My Top 5 takeaways from the SharePoint Conference 2014 #SPC14

It already feels like the SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada was well over 2 weeks ago. I slept for 12 hours solid Friday and Saturday night after a long 7 day trip to the biggest event of the year.

Firstly I wanted to thank everyone for their congratulations about my news on joining Microsoft. It was really amazing to hear how happy everyone was that I’m joining. Personally for me I’m just excited to be part of such an awesome squad of people, you’ll be seeing more of me for sure ;-)

Me watching Bill Clinton in Keynote from front row
Me watching Bill Clinton in Keynote from front row

I’ve really liked the updates from other attendees that have wrapped up the event (Adam Toth, Owen Allen, Nik Patel). I’ve decided to do a “Top 5 takeaways” post based on what really got me all warm and fuzzy inside.

1. New Dev Opportunities on Office 365 Platform

The newly announced API that allows you to call Exchange from the existing SharePoint or Office Apps is a huge game changer in my opinion. This really does differentiate the platform and empower organizations to start having a seamless experience across all parts of Office 365. For more information check out this landing page. Somasegar also blogged some new REST APIs and tooling also.

The new Contextual Hooks that were demoed in the keynote really did show the power of putting business process in the right place.

Check out this YouTube video too…it’s really inspiring!

2. OneDrive for Business SKU

$2.50 a month for 25Gb of space per user is an EPIC strategy to compete against DropBox, Box, Google Drive and every other document sync provider out there for organizations. Office 365 has typically had an entry point of E-mail since it started, but by adding this SKU it really does add another way of enticing organizations onto the platform. Lync, SharePoint Online, Yammer, CRM and new products such as Oslo really do make the Office 365 platform unique in the industry.

The sweet thing as a Developer is that there is an all new Documents API that can be called that is targeted at OneDrive for Business. I really look forward to seeing what everyone does with this!

3. Oslo

Oslo and the Office Social Graph just BLEW MY MIND! For a lot of reasons actually, but the main one for me is that it just becomes the fabric that ties everything together. There are APIs you can call to extend Oslo too, so your own Apps can post things to it that the machine learning can surface up. This is one of the products I’m seriously looking forward to the dev story on! The Office 365 blog has a great write up on it and another one just posted today.

Nik Patel had a great post on his opinions of Oslo and I must admit as I saw it, I was wondering the same things about how on earth they are going to scale, operate and maintain it!

4. “That’s good feedback”

A lot of people were talking about the sea of change that has hit the team in the last year. This was one of the deciding factors for me on coming on board. When Sonya Koptyev joined the team (my new team) pretty soon afterwards she announced the UserVoice site. At the conference, Rob Lefferts and Brian Jones did a great job of showing how they’d listened and what features were added because of UserVoice. Check out the post here for more information.

The details on the new controls have also been blogged about too.

I’ve already had a few people give me feedback on the App Model which I’ll take to the team, but I encourage everyone to use your voice on UserVoice…we’re listening!

5. App Model Samples

For a long time, MVPs and the Community have been asking for more real world samples of code. With the announcement of a CodePlex project that has been contributed to by the majority of my SharePoint Developer heroes is really exciting! I’m looking forward to working with the team on adding additional samples to this once I’m onboard too! The Apps for Office blog has some more info on it also. The MSDN Office Developer team also posted a ton of updates for you to check out too!

Wrap Up

There was a LOT announced at this conference, for me, it is great to see such a strong development story across everything that was announced! It is an very exciting time for all the Microsoft Office Developers out there!

I encourage you to check out the Keynote which is up on Channel 9 to get a good overview of the new features.

A lot of you seem worried that I’m suddenly going to disappear off the social radar with my move…not a chance guys! I encourage you guys to keep me honest, on point and believe me…I will continue to be Jeremy ;-)

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