A Good conference, all in all. I enjoyed days 2 and 3 most, as per my previous posts, and day 2 was my favorite, but day 3 had its high points as well.
On day 3 I started with “Tapping Into your Line-of-Business App with SharePoint BDC” by Fabian Williams. We went through the various parts of the application definition file, and I learned that if you set up filter descriptors in the app def file, the BDC List web part automatically gives you filter choices. We also learned that, although you should not do it, theoretically you could write custom actions (custom .net code) to write back into the database. Again, though, Fabian stressed that the BDC was meant to be a window into the LOB data, and was not for updating the LOB data.
I also attended “Customizing SharePoint Search” by John Ross. This was more of an end-user course, as no code was involved; however I got ideas that I had not previously thought of. For instance I did not realize that you could fully customize the display of the Core Search Results web part with XSLT.
Next was “Development Strategies for SharePoint – Declarative vs. Imperative” with Maurice Prather. This one was good – I learned you could declare new content types completely through XML with no code involved. The discussion was focused mainly on what is the line between all XML and all Code. Conclusion – you can’t get away from XML but there are tons of things you can do with code that will, for example, make it so that you don’t really have to write a site definition.
Another session was “Into the Wild – The Challenges of Customized SharePoint Apps in Release” by Andreas Grabner. Unfortunately, this was mostly a sales pitch, but even so I got lots out of it. Contrary to what I thought the talk was going to be about, Andreas talked purely about performance issues, and how bad coding can greatly contribute to your performance problems. I learned good tips and tricks and good coding practices, and not a few Dont’s.
Last session was “Features and Solutions: Packaging SharePoint Functionality and Content” with Darrin Bishop. This session was good, although I had kind of been through most of what he taught. It was a good refresher course, and I learned about more things that could be installed through features and solutions. I also learned more of the difference between the Scopes (i.e. Farm, Web App, Site and Web).
All in all, as I said it was a very good conference, and I’m going to bring back lots of coding tricks – especially what to avoid – and how to make absolutely sure all of my objects are disposed properly. I learned I’m going to have to resort to using CAML and the SPQuery object on lists instead of iterating through list items, which I had actually heard once before.
I’m on my way home, tired but happy.