My POV on MS SharePoint Conference 09

I am trying to reorganize my mind after this full-immersion of brand new contents that have been presented during MS SharePoint Conference 2009 in Las Vegas.

It’s not so easy during these tough economic days to be able to participate to conferences like this. Fortunately I was able to make it.

The overall comment about SharePoint 2010 is that it really rocks!! I think MS included most of the highly demanded missing feature to bring the SharePoint platform to the next level. I currently like most of the architecture and new feature implemented. Though I would need some time (quite a lot to be honest), to evaluate them fully since the platform is even more huge.

I also noticed some things that I already do not like, but let stay positive in this post (they might even decide to complete them on next builds 🙂

I tried to put down some of the things I appreciated most, but it started to be a very log list and a long post. This then won’t be a fully comprehensive post of all of the new enhancements, but only some of the stuff I liked most.

For a full list of feature, I forward to some official sources [1]
Below you can see the map of all the main features:

MS SharePoint 2010 Features


SharePoint Foundation

The overall architecture of the product has been enhanced. The most evident feature which to me bring benefits are:

  • Revised and more Fluent UI
    all the UI has been reviewed, making the platform far more intuitive than the previous one. Now the interface make use of Ribbons (like for Office), overlay windows and inline editing which provide a very consistent user experience
  • Wiki edit mode EveryWhere
    Wiki is implemented in every web page, making it possible to edit on the fly a page, like it to others using the [[ ]] sintax, which now implement an autolookup mechanism in order to reference pages and objects.
    This also allow selection and reference of all the content present on a site, allowing for instance to include on a webspace a chart image coming from another report page
  • MetaData EveryWhere
    Now it’s possible to define several type of MetaData, which can be use to implement taxonomies or folksonomies, navigations, and further enhance social feature around interests and experts.
    MetaData can be defined at Enterprise level using the EMM (Enterprise Managed Metadata), in order to provide a common way to structure information architecture; this can be defined to provide specific tag-set on specific sitecollection, webapplication or also to be shared among different Farms.
    The use of personal tags is available.
    Automatic Tagging is also possible through the definition of specific rules on libraries
  • Cross Browser support, Multilingual interface and WCAG 2.0 support
    this should further facilitate development of SharePoint application, which in some circumstances weren’t just worth it due to the complexity of implementation  of those function. Now they are build in on the platform.
  • Office WebApp
    Be able to open a word document online, without the need of downloading it first; or also edit it online simultaneously with other colleagues, it’s just tremendous.
    Excel Services also looks promising, and better implemented this time 🙂 Most importantly, their information can be easily be used as source for web content or to be integrated within other processes
  • Document Management
    Also this part of the product has been enhanced; most important feature include the new type of item, the Document Set: this allow to create a group of document as a single consolidated atomic work product. This allow to mange the Document Set with all of the other feature (tag, comments, move, approve, etc). Enhanced Record Management and Document routing feature are also provided


Social Feature

  • Tagging, Commenting, SocialBookmark and Rating
    This was one of the most awaited feature (and one of the most implemented custom on Moss 2007) It fully leverage on the Metadata Infrastructure and provide tagging and commenting of both SharePoint content and also external web site comments.
    It can be used to track content both for personal future retrieval and for sharing the content with colleagues which can both track a single colleague (and see what he is tracking) and follow directly a tag (hence seeing everything  is tagged using that specific term).
    This widen so much the possible implementation of solution leveraging these features.
  • Colleague Activity Feed
    It is now possible to track activities which our colleagues do within the platform; this includes tagging and commenting of content. More importantly, this can be customized to implement custom activity tracking (i.e.: within a workflow, when a user approve a procedure this can be published to his colleagues or a specific audience). 
  • People and Expertise Social Search
    The overall Search implementation looks very good. New filter by focus, expertise and other user property are automatically provided and can be customized in order to enhance experts look-up.
    Social feedback is now included in the result relevance computation, meaning the a document with tags or rating gets better visibility on search results
    Phonetic search has been included, so that the platform try to search terms misspelled (this is most important on English speaking implementations)
  • User Profile and Organization Profile
    The overall user profile has been enhanced; but most importantly a Organization Profile is now been implemented, making it possible to define profile information for Corporate Company or Company Departments (depending on the type of implementation).
    The overall navigation of the organization hierarchy has been enhanced as you can see on the screenshot below



On the development side, in my opinion the two most important point are:

  • Customization/Development model
    The overall customization model can be re-organized in my opinion. Now the use of SharePoint Designer as customization tool can be fully embraced, since this now implement a way by which export any customization to a wsp package, which can be further enhance later-on using VisualStudio 2010.
    This can now allow quick implementation of customizations and changes on the platform, which can then be managed using an enterprise approach, deploying them properly, storing them on a Software Lifecycle platform (as TFS)
  • Platform Extensibility
    Now the SharePoint platform seems to be a real application development platform which has been designed to be extended in the future and from customization (in the past, some classes or component were not open to customization, and that made it more difficult or simply time expensive also for some easy changes).
    Now the platform implement a comprehensive set of API, which are exposed through webservices and rest api

Also this topic has been enhanced

  • Form/Process Services
    I quickly sow some examples of how new SharePoint Designer, along with Visio and Infopath can now be used together to implement human based workflows.
    I will need to better deep down on this point, but as far as I sow, this push ahead the need of adopting a platform like K2 or Nintext (which of course implement fully the BPM approach).


