SPTechCon Boston 2011 Wrap Up

SPTechCon was my first SharePoint conference back when I attended the San Francisco 2010 edition. That doesn’t seem so long ago, yet it really is in SharePoint time. (They say you’ll never forget your first girl, but in this case it’s my first conference, so… Yeah, if I have to explain it, it’s a stretch.)

SPTechCon was where I first really got how powerful and useful the SharePoint community is. It was when I realized that it would be cool to find a place for myself within it.

I’ve read a couple of write ups about the conference which I liked, so I figured I’d give pointers to them here. Ruven Gotz’s (@ruveng) post SPTechCon: Sing(apore) for your supper and Josh McCarty’s (@josh_a_mccarty) post Thoughts on SPTechCon Boston 2011 captured the conference well (and Josh’s not just because he talked about me!), plus a bit of what they enjoyed while they were here in Boston. If you’re interested in other slants on the conference and extracurricular activities, give them a read. 

I was once again honored to be able to speak at this edition of SPTechCon, right here in my home town of Boston. Not only was I able to do a technical session, but David Rubinstein (@drubinstein), tsar of the conference, invited me to do a Lightning Talk on Wednesday night. You get 4 minutes for those darn things, so I decided to simply do a “promo” for my session on Friday.

Thursday night, I also had the honor of being on the BASPUG “Ask the Experts” panel, sitting next to none other than Christian “Flying Monkey” Finn. Also on the panel were Michael Noel, Laura Rogers, Todd Klindt, Randy Drisgill, and Jeremy Thake. (I’m forgetting someone…)

My session was entitled “Developing in SharePoint’s Middle Tier”  (it’s session 607) and I demoed some generalized solutions from past project work. Since I had the slides from the Lightning Talks, I figured I’d clean them up a little and use them as an intro for the session. I’ve posted solution files (WSPs) for SharePoint 2010 to my Sympraxis Consulting Demos site (upper right of the page) which contain the two main demos I showed. There’s also a SharePoint 2007 version (MiddleTier2007) of the custom navigation demo, if that’s more useful to you. (It’s an earlier version, but not too far off from what I showed.)

“Customized Navigation”






Finally, and not to be too mercantile about it, if you are interested in learning more about these development techniques, consider taking my classes at the USPJ Academy. I have three courses which cover SharePoint’s Middle Tier:

  • Data View Web Part Basics
  • Enhancing the User Experience with jQuery
  • Introduction to the SharePoint Web Services

These three courses cover much of what I showed in the demos and more. You can see more details on the courses on the Academy Course Listing page. Come join us!


  1. Hey Marc,

    Great presentation at SPTechCon in Boston last week! I dowloaded your Demo WSP and it won’t create site on Office365.

    The error says it needs feature id 2acf27a5-f703-4277-9f5d-24d70110b18b to be active on site collection. This appears to be the WAReports feature which is not available on Sharepoint Online. Any suggestions?

    My intension is to get the drag & drop demo running on O365 so I can take a look at the SPServices and jQuery. Also to prove O365 will serve js from a library. PS… do you have to set browser file handling to permissive to get that to work in SP2010?


    • Josh:

      Glad you enjoyed the session! I created the WSP in a VM which probably has that Feature installed. I had tested instantiating it in Foundation, but I don’t have an Office365 account yet. (Sounds like I need one!) I’ll take a look and see if I can recreate the WSP without that feature.

      You shouldn’t need to set anything about the browser handling for this to work.


    • Josh:

      I just uploaded new versions of both WSP files which I created with the problem feature disabled. I also disabled a couple of other features which looked like they would be an issue, but I didn’t check everything against the list.

      Hopefully this set will work for you. If it doesn’t, let me know and we’ll try again.


  2. Marc,

    Thanks for doing this. Tried on Office365 and no luck. Now it complains about required feature:
    af6d9aec-7c38-4dda-997f-cc1ddbb87c92 which appears to be WACustomReports.

    None of the Web Analyticsfeatures are available in O365 only those that are displayed in the URL above. bummer.

    PS the drag and drop was a part of the Custom Nav demo correct?


    • Josh:

      Erg. I’m trying again for you. This time I’ve deleted the Web Analytics Service Application. Maybe this will work. Sorry this is so difficult, but I’m learning a few things along the way, if that’s any comfort to you.

      I’ve uploaded two new files to http://www.sympraxisconsulting.com/Demos:
      Middle Tier – 2011-06-12 (This is the custom navigation one with the drag and drop)
      Budget – 2011-06-12

      Let me know how it goes. I think it’s time for me to get an Office365 account, if only to be able to validate these solution files.


  3. Hi Marc,

    Thanks again for doing this. Still no luck on Office365, but I did get it installed on my SP2010 dev site.

    As for Office 365, here’s what I found:


    I guess the Web Analytics is a hidden Farm feature. The forum user had to use stsadm to deactivate, uninstall the feature at the farm level on-premises, create the solution template, then reactivate the farm feature.

    Guess we all should build a dev farm that has only the O365 feaures installed, but MS doesn’t tell us what those are. Bummer.

    Thanks again for your time I’m all set for now. Will try to break your demo apart to get it working on o365 and let you know how it goes.


    • Josh:

      Did you try the WSPs I posted on 6/12? Those were the ones where I had turned off that Web Analytics. It actually was a Service Application, not a Farm Feature.

      In any case, glad you got it up and running so that you could take a look at it.


  4. Marc,

    Yes I tried all three.

    There are about a dozen different features for WA in 2010. Some farm, some web, some site in scope. Some are features that staple other WA featuers to sites and webs. None appear on either the features lists of site collection nor farm in central admin.

    Sounds like a nightmare for those who want to migrate templates to O365. I still have yet to see any guidance on this. Even a features list comparison with IDs would help.

    Let alone some powershell to remove the OOB features from on-premises which are missing in O365.

    Thanks again,


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