SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part7

Hi friends.

The Conference is over for this time, but I just wanted to report one last time on the downside of the event for us Europeeans at least…the travelling…
My friday/saturday went like this:
(4:30 AM Las Vegas time)
0:00 hrs – Wakeup call from the Mandalay Bay lobby.
0:30 hrs – Checkout and can to McCarran Airport.
1:00 hrs – Checkin, got the bag checked by a nice lady from United, thanks to her, I could get away with quite a lot of overweight.
1:30 hrs – After security and the tram over to D terminal, I got a nice cup of Gingerbread Latte at Starbucks followed by an American breakfast with bacon, eggs and hashbrowns.
(7:35 AM)
3:35 hrs – Takeoff to Newark Airport.
8:35 hrs – Touchdown at Newark Airport.
9:00 hrs Lunch at Smack Burger…and some last minute shopping to the kids.
(14:20 AM)
10:20 hrs – Takeoff to Stockholm Sweden.
18:30 hrs – Touchdown at Arlanda Airport Stockholm Sweden.
(8:00 AM Stockholm time / 12:00 AM Las Vegas time)
19:30 hrs – Arrived at home

About 14 hours more to stay awake until it’s time for bed…We’ll see if I can even make it that far.

Thanks all for listening/reading, it has been a pleasure!
(If you have missed any or of the previous parts of the SPC report, use the links below.)

Part 1 of this report
Part 2 of this report
Part 3 of this report
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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part6

Hi friends.

Thursday, fourth Session day! Today is the last session day and the final day of the conference…

I had only two sessions scheduled out of three possible slots, one on Reporting Services and one Customer Case on Search.
The day started as usual with breakfast, this was different though…no bacon. Who can live without a good stack of bacon at breakfast? 😉 Today they also offered a drink that was new to me, a green juice…see for yourself..

Spinache and broccoli? Grass??

It was ok I guess…but one was enough. After breakfast I had as the first session for the day a session on SSRS:

Running Reporting Services in SharePoint Integrated Mode: How and Why
(Spc199) Riccardo Mutti

Very good walkthru of setting up Reporting services in Integrated mode, both on SHarePoint 2010 and SQL 2008 R2 and on SharePoint 20103 with SQL 2012.
We also got to know what is good with using integrated mode instead of native, and what makes Microsofts integrated mode real, not compared to aothers that claim to have SharePoint integration. Tings like using built in security and that existing features can be utilized.

It was a very good walkthru and I will probably use the session recording as a good guide, but it could have been better as well, Riccardo used a demo Environment with Everything on the same box, meaning no kerberos and no permissions, which really are the things that make SSRS hard…
We did get to see the new 2013 Service Application model, whach will make SSRS easier to comprehend.

I got a good explanation as to what using a trusted account means, that was good. I Think that many customers and users can make do with a trusted account and thus not have to go thru all of the painstaking issues of setting up the environemnt to support kerberos.

The differnces:

The 2010 with 2008R2 model.

The 2013 with 2012 model.

Interensting stuff.

Next session, a customer session.

Customer Showcase: Telenor and Search with SharePoint
(SPC050) Andreas Hogberg, Denis Heliszkowski, Marius Pedersen

Andreas Högberg from Telenor, a Norwegian telecom Company explained how they quickly moved to use SharePoint 2013 search to get a better result even from their existing 2007 environment.
The end goal was to move completely to 2013 and do that without any ciustomizations, something which 2013 offered as a possibility.

The current global SharePoint 2007 environment had 171 customizations, the new SharePoint 2013 farm had 0(zero).

The plan was to have the two Environments coexist, then step by step move data from 2007 to 2013.

One interesting thing was the use of IaaS, Azure and Infrastructure as a service, they put all of their test and demo Environments there to save Money and time, and the environemnt did at its peak use 300+ cores in the cloud model.

Interesting session, nice to hear from a ‘real’ customer.

With on the session were two Consultants from MCS. Since most of the Project was done under the RDP program, they had MCS in on it to get the knowledge and inside help only MCS could offer.

