SharePoint Conference 2009 Day 2

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Well Day One was a great introduction and overview of some of the things to come and I am looking forward to jumping right in.  Day 2 consisted of all breakout sessions. 

Advanced Web Part Development

During the Advanced Web Part Development session the speaker bean by discussing the capabilities and direction of the development of web parts in SharePoint 2010.   One of the fundamental items of note here is the difference between SharePoint 2010 and MOSS is the ability to create WSS Web Parts and ASP.Net Web Parts for use on your sites.  Going forward however WSS Web Parts (.dwp) are going away and ASP.Net Web Parts are now the way to create web parts for SharePoint 2010.  Code Access Security has not changes in SharePoint 2010 and the ability to leverage this and throttle resources becomes a big deal in allowing developers to create good web parts and in the case of a “bad web part” throttle them so that in a shared/hosted environment this bad web part does not take down the system.  Another point of emphasis in developing web parts in 2010 is ensuring the web parts are deployed using a SharePoint Feature.  Another great new feature to web parts is the ability to version web parts on the page. As a developer however you do not have to worry about managing the versions, it just happens on the page.  AJAX also becomes a first class citizen for use in your web parts.  The Client Object Model is also a new set of APIs that will allow developers to create web parts that can be used via rich client applications.  Several new cross-site scripting safeguards are note available as well.  Lastly, the demonstration went to developing web parts for Wiki pages.  Wiki pages can now have web parts added to them and using special tagging a developer can then determine where in the Wiki these parts manifest themselves.

Scaling SharePoint 2010 Topologies

During this session the speaker began discussions around the various new topologies supported with SharePoint 2010.  The key to note here is that the various topology restrictions that we had in MOSS 2007 have been lifted.  One of the key restrictions with MOSS was the ability to have only 1 index server per SSP in your farm.  With SharePoint 2010 we now have to ability to have multiple index servers in the SSP for the Farm.  This means shorter crawl times and the ability to merge and rank multiple content sources.  Another major point that was made during this session was the ability to sandbox and throttle various services for sites or solutions within the farm.  This then leads to better predictability of the services and physical hardware needed.  Lastly,  as with MOSS in the past is understanding the ability to spread various services across the farm and scale the system out various topologies and adding web front end servers, application servers, and search servers to the farm to manage the needs of the organization.

Social Computing and My Sites

One of the major themes for SharePoint 2010 is centered around Social Computing and My Sites.  Out-of-the-Box each user can be enables with a My Site which will give them a new organizational view using a Silverlight control.  One of the cool things about SharePoint 2010 is that Silverlight is now a first class citizen where by several features within SharePoint are now a part of the core system but more on that later in the Silverlight session I attended later on during the conference.  My Sites within 2010 also now gives the users searchable feeds that can be exposed via RSS and available via mobile devices as well.

Building Applications with InfoPath and SharePoint 2010

One of the more exciting sessions of the day was the InfoPath 2010 session.  In this session the speaker showed us a demo of how to build an application with InfoPath 2010 and SharePoint 2010 using workflows.  The great thing about this solution was there was no code used to build the solution! The solution was a procurement request form which users could use to request the purchase of new office equipment.  The form was built using InfoPath 2010 with several views.  The form leverages some of the new controls in InfoPath one of which is the User Picker control which is now integrated fully into InfoPath.  The solution also leverages the External data lists to help manage the product listing and the various categories that was used to manage the products.  Lastly, using SharePoint Designer and the new workflow rules including the ability to build Visual Workflows using Visio allowed for the proper routing of the forms to the appropriate approvers.  The last piece of the solution was to use various out of the box content query web parts to create an Approver Dashboard and and Request dashboard which allows the users and approvers to manage the request process.

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