Yesterday was the first day of the 2008 SharePoint conference held in Seattle. The keynote speech was provided by Bill Gates. He announced greater availability for their Microsoft Online Services Beta program. Previously it was limited to customers with more than 5000 users. Now its open to everyone from the big to the small. The conference itself was sold out with about 3800 attendees, so many that some were turned away from a couple sessions because they were full.
After the morning keynote speeches, there were three breakout periods with about 30 sessions for attendees to choose from. I attended a “Deep Dive into Microsoft Online Services” with John Betz, “Buzz: Build End User Excitement” with Bob Suttan, and “SharePoint Workflows out of the Box” with Thomas Rizzo. All 3 sessions were pretty good, some of the stuff I knew, some I didn’t. The Buzz session pointed me to a site I was unaware of, their Gear Up site. Which steps you through the process of getting your users ready. The Workflow session was also quite helpful though when it comes to workflow design in Sharepoint you can use SharePoint Designer, Visual Studio or a plethora of 3rd party software. The conference has about 5 such companies. The most interesting one has to be K2.
There are six sessions today so stay tuned for more.