That was it, last session for me.

I spent some time after that at the Exibit hall, talking to partners and perticipating in the raffles…
I did actually win a Windows 8 phone! Thanks Nintex!! I really love what you do! (Really, they do great workflows!)

I did not win the Ducati Monster motorbike that AvePoint gave away today…that Went to Another happy gentleman…

A few hours of shopping at the Premier Outlet North and I’m ready to go home. I’m flying home on the early bird tomorrow!

This is Thomas Balkeståhl signing out from the 2012 edition of the SharePoin t Conference for the last time. It has been great! I recommend going to everyone who havent been here and that works Close with SharePoint. It’s a uniqe opportunity to get knowledge and insight that you can’t really get anywhere else in the world.

The Mandalay Bay Hotel

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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part5

Hi friends.

Wednesday, third Session day! Today is the first Spencer Harbar day…

Another day with all sessions, then after that Ask the Experts Night. Nice…

I started out with the obvious selection this day. Spencer Harbar on UPS. For those of you who don’t know that name. He is the GOD on UPS, he has probably saved more UPS installations than anyone else.

User Profile Synchronization Best Practises in SharePoint Server 2013
(SPC245) Spencer Harbar

Spencer talked about the new and improved UPS in SharePoint 2013, what really is new (because a lot isn’t) is the 3 modes you can choose between.
-AD Import (That was available in SharePoint 2007 has been reintroduced and improved)

The reintroduced AD Import probably does what the majority of all customers want, a simple synch of user profile data to SharePoint.
It is import only and simpler than UPS, but it gets you the basics and more.
The Profile data is even entered into the Managed metadata Term store. Really nice.
Simple to configure and really a nice new option.

UPS, same as before, the real deal.


All in all, a really great session that gave a lot of good info and most of all, hope, that UPS will be better this time.
And, Spencer Harbar is the man, no question!
See his blog here:

Migrating to SharePoint online in office 365 – strategy and best practices
(SPC152) Phil Cohen, Kimmo Fors

Again, a very good session. Things to think about from two Consultants from Microsoft Consulting Services. Really valuable content, experiences from real migrations that is hard to come by.

Key, same as with UPS and Everything else, planning!

Planning and Creating well designed Intranet Sites in SharePoint online
(SPC015) Randy Drisgill, john Ross

This was not really what I was hoping for, but still a very good session. What to Think about before setting up your Intranet in the cloud. How to make it useable and to look good. Again…plan plan plan…:-)

They started of with a few numbers:
Of all Projects setting up SharePoint the following is actually true:
62% over time
49% over budget
28% do not fit requirements

Proper planning could have made them all 100% successfull.

Deep dive to plan and Prepare for your users to interact with SharePoint from their Mobile devices.

A very good Eye-opener on what can be done to make the Smartphone users experience better or even good. The new default Mobile view in SharePoint teamsites is really good. Try it out. No more basic text…
With apps coming out, like the Office hub and the SharePoint news reader, it will be a good offering to SmartPhone users.

Customizing the way SharePoint 2013 looks.

A session on theme’ing and branding in SharePoint 2013. A really good session that showed us how to build your own themes and theme colors and also masterpages and css. The story on branding in 2013 just got a lot better.

Ask the experts.
The traditional ask the experts evening shared it with the exibit, all partners were in Place and showeed their solutions and companies to all that were interested. I spent some time today here at lunch as well and by now, it feels like I have seen most and talked to the ones I am interested in.
I got to talk to the creator of passphrases in SharePoint (Sean Livingston) and ask him if they were needed…(See privious post)
He unfortunately took it the wrong way and got almost upset…I still believe though, even after talking to the father of the Farm PassPhrase, that it is not really needed…it is more for percieved security, not security in itself…
And yes, do get me right, it is used!, to encrypt data in the db, but what I’m saying is that we don’t really need to see it or even know about it. It could just as well be hidden behind the scenes and be 200 chars long…in my opinion(until someone really proves me wrong…)

Ok, that was it. More fun tomorrow. That is the last day of the Conference and sessions are only planned for half the day. We’ll see what happens then.

