Conference Notes

SharePoint Conference 2009: Notes from Day 1

Day 1 of the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 is underway. Here’s what I’ve seen announced or discussed during the day. And no, I’m not in attendance.

Announcements and Discussion Points
From Microsoft’s press release:
– The beta of SharePoint Server 2010 will be available in November, along with the beta of Office 2010. SharePoint Server 2010 will be available in “first half of 2010”, so think June 2010.
– Microsoft claimed revenue of $1.3 billion during the last financial year, a 20% growth year-to-year.
– Key themes for SharePoint 2010 are: (1) better developer story, (2) better Internet site capabilities, and (3) flexibility for on-premises or hosted SharePoint.
– There are a range of new features in SharePoint 2010, including the Office ribbon interface, tighter Office integration, rich media support, and more.

From SharePoint 2010, a blog post on the Microsoft SharePoint Team blog:
– There are six key areas in SharePoint 2010: sites, communities, content, search, insights, and composites.
– The web experience for SharePoint 2010 has been updated.
– Groove has been redeveloped and renamed as SharePoint Workspace 2010. Supports local and offline read-write access to SharePoint.
– SharePoint 2010 can host the Office Web apps, online variants of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.
– The SharePoint Workspace Mobile client, for working with Office content in SharePoint offline on a Windows Mobile device.
– Microsoft has improved the collaboration and social networking tools in SharePoint 2010. Eg, a more consistent approach for finding and staying connected to other people and information, improvements to My Site, and richer people connections.
– Enhancements to the user profile part of SharePoint, especially around expertise identification (manual and automagic), and expertise declaration / willingness.
– Enhancements to support much larger lists and libraries.
– The ability to link multiple documents, spreadsheets and presentations together into “Document Sets”, and treating them together for workflow and metadata.
– In-place records, a HUGE improvement over “shift copies out to the Record Center in SharePoint 2007”.
– Improved people search capabilities, based on social networking and expertise algorithms.
– Insights is the new business intelligence area of SharePoint.
– SharePoint 2010 “Composites” makes it easier for everyone to build custom solutions on SharePoint.

From SharePoint 2010 features Groove client, by John Fontana:
– The Groove technology acquired in 2005 has been re-developed as SharePoint Workspace Client for SharePoint 2010 (note that John calls it the “Workplace” client, perhaps a carry-over from IBM terminology. Per Jeff’s blog post though, it is the “Workspace” client).
– SharePoint Workspace Client enables SharePoint data to be taken offline (or worked with online), with full synchronization back to SharePoint.
– The client can also work with third-party line-of-business applications in the same way.
– The timing is directly in line with my 2005 prediction, that the acquisition was too late to impact the Office 2007 timeline.

Michael’s Analysis
In my 7 Pillars analysis of SharePoint 2007, SharePoint passes one pillar on its own merits, and a couple of others with Office Communications Server added. Based on the above information, and without actually trying the product, it seems like the following will apply for SharePoint 2010:
– Pillar 1 (shared access): improved pass
– Pillar 2 (location independent access): pass, thanks to SharePoint Workspace and Workspace Mobile.
– Pillar 3 (real-time joint viewing and editing): pass
– Pillar 4 (team-aware calendaring): failed in 2007, unknown for 2010 (will have to federate calendars with Exchange to get a pass, for free-busy integration)
– Pillar 5 (social engagement): improved pass
– Pillar 6 (enterprise action management): probably, but I couldn’t see confirmation.
– Pillar 7 (collaboration auto-discovery): pass

I will do a more complete analysis at a later time, but 5 direct passes is a huge improvement. Congrats to the SharePoint team!