SharePoint Connections PreConference day

For the first time I have registered for a pre conference day. Actually I registered for the pre and post conference session.

The pre-conference workshop was delivered by Dan Holme ( and the topic was : “SharePoint Collaboration Masterclass”. It was an interesting session with a few new items for me but it definitely triggered some ideas.

Dan talked about the “administrator jumpstart”. Basically he explained which accounts you better create (actually you’ll need them) before you start installing and configuring SharePoint 2010. Also it is a best practice to use Powershell scripts to install and configure your farm(s). Especially when you have an Acceptance, Pre-Production and Production environment, by scripting the installation and configuration, you can be sure that they are installed and configured the same way. Another interesting point he mentioned, was that the Cumulative Updates are handled differently in SharePoint 2010 then in SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007). Now, when you have SharePoint server 2010 installed, you don’t need to install the CU OF SharePoint Foundation prior to the installation of the CU for SharePoint Server. So you can install the SharePoint Server CU directly. This will save some time and reboots.
Also, when you don’t configure the outgoing email settings, all the features that use this (like alerts) will not be activated on you sites.

After the first break, the subject was Creating the Collaboration Application. Interesting to hear was this advice. Don’t use (or configure) Claims Based authentication, unless you are really sure you will need/use it.
Dan also mentioned that it is a best practice to use A record in your DNS server setting and not C Names.
When creating your top level Site Collection, the Publishing Site might be a very good choice if you would like to brand your sites. (via the masterpages). The publishing site has more masterpages ‘installed’ and this would make it easier to apply some custom branding on these sites.  Oh yes, of course when you used the Publishing Site template, you will not be able to create a subsite other then another Publishing site,unless you activate these Site templates in the Look and Feel section / Page Layouts and Templates. You can access these pages via the Site Settings.
Today, there were no sacrifices done to the Demo Gods, so some of his demos didn’t work well. Like the one where Dan would show how you can adopt users by creating shortcuts in the Network Locations. But he explained it pretty good.

After Lunch Security was the topic. Claims based authentication can store extra attributes  or properties, so you can use these properties to target content . (For instance country)
Dan also told you don’t need to extend WebApplications anymore when you want to use multiple authentication providers.
Another best practice explained. To allow a user (even a visitor) to see a certain site in his or hers Mysite, you can create a new “default” group. You give this group very restricted permissions on the site, and you add ALL the site users to this group (besides the other groups like members or visitor). By doing this, these users will see the site appear in their MySite. Oh yes, small remark, this will only work with individual user rights, not when adding an Active Directory group.

Dan also gave a demonstration of the Office integration and SharePoint, but again, the demo gods weren’t our friends.

After the break, Dan talked, while you could really see him fighting his jetlag, about the Remote BLOB Storage . What I remember and noted was that the default RBS (Filestream provider) can only use local drives, and that you can also use AvePoint DocAve extender for this. A good advice was that when you use SQL backup, you should also backup your BLOB location manually. This is not needed when you use the backup procedures in Central Admin, and I presume third party tools will also tackle this.

The last topic was Managed Metadata and the Taxonomy living together with the Folksonomy. Dan also showed the metadata based views and filters.

We had a really nice chat after the session, with some additional Q&A, and then I went out to diner with Marcel Franke. Because diner took more time then I thought, I wasn’t able to attend the DIWUG session.
Arriving back at my hotel I saw Karine Bosh (MVP and also known for some of us as ‘The CAML girl’) and I sacrificed myself to go out for diner with her, although I just drank a few Grimbergen beers, but we had a really nice conversation about SharePoint, U2, Phil Collins and job satisfaction.

About Patrick Sledz

Patrick works as a consultant. He assists organizations to deliver SharePoint business value and create the awareness in these organizations that only a strong technical team is not sufficient to deliver this added value.

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