SUGUK Meeting on the 11th March

Right, so I’m finally taking a lunchtime to write up about the SUGUK Meeting in London last Thursday. The topic was Business Intelligence in SharePoint 2010, and the main presentation was by Ben Robb, with a discussion afterwards. It covered a lot of technologies – there are a lot you can use – but the bit that I think will be interesting is the methodology and management. Continue reading “SUGUK Meeting on the 11th March”

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SUGUK Meeting on the 11th March

SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices

So, I went to the SUGUK meeting last week on the 16th at LBi’s Truman Brewery building on Brick lane. I was looking forward to it, though was disappointed to find that the brewery is now offices. Anyway,the subject was WCM best practices with Chris O’Brien and Riaz Ahmed, who’re always entertaining speakers. Continue reading “SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices”

SUGUK Meeting: WCM Best Practices

Geo-Replication in MOSS with Syntergy

Last night was the SharePoint UK User Group meeting, and they had a number of vendors in to discuss their wares.

One that I’d not seen before, and set my toes tingling was about Geo-replication in MOSS, by Syntergy. They talked about a number of their products (and their Sharelink product – for integrating SharePoint and Livelink – was interesting), but the main part of the demo was Geo-replication. Basically, you can select (at a broad or narrow level) what you want to replicate, where you want to replicate to, what events you want to replicate, and it does so – including scheduling, and dealing with collisions of changes and resolving them.

Geo-Replication in MOSS with Syntergy

SharePoint UK User Group Meeting with Lawrence Liu

So, Thursday night the user group had a meeting with Lawrence Liu. I’d gone to find out about the “Fantastic 40” templates – but it wasn’t about that so much. Given that it seems that the 20 that have been released are, essentially, showcases for the designs you can make with the out-of-box functionality, and that the other 20 aren’t finished yet (although look like more interesting customisation), I was actually glad that the talk was more varied.

Lawrence highlighted some things. First, the newsgroups aren’t really being monitored as much as the forums. Ask questions there. Secondly, we’re getting a new community site for SharePoint – the world’s first Internet facing SharePoint system. There is some talk about moving the SUGUK site to it – I think that would be good, having a common community. This site isn’t open just yet, they’re working on Passport integration (yeah, I know, but other than Passport it sounds like a great idea).

The second part of the evening was fascinating – it was about the ‘pain points’ of SharePoint 2007, and what the general plan for SharePoint vNext was. The pain points started:

  1. Dev Documentation
  2. IT Pro documentation

…which exactly matched our problems so far. The top 2 were bang on, which is a good sign.

There were some interesting points up there too:

Tools – We’ll, that I’d thought of, but he mentioned “Visual Studio 2005 Extensions for WSS”, which will make creating features less of an arcane, esoteric pain in the ass. It’ll be able to take a site definition and reverse engineer it into a feature, which will be cool. There’s also the hope of more community based tools, but I’m a little worried that we’re going to end up with a scattering of different little applications. I’d prefer one tool – after all, that’s one of the benefits of Visual Studio (except when you have to use Caspol, InstallUtils, etc.). Perhaps there’s room for a ‘collection of tools project’?

End-user training materials – Um, there isn’t any, really. MS are planning to release a feature for setting up a training environment soon, and hopefully there will also be materials accompanying that. They’re planning a SCORM training module for it.

Other than that – lots of bits of information, but too much to go into (or remember all that easily).

Regarding SharePoint vNext, well, there will be a Service Pack before vNext. Initial plan is for it to be out in roughly 2 years, and it’ll be an incremental improvement, rather than a leap forwards. Some of the folks at the user group meeting seemed to want something more dramatic – but let’s face it, it takes time to learn a new version, it can take a year for projects to really roll into motion, and nobody wants to buy if they can get the next version in 6 months – I think anything less that 2 years (3 years even) is too fast a cycle. 2 years is probably okay for an ‘improvement’ version, although I agreed with some of the comments about vNextNext needing to be something more dramatic. And I’m totally with Colin Byrne’s point about ditching CAML – God awful markup that it is.

The knowledge management extensions for SharePoint look like they’re being pushed back – and I think Lawrence said that they were being pushed back to vNext. There’s two problems with it, as far as they’re concerned – it only works with English, and it only uses Outlook email as the datasource for trying to produce someone’s knowledge areas. Given that they’ve got the SharePoint server itself, possibly desktop search, etc., I saw his point. Still, it’s possibly quite exciting for larger organisations.

Areas of emphasis for vNext – Search and something. Forgotten what the other thing was. But the search team have been given a bit more flexibility to move rapidly. Something about a competitor who’s name ends in ‘oogle’.

I guess the only other impression I took away was that there is a lot of stuff coming out in the range of one to three months. Hopefully not all at once, it’d be a lot to take in.

SharePoint UK User Group Meeting with Lawrence Liu

Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho

Before I went on holiday last week, I attended the SharePoint user group meeting that was happening in London. A couple of guys from Cap Gemini were doing a presentation on records management (RM) in SharePoint 2007. This will describe my impressions (my memory ain’t so good, so these are my notes…), and how it appears to work. I’ll start with my conclusions, and then move on to how the thing actually works. Continue reading “Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho”

Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho