Monday was the first day of SharePoint Conference, and what a great day.
We will be doing some more in depth blogging, but for now this is my first impression.
Having only been to DevConnections before, I am amazed at how well Microsoft has organized this conference.
Many events can learn from Microsoft on how to manage a crowd of 10.000 people to enter and leave the Keynote area. And even more amazing is how they manage to feed that many people in an organized way. But that is not what we came for of course, we came for SharePoint 2013. And that also exceeds our expectations…
We are very busy working with EMC, as their C3P partner, specializing on integrating EMC Documentum with SharePoint for clients, and while we had already dived into SharePoint 2013 we did not really ‘get’ the huge changes. We get them now.
In the user experience area, which was good to begin with, SharePoint has made another huge leap. Expanding the MySite feature that has not really been used to its full potential, they have added SkyDrive Pro. This adds all documents users store in their personal space to the cloud, allowing access anytime, anywhere, from any device.
Basically, what users have used until now is Dropbox, SkyDrive or other cloud solutions. This is now added to SharePoint and has become the default storage location when creating documents with Office 2013.
On top of this there will be Apps for accessing all this from Windows Phone devices. But there will be one for iOS as well. This shows that Microsoft is very serious about wanting all users to be able to access their information anytime, anywhere.
The social capabilities of SharePoint have also been expanded to support even more collaboration, allowing users to really work together, learn from each other and use each others expertise. With the acquisition of Yammer and the work they have been doing together to integrate this into SharePoint, companies that already use both can get even more out of their social internal network.
In the earlier office versions there were already possibilities to integrate with SharePoint but this has also been greatly improved. Combined with the new real drag and drop functionality users now really will not have to use the Office client they are working in all day. And with the addition of the App Model we can now add functionality to bring the users any SharePoint functionality they may need to do their daily jobs better and they can have this at their fingertips…
This is another thing we did not get when we unboxed the SharePoint 2013 preview. We get it now…Contrary to what we could do with WebParts we can now build apps that support both the cloud version (Office365) as well as on premise environments. Apps run outside SharePoint but can have full access to all things SharePoint. Basically we can build Apps for anything. Supporting end-to-end solutions for clients but also adding magic to any of their Office clients. Definitely one of the areas we will be doing more blogging on.
Until now the limitations of Office365 and of sandboxed solutions have often resulted in us advising the client to stay on premise. Now with the new App Model we no longer have to and we can advise clients to take advantage of the new 90 day release cycle. Meaning that new cool features are available sooner instead of the 3 year server product release cycle. Which also will mean no more expensive upgrade cycles for clients. For us developers it means being able to use cool new features much sooner because we do not have to wait for clients to upgrade. For me that is a win-win situation on all sides.
We are now gearing up for our second day at SharePoint Conference. I for one cannot wait to dive more deeply into all of the above and into the areas we did not even cover yesterday.