Last week Nick, Phill & I presented at the SharePoint Evolutions Conference which was hosted by Combined Knowledge at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference centre in London. Despite all odds the conference was a great success. There is a new meaning to Ash Wednesday which is a Christian event that occurs 40 days prior to Easter. On the Wednesday night before the Evolutions conference the Icelandic Volcano known as Eyjafjallajokull caused the UK to begin closing all of its airspace meaning that over 20 presenters from around the world could not arrive at the conference to present. The presenters that could attend met on the Sunday prior to the conference to organise coverage for the sessions. The majority of the sessions went ahead and new sessions were introduced to ensure that the agenda was still as good as originally planned.
After the meeting was a football tournament where three teams battled it out representing the world. England initially played the United States, and then the Rest of the World. Since most people from around the world couldn’t attend, England easily won the competition. I played for the US and frequently came up against Nick Swan. Neither of us wanting to hurt each other 🙂
Having a bruised bum, cut arm, and achy legs I dragged myself out of bed on the Monday morning to join Steve Smith, Eric Shupps and Spence Harbar in providing the keynote for the conference. The Keynote summarized the evolution of SharePoint starting with a preview of SharePoint 2001 by Steve, then SharePoint 2003 development by myself, SharePoint 2007 development by Eric and then finally Forms Auth and CMS by Spence.
On the Monday I presented a session on comparing data access methods in SharePoint 2010. I compared The Data View Web Part, Business Connectivity Services, Custom Web Parts, and Reporting Services. Later in the afternoon I presented several ways of rolling up content in SharePoint 2010 including the Content Query Web Part, Relevant Documents, and the Data View Web Part. Nick presented ‘Whats New in Business Connectivity Services’ along with a Deep Dive into BCS.
Phill Duffy from Lightning Tools created a new session on the Sunday night and did a Deep dive into BCS.NET Assembly Connectors. Finally I covered a session on Out-of-the-Box web parts which was originally going to be presented by Laura Rogers, and then Using InfoPath and Form Services in SharePoint Applications which was originally going to be presented by Darvish Shadravan. The conference was rapped up with 4 expert panels. I facilitated the Information Worker panel and received many good questions regarding SP2010.
Against all odds Combined Knowledge provided what was promised by Steve Smith (A week of AWESOMENESS). Many commented that the sessions were very well presented and provided the technical content that they required but sometimes didn’t receive at other more marketing based conferences.
Lightning Tools are now looking forward to next years!