SharePoint Evolutions 2013 Conference Wrap-Up

Sunday, April 21, 2013 5:53 AM

Last week I was in London for the annual SharePoint Evolutions conference. It’s a show that I eagerly look forward to every year. In my mind the show has the best attendees, content, venue, speakers and surrounding events (how about that party this year!). At this conference I presented two sessions, one on workflow and one on building SharePoint Hosted Apps using the single page app technique.

My workflow session (DEV204: World Workflows with Visual Studio 2012, Azure Workflow and Web Services) didn’t go exactly as planned as the networking issues in the conference center actually confused my farm as Visual Studio 2012 + SharePoint + Workflow + Service Bus farms couldn’t see each other. Apologies for those issues… it was quite frustrating because just two hours earlier, all the workflows were working just fine. I should have left them deployed as they would have run just fine… arg! Of course I rebooted my entire farm after the session and everything deployed as expected. At any rate, I’ve made my workflows that I demonstrated available here.

My second session was mostly about building a SharePoint Hosted App using the Single Page App (SPA) technique (P&M309: Building a Learning Management System in SharePoint 2013, Office 2013 & Windows 8: Part 1). This was my first time building one of these SPA’s and I was surprised how much I was able to achieve in such a short time. The demo I built (that you can download here) included some issues around the way I used promises when working with the SharePoint REST services but that was intentional to show the timing issues you run into. The part where I worked with the workflow JavaScript object model was designed to use them in the correct way. I plan to tweak my app to be more of a reference implementation using promises the correct way as well as correct a few other issues. This version might even become the subject of a handful of additional blog posts based on the feedback I got during the session as well as from those on Twitter during & after the talk. If you want to see a video of the SharePoint Hosted App - Single Page App that I built for the session that’s downloadable above, check this video out (note there is no audio, just a video I used for the session in case my environment went belly up):

If you’re interested in learning more about this technique, check out John Papa’s jumpstart class on building SPA’s at Pluralsight. There are a bunch of things you can’t do in a pure SharePoint Hosted App that John shows. I’ll address those in future posts.

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