portuguese magazines, Revista Programar (February 2013) and PC Guia (April 2013). You can get the first one here, if you can read Portuguese. If not, I will be posting that same article in English here, in the coming weeks.

Last September I’ve recorded an How-To Video for the European SharePoint Community on How to Use Host-Named Site Collections. If you’re interested you can check it out here.

Also, for the European SharePoint Community, I’ve recently published an article on User License Enforcement in SharePoint 2013. I’ll post it here in the coming weeks, but you can also read it on the SharePoint Community Blog.

Finally, I’ve been invited to be a part of the European SharePoint Conference 2014 Programme Team so, if you’re planning on attending the conference in May 2014, I’ll meet you there!

Happy SharePointing!

Free Webinar: LINQ to SharePoint

The European SharePoint Conference organization committee has been setting up a series of free SharePoint-related webinars in preparation for the conference. I’ll be presenting one of these webinars, next Tuesday, June 14th 2011, at 12PM CET, about LINQ to SharePoint.

The abstract for this webinar is as follows:

Regarding data access, one of the new features introduced with SharePoint 2010 is the possibility to use LINQ to manipulate list items. However, despite being immensely useful, this technology has its own limitations. During this webinar André will talk about what you can and can't do with LINQ to SharePoint, as well as the scenarios where this technology should or should not be applied.

Although it is a free webinar, you must register to be able to attend.

European SharePoint Conference 2011

I’m pleased to announce I have been chosen as a speaker in the European SharePoint Conference 2011, which will take place in Berlin, 17th – 20th October 2011.

I’ll be delivering 3 sessions, two on Wednesday and one on Thursday, as described below.

W18 – Using BCS to Integrate Azure Services with SharePoint 2010

The new Business Connectivity Services (BCS) offer a simple and elegant way of integration SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 with virtually any business data source. All the business integration features introduced in SharePoint 2007 with Business Data Catalog (BDC) were significantly improved in this new version. In this session we'll talk about the main concepts and the type of solutions that can be developed using BCS, and we'll show how to integrate Azure Services with SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 using BCS, Visual Studio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010.

W26 – Federated Authentication in SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 introduces a new claims-based authentication model which leverages the power and flexibility of the new Windows Identity Foundation. In this session we will show how to use Windows Azure Access Control Services to allow a user to authenticate in SharePoint using a web identity such as Facebook or Google account.

Th28 – SharePoint + Azure = Better Together

Microsoft has a large range of technologies that, when combined, can yield fantastic results with surprisingly little effort. What happens when you mix SharePoint 2010, BizTalk 2010, Windows Azure and Microsoft Pivot? You get a fantastic interface to analyze large amounts of visual data which can be store in SharePoint 2010 and manipulated in the cloud. In this session we'll show the concepts behind this kind of integration and how you can build such a scenario.

Note, however, that the conference program is still subject to change. Check the full program at http://www.sharepointeurope.com/conferences/2011/conference-at-a-glance.aspx.

I look forward to seeing you there!