Head over to http://commnet.microsoftpdc.com/content/sessions.aspx to see a nearly-complete list of what we can tell you to date. Specifically look at the “Office and SharePoint” track. Joe Andreshak and I are producing this track (he’s doing Office client technology, and I’m doing Office server technology). We’re both happy and relieved to finally see a preliminary list surface on a public site. We’re all ears if you have concerns or requests. We’ll read them and seriously think about them, but I can’t promise we’ll be able to fulfill them.
Would you like to know what the list doesn’t say?
- Many session titles and descriptions will change by the time you pick up the final conference guide in L.A. By then, the titles/descriptions will cite specific names and specific feature functionalities. So if some of them appear vague, it’s because it’s referring to technology we won’t announce until the PDC — the description you see is the best we can do for now.
For example, let’s use the one thing we can talk about before September, namely what’s going on with ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts. If it, too, had to be kept under wraps until September, a session that would otherwise be called “Devleloping ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts for Use In SharePoint Sites” would have to be entitled “Advancements in Web Part Technology for SharePoint Sites” until the day of the event. Get it?
Sorry it has to be this way. But in the meantime, feel free to creatively interpret some of the otherwise vague session titles. I won’t confirm or deny any speculation, and neither will Joe, but the sessions, when finally delivered, will be anything but general and vague. I promise.
- This actually isn’t a complete list. There are a couple of sessions we can’t tell you about yet. There’s no way to provide even a title that wouldn’t give away a new feature or product that we won’t announce until the event. So we have to keep the whole thing under wraps. That’s just for a couple of sessions.
- We decided at the last minute to name the track “Office and SharePoint”. Yes, I wanted it to read “Office System and SharePoint Services”, but that was determined to be too long. We opted to keep the WSS content close to the Office content for simplicity’s sake. Note, however, that many of the WSS sessions are (or will be) cross-listed in the Data and Systems track. And should be.
- That track name should suggest to you that SharePoint Services is alive and well and very much a part of Windows Server 2003. Even in the next release.
- If you’re wondering why something isn’t listed, note that our sessions are focused on things you can build, not things you’ll use to build them. It’s very possible that a session will highlight a server API, a smart client, a design tool, and a development tool.
- It’s inevitable that we’ll use the PDC to show products business value to some extent, but that will absolutely take a back seat to showing their developer value. The overall value of the next iteration of the Office System will happen elsewhere. Deployment and infrastructure issues will be covered elsewhere. If you’re wondering why we don’t talk about something, ask yourself if it’s truly a development topic. If the answer is “not really”, that’s why it’s not on the list.
- We also aren’t talking about anything being released prior to late next year, nor are we talking about things released after the big “Office 12”/WSS “v3” release.
That’s it for now. Oh, one other thing. The ask-the-experts people, session speakers, and hands-on lab proctors will be actual program managers, developers, or testers of the products being discussed. We’ll have booths as well for those of you with questions on currently-shipping technology, and we’re working to staff those with the most experienced, battle-scarred solution developers we can find.