Sharepoint 2010 has some great new features. Especially considering some of the disturbing necessities of previous Sharepoint Versions.
The first thing I noticed was that Visual Studio 2010 has default templates for building Sharepoint Projects. This is huge compared to the monstrous and annoying effort required for development on previous versions.
Being able to build Sharepoint Projects from Visual Studio 2010 is a huge change, enabling IT & Development Groups to actually use regular Windows 7 Machines instead of needing Windows Server operating systems and licenses to build Sharepoint Applications. To me, this was always a non-starter, and actively discouraged Sharepoint Applications in the past ? obviously most companies had not listened to the voice of reason. But now, I have changed to actively encouraging Sharepoint 2010 Projects now.
The second thing is, it is more open and easier to build public facing sites finally. This has been desperately needed. I am glad that it has finally become a higher priority. Not that I totally trust the Sharepoint 2010 Server to be fully web compliant, I have seen that they’ve taken leaps ahead.
Between the Sharepoint Analytics, Silverlight, and offerings we provide at Webtrends we now have direct extensibility points form the internal Sharepoint Data Sources, Analytics Data Stores, temp caching and other control mechanisms within Silverlight, and much more. What does all that techno-babble mean? It means more data, more available faster, easier access, decreased development times, more accurate reporting, more timely reporting, and the list goes on. Pretty much ever metric about web analytics within Sharepoint 2010 has just gotten better.
The other architectural pieces I noticed is the Sharepoint Aggregation of data is now per web application in the farm, per site collection, per site, and per search service application. This can be broken out even further with On Demand Webtrends Analytics by providing ETL between the Sharepoint and pulling the Sharepoint or extended analytics data Webtrends provides into the Business Intelligence (BI) framework within an enterprise. At this point I can only imagine the scale and available data points for managing enterprise collaboration, social media, and other capabilities with this combination. I’m looking forward to seeing what kinds of ROI we can see from these integrations, whatever it is, I already know it will be measurable and I suspect substantial.
Are there any data points, questions, thoughts, or ideas you have about connecting Sharepoint & Analytics Data? Anything you haven’t seen connected that should be? Does your organization use Sharepoint, Webtrends Analytics, or other collaboration software? Anyway, I am no shill, I am honestly interested in these connections outside of the fact I work for Webtrends. If you have a minute, please let me know what your thoughts are on these technology connections.
That’s it. Simple as that. There are other ways to setup resource files that are separate from the App.xaml, but the App.xaml file is always a good quick place to start. As moving the styles to a specific resource file later is a mere copy and paste.
The Microsoft Azure Cloud is looking pretty solid compared to just a few months ago. The storage mechanisms in the cloud now are blobs, drives, tables, and queues. Also, not to forget, is SQL Azure. I won't dive too much into that, as most will know what SQL Server is, and SQL Azure is pretty much just a hosted SQL Server instance.
The blobs are generally geared toward holding binary type data, images and those types of things. The tables are huge key value type stores. The drives are VHD, which are virtual hard drives. The queues are just queues used for workflow and also to store messages back and forth in a queue.
These methods are accessible via REST, which makes application development against the storage services extremely easy. This is a big plus point as REST services are a preferred way to connect and interact with data storage. It also sets up Silverlight as a prime framework to utilize services.
Day 4 I pretty much dedicated to reviewing these cloud services and finishing up work related development. With that, I'm wrapping up my MIX 2010 blog coverage. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
I rolled over to the Mandalay for breakfast. There I met a couple guys that were really excited about the new Windows 7 Phone. They, as I, are also hopeful that the phone really gets a big push and some penetration into the market. Not because we don?t like any other of the phones, but because this phone is so much better in many ways. From a developer’s perspective creating applications in Windows 7 Mobile will be vastly superior in ease, capabilities, and other aspects. The architectural, existing code base, examples, and provisions to create things on the 7 Mobile Device are already existing as of RIGHT NOW. There is no reason, except for fickle market conditions, for this phone to not just explode onto the market. But alas, I won’t hold my breath.
Day three keynote had a whole new slew of things provided. It also seemed that things got a lot more technical on this second keynote. The oData was one of the very technical bits, yet it included almost no code. Starting with a Netflix example and all the way to the Codename "Dallas" effort the oData Services provide some expansive possibilities.
A mash up going 4 ways was then shown for finding a movie, finding local places to have a viewing, and information about the movie and were to prospectively find and buy additional movie bits. The display was of course, in a Windows 7 Mobile device with literally a click to view each set of data. The backend and the front end of this was beautifully smooth.
The Dallas Project has a lot of potential for analytics in dashboard and scorecard creation also. If there is a need or reason to provide data to a vast and wide range of clients, Dallas is a prime example of how to do that.
After the main keynote I checked out (while developing a working WPF & Silverlight Application for work) the session on deploying ASP.NET Applications, services, etc, into the cloud. The session was pretty good, but I’ll admit I got a little unfocused from it a few times. It is after all hard to do two things at one time.
I did take note that the cloud still is a multiple step process for deploying to. This is a good thing and a bad thing. There needs to be more checks and verifications when deploying something into the cloud just for technical reasons. However, I feel that there should be some streamlining to the process. Going back and forth between web and Visual Studio as the interface also seems kind of clunky. Deployment should be able to be completed from within Visual Studio in my perspective. Overall, the cloud is getting more and more impressive in function as well as theory.
That’s it from me so far on the third day of MIX. I’ll be note taking and studying hard to have more good tidbits to provide.
Some of the key features of the framework is to support out-of-browser scenarios, which works perfectly with out WebtrendsDX Web Services. Offline scenarios, which again, we have worked toward supporting at WebtrendsDC Web Services via caching and other criteria as needed. Another feature that I was really stoked about is the Microsoft Expression Blend integration that removes the need for coding, thus simplifying the addition of analytics components based on events or other actions within a Silverlight Application. This framework also easily supports A/B Testing (again, something we do quit a bit of at Webtrends with Webtrends Optimize.
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