Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 – Lightning Tools

Last week, Brett Lonsdale, Nick Swan (SharePoint MVP), Phill Duffy, Sandy Ussia and Richard Young exhibited at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2012 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The week was extremely busy, the people were fantastic, and a successful time was had by all.

The week kicked off with an exhibitor evening on the Sunday night when the Lightning Tools booth was packed with attendees catching up with us about our products. Phill Duffy and Brett Lonsdale joined Penny Coventry (SharePoint MVP) in a book signing at the Microsoft Press booth to sign around 40 of the SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services book that they authored at the beginning of this year. Lightning Tools continued with book signings of the Business Connectivity Services book from their own booth each day giving away over 100 copies.


Brett Lonsdale, Penny Coventry and Phill Duffy at the Microsoft Press book signing.

On the Monday we announced two new products; The Data View Web Part for SharePoint 2013 which allows users of SharePoint to configure a web part within the browser to display data from SharePoint Lists, SQL, Oracle, Microsoft Access, External Content Types, OData, XSL and more. Attendees were impressed with the conditional formatting capabilities especially as the Designer from SharePoint Designer 2013 is no longer present. We also launched a new version of Meta Man. This latest release of Meta Man is no longer dependent on Visual Studio and allows you to create External Content Types for external data using drag and drop functionality. Developers can also develop their own plug-in connectors for Meta Man.


Nick Swan proudly showing off the new version of Meta Man

Lots of social networking took place as you can probably imagine and fun was had with SharePoint MVPs from around the world. We all thoroughly enjoyed watching Bon Jovi play live at the Mandalay Bay.

Brett Lonsdale and Nick Swan also joined Rob Foster (SharePoint MVP) and Jeremy Thake (SharePoint MVP) to record a live SharePoint Pod Show from the SharePoint Pod Show stand at the SharePoint Community lounge.


Jeremy Thake, Brett Lonsdale, Rob Foster, and Nick Swan from the SharePoint Pod Show

Nick Swan presented at the conference and was probably the only person so far in the world to have presented building SharePoint 2013 apps using Ruby on Rails. His session was well attended with lots of great comments on his presentation but also how useful it was to see that apps can be created literally using any of your favorite programming languages.

Having completed his session on Ruby on Rails, Brett, Nick, Richard, Sandy and Phill went ‘off the rails’ and enjoyed a few beers to celebrate a successful week. If you were at the SharePoint Conference and visited our booth, we hope we provided you with the information you requested. If not, please send us an email on and we will get in touch.

Lightning Tools crew

Richard, Nick, Phill, Sandy and Brett enjoying a beer after a busy week.

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