After the post from day 1, the post of day 2 couldn’t really be left behind. So here’s my take on the sessions I went to see.
MSOL06: Nintex Workflow 2010: Extending 2010-Era SharePoint Workflow to End User and Enterprise Needs Alike by Mike Fitzmaurize
As a K2 insider it seemed weird going to the Nintex session, but I went to see what they have to offer as it is always good to keep an open mind. I’ve already seen Nintex a while ago but now they showed its integration in SharePoint 2010. Mike is a nice speaker and listening to him was good, I also think nobody noticed that the workflow he build couldn’t actually start and he didn’t return to fix it. But then again, he was working on an alpha build of Nintex. Nintex still runs on the SharePoint WF, you can either see this as an advantage or a disadvantage. Also, the integration with backend systems is done via wizards. Nintex has a lot of those which makes the out of the box package product pretty complete. If I look at K2 from that perspective, it’s able to integrate with SmartObjects and more generic solutions which allow for more flexibility.
MSC11: SharePoint 2010 Search by Richard Taylor
Yesterday I really enjoyed listening to Richard, when I saw he did a functional session on Search, I was curious and went for it. The session had a lot of information on what search actually is. And that search is not actually what you want to do, you want to FIND things. This al leaded into explaining what Findability is and what you need to do for it. Interestingly, it wasn’t SharePoint that provided the solution according to Richard. He says if you have a mess that using SharePoint will not solve the problem, you need to structure your data and an Information Architect is crucial to get Search working correctly and make things findable. This was a valuable lesson and enjoyable to listen too, the hour flew by and everybody left with things to think about in the next SharePoint project.
MSC27: Claims-based identity in SharePoint 2010 by Spencer Harbar
I expected a lot from this session, but it didn’t really deliver. Partly because there was no demo but only slides and a lot of theoretical stuff on the claims based identity framework (Geneva).
The session did hold a lot of good content which is way too much to sum up here. It was important to note that with claims based authentication you’re not always able to eliminate Kerberos, this is because the backend system needs to be claims based aware, which some systems are simply not (yet). When you want to use Kerberos, you’ll need to use claims based authentication within SharePoint, which (from my understanding) will be able to create a windows identity and authenticate via Kerberos.
I really like the claims based authentication and really want to start working wit hit and try some different scenarios.
Spencer also noted that claims based identity (currently) only works with MSIE8. I presume that’s for the claims based identity to work as if it’s integrated authentication. So for older browsers we’ll probably see forms based authentication that uses claims based identification.
UPDATE: Spencer commented to this article about the browser requirements. He also provided some tweets:
MSC31: SharePoint UI Customizations by Marianne van Wanrooij
This session was a ‘redeploy’ of the session already held in Las Vegas. Marianne made her own demo’s, which was good to see.
The ribbon is also extendable in SharePoint 2010, it allows you to add and remove buttons using a SharePoint feature which gives you very tight UI integration with SharePoint. The ribbon is actually one big image which is cut up by CSS. This is a very efficient technique that eliminating callbacks to the server. In the demo, a button was added to the ribbon and some simple code was run.
The dialog framework was also part of the demonstration. There is not much to tell about it (which is a good thing!). You can open a dialog and provide it a URL to use as a page. The dialog framework hides all the html elements with the ‘s4-notdlg’ css class. This allows you to use one page for dialogs and for normal pages!
MSC30: Advanced Web Part Development by Jan Tielens
I can’t help saying it again, Jan Tielens his presentations and demo are super to see! They simply work and are so clear. He makes it look way to easy!
The session covered topics on web part development in SharePoint 2010. There are some new things, like XSS Safeguards which are important to know about as a developer. A big improvement is the Virtual Web Part. For me, that’s nice to see, but I don’t understand why it was so important to drag and drop UI elements. Apart from that, Jan showed how you can use the visual web part to create connect web parts. After that he went on and made two connected web parts update with Ajax.
I enjoyed the SharePoint Connections conference, although a lot of it was already known from Las Vegas, it still added knowledge for me. For me, that’s the most important part of going to a conference. Apart from that, it was nice to see all the SharePoint people again and shake some hands!