The SharePoint Conference 2014 was an astounding event. Over 10 000 like-minded SharePointers that met, learned a lot and shared new ideas, couldn’t be better. It was also the first time I was to the U.S. and Las Vegas. What a country, what a city! This place must burn people’s lives faster than anywhere else in the world :)
I want to share my five takeaways from this conference. I’ll keep it short:
Yammer will be the main social platform. The development of the Newsfeed will be discontinued. I remember the many questions and the ambiguity about what would happen with the newsfeed and Yammer in 2012. Now it has been clear. It will be Yammer and and it will be the cloud.
SharePoint Community is getting really mature. On the conference the the presence of the community was huge. The founders of the SharePoint-Community.net gave an interview on the SharePoint Conference TV (SPCtv). Microsoft introduced new open source projects on codeplex like for example officeams.codeplex.com and on github like for example SharePoint SDK for Android. Many speakers published their demos and the source code on github. All the organizers, speakers and attendees “worked like a network” on the SPC Yammer Network.
SharePoint is here to stay. More and more people work with SharePoint and Office 365. Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product. The presence of former president Bill Clinton is just another statement that it is a “serious” business.
Apps will evolve and be the main type of solutions. We have not seen the final version of the App Model. There are still many questions and misunderstandings. Although I see a strong will to use solutions using Cloud App Model (CAM) opposed to Full Trust Code (FTC). Pioneers like Vesa “Vesku” Juvonen test the App Model and make the best of it. There are still many shortcomings that force us developers to find workarounds and some hacks. On the other hand, since I talked to the App Model Developers from Microsoft, I feel a sincere will to continuously improve the App Model. Provider-Hosted Apps (mostly written in .NET) will dominate the apps. Applications like the SPHelpDesk will be isolated applications which will be able to run independently from SharePoint and take advantages of the SharePoint environment (like user information and more) when they are opened from a SharePoint site.
SharePoint will go on a diet. We have already seen the divorce of SharePoint from the Workflow Services, from the Office Web Apps, from the App Fabric Cache. It won’t stay there. SharePoint will be redefined as a well-defined part of Office 365. All surrounding products will be separate products.