SPC 2009 Opening Keynotes

Disclaimer: This post is based on notes taken while watching a conference session. For that reason, it may contain incorrect information or data that I might have misunderstood.

I just came out of the opening keynotes of SharePoint Conference 2009 by Steve Ballmer and Jeff Teper. The keynotes were public, so you might have watched them live on the conference’s web site. If you didn’t, read on…

They were brief overviews about what’s new on the SharePoint world and I can tell you there are lots of new stuff to explore in SharePoint 2010! One of the first important announcements was that SharePoint will be in Public Beta in November 2009 along with SharePoint Designer 2010 and Office 2010. The RTM version is expected to be available in the first half of 2010.

Here’s a list of stuff that caught my interest during these sessions.

Regarding Administration…

  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 is the new name for Windows SharePoint Services 4.0
  • Usage reporting has been greatly improved,
  • Central Administration has been redesigned to be easier to use.
  • PowerShell is now used for scriptable administrative tasks, and it feature more than 500 cmdlets.

Regarding Search…

  • Search indexes can now be constructed in parallel
  • Search relevance has been greatly improved
  • Phonetic search is available for person’s names

Regarding Insights (or Business Intelligence)…

  • PerformancePoint Services bring really cool dashboard capabilities to SharePoint
  • Excel Services allow REST access to workbooks (and workbook objects)
  • Visio Services allow users to interact with diagrams through the browser
  • Business Connectivity Services (the new version of Business Data Catalog) is a really powerful way to access LOB applications a data storages and now supports read and write operations (and much more…)
  • The new SQL Power Pivot technology allows for very fast filtering and sorting operations over very large sets of data (millions of rows in Excel and SharePoint lists)

Regarding the UI…

  • Everything gets the Ribbon now, and it really makes things easier to use
  • AJAX is everywhere making SharePoint a lot more usable and responsive
  • Editing pages is easier and there is support for wiki syntax all over the place
  • SharePoint now has a MUI (Multi-language User Interface) allowing you to install language packs and change the site’s language on-the-fly!
  • SharePoint now supports WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards.
  • SharePoint now supports all major browsers.

Regarding Contents…

  • There is a new concept called Document Sets which allow you to define a set of documents that must be managed in a bundle
  • The new Silverlight Web Part allows you to host Silverlight applications in SharePoint with no effort.
  • Lists (and folders) can now hold 1 million items, document libraries can store 10 millions documents and records repositories can archive tens of millions of documents, without performance hits.
  • SharePoint now supports video streaming using Silverlight.

Regarding Social Networking…

  • Every item on SharePoint can now be tagged and rated and the taxonomies and content types are consistent across farms in the organization
  • There is an out-of-the-box tag cloud control which can be applied to anything you want
  • The user profile has been enhanced with a lot of social features, such as a Facebook-like wall and status message, and a user activity feed with much more information regarding its actions on the system

Here’s Jeff Teper’s blog post with the contents of his session: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2009/10/19/sharepoint-2010.aspx

I’ll be posting more news on SharePoint 2010 as I attend more sessions.