European SharePoint 2014 – Day 3 #ESPC14

Final day at the conference and a keynote about powerBI and SharePoint. The keynote is given by @rafaldotnet, one of the best speakers I know. He starts his keynote with the story of Dr. John Snow who was the first who plotted data on a map to show the correlation of cholera and an contaminated water pomp.

A keynote session of Rafal is always full of interesting quotes. Here are some of them:

  • Without data, all you have is an opinion
  • 90% of the world’s data is created in the last 2 years
  • Excel has the most popular programming language
  • More than 1,3 billion people are using Excel. It is the most popular BI tool

The future of BI is build in the cloud. In enterprises most of the work goes into the setup of the systems. In the cloud the setup is already done. When a company like MS no longer need to build setups they can build software much faster.

With tools like Power BI, Excel and SharePoint you can do stuff in minutes while before you had to call a few data analysts and hire them for a couple of days.

The rest of the day BI was one of the prominent topics in the sessions. The next session was about PowerBI and SharePoint Online. Martina Grom explained how you can do analytics on Office 365 with data from Yammer enterprise or Twitter.

There is also a lot of reporting in the Office 365 admin dashboard, for example: how many users are using Lync, how many users are logged on, … These reports are driven by Exchange Report Service. Via the tool Mail protection Report you can do reporting on your exchange online. You get the results in a nice Excel document.

When you use Yammer enterprise you want to measure engagement. You can’t do this with the free version of Yammer. As a Yammer network admin you can go to the analytics dashboard and take a look on your network growth and how it changes. In the beginning you get a lot of likes on the messages. When you get more engagement you see that you get more messages. Yammer messages can replace the internal email traffic.

To export your Yammer data you can use

To analyze twitter data there is a good tool at The application is based on Access and goes back in time for 14 days. This is a very interesting tool to measure your twitter data.

In between 2 sessions we also had a demo of 2 tools. One from ShareGate (migration tool) and the meeting app from AvePoint. Both are very promising and need some further investment.

Another session was presented by Chris O’Brien. It was about Javascript templates in SharePoint. It uses client side rendering (CSR). There are 2 ways you can do client side rendering:

  • Via JSLink (for lists, fields, webparts)
  • Via DisplayTemplates (for content search result pages)

You can use JS to modify the UI of a view, item or even a field. With PowerShell it is possible to edit the JSLink of an existing list.

Do you want to know more about DisplayTemplates you need to check the posts of Elio Struyf. He developed some handy stuff that can help you a lot. Use this link to learn more about it. You can also read more on this blog post.

The last session of the conference was about enhancing SharePoint 2013 with responsive design. Eric Overfield is telling us some more about the responsiveness of SP2013, or the lack of it. The key mean of responsiveness it the fact that every device is loading the same page. You do not create different pages for different devices of viewports.

The 3 pillars of responsive design are

  1. Fluid grid, a grid that can adopt to multiple viewports.
  2. Flexible media: flexible images, flexible audio en proportional text.
  3. Media queries to apply different styling for different viewports. You can use inline queries or queries in style sheets.

When you develop a responsive website then develop mobile first and progressively enhance. This helps you to focus on the content. Always build en code your mobile interface first.

In SharePoint, only the basic OTB navigation is RWD friendly. Multilevel navigation relies on hovering and that does not work on touch devices.

The frameworks that you can use the develop your pages are: bootstrap, Zurb foundation, Less or the Skeleton framework. They can help you with building your layout a lot faster.

The demo website that Eric was using is

This was the final session of the SharePoint conference 2014. It was a really interesting edition where I’ve met a lot of interesting people and had some good discussions on various subjects. Also the company booths where showing that the SharePoint world is a very mature world with a very strong ecosystem and community.

Thank you Declan, Mary, Helen, Tracy and all the others from the conference team. You did a great job and I hope to see you again next year!