Ah… after a long week at SharePoint Connections in Las Vegas filled with work and play and topped off with a red-eye flight back home to Jacksonville, FL last night/this morning, it's nice to be home (and showered). As always, tech conferences are always something I look forward to primarily to reconnect with good friends, meet those who you only know through email, and meet new people who have their own challenges to pitch to you. So this post will serve as a little recap to the week… first the pleasure:
Play Hard: Anyone that knows me well knows I'm a big-time Vegas lover… primarily for the blackjack tables. This time, I found a ton of single deck tables at New York New York which turned into my favorite place of the trip. Like always I tried my luck at Bellagio, but times were just too hot-and-cold. Plus, single deck? With four players at the table, they have to do two rounds before shuffling. Any seasoned blackjack player knows that high cards are in the player's favor so after the first round if you only saw a few 10's or face cards, you knew you could bet more aggressively for the second round (remember, 20 cards of value 10 in a 52 card deck) but who's counting… right? ;)
After getting way down Friday and Saturday, Meredith (my wife who few out Wednesday night for a long weekend get-away after the conference) and I were able to cure the sting Sunday before heading to the airport turning $200 into $1300 in about five or so hours (if only the MGM sports book would have been so kind)… too bad the story didn't end there with us figuring that was the end of our run… oh well, least we walked away from the table more than tripling our money. Funny story: the dealer started messing with me when he dealt me a blackjack and then, before paying me, he asked “hit? come on, that's a soft 11!"… took a second (insert numerous free-drink influence) because there were a few times a double-down against his 6 sure looked appealing, but I couldn't screw the table by pulling that stunt.
We also kept up with our second most favorite activity in Vegas: seeing a Cirque du Soleil show. This time Dustin Miller and his wife, Bil Simser and his girlfriend, and Meredith and I had dinner and then saw Ka… yet another awesome Cirque show worth seeing again. Finally I can't forget to mention the awesome lion exhibit at MGM Grand… somehow I missed that in my past Vegas trips!
OK… on to business…
Work Hard: This was my first time presenting at SharePoint Connections… quite a blast! I did a three sessions all on MOSS 2007 WCM and just as I said in my talks, all slide decks and code samples can be found on my speaking page.
- Building an Internet Site with Web Content Management in MOSS 2007: This was a two-part talk on how-to building a content-centric site with WCM in MOSS 2007 that were on either site of the lunch break. I usually don't eat lunch at these conferences so I just stuck around the room to answer questions and talk WCM. I was blown away to have people lined up to ask questions and just talk WCM for the whole 1.5-hour lunch break! Thanks to all you guys who kept asking questions and hung around during the break… and thanks to all who came! People said we filled up that 600-700 capacity room at least 75%! How's that for interest in WCM! An explanation of why my custom field control validation didn't work… in short, stupid oversight on my part. I forgot to reset IIS after I rebuilt & redeployed the assembly to the GAC. Someone in the first few rows even told me to reset IIS, but I wasn't thinking clearly and just skipped right over it. The code in the download link on my speaking page for this session is correct and contains the working codebase with instructions on how to implement it. If you missed these sessions, or if you missed SharePoint Connections, I'll be doing a very condensed version of these two sessions in my webcast this Friday, November 17th: MOSS 2007 WCM for Developers and Designers. Obviously I won't do everything (2.5hrs of content condensed into 1hr? I don't think so…), but I promise to show you the working field type & control that only partially worked last week. I also promise to do a write-up in the next two weeks on my “prescriptive guidance” method of creating page layouts and master pages to fully leverage rich source control management and not leave everything customized in the database (this is what I demonstrated between the two sessions and also as my last demo in the 2nd of the two parts of this session). » Building an Internet Site with Web Content Management in MOSS 2007 Part 1 & 2 - slide decks and code
- Migrating Your Content Management Server 2002 Sites to Web Content Management in MOSS 2007: First, a HUGE thanks to all of you who showed up (40-50 or so?) for the riveting topic of migration at 8am! Unfortunately there wasn't a whole heck of a lot to demo, but I was able to show off the CMS Assessment Tool and the creation of a migration profile as well as the results of migrating the OOTB Woodgrove Bank sample site yes, another stunning demo. I have included the report generated by the CMS Assessment Tool that I demonstrated as one of the downloads for this talk. I also need to answer two questions that came up during the talk. First, a site collection can live in only one content database; you can not configure a site collection to span content databases. Second, someone asked about migrating the XBOX.com MCMS 2002 site to MOSS WCM. I did some digging and asking around and what I found was that this was never an official announcement and while the XBOX team may in fact migrate to WCM, it's not something that is imminent. My personal opinion is that it will eventually get migrated, but who knows on the timeline. People were also asking about the “killer” migration application I mentioned during my talk that also came up in the post-session questions. The product is Migration Manager by Metalogix and you can watch a Live Meeting webcast demonstrating the product here. » Migrating Your Content Management Server 2002 Sites to Web Content Management in MOSS 2007 - slide deck and sample report
Unfortunately I didn't get to see as many sessions as I'd hoped… ended up spending more time in the speaker's lounge working on either my sessions or other work… oh well. Aside from the sessions, I enjoyed the conversations about MOSS 2007 and WCM from the many attendees at SharePoint Connections. Hope to see you guys in Orlando at the next SharePoint Connections in the spring!