5th Annual Heartland SharePoint Conference

The 5th annual Heartland SharePoint Conference is coming up on May 15, 2014.

ICC SharePoint Conference

Check out the site, http://iccsharepoint.com, for Session & Speaker information and to register. The event is free and is a great chance to talk to other SharePoint users, developers, and administrators. If you’re in the process of rolling out SP 2013 this is a great conference to network with folks from other companies to discuss issues and gotchas and find out what has been working at other organizations. There are also plenty of experts on hand to answer questions.

This year’s conference will focus on Microsoft SMAC solutions (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Clout). Steve Caravajal, Director of Digital Strategy and Architecture – Microsoft Corporation, will keynote the event.

My session is titled “Practical App Model Development for Practically Everything.” It’s a 200 level session where I’ll be giving a brief overview of the SharePoint App Model and then giving some examples of where you can begin using it.

Here’s the full development track:

Ryan Miller, Clutch: Practical App Model Development for Practically Everything.

Microsoft released the SharePoint 2013 App Model a little over a year ago and it’s beginning to take hold. This development and distribution platform is more flexible and scalable than ever before. Plus it lays down a standard that allows us to create solutions that run both on premises and on Office 365.

In this 200 level session, we’ll give a brief introduction to the SharePoint 2013 App Model and then use it to solve a few Enterprise problems. We’ll cover app deployment both on premises and in Office 365.

Josey Neidhart, Clutch​: Responsive Development: Like a Pearl Jam Song, It Sounds Great but the Interpretation is Confusing

Now that you know what the design and planning process behind a responsive project looks like, how do you actually build a responsive site? This presentation is a fun take on how to develop responsively on SharePoint. We’ll make sense of the cluster of information that causes developers’ heads to bounce off keyboards from elevated frustration levels. We’ll cover tips, tricks, and tools. It’s time to show mobile some love and build that dreamy responsive site!

​Mike Fitzmaurice, Nintex: Workflow for Everyone, Everywhere Your Content Is

Wouldn’t it be simple if all your information were in one neat repository? Well, it isn’t. It’s housed in a myriad of locations throughout your organization…and you’ve got to deal with it. This demo-intensive session will show Nintex in action, quickly and easily building workflows that start in SharePoint and extend to LOB systems, social media, content repositories, transaction services, web services, databases, and more.

Chris Campbell, ICC: ALM Using Microsoft TFS

Most organizations are familiar with Team Foundation Server (TFS) as a means for source code control and occasionally automated build services. However, this only scratches the surface. TFS is a fully capable Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tool which supports an application from conception through requirements gathering, design, construction, quality assurance, delivery, ongoing maintenance, and governance.  In this session we’ll demonstrate how many companies have made the leap from using TFS only for source control to fully leveraging its capabilities throughout the lifetime of an application.​

SharePoint, SharePoint, Why Have You Forsaken Me?

SharePoint has forsaken me, at least that’s what it feels like every 3 years or so when they release a new version. When it went from STS to WSS 2 it was “What, I can’t use the SQL DB directly any more?” Then came SP 2007 and, “What, I can’t make post release updates to my Site Definitions?” SP 2010: “I can’t develop on with Virtual PC anymore?”

Am I ranting here? Nope. I love it. I’ve been a SharePoint developer a long while now and each time I begin to get a little bored with the job, Microsoft introduces a new version of the product that upends the community. There are always new, exciting features and ‘features’ to learn, many of which are improvements Winking smile .

Now SP 2013 is here and it’s awesome, so what’s moved my cheese this time around? Apps for SharePoint. I explained earlier why I think SharePoint Apps are critical and why I think they’ve killed Farm and Sandbox solutions (RIP SharePoint Features 2007-2010). So now I’m trying to create an SharePoint App for a common business scenario and I’m finding myself stuck rather early in the process.

I want to create a list template and deploy it as a SharePoint App. I want to be able to roll up content from multiple instances of my list, so all instances of my list must use a common content type. Creating a SharePoint App that includes my site columns, content type, list definition, and list instance is pretty straight forward, but here’s the big catch: I want instances of my list to live in right in the user’s site so the user can interact with it just like the OOTB lists they’ve added, including creating lookup fields.  SharePoint Apps run in the application infrastructure, which is a separate site collection from the user’s site. Using all the simple methods in Visual Studio (Add Item) leaves a barrier between the user’s site and my list instance. 

My current line of thinking is that in order to create my list instance in the user’s site, I need use javascript to create my resources inside the host site.  I’ve been able to successfully create my site columns in the host site using JSOM.  However, creating the content type there has got me stumped. I’ve been able to get back my collection of content types from the host web, but I can’t seem to add to it.

SharePoint, SharePoint, why have you forsaken me? You’ve improved column, content type, and list creation in Sandboxed solutions, but these are not compatible with your App Model. You’ve given me a robust new object model for javascript, but left most of the API documentation blank.

If When I figure this all out, I’ll turn it into a few step by step articles and maybe publish the final product to the store.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

RIP SharePoint Features 2007 – 2010.

I know: Farm and Sandbox features still exist in SP 2013 (with improvements even) but they aren’t compatible with the SharePoint App Store, and the SP App store is the future, my friends.

You say, “But Ryan, you buffoon, what makes the app store so critical in the on premise future that the next few years surely holds?”

To which I reply, “While over the next several years, the major percentage of SharePoint deployments will likely be on premise, the impact of Office 365 on development will be revolutionary. In fact, despite its low percentage of installs, I believe Office 365 has already hit critical mass and the SharePoint App Store is now a self fulfilling prophesy.” I’d say it just like that too, because I’m a tool.

1) Many Companies will demand their solutions be deployed as SharePoint Apps.  With this iteration product complexity and the difficulty in finding great SharePoint Admin talent will begin pushing some companies to Office 365.  However, the larger impact will come from the many on premise installations where admins will be looking to Office 365 as their model for deploying solutions internally while safeguarding their environments against rogue code. I predict massive rewriting of governance policies to encourage SharePoint apps and discourage old school Farm-Deployed solutions.

2) Nearly all third party SP vendors will be creating Office 365 App Store compatible versions of their products. It gets them access to customers on Office 365, and it gets them the path of least resistance into all those on premise installations that follow the Office 365 model; and it does so using a single code base to maintain.

3) Any of those on premise companies that thought they’d be ignoring the App Store, will be forced to pay attention when they inevitably need to deploy one of these third party solutions.

4) Developers will prefer to write Office 365 compatible Apps, not because they’re easier or better (the juries still out on that), but because it exposes them into the most markets with the most code reusability.

5) As companies see more and more SP Apps in the store, they will begin looking first to the for solutions.

6) To remain relevant, SharePoint solutions must be written and deployed as SharePoint Store Apps

And that is how Features die.

RIP SharePoint Features 2007 – 2010.