At the time of writing this post, the Lightning Tools crew are in the middle of the Irish Sea, heading back to the UK. What a busy, informative and exciting week!
Dublin 2017 was Lightning Tools’ 3rd time as a sponsor of the European SharePoint Conference, and I have to say that each year it gets better and better. Tracy and her team certainly know how to organize a conference! There were fantastic speakers from all over the world, and keynote speakers from Microsoft including Jeff Teper (Corporate Vice President – Office, OneDrive & SharePoint at Microsoft @jeffteper), Chris McNulty, Dan Holme, and Naomi Moneypenny.
The program team also did an exceptional job of managing the content and the speakers at this years ESPC. Well done to a good friend (Bill Ayers) who committed his own personal time to helping organize a wonderful event.
There were many new announcements including, some of those that were announced at Ignite this year in Orlando;
- Site Collection Scoped App Catalog – A Site Collection Scoped App Catalog will be available within a week of this show. This is huge news as Site Collection Admins will now be able to work with Add-Ins for their part of the business without relying on the Tenant Admin for deployment and updates.
- Design Templates – Gone is the pain of working with Site Definitions. We witnessed a no code method of applying beautiful designs to existing sites in SharePoint Online.
- Hub Sites – Already announced at Ignite was Hub Sites. It was great to see them in action again though, and to see how Hub Sites can be utilized to associate sites with each other for content aggregation, navigation and look and feel.
- ALM APIs – An API to allow for easier updates and installations of Add-Ins across sites
There were many other announcements, and some very informative sessions. Our take home was the message that Microsoft have really focused on making SharePoint easier to use and manage allowing business users to get on with their day to day business. SharePoint has always been seen by us as a platform to build collaboration solutions. Those solutions involved a lot of development which appears to be shifting from expensive coded development, to enabling business users to build no-code solutions. It perhaps isn’t there yet, but its definitely getting closer.
Lightning Tools owner and CEO Brett Lonsdale also spoke at the European SharePoint Conference on SharePoint Permissions. He covered the best practices for Site Owners and Site Collection Administrators when working with Permissions and managed to clear up a lot of the confusion that still arises around the subject of permissions.
The Lightning Tools booth was especially busy! We were delighted to be joined by Ellya Gold (Professional Rally driver of the Lightning Tools sponsored e-rally car). We ran a competition on the Microsoft XBox Rally simulator for the fastest time around a rally course. XBox gamers were able to beat our professional rally driver. 🙂 I’m sure though it wouldnt be that way in a real car! 🙂
The XBox Rally competition culminated in an exciting top three race off with Alar Mägi, SharePoint Service Delivery Manager from ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) taking first place and winning the radio controled Subaru Impreza. Ashley Evans from Rencore claimed second place with Bradley Geldenhuys of GTconsult a very close third.
Lightning Tools is already signed up for European SharePoint Conference 2018 in Copenhagen as a gold sponsor. We’re very much looking forward to it!