SharePoint Notes

Bleeding on the cutting edge …

TechEd 2009 Day 3

Posted by Christian Dam on November 11, 2009

Today was kind of slow for me regarding sessions. I had only three sessions scheduled together with a participation in a focus group on Implementing and Managing a Web Server Infrastructure.

 The first session was about Social Computing in SharePoint 2010. Based on the feedback from our participation in the SPC2009 I was hoping to be blown away and to see a lot of cool new features – and a lot of features that are not ready to play with in Beta 1. Unfortunately the presenters demo environment was performing extremely poor so quite a lot of the demos wasn’t really useful but the he still managed to get his ideas across. Nothing much new was revealed, though, except for the Organizational Browser. The Organizational Browser is a built-in Silverlight application that present the people in the profile database in a hierarchical manner. This is extremely cool and I can’t wait to play with it and see if it as useful as it looks.

My second session was originally about Search in SharePoint 2010 but I was tempted by an Interactive session called “The Role of the Software Architect: Caring and Communicating”. The session was hosted by Magnus Mårtensson who also wrote the TechNet article of the same name. Even though I am not a Software Architect but an IT architect I figured I could still gain some insights as we can all get better at communicating (and caring, I suppose 😉 ). I wasn’t wrong! It was a great session with a lot of audience participation. It turns out Magnus it a speaker who knows how to capture an audience. First, he changed his shirt from the blue Microsoft Speaker Shirt to a highly flower decorated Hawaii-shirt to demonstrate that in this session we were all learning. Second he opened a big box of Swedish chocolate (Magnus is Swedish as you might have guessed) which he used to bribe people to contribute. Cheap tricks? Maybe – but it worked! A lot of people chipped in, sharing experiences and soon a vivid discussion was talking place. I think the Interactive Session format is brilliant as it is not just one way communication. Further more it tends to be closer to real world scenarios as “real” people get involved in the session. I have been to a couple already and I have a few more lined up in the coming days. However, the physical planning at TechEd this year simply doesn’t do the session justice as all the Interaction Sessions share the same enormous room with only paper-thin walls to separate the session from other conference activities. This is a shame and I hope next year the session will get dedicated rooms as was the case in Barcelona.

My third session was “Secure Endpoints from Emerging Threats Using Business Ready Security from Microsoft Forefront”. By itself it was a good session describing how Forefront Threat Management Gateway and Forefront Client Security can help protecting the end point. It was well presented and the demos ran smoothly for a change. However, it was roughly the same content as some of the other session about Forefront I have seen this year, so I didn’t learn anything new. Oh, wait – hang on. One thing struck me after the session: at TechEd some of the Forefront sessions mentioned some sort of service bus that all the Forefront components use to communicate internally. The deeper meaning being that when one component notices anything suspicious it can alert the other components so they can react appropriately, e.g. start a virus scan on all clients or shut a machine’s port off on a switch. Maybe I have just attended the wrong sessions this year, but I have not seen this mentioned anywhere. I wonder if this functionality have been dropped … or maybe I a, just getting old and imagine things … I don’t know, but I’d better check my notes from last year *making mental note to self*

The last session was suppose to be a focus group session about “Challenges of implementing and managing a Microsoft web infrastructure”. Despite having told Microsoft that I am a SharePoint Admin / IT architect I was accepted into the focus group so I naturally assumed it had something to do with SharePoint. It turned out it didn’t. Luckily for me – and the focus group people – we talked about it before the session, so I could get out in time and not waste anybody’s time. I just hope Microsoft doesn’t have a three-strikes-and-you’re-out-rule, because if they do I am in trouble: I complained about the key-note, I skipped a special Danish event on IIS 7.5 (due to unfortunate planning by Microsoft I claim) and now this 🙂

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