I’m looking forward to the SharePoint Conference next week in Las Vegas. Not only because it is currently 50 degrees warmer than Chicago, but because there is more going on than usual for an “inbetween year” when there’s no new release to announce.
In particular, I hope to learn about:
- Hybrid cloud: We all know what SharePoint 2013 on premises does, and I know Microsoft can wax poetically about Office 365, but what about that grey area between the two? What is the future of SharePoint on Azure, or AWS? O365 with workflows running on Azure? O365 with content repositories on premises or at another hoster? SharePoint on Azure but custom code running on premises? There’s a lot of interest in points between the two destinations most often discussed.
- Mobile without tears: Sure, you can develop a mobile interface to anything in SharePoint. But for organizations with thousands of sites and end users that thought they were finally free of the yoke of IT, treating mobilization as an individual development project for each site is unrealistic. What is the power user or end user story for click-and-dragging their way to a usable mobile site?
- A reusable deployment plan: Pretty much all the sessions I’ve seen in the agenda focus on a specific aspect of SharePoint, and maybe even how to plan a piece of it such as records management or adoption. But where is one view of the overall plan – everything you have to do to go from nothing to a successful SharePoint implementation? There’s the index in TechNet, Product Line Architecture, Microsoft Operations Framework, Premium Support Services and consulting probably have something. I’m looking for the best, most complete view I can find since I’m writing the Solution Path for SharePoint at Gartner and like to compare to other plans. I haven’t found one I consider complete yet, but will be looking for that at the conference.
- Forking: 2014 feels like it will be the year the capablities of on premise and SaaS SharePoint start to diverge. When first released, O365 didn’t do everything SharePoint Server could do, which was expected. But as improvements are added, how many are showing up just in O365? And is that because they don’t make sense on premise or for more sinister reasons: that on premise just isn’t as important anymore? If the two versions will fork, it will start with minor features and lags in release dates between the two, but could eventually add up to have and have-nots.
And last, but not least, I hope to test out keynote speaker Bill Clinton’s sysadmin credentials. I’ll be the guy in the back raising my hand and asking him how to configure authentication for a provider hosted app. Oh, I know, I just want to see if you know Mr. President! It should be a fun time!
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