Top 5 Things We’re Looking Forward to at SharePoint Connections

If you can't make it to Vegas, we'll bring you these experts in our magazine instead

For a SharePoint admin or dev looking to expand his or her knowledge and skills, the Connections series of co-located conferences is a mind-blowing experience. Where else can you pay one registration fee and get access not only to SharePoint admin and dev sessions but also to sessions on Windows 7, Active Directory, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and just about anything anyone working in the Microsoft ecosystem might want to learn!

A Who’s Who of SharePoint experts is on hand, from Andrew Connell, Michael Noel, Scot Hillier, and Ted Pattison, to Asif Rehmani, Maurice Prather, Paul Stubbs, and Matthew McDermott—and a few gurus too big to name. In between sessions, we’re planning to hit the product expo hall, where you can wander and listen and watch demos about SharePoint solutions in a no-fuss, no-pressure environment. And did I mention the cool swag and giveaways? Here’s what we’re looking forward to at Connections next week:

1. Dan Holme on SharePoint 2010

One Dan Holme session that definitely hits the spot is HITP01: Best Practices for Least-Privilege Installation, Administration, and Security of SharePoint 2010. Dan covers the intricacies of service accounts and least privilege, the pros and cons of multiple app pools and identities, and best practices for user and group management—all in the name of better security.

2. BCS via Todd Baginski

Todd Baginski is all about BCS (Business Connectivity Services) and his session HDEV10: Creating Custom Line of Business Solutions with BCS should be a popular one. He’ll show how to combine External Content Types, External Lists,.NET Assembly Connectors, External Data Web Parts, and the SharePoint search service to search, create, read, update, and delete data from multiple external data sources. Whew.

3. Ben Curry’s Demofest

You can’t beat a session that promises “proven SharePoint 2010 deployment best practices” and tips and tricks, capped off with a live guided tour of a multi-server farm deployment, but that’s what you get in HITP 13. The visual learner in me is ready to go!

4. Painless learning from Todd Klindt and Shane Young

Embracing Windows PowerShell never was so relaxing an experience as when you’re sitting in a comfy chair watching Todd and Shane effortlessly turn the most reluctant admin into a PowerShell groupie. Their sessions are the kind where no one is texting or checking Facebook. I recommend HITP09: Administration of SharePoint 2010 using Windows PowerShell, the New Coolness.

5.The SharePoint developer’s friend: Gary Lapointe

Gary shows you how to extend the Ribbon and plug into the Dialog Framework as well as how to show transient and persistent messages to your users using the new Notification capabilities. HDEV17: Leveraging the SharePoint 2010 User Experience Enhancements is great for devs creating SharePoint apps.

On another note, several of my editorial colleagues will also be at Connections: Anne Grubb, head of DevPro Connections magazine, and Brian Winstead, editor and subject matter expert in Exchange and Office. Check out what Brian's looking forward to at Connections, and if you're attending the conference,  stop by the Windows IT PRO/DevPro/SharePointPro booth in the expo hall--or, even better, ask at the booth how you can attend one of our reader panels and tell us what you really think about these magazines!



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