I’ll try to keep reporting to all off you directly each and every day during the conference in order to share some parts of the great experience…

Stay tuned, this me, signing out, from day two of my SharePoint conference experience.

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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part4

Hi friends.

Tuesday, second Session day! This is the first full day with only sessions, not counting the party in the evening.

Today I had a full Schedule, I guess that I am one of the few who really wants to make tis stay Count and go to all the sessions I can.
Since it is really late when I’m Writing this and I want to get some rest until tomorrow, I’ll keep this rather short but effective….

Overview of the new SharePoint Online
First session, Mark Kashman talks a bit about SharePoint online.
THis was a really good session, Mark answered a lot of questions from the audience and it was really good. If i just list a few good things mentioned:
Project server in the cloud.
Guest Links
Hybrid Search
NAPA (Visual Studio Light – in the browser)
SkyDrive pro when released, will have 7GB of storage
PowerSHell support in the clound, I ould say it’s just basic support and there is a lot to wish for, but better than nothing. (I emailed Mark asking for when PowerShell will be fully supported)

Wish I’d have known that sooner! SharePoint 2013 demystified
(SPC266) Dan Holme and Jeremy Thake
Second session, a lot of good stuff on the things lots of people ask for but that is not really in the documentation…kind of…
The best part of this session was about RBS and Shredded Storage, read up on it…RNS can allow you to take advantage of the new WIndows Server 2012 features such as Deduplicated Data. Thus saving on storage space, that and a lot more has been done on saving data and data across the network.
Unfortunately they spent a lot of time on apps, even though it was a IT PRO session. Well, most of it was good and I gave them straight 5s in the survey.

We had a normal Conference lunch with meat, Ceasar sallad and a potatosdallad that was actually really god. We finnished it all off with selected pastries and coffee…

Overview of search driven Web Sites and Cross Site Publishing.
(SPC180) Daniel Cogan.
This session was about how to use search to get the content that you show in a page, making it dynamic and content driven.
Really good stuff, if you can get your ands on the slide/presentation, Watch it.

Claims based authentication – migrating to the new SharePoint 2013 Identity model.
(SPC039) Israel Vega jr och Nathan Miller
This was al about upgrading and what to do with Authentication.
One big thing I have learned here in Vegas, is that CLassic auth is more or less unsupported now with 2013. It can still work, it can be created using PowerShell but that is only for temporary use.
A lot more is to be said in this, but this is the key:
Use Windows Claims authentication if you can!

Last session for today:

SharePoint 2013 Identity and Authenticat ion Smackdown.
This was supposed to be held by Steve Paschke who was sick. Israel Vega jr and one more great speaker jumped in to save the day.
Much was the same as the previous…a lot about upgrading Classic and Windows auth to claims.
This session was interupted by a false fire alarm, but it stopped eventually efter about 180 times…then they told us 30 times that there was no danger…

Last topic of the day, Jon Bon Jovi party at Mandalay Bech resort…! Need I say more..? Free good food, free beer, free wine and free drinks even.
Unfortunately it was a cold november day and we ended up thinking it was cold, we left the party Before it was over and headed back to our rooms.

A gret day all in all, but jesus, I am tired…

I’ll try to keep reporting to all off you directly each and every day during the conference in order to share some parts of the great experience…

Stay tuned, this me, signing out, from day two of my SharePoint conference experience.

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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part3

Hi friends.

Monday, first Session day!