There’s a lot to be better analyzed and understood (including some component which I didn’t had the opportunity to follow like: Composite application, Business Connectivity Services and Mobility support).

I hope to be able to share my findings in the future.



[1] Source of further information:

Last E-MBA day @MIP

image Wow, that was tougher then expected.

Today is my last day @MIP for an Executive MBA with specialization on ICT which I started in September 2007.

A two year long journey, where I’ve learned so many new subjects, each one of them not part of a common training path for who like me started with technical background in information technology.

All the subjects, lectures and testimonials resulted very interesting and relevant for my daily work, having the opportunity to formalize many concept you are surrounded with during your work; this also allow to see things with a different/wider prospective.

I must admit that, having changed job right after deciding to start the emba, was not one of the best choice: a consulting company really need 110% of your time and effort (and I’m using a conservative figure); but in my case both changes were very needed.

Anywhow, this is not the end yet: still a couple of exam to finish plus the final project work. Good thing is that I will start to accumulate again holidays (while during the last years I was using them for the master) and be able to give some time back to my family.


Finally, I will definitely recommend a path like mine to everybody who’s looking to improve management skills, which are definitely needed if we want to have a competitive advantage to perform well on our job, and why not: to improve our career as well.


SharePoint Designer Activation

The fact is that most of the SharePoint Developers hates it.

It’s at least 3 month from when I rebuild my machine that my sharepoint designer keeps asking to activate it.

Now that I am going to do so:



I’m not going to do that until 3 more month 🙂

Word Of Wisdom: “Cleaning”

Starting today this new topic about “Word of Wisdom” (“perle di saggezza” in italian) that are waved in the office at work.
Starting the new category as well 🙂


In regards of people not following the agreed procedures, our manager:

Let me go down and “wash” them: if you clean them today, you don’t do it tomorrow.

Everybody crazy for socialmedia

I am currently here sitting while I download locally a Youtube video about Creating an Innovation Mindset; it needs to published on the customer intranet to be shared with all people on the company.

Why’s that? I am currently working on a project for the launch of a company internal socialnetwork, but the culture and the procedure of many company still do not allow the use of some socialmedia platform available, maybe “scared” of the usage of those: so the case is that youtube is closed for employees.

They like to leverage the technology, but still are closed on the (maybe old) ideas. Thing are changing… executives are trying to kick down some walls, but sometime we are still far from it.

There is a lot of chats about these concepts: Enterprise 2.0, Company SocialNetworks, Expert Networks, Idea Generation and so one. Seems like this area has still a lot of executive attention, based on a McKenseyQuaterly global survey recently published about  how company are benefiting from Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 start from a radical mindset change of the company about the “employee”. It is not matter of getting the right technology or platform. As soon as this is taken into account, the sooner socialmedia/socialnetwork projects are likely to be successful.
People are not only Employee, they are Human, which work at the office, and live outside. Many (not most of course) innovate or share knowledge in between, so an integration between public platforms and company internal ones should be deeply analyzed.


From the technology prospective, the next future will be pretty hot. As far as I am concerned the next release of Sharepoint 2010 will foster the extension and availability of those tools, and that’s good for many company like mine which are leveraging this platform.

Personally i am also interested in seeing what other platform are doing, mostly because Sharepoint is way more than a socialmedia platform, so it probably won’t be the best of breed for this specific topic. It will for sure provide a lot more than company will be able to really leverage internally, but many other platform could enhance this.
I am currently evaluating Newsgator SocialSites 3.0 and Tellingent Enterprise, but also interested in other Competitors will play their game like Oracle or IBM.

We will see how it goes 🙂


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Ready, steady… go!

Ok, I think the site is now pretty ok and set-up.
I finally managed to setup the hosting on and set-up graffiticms for this site.

I also found some nice plug-in which I am currently testing, mostly about site theme (using one of Dana’s themes porting) and blog components.
I’ve also set-up latitude, of which I am currently little scared: do I want everybody to know where I am? I just think I’ll try it for some time.
I am extremely happy I was able to import my old post from my previously blog, which was kindly deleted by the hoster 🙂
Everything was done using a backup of the CommunityServer database, and an internal migration procedure of GraffitiCMS. Everything run smoothly, but the documentation (as it’s already known) is very pour.

Now there are alot of old stuff, and some new that my come in the next period.

Some nice reference about GraffitiCMS I found so far are:

plus others…

More stuff will come in the future, whenever (if ever) I’ll find some time :=
We’ll see how it goes.

About me

I’m a technology addicted, father of two wonderful sons and husband of a wonderful “Francy”.
Since 1997 I have been involved on collaborative solutions. I started first of all using real-time collaboration and eLearning tools (HP Labs), and later focusing on Internet Portals and collaborative tools to support business processes (WebResults). I started following Microsoft technology for document management and digital collaboration since MS Site Server 3.0, throughout all SharePoint versions, analyzing all needs and features to realize tools for companies’ intranet.
Since 2008 I’m working for Avanade Italy as Technical Lead on the area of Enterprise Collaboration and Social Computing. Current interests are mostly regarding solutions which leverage on people as “tools” to improve processes to provide value to the enterprise.
I am currently completing an Executive MBA at MIP Politecnico di Milano.
For further information about me