A Day in the Life at PDC2008

Heh.  I got a kick out of this lay-man’s perspective of a typical day in the life at PDC.  Having experienced this, it made me chuckle. 

There were many other activites duringthe week that may have been a little too over the top for this non-technical reporter to catch…  Ask the Experts is actually the only dinner that they serve at the event (except for the free vending areas on Universal Studios night), and it draws a particular type of crowd that can’t get enough of walking around the product booths during the day.  The product booths on the main conference floor are amazing. 

As Spence Harbar twittered, once again the monster amazes with sheer scope of its ambition and resources.”  

I was part of his alleged monster, and I’ve been attending events like this for many years, and I was also taken aback, once again, at the size and scope and professionalism of the conference. 

Another comment.  I was impressed, also, at the extent that each of the product groups and the DPE organization, have gone to foster separate and distinct communities amongst their users and fans.  The presence of communities for many different development topics and products could not be missed.  I would like to understand what the magic sauce is to kep communities of users alive.  I’ve tried to start many different types of user communities, some of which are still in place, using different approaches, and they take hard work.  That, or amazing content.  🙂

I wonder what you think, if you haven’t experienced one of these conferences before?  Please leave a comment if you have a take on it.


PDC2008 – Report #1

I’v ebeen attending PDC2008 this week and have been having a good time.  It’s so much fun to talk with SharePoint MVPs, other Product Group folks from throughout Microsoft, and SharePoint consultants and SharePoint ISV Partners about the announcements this week and the new opportunities that these technologies will provide.

I’ve been experimenting with Twitter this week, and for those of you who sat through my Twit-storm on Monday and Tuesday during the keynote sessions, you’d recognize that I’m still learning.  My twitter id is “owenallen”.  If you sign up at twitter.com and follow me, you can help me learn when it’s appropriate to use Twitter and when it’s not.    I think that it has it’s appropriate usage.  The way that I think it starts being useful is that one can think of it in the same vein as Instant Messaging (IM).  The difference is that the twitter protocol is device and platform agnostic.  This means that you can leverage it on any of you r computing devices and have roughly the same experience.  Mobile device, home computers, office computers, temporary computers, etc.  It’s a good example of a cloud-based service.  For a while, I was only using the SMS-mode with Twitter, until some friends turned me on to TinyTwitter, a Twittter client for my mobile phone.  I’mnot sold on it yet (it seems to crash frequently on my phone), but I’m going to try it.

One of my favorite announcements of PDC is the Microsoft Federation Gateway and the Microsoft Services Connector, which allows (and I may not be saying this right) users to logon to web services that support LiveID authentication using their corporate identity.  This provides for scenarios where corporations can leverage cloud services without needing to create a new set of user identities and permissions.  That is one of the large hurdles today, and mapping out a clear way to overcome that is something that organizations can start working with now.

One Favorite speaker answer…  “Now, there are some strange things that happen when you do that, but it basically works.”

Props to Roy’s restaurant for their Molten Chocolate Dessert.  M-m-m-m good.


Comments on Yesterday’s Security Update

Intriguing article by Jon Oltsik on Cnet.com yesterday about Microsoft’s identification of and response to the security flaw that yesterday’s update was dedicated to patching. 

We’ve come a long way, baby!

New Keynote Speaker for ECMSharePoint ‘08 Conference

Derek Burney, GM for SharePoint Platform and Tools, will be a keynote speaker at the ECMSharePoint ‘08 conference next month, Nov 17-19, in Orlando.

This conference is a focused opportunity to speak to and learn from the leading System Integrators and Software Companies that provide Enterprise Content Management solutions on the SharePoint platform.

If you, your company, or your clients are looking for answers about how to use the SharePoint platform for document and records management, please join us in Orlando.

Puget Sound SharePoint Users Group SPRINT Event

We’ve got such a great group of folks that are part of the Puget Sound SharePoint Users Group (PSSPUG).  Greg Frick, a SharePoint Trainer at SQLSoft+ in Bellevue, is a member, and has, with the help of about 5-6 other key members, organized an amazing day of SharePoint training and experience, scheduled for this Saturday.

There are about 40 people already registered, and we will have multiple SPRINT targets – some involving code and some “No-Code”.  In SPRINT form, we’ll be using SCRUM methodology and meet in the morning to plan the morning work and again after lunch to plan the afternoon effort.

Those who have selected the “No-Code” activities will be able to build a WSS farm or a MOSS farm and configure it with direction, or following a prepared setup and configuration guide.  A Sprint intranet “sprintranet” will be setup and each team will create wiki entries to document progress, best practices, and lessons learned.  This information will be pulled together after the SPRINT and compiled and posted on the PSSPUG web site.

Greg has lined up sponsors to help support the day, and has done an amazing job. 

See you at the SPRINT!

Sponsors of the Puget Sound SharePoint Users Group SPRINT event include:








ECMSharePoint ‘08 Conference

I’ve been to a lot of ECM conferences and a lot of SharePoint conferences over the past years.  At the ECM conferences, SharePoint is covered by 15-25% of the sessions, and at the SharePoint conferences, ECM is covered by about 20% of the sessions. 

Wouldn’t it be great if one could attend a conference that was all about SharePoint and ECM, combined?  What kind of networking and learning could happen?

For this reason, I was pleased to learn about the ECMSharePoint ‘08 conference, being held in Orlando, Florida, on Nov 17-19.

This is a conference with keynotes from Raymond James Financial, one of the largest SharePoint ECM implementations, and from Microsoft (of course). 

The presenters make up the cream of the crop of SharePoint ECM partners.  A full list of the presenters is hereAvePoint, BlueThread, ImageSource, KnowledgeLake, and Rosetta are some of the partners that I’m familiar with, and I’m looking forward to getting to know the others.

Some questions that the presentations will answer:

  • Is SharePoint really as capable as anything else for ECM applications?  What does it do that other applications cannot?  What are its strengths and weaknesses?
  • Does SharePoint really perform document management? Is it as capable as other products on the market?
  • Can ECM on SharePoint save us money?   Can it lower our operating cost, or will it cost more in the long run?
  • How hard is it to migrate, and what do I give up or gain when I do?
  • How does SharePoint deal with records management and compliance? We see nothing in the product information about it –  how are others doing it?
  • Can SharePoint scale to grow with your ECM application?
  • How many users can you really support on SharePoint? Is there a limit? What is the cost?
  • Does SharePoint simplify distributed capture? Does it allow me to lower the cost of capture?
  • What are the true advantages and disadvantages of SharePoint?

There will be plenty of networking, with evening receptions on both Monday and Tuesday nights.  The best thing is, that almost everyone who will be there will be focused on SharePoint and ECM, so it will be a rich networking event.

Everyone should register!   See you there!

SharePint at PDC2008

If you are attending PDC2008, and you are a SharePoint developer or ISV-related friend, please join me and some of my closest friends at Andrew Connell’s SharePoint by Day – SharePoint by Night event.  It’s a casual, informal couple of hours to prepare everyone for the week ahead. 

We’ll be at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel bar starting around 7PM.  Have a safe trip and we’ll see you there!

Feel free to RSVP in the comments here if you are going to meet us there, and we’ll keep our eyes open for you!