First out efter we had breakfast was the Keynote, this time same as last year with Jared Spataro (Senior Director Product Management) and Jeff Teper (Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Office Business Platform)
One of the first things that Jared said during his talk, was this: ’It’s not just a product, it’s a way of life’…I agree, to a certain degree you have to be ‘special’ to like this Product…
Next he told us that we were over 10.000 participants from over 85 different countries…the event has over 200 sponsors and it is getting to be a big deal. Similar event are held in smaller scale all over the globe, but there is only one ‘real’ SharePoint Conference…
It was a bit of a prep talk and that is Always nice…next Jared presented the next speaker, Jeff Teper, the ‘Father of SharePoint’ who has been with the product since the very beginning.
Jeff talked a bit about the 3 legs, or layers that they had in mind during the development of the Product.
– Experiences
– Innovation
– Ecosystem
The thought behind this was that this was what was needed in order to really take Another step from SharePoint 2010 without changing it all.
– Experiences is all about the user experience, this has gitten a huge lift, in terms of gui but also performance and usability.
The SHarePoint interface can now more than ever be percieved as a windows application, this since SHarePoint now dont repload the entire page whatever you click at, but only reloads the parts of the screen that is needed. This improves performance but also enhances the overall user experience a lot. Behind this is a new structure, for instance the image compression is hugely enhanced, the ribbon that Before in 2010 took 400KB to load, now only takes 100KB over the network.
All in all, the page dataload has been decreased with 40%.
Jeff demoed a lot in SHarePoint Online, and Everything Went as smooth as an onprem solution, later he told us that he was running SharePoint online against the datacenter in Europé, Amsterdam, this to show all of us that performance would not be an issue. If the performance when fully released is what it was today, I will never again complain about it, but we will have to see if that will be true when generally available.
One ore thing is that you only load delta data from content that has been changed. A Word file of 10MB does not have to be loaded again over the net because 1MB of content has been added, it only loads the new 1MB and that is also all that is saved to the database.

He also showed us drag and drop of files into the browser, this is also supported on all supported browsers, no more Active X controles…
You can now easily see exactly who has access to your site or document.
Search has been thry a major improvement, this time, FAST has been integrated into SharePoint search and that gives us a lot of new features.
Preview of documents in search results is something that will be easily liked by customers.
One less fantastic thing during Jeffs session was that they spent about one hour on Yammer. As I see it, Yammer is still not part of SharePoint and should not have a Place at the SharePoint Conference keynote. I can see why Microsoft would want to promote it, but as long as it is its own Product, I’m having a hard time seeing why we should spend a lot of time on it. That can be done by the Yammer Techs…

Scott Guthrie came out and showed a lot about the Ecosystem, thats the new CLoud app model and that was really interesting. He showed us how easy it was to develop an application in VS, test it locally and then deploy it to SharePoint. You could also easily put the code parts in Azure and same thing, deploy directly from Visual Studio. Neat!

After the Keynote I got to see Three different session, all were very good and held a high quality.

SPC219 SharePoint 2013, Whats new for IT professional
Bill Baer, Product Manager SharePoint, told us at a very high pace about the news in 2013.
A lot has happened after all and the biggest applause was for the promise, that this time, the UPS will work configured from the Central Administration GUI as it should 🙂

SPC083 Deployment wizard: SharePoint 2013 Installation, tips, tricks ans scripts
MVP Dan Holme talked about deployment in 2013 compared to 2010. He showed the small differences and what is missing.
The main takeaway that I allready knew, setup is pretty much the same as in 2010…

SPC119 Designing your SharePoint 2013 Enterprise deployment
Based on SharePoint online experiences, they showed how a Enterprise farm Environment should be designed.

We finnished the day with some snacks and a few beers, compliments of Microsoft Sweden that was so kind to treat all of us Swedes here to a pre-evening at the ‘Something’ Grill. Very nice and Amazing how many Swedish participents there are! I would guess over 200.

I met a few old collegues from Microsoft Sweden and when the free beer stopped coming, we Went on, to the House of Blues one more and then the day was over for me.

After a very interesting and inspiring day, I have to do some work and then rest, a new day will come tomorrow, with even more Technical sessions…

I’ll try to keep reporting to all off you directly each and every day during the conference in order to share some parts of the great experience…

Stay tuned, this me, signing out, from day two of my SharePoint conference experience.

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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part2

Hi friends.

Last ‘free’ day Before the real action starts. (adding Pictures later on when I get them uploaded)
Today was registration day, after saying hello to a few extremely relaxed ‘guards’ that were positioned to show us all the way forward…we found the registration boths, new this year was the selfservice checkin, using your ID used to register, you printed your own badge and then simply picked it up. We all got a backpack complements of HP and with it a lot of information and the most important thing of all, the wristband for the Bon Jovi party later in the week.

