European SharePoint 2014 – Day 1 #ESPC14

The first day of the conference is almost over. The conference started with 2 keynote that gave us an overview of the SharePoint and Cloud roadmap of Microsoft. Is it really interesting how a big company like Microsoft is evolving these days. They almost look like a startup.

The first keynote was presented by Simon Skaria, a program manager at Microsoft. He told some remarkable facts about their cloud platform:

  • The platform that was used during the Winter Olympics in Sochi was the same platform that Office365 is build on. There where millions of users.
  • On Office 365 the user growth was 500% last year. When we look at the storage we talk about petabytes.
  • 90% of the documents on Office 365 are collaboration documents and those are not only MS Office documents
  • Office365 is getting 250k responses per second. That is a lot more than Twitter (5k)

The first demo’s during the keynote were surprisingly on an iPad. The iPad app contains the feature to send documents that are stored on your OneDrive.

Simon Skaria told us that 70% of the fortune 500 companies have one or more Microsoft Cloud enterprise services. That is an impressive fact.

Remarkable was also that it was a long time ago that I’ve seen a MS Access logo on an official MS slide. Is this the revival of Access?

During the 2 keynotes there were demo’s on a Windows desktop pc, an iPad, a Windows Phone and an Android tablet. You now have multiplatform access to your data and information.

One of the things I’ll remember from Dan Holm’s keynote is the fact that Microsoft started the design and development for SP2010 in 2006. At that time Facebook did not went public and the iPhone was not released yet. So SP2010 was a great product for that time but times changed so fast.

The question is now if we should migrate to the cloud or not. It is not about migration or not. It is about moving forward. When you (or your company) will wait to do this your business and your users will do. In fact they are already in the cloud!

IT has a different role now: we need to provide services like file sharing of communication to the business, not technologies like we used to do.

The next session was about migration to SharePoint 2013 – theory & practice by Nicki Borrell

He told us that migration wasn’t always that simple.

In the past


Not all components can be migrated

There is a site collection health checker

A long migration process

You can upgrade site collections separately

Only a big log file at the end

There is throttle and query management

It is an all or nothing migration

There are ULS logs per site collection


The site collection health checker checks if the site collection can be upgraded. After the check you see a page that lists all the warnings and errors.

Something I didn’t knew was that a migrated SP2010 site on SP2013 (that is running in SP2010 mode) is still using the 14hive binaries and not the 15hive binaries. That is new compared to the situation on SP2010.

You can also still use SharePoint Designer to connect to a SP2013 site. You need to install a path. Mark that this is not supported by Microsoft.

On CodePlex there is a Feature Admin tool you can download for free to find out what feature is behind the GUID so that you can clean your farm before migrating.

You also need to activate the claim based authentication before you can migrate because SP2013 uses claims to create webapps.

In CAS you can enable the SP2010 activity migration option to migrate the “colleagues” and “notes” on the mysite profile of each user.

By using PowerShell you can setup the migration throttling. That defines the number of site collections you can create at the same time during migration.

When you upgrade search you only migrate the settings, not the search indexes.

To end this sessions there were some tips on migration:

  • Test with real data and users, not dummy site collections
  • Don’t forget the users to notify for changes.
  • Use tools to help you with certain actions
  • Use the new features after migration

During lunch there were soapbox sessions where people get a few minutes to tell a story. Every SP Admin that heard Joel Oleson his session will not sleep that well the following night. He told that they are doomed. They must be transformed to fit in the whole mobile/cloud story. Antti Martikainen tweeted about this with an interesting quote.

To continue the migration information I’ve choose to follow a session about implementing a hybrid SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 environment. This was the session of Rene Modery. He told us that Hybrid environments are only possible between SP2013 environments. Not between SP2010 and it does not work with SP Foundation server versions.

You can use a hybrid environment permanent (for integration) or temporary (during migration). Why would you use a hybrid environment?

  • To reduce costs
  • To separate workloads
  • For additional functionality
  • For improved flexibility and scalability

You can connect a few services in a hybrid environment:

  • Search, you can show the search results from both environments. SP on premise does not index the online environment but SP Online gets you the search results. In the future this will be possible
  • BCS, SP Online can access your LOB systems.
  • Duet enterprise online for SAP
  • OneDrive for business, give your users 25GB online storage
  • Identity management, one identity for both environments

Another session was presented by my friend Jeremy Thake. One of the best presenters I know. The session was about transition your SharePoint solution model skills to the new SharePoint App Model. During his presentation he used a PowerPoint app from to get some live data from the audience. A great example of an Office App!

The session was about the transition many SharePoint developers have to make to get into the new App model. With the app model the code does not run on the SharePoint server anymore but on a different server. As a SharePoint developer you need to learn new technologies like REST, JavaScript, HTML5, MVC, …

When you develop a SharePoint app always use CSOM or REST first. Try to avoid to use the server object model as long as you can.

His sessions was an excellent recap of the full day workshop of yesterday.

Jeremy shared some interesting links during his session:

To end he announced that there will be some big news about app development so check their blog next week!

Besides the sessions, the advantage of this conference is the fact that you can meet a lot of people and vendors. That makes it really interesting and you learn a lot about the SharePoint ecosystem.