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Apr 19

SharePoint Saturday Belgium wrap-up

I’ve just woken up at home after another excellent SharePoint Saturday Belgium! The BIWUG guys always organise a great event and this one was no exception so thank you very much to them and good luck to the new Board members stepping up this year. Running a user group is hard work, but very rewarding and these guys really know their stuff and how to run a good show!

We had a change in venue this year, we were based at the ALM conference facilities in Antwerp. A great venue and an excellent city which I wish I’d had more time to see. Unfortunately as it’s the London SharePoint Evolution conference starting on Monday, I needed to spend some time at home so I came straight back after the prize giving (and I really wanted one of those drones! Which alas I failed to grab!).

I was up first session which is a slot I actually really enjoy as people are (generally) fresh faced and keen having come all the way to a SharePoint Saturday in their own time! I had a pretty packed room to listen to my “Building an FAQ in SharePoint” session. This is I think the fourth time I’ve given this session and I only had one minor problem with one of my demos, luckily the “Blue Peter” demo was working fine although I think only the UK attendees really got the reference!

I really enjoyed the session as the audience were really engaged, one of whom picked up on a comment I made and tweeted it. It was an off the cuff comment, but it is something I believe..

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I was talking about deploying content types across multiple site collections which for my FAQ session generally focuses on the methods available to the end user. So primarily you have two, manual configuration and the content type hub. My comment was really relating to manual configuration and that you can pretty much guarantee if you have a repetitive manual process, such as creating Site Columns and Content Types across multiple site collections, then you will get human error creeping in.. It might be something simple, like a spelling mistake in the description, but more likely it’ll be a real issue, like a miss spelling in the Column name which of course means the internal name is forever miss-spelled and your display templates won’t work for that content type.

The slides from the session are available on slideshare by following this link.

As this was really an End User session, I only touched briefly on other options for Content Type deployments, but next week at the London SharePoint Evolutions conference, I’ll be building a solution in Office 365 and as part of the demos for that, we’ll be deploying Site Columns and Content Types across multiple site collections using PowerShell and CSOM! All the scripts for that will be available on my blog after the session.

I also made time to attend the sessions of some fellow speakers and friends.

  • Edin Kapic (@ekapic) put together a great session on configuring High Trust apps in SharePoint on-premises. This is something I’ve had to do this year for a client wanting to surface SharePoint search results in a PHP based Intranet application so it was nice to get some validation on what was done, including a call out to Kirk Evans for possibly the ONLY documentation on building the tokens you need for authorisation!
  • Stefan Baur (@stfBauer – http://www.n8d.at/blog/) who I’ve known for a good length of time now finally broke his speaking virginity and presented a great session on making your CSS less SASSy! This session looked at using a SASS based CSS compiler to allow you to apply atomic development principles to your branding development. I really liked this method and I think I’ll be taking a look in depth at this as no one likes trawling through massive spaghetti CSS files.
  • Finally a great fella from the States was over, Virgil Caroll (@vcmonkey) who is with us all at Evolutions next week presented a sessionĀ on applying Web Best practices to Intranet development, One comment he made that I tweeted did get some traction and deserves the #truth tag that went on it.. “If you’re having to train your people to use your Intranet, you have failed!”. Overall a really great session and Virgil’s style of presenting just really helps drive the message.. a most excellent session!

For now though, I think it’s time to try and have a restful Sunday, do some packing and then make my way into London tomorrow for what it promising to be the largest SharePoint event in the world this year!

Paul.

3 comments

  1. Pieter Temmerman

    Hey Paul,

    I indeed do not get the Blue Peter reference :). Any chance that you will upload your session to slideshare? It was really interesting, realized that when I think of a basic FAQ setup it doesn’t quite cut it. At the moment I still have it in my head but the technology to printscreen your visual memory for future reference doesn’t quite cut it yet!

    Greetings,
    Pieter

    1. Cimares

      Thanks for your comments Pieter, I always have a lot of fun doing that session..

      I’m at the SharePoint Evolutions conference right now, but I’ll try and get the slides into Slideshare this week.

      Paul.

    2. Cimares

      Hi Pieter, I’ve added a link to the slides into the main body of this post.

      Cheers!

      Paul.

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