Me and my Conference buddy from back home had planned to rent a car, then go to Grand Canyon and the Hoover dam, then spend the rest of the day at one of the large Outlets in Vegas. The plan however had flaws…
After having a good US breakfast at the Luxor Pramid cafe, we ran into some hurdles…getting a car was not that easy, especially when youre on a budget, we ended up beeing 2 hours late and paying more than we planned to. If we only had made reservations from back home…
.Then, once on the road we noticed that it was farther away then we forst had thought. I would say about 60 miles and 10 of them on gravel. But, we got there…West Grand Canyon. We had not expected the admission fee (including a lot of Native Indian perks) of $44…

At least the 44 included a hop on/hop off bus tour that took us to Three different view sites, the Grand Canyon was spectacular!! If you ever come to Vegas, see it!

When we got going again it was getting late, the sun were setting and we started to worry about making the Welcome reception.

Since my buddy had not seen the Hoover Dam Before, we had to make a Quick stop there as well on the way back, it was dark when we got there but it was still a good experience. Perhaps even better in the dark, you tell me?

Next this was that we had to fill the car up with gas and, the difficult thing, we had to wash the car from driving on the gravel, if you did not, you got a fine of $40…it took us more than an hour driving all across Las Vegas looking for the carwash Place…when we finally found it, got he car cleaned up and parked back at Mandalay Bay, it was too late for the Welcome Reception…I got to drive a lot of car though…

A quick fast food dinner and we diceded to skip the chance of getting 5 minutes at the reception and instead, gather our strength for tomorrow instead, breakfast at 7:30 and then its time for the first starting keynote. I can’t wait.

I’ll try to keep reporting to all off you directly each and every day during the conference in order to share some parts of the great experience…

Stay tuned, this me, signing out, from day two of my SharePoint conference experience.

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SharePoint Conference 2012 in Las Vegas report part1

Hi friends.

Next week is Sharepoint conference week, it starts Monday, not a big deal for most of you, but for us going…what a great time to look forward to.

This is my second consecutive SharePoint Conference and this year we have a new version out, which means it will be a little bit extra. All the new features, the new ways of doing things, the new experiences and even the new ways to license…its all new and that has got t be exciting!

I have been to quite a few of these Microsoft events in the US, perhaps around 10 over the years, internal and external like this time, and I have to tell you, Microsoft are good at throwing these things.
I have heard that Microsoft this year expects around 10.000 attendees to show up, and the simple challenge of managing all of them is no small feat. However, I feel certain that it will all be world class as usual.

Last year was great, it was in Anaheim California and it was all about the experiences people had had with 2010, this time its a little bit different, its Las Vegas and its going to be all about the news in 2013…
What can we do now that we couldn’t before, what has been removed and what has been learned from 2010 and incorporated into this version 2013?

Vegas will require some attention to be sure, but the Conferences Sessions will be winning my attention. Call me a geek but I’m so looking forward to the learning part, to the part where I get new ideas, where i discover new things in SharePont. No offense LasVegas, but what you have to offer doesn’t stand a chance…(to me, but I’m guessing a lot of the 10.000 will think and act differently) I’ve been to Vegas once before, 15 years ago, same time as the premiere of Star Wars I…same time as the Matrix came out…

We came to Vegas a friend and I, in a rented Mustang convertable from San Fransisco…we came at night and Vegas was all open 24/7…after spending 5 nights during which we tried most of what Vegas had to offer (thats legal), I never thought I would want to come back, or that I would ever find a reason good enough…but trust me, right now while writing this post, sitting on a plane, 4 hours into a 20 hour trip, I cant wait to see Vegas once again and more specifically, to go to the conference!

I’ll report to all off you directly each and every day during the conference, for those of you who can’t be with us onsite, i’ll try to share some parts of the great experience…

Stay tuned, this me, signing out, from day one of the SharePoint conference experience.





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