SPC12 kicked off yesterday with keynotes from Jared Spataro and others. Following are the points I considered most relevant from the keynotes.
Metrics of the conference:
Spataro led with a nod to the SharePoint Community, mentioning the MVPs, SP Saturdays, and user groups. This was warmly welcomed by the audience (I was watching the Twitter stream as well as listening to audience reaction), but it seemed like a calculated move to show how Microsoft "gets" community.
Spataro discussed three key themes for SharePoint going forward:
• Experiences - enhancements designed to make SP easy to access and "a joy to use"
• Ecosystem - new app model & store
He also emphasized the move toward greater simplicity in SharePoint.
- Surface documents regardless of where they are in the hierarchy or in folders
- See the security on a document inline
- Create a new file in the site without having the Office client
- Drag and drop into a library without needing ActiveX controls.
- Share content by inviting inline with autocomplete of names, and choice to require sign-in or not
- SkyDrive Pro for local access to content
- See list of sites I'm following
- See list of suggested sites to follow (from the FAST recommendation technology)
- Immersive mode for fullscreen mobile device viewing ("content only")
- Skin sites with drag-and-drop, no CSS editing - Spataro demo-ed the ability to add a picture as a watermarked background in about 2 seconds.
- Visualize tasks on sites with the project and task management bar - and an answer for aggregating tasks for all sites - "My Tasks" - all in one place which synchronizes with tasks in Outlook.
- Mobile app for the social features - see the content I'm following - downloadable TODAY for Win 7, iPhone & iPad available "early next year."
- The message here was that there were three main reasons (and a hidden fourth) why MS acquired Yammer:
○ Best-in-class social
○ Rapid innovation - a "way of life at Yammer" - (will it still be the case now that MS owns them?)
○ Voluntary adoption - helps users "get comfortable with the cloud"
○ "fun bunch of folks" - "a few drinks drinked in between coding" - and they use whiteboards at Yammer!
- Adam Pisoni demo-ed the "activity story" - new "post to Yammer" button in the ribbon. Documents shared from SharePoint are visible in Yammer as full-fidelity preview.
- Pisoni also demo-ed a "sneak peek" Yammer on Windows 8 in the Modern UI.
- Roadmap: SPOnline will include Yammer for free.
Richard Riley then gave the highlights for Search, Web Publishing, and ECM.
- Single search engine unifying FAST & SP - now with "intuitive, actionable, and personal" interface. "Personal re-find links" direct you back to the results page you've searched before.
- Visual aspects - refiners (by date), thumbnail preview to "hovercard" with details about the file.
- "Results block" - a bracketed area that groups content translated by query rules behind the scene. Brings back results e.g. PowerPoint files when search term is "deck."
- Use ANY web publisher to edit pages for SP - no longer constrained to using SP Designer. (Live demo got an error from Dreamweaver - to which Riley responded "it always works the second time."
Other notes from today:
On the vendor floor, lots of great examples of community-created content becoming part of the vendor message:
- Several exhibitors offering hands-on situations where attendees could create their own experience.