Erika Ehrli - Adventures with Office Products & Technologies
MSDN & TechNet: Releasing Office, SharePoint, Exchange & Lync Centers and content for developers and IT professionals.

Office & SharePoint at PDC (15-Sep-05)

Office & SharePoint at PDC (15-Sep-05)

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Do I have stuff to talk about today! The track lounge became quite popular today after more cool things about Office "12" and SharePoint "v3" were presented through the sessions.  The Office team is quite enthusiastic and I can honestly say that they have a great passion for customers and worked extra shifts to answer more questions. Here are some pictures of the Office & SharePoint Track Lounge while the day started:


 

I could write for hours about the sessions and discussions related to Office "12" and SharePoint here at PDC. However, I will keep it simple and write about some of the key enhancements that were presented in some sessions and discussions throughout the day:

  1. Rob Lefferts delivered a great session about developing enterprise document solutions using Office client and server technologies. He got into the details of how Windows SharePoint Services "v3" can be used to create workflows to control document management, a common scenario and need for different organizations. I talked to a person at the lounge who can't wait to get his hands into the beta because he needs to replicate this scenario. No matter what kind of industry you work for: government, legal, finance, industry, and so on; all organizations manage documents and NEED organized information systems that help to classify, archive, manage, control, search, and even approve/disapprove content through business oriented workflows.
  2. Andrew Whitechapel delivered another great session about Visual Studio Tools for Office "v3". He presented a great solution to avoid AddIn blacklisting: the AddInLoader, a component (shim) that makes Office aware of managed code AddIns and improves the security model using Code Access Security (CAS), provides runtime isolation (each AddIn loads inside its own AppDomain), and presents a dialog that provides friendly and clear information if an AddIn fails to load. All these enhancements simplify the life of developers that create AddIns for Office and that struggle to work with AddIns when and AddIn fails. Andrew made an awesome demo on how to generate (with few lines of code) custom task panes inside Office client applications. Developers were more that pleased to see how a common business scenario will be solved so easily thanks to the practical ideas of the VSTO team.
  3. Ned Friend delivered a great InfoPath session where he talked about developing InfoPath "12" Forms for the smart client and the browser. I could not attend to this one because I was doing Track Lounge duty, but I saw the InfoPath team at the lounge after the presentation and they all had huge smiles (a great sign) and a lot of attendees were desperate looking for the InfoPath experts. There are MANY business scenarios where you need to run InfoPath forms from a web-based application, so having this option solves a great need. 

Before I became a part of the Office User Assistance Team, I used to be an MCS Development Consultant, and I know that all these scenarios/challenges are common business needs for different organizations. I am glad to see that the Office and SharePoint team made a great effort to understand the current needs and pains that appear across organizations and is delivering a well-thought set of solutions through Office "12" and Windows SharePoint Services "v3" that help to solve common business problems easily and makes a simple kind of life for developers too! 

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