SPSUK and SEF11 Wrap Up

It was a great pleasure to be able to make a small swoop through Europe this last week to present at SharePoint Saturday UK (SPSUK) in Nottingham, England and at the SharePoint and Exchange Forum 2011 (SEF11) in Stockholm, Sweden. Both events were well-attended, with something like 250-350 eager learners at each.

SharePoint Saturday UK 12th November 2011

it’s always interesting to see what the differences are across the crowds at different events where I speak. There are stereotypical things one might expect, of course, but very often they turn out to more true than not. The UK crowd was vocal, but probably more polite in their questions than an American audience might be. “Excuse me, but might you please explain why you’ve decided that…”, as opposed to “What on earth made you think…” I was told that the Swedes would be extremely polite and ask no questions until after the session. I was glad to find that wasn’t fully true. There were fewer “inline” questions, but they were good ones. And perhaps a few more after the sessions than during because of it.

The organizers of both events did a marvelous job. For SPSUK, it was Tony Pounder, Mark, McCrea, and Brett Lonsdale. It being a SharePoint Saturday, there was also a large team of red-shirted volunteers. I didn’t get a chance to meet them all, of course, but without a great team, an event like that can’t go off without a hitch, like it did. From the Speaker Dinner at the Hall of Justice (where they purportedly held “Robin Hood”, though there wasn’t just one) to the SharePint at the Cross Keys Pub, everything was grand. That’s Robin Hood on the right, introducing the keynote speaker, Todd Flint.

IMG_2224In Stockholm, the inimitable Göran Husman was the ringmaster, but I got the impression that his daughter Beatrice was the real powerhouse behind it all. Ever humble, Beatrice chose to leave the event before it finished lest we try to call attention to her and her efforts. Beatrice, we all thank you! I also would like to give special thanks to my compatriot Christian Stahl, who invited me to the event. Christian and I have “known” each other for quite some time over the InterWebs, but it was great to be able to spend some significant quality time with him discussing Data View Web Parts (DVWPs), CSS, jQuery, SPServices, and all manner of development opportunities they provide when added together. I look forward to corresponding with Christian even more in the future now that we’ve met in person. Everyone at Humandata, which put on the conference, was wonderful to meet and work with.

The sessions I did at the two events overlapped, so I can offer the material here together. At SPSUK, it was “Developing in SharePoint’s Middle Tier” (slides), which I repeated at SEF11 (slides). I also was happy to do a session entitled “SharePoint Solutions with SPServices” at SEF11. In both locations, I used a SharePoint 2010 site which has quite a few demos in it. I’m happy to make the entire site available to you here. It includes all of the demo stuff I showed in the “Developing in SharePoint’s Middle Tier” session, plus a few other goodies if you poke around a little. Remember that everything there is demo code, so think carefully before using it in your own environment. It may well need some significant changes to be valuable for you. Hopefully as a learning tool, the value is already there.

For the “SharePoint Solutions with SPServices” session, I didn’t have any specific demo materials other than the SPServices site and my own WSS-based development site where I do all the magic to make SPServices work for you. Packaging that up would just be an embarrassment, as it includes every messy, blind alley thing I’ve done over the last two-plus years in building SPServices. If there’s anything specific you’d like to get your hands on that you saw in the session, just ping me through the Contact tab above and we’ll get it sorted out for you. I do have a demo site in the same environment that you can reach via the Web here that has some of the pages I showed.

Thanks again to all for a wonderful European week I leave you with a photo of my friend Christian leading the Humandata band in a rousing rendition of a Nirvana song whose name I forget, but they played it well.

IMG_2267

Book Review: “Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration” by Göran Husman and Christian Ståhl

Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration

The actual title of this book is the somewhat long "Beginning SharePoint 2010 Administration: Windows SharePoint Foundation 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010".  Christian and I have chatted back and forth many times on Twitter and via our blogs, etc., and he offered me a free copy (Yes, Mr. FTC Man, a free copy.) back when he finished writing his portion of it last year.  When the copy finally arrived, it was one of those "Hey, how did I win this???" moments. I had totally forgotten that Christian offered it to me, so what a nice surprise!

The best testament I can give to this book is that when I go into clients, it’s frequently sitting on the SharePoint administrator’s desk. When I ask them about it, they always respond positively. It seems to provide them with exactly what they need as they are getting up and running and then taking things to the next level. As someone who shies away from the admin side of things, what I need to have around is a few good references, and this book serves that purpose for me very well.

However, the title may be a little misleading, depending on how you think of the word "administration". If you look at the Table of Contents, you’ll see that the book goes far beyond what one might consider administration, covering topics near and dear to my heart like branding, using script, Data View Web Part ,workflows – in fact many of the tools I use developing in the SharePoint’s Middle Tier.

If you’re a novice to relatively knowledgeable SharePoint administrator, developer, or power user, this book belongs on your shelf.

On a separate note, I look forward to meeting Christian and Göran in person at SEF 2011 in Stockholm in November, where I will be speaking on Topics To Be Named at a Later Date.