SPTechCon Fall 2013 Boston Wrap Up

Friday, August 16, 2013 9:07 AM

This past week I was at the regular instance of the SPTechCon conference in Boston, MA that is always held in Boston around this time of year. I really like this show as it does a great job of having it’s own identity. For me I see this as a much more business focused conference than one where the attendees are mostly developers or IT Pros… information workers and business people dominate the makeup of the crowd.

This was a different conference for me as a speaker because I had some technical challenges to overcome. The Friday before the conference (I flew in on Monday evening), the motor for the fan on the laptop I use for development, presentations & demos, died. This meant the laptop had no way to release the heat generated from the CPU & GPU’s which resulted in forced thermal shutdowns within 15 minutes of booting up. Not surprising that it failed as it’s about 1.5 years old and has gotten moved around a ton in travel, getting dropped, in and out of backpacks, etc. Thankfully I found the replacement part but it didn’t arrive until late this week, after the conference.

As such I had to present from my 2-week old MacBook Air that I blogged about previously. What made this a challenge was that I could not run SharePoint 2013 on the Air. I do have a Windows 8 VM that I use, but it can’t run a SharePoint 2013 VM with the steep hardware requirements. So, I presented my slides from MacOS, booted the VM up to walk through the code samples in Visual Studio 2012 and then show a video of the working demos which I was able to record prior to the conference. I didn’t think this would go all that well, but much to my surprise, it went fantastic and I got some great response from the attendees. I really liked having the demos recorded as I could talk while something was happening (I’m not a good type & talk at the same time person). Plus, I knew everything would work.

I’m curious… what would you think if you went to a session at a conference and for the running demo, the presenter just hit play and explained what was going on in the video instead of doing the demo live? You can ensure there would be no issues with Internet speed or connectivity, no bugs, no typos… the demo would just work. I asked those who attended all my sessions and the feedback was overwhelming that they liked this approach, but I’m not sure if everyone likes it (I did get a little negative feedback, but very little). So now I’m asking you… drop a comment and let me know please!

For those who attended my sessions, I’ve posted everything for you at the following links below. Enjoy!

Building SharePoint Hosted Apps as Single Page Apps

Unlike cloud apps, SharePoint Hosted Apps cannot have a server footprint on the SharePoint host. Instead all custom business logic is manifested and runs within the user’s browser. This can prove to be a challenge with some developers who are used to working with the server-side object model in SharePoint. In this session you’ll learn some tricks on how to make JavaScript / client-side development easier and at the same time how you can make your SharePoint Hosted App into a single-page app that’s very responsive and user friendly very quickly!

Real World Workflows with Visual Studio 2012, Workflow Manager and Web Services

In this session we’ll explore what’s new with workflow in SharePoint 2013 from an architecture, capability & development perspective. You’ll learn how the SharePoint 2013 now relies on Workflow Manager, both on-premises and in the cloud, top provide a much more reliable and scalable workflow platform. We’ll explore new capabilities such as loops, web service calls and the new DynamicValue data type. In addition you’ll also learn how to create, deploy and leverage custom workflow actions.

Building a Content site using SharePoint Server 2013 Web Content Management: Start to Finish

Microsoft made significant investments in SharePoint 2013 in the area of Web Content Management (WCM). In this latest release WCM has been re-architected to leverage taxonomies for navigation and search and serving content directly out of the search index. In this demo-heavy session you will see how to create a WCM site, implement a managed navigation using taxonomies and surface content from across multiple data sources, how to implement a custom brand and leverage search to its fullest potential in creating rich and dynamic content-based sites!

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