Monday, October 19, 2009

SharePoint Conference, SharePoint 2010, and more...

Howdy all,

I had to take a brief break from blogging due to health issues, both mine and my equipment unfortunately. But I am back now, with a vengence, lol.

So, to start, SharePoint 2010.

I didn't get to go to the big, sold out SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas this year, but I did get to see the keynote, and have had access to the beta bits since earlier this summer. However, I was not allowed to tell you about the new version of SharePoint until today.

Today, timed to coincide with the SharePoint conference, the Non-Disclosure agreement against talking about SharePoint 2010 has been lifted.

A few points, just to give you a taste.

  • The new version of Windows SharePoint Services, what would have been WSS 4.0, is now been rebranded as "SharePoint Foundation 2010." No one has absolutely promised me that, with this rebranding, it will remain to be free. I will keep you posted.
  • Like Server 2008 R2-- SharePoint will not be available in 32 bit. In otherwords, SharePoint only comes in the 64 bit version. So if you haven't upgraded your current 32 bit systems (hey, don't fix what ain't broke, right?), you can't upgrade to the 2010 version of SharePoint.
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 (or what I'm going to call SPF) will offer lots of new things, and take away some old, beloved things. They've made home pages of team site automatically wiki pages-- and removed the option to have a wiki site out of the box. Active Directory Account Creation mode and Directory Management Services are still supported (much to my surprise).
  • Currently there is no longer a Site template gallery at the top of each site collection. STP files are no longer supported. So all those cool site templates you've created (or downloaded from Microsoft)? Not gonna fly with SPF 2010. Now, site templates are packaged as "solutions." We'll see if there is going to be any support for converting STP's to WSPs, as time goes by.
  • There is a new site template out of the box (oob) for SPF, Groupboard. This site template is very much like a team site template, only it's focused, it seems, on tasks that a receptionist or administrative assistant might need to do to manage a team. I'll be showing that to you soon.
  • Some Business Data Catalog capabilities have been surfaced for this version of WSS (I mean SPF). Also, the limited data analysis features have been broadened with the Health analyzer and better monitoring.
  • File/document management has some improvements, like Documents sets (something else I'll be showing you at some point).

Things I am not thrilled about:

  • The ribbon. Now it takes three or more clicks to do what I could with one thanks to the new, context sensitive Ribbon. With SPF, instead of clicking on the link for the document library, and while the page is barely finished loading, clicking new, you now have to wait for the page to load, the tabs to be drawn, to click on the document tab, wait for that ribbon to populate, then click on another link to start a new document.
  • Although STSADM is still going to be supported, MS is throwing everything into PowerShell. That means that there are, apparently, 500 new cmdlets (command-lets) for managing SharePoint in PowerShell. However, when I've used PowerShell to do things, it's much, much harder to do. We'll see what comes of that as the release data for SPF approaches. I don't have high hopes though.

And for those of you going for certification, well, that's 500 more things to learn.

  • Edited to add another change to SharePoint that I really don't like with this next version--- The WID,windows internal database, or SSEE, SQL Server Embedded Edition, will not be what SPF installs if you use a Basic, single server installation. Nope-- SPF is taking a step backwards and going to use SQL Express for the database if you do a single server, basic install. I guess the WID worked too well and was valid competition for SQL? So for those of you using WSS 3.0 in a basic configuration-- and database size could be an issue-- do not upgrade. Don't even think about it, unless you want to invest in new hardware, software, and licenses to go full SQL Server. I've been mad about that for a while now, and had to get it off my chest. (that and not supporting all those Site Templates I've made, and taught people how to make, over the years)

Beyond the SPC conference, I am also prepping for two SharePoint Saturdays: One in Cleveland Ohio, Nov. 14, and one in Richmond, Virginia on Nov. 21. And, as I have been doing for months, I am still trying to find a venue in which to present the TTT content for a Windows Server 2008 R2 FireStarter event (right now a possibility in Pittsburgh on Dec. 9th).

That's it for now. More later. : )


Anonymous said...

thanks for the heads up on 2010!
And afer all those lovely site templates you showed me how to create...


Callahan said...

Thanks Liam! That's *exactly* how I felt. What I need now is to know if there'll be any feature or tool available to convert all of those .stp files (like Microsoft's own 20 Fantastic templates) to .wsp files. I am not super hopeful, but if I find anything at all that will help, I'll post it here.