SharePoint Conference 2009: Taking off the covers

It’s finally here! The biggest day for SharePoint enthusiasts in 3 years. There were A LOT of big announcements today but before I get to that here are some fast facts about the conference.

  • 7400+ attendees (the last SP conference was 3,800, a 95% increase!)
  • Over 60 different countries represented at the conference
  • The SharePoint Conference has it’s own TV channel at my hotel. Nothing like drifting off to sleep hearing about SharePoint add-on products from our partners…
  • Two SharePoint Conference weddings. Meaning two separate weddings were scheduled around the conference. I
  • Tuesday will be the biggest beach party ever (with Huey Lewis and the News playing) at Mandalay Bay. Pretty impressive considering we’re in Vegas, where everything is big
  • The partner pavilion is BIG. Lots of our key partners are there (and a few competitors looking to pitch their SharePoint integration components)

Big announcements today:

  • Full disclosure of SharePoint 2010 – this is the biggie. SharePoint 2010 is no longer an “NDA-only” discussion. All SharePoint capabilities are now out there. Expect to see a flood of new info on blogs, twitter, etc. This is especially evidenced by the 270-page conference guide that was given to all conference attendees. After quickly flipping through last night, this looks to be a great first resource for customers and partners and provides a lot of content, screenshots, code, and partner information all in a single guide. Fantastic!!

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  • Visual Studio 2010 Beta – available today! This is the next generation development platform for SharePoint 2010. Note that the new Visual Studio Tools for SharePoint are focused on SharePoint 2010. (Click below) 


  • Announcement of SharePoint 2010 public beta availability – Steve Ballmer announced that the beta will be available in November! Click the image for the sign-up page:


  • PowerPivot – previously known as Project Gemini. This is in-memory technology that sits on the client or server and let’s users sift through massive amounts of data (100M rows of data in Excel). There are two separate products. SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel (running on top of Excel 2010) pulls the data client-side and allows for users to build pivot tables against the data. SQL Server PowerPivot for SharePoint (leveraging SharePoint 2010 and SQL Server 2008 R2) allows users to interact with extremely large volumes of data through a familiar SharePoint environment. It is really Analysis Services integration in SharePoint.

  • Packaging announcements – there was a lot of content in the keynotes around the new names and versions of SharePoint, SharePoint Online, and search technologies. Here’s a quick summary, taken from the link below and the keynote:
    • WSS is now known as SharePoint Foundation 2010
    • MOSS is now Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010, with Standard and Enterprise versions like 2007
    • Free basic search offering in Search Server Express 2010 (like 2007)
    • Default SharePoint search is not FAST. It builds on SharePoint Server 2007 with greater scale and capabilities
    • FAST Search for SharePoint add-on available to SharePoint Server Enterprise customers.
    • For Internet-facing sites, there are additional FAST search SKUs (both against SharePoint-based .com sites, and non-SharePoint .com sites)
    • New lower-cost “standard” version of SharePoint for Internet Sites – for small to medium sites
    • SharePoint Designer 2010 continues to be free (like 2007 as of April 2009)
    • SharePoint Workspace (f.k.a. Groove) is now part of Office 2010 Professional Plus
    • SharePoint Online – not included in the post below, but from the presentation it looks like there will be a new SharePoint Online cloud offering called SharePoint Online for Internet Sites

More details on the whole announcement (and packaging info at the end):

In general, demos went very well at both keynotes (no major issues) which should give everyone a good sense at how far down the path we are with the next product. For as painful as it was to have very limited conversations around SharePoint 2010 over the past several months I’m very pleased with the work and planning the product group has done to demo and deliver a good beta product. The 2010 content and demos at the conference is a lot more than smoke and mirrors, it is working code!


For more info check out the new SharePoint 2010 site on (running on SharePoint 2010 Beta 2!)


Here's an official press announcement too.

Looking forward to many more discussions around SharePoint 2010!