PDC Day 3 (Day 2 for SharePoint Technology Sessions)

So it’s 10am as I start this posting, which I’m typing while I bounce back and forth between Ryan Stocker’s talk on the Web content management services you’ll see in Office “12” and Rob Lefferts’ talk on our unified approach to managing documents across Office “12” servers and clients.  It’s the only time we’re truly viciously competing with ourselves in Office server-land, so I suppose we should count our blessings.

We had three sessions go into overflow rooms and one of them get scheduled for a repeat, so mega-kudos to those of you who are showing up to see what we’ve got in store.  For those of you who couldn’t be here, allow me to provide a quick recap of what happened.

  • Mike Ammerlaan did a session on ASP.NET 2.0 and WSS “v3”.  Big highlights:  Rather than wrapping and controlling ASP.NET, we now work within it in a much better behaved way.  We’re supporting master pages, ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts (more details on this later today or tomorrow), security providers (so you don’t have to authenticate against a Windows Domain), and a lot more.
  • Mike Ammerlaan also delivered a talk on what’s up with templates, definitions, and more.  The big news here is that site definitions get simpler.  The will reference a new thing called Feature Definitions, a way to define a coherent part of a SharePoint site that collectively does something specific.  A feature can contain lists, Web Part definitions, event handlers, content types, all kinds of things.  You can activate them and deactivate them at will.  They’ll be intelligently scoped so you can manage them a lot more cleanly, too.
  • Dustin Friesenhahn presented what’s up with changes to the WSS platform for document and data storage.  Big news:  per-item permissions, a recycle bin, custom column indexes, etc.  Event handlers cover more events, and they can be syncrhonous.  We have a way to impersonate identities if the code is trusted.  But the big news our use of content types.  I mentioned this yesterday, and Dustin spelled it out today.
  • Mike Morton finished the day with a wrap up of what’s in the collaboration application we deliver with WSS that sits on top of our platform — there is indeed a developer story there.  He covered email integration (you can use SharePoint sites for email archiving or discussion list membership in “v3”), directory integration (we can control directories when you create/modify sites and create/edit groups to match, and you can write providers for it.  He also covered our new synchronization APIs you can use for server-to-server and server-to-smart client applications, and he dissected how the next version of Outlook will use it.  Oh, and the new alerts functionality, too.

Today we’ll be covering document management, Web content management (which, together, comprise Enterprise Content Management, or ECM, which I’ll cover within the next few days), how WSS and Office servers will use and expand upon the Windows Workflow Foundation, search, our Business Data Catalog, and some of our business intelligence and reporting facilities.  I’ll try and do a recap of that tomorrow.

Moreover, over the next several days and weeks, I’ll provide digest recaps of the sessions taking place here.  Stay tuned — I wasn’t kididng about the gag being removed.