Archive for category: Conference

Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Keynote

26 Sep 2016
September 26, 2016

Microsoft Ignite 2016 – Atlanta, Georgia  – Philips Arena, 09:00 AM PDC

Welcome to my almost live coverage of the Ignite 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Two years ago I attended the very last SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas and crafted 30 blog posts – and got good feedback afterwards. So well, this year I aim at 20 posts – lets see how it goes. Please excuse typos, I do fast releases!

The arena is packed – so is the atmosphere!


I landed in Atlanta yesterday, started with a party at our Nintex friends – I am a little tired.

My Expectations

I wanna see new and innovative solutions about productivity.
I want to play with the HoloLens
I wanna see further investments in Azure and everything cloud related.
SharePoint, SharePoint, SharePoint, Search and Delve!
Connecting with friends, peers, partners and people around my areas of interests.
Having fun!

Here we go!

Julia White on stage – last Ignite was 18 months ago and a lot has changed since then.

Julie White

Julia mentioned a lot of things that have changed like SQL Server on Linux, Microsoft’s investments in security, Open Source, Surface Book, Office on iPad  – well, basically everything.

I tried to post live, but the wifi was super slow (I expected that).

Scott Guthrie and Cloud

Scott Guthrie is next on stage.

Scott Guthrie

Scott show how digital transformation changes the workplace – next up he teases two showcases and the first one is BMW’s use of Azure do connect to it’s customers.

Scott Guthrie and the BMW showcase

Next up is Facebook for Office workloads, Rolls Royce with Cortana Intelligence for predictive maintenance. Adobe is using Azure, too – well Cloud Cloud Cloud!

Customer showcase: Adobe loves Azure

Next up is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

Adobe <3 Azure

Adobe loves Azure

Shantanu explains how they use Azure to connect to clients, transfer the workload to the cloud to drive innovation. He mentioned very high numbers of transactions that could not be realized without a scalable cloud solution. The wording they are using is “intelligent cloud“.

IT Transformation

Scott Guthrie is back with more showcases how to transform IT workloads. Motivation here is create time to innovate and create instead of maintaining servers. 34 data centers across the world, twice as much as AWS. Cloud is about trust, Microsoft Azure has more certifications than any other cloud provider with unique options in China and Germany.

Azure Certifications

Hybrid all the things, too.

Azure Monitor

Donovan Brown shows a new monitoring solution running on Azure that continuously provide metrics (CPU, RAM, Storage, etc.) of servers no matter where they run. That looks like a broader Application Insights – cool stuff.

Azure Monitor

Log Search with performant queries. Use case that is shown “locate SQL servers that might have resource problems”. Integration of Microsoft Operation Management Server (OMS). Updates: A nice dashboard where you can see what windows or linux updates needs to be installed.

Security Dashboard

Security dashboard is next – I like the direction of that, one place to monitor our workloads.

Customer showcase: Tyco

Digital Transformation changed a lot for Tyco, 50% of their engineers are now software engineers.

Work like a start-up

One of the things Tyco is working on is IoT – but it creates a lot of data. events per year. They are using SQL Server 2016 on Azure to analyze the data efficiently in the cloud, with only a little refactoring.

Windows Server 2016  / System Center 2016

Azure inspired, containers, virtualization density – the cloud had great impact on the newest windows server release. Both Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 are now generally available.

Windows Server 2016 now available

The announcement was a little brief.

App modernization + DevOps

Visual Studio family grown to 3 members – classic Visual Studio, multi platform Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio Team Services. Latest acquisition was Xamarin which is fully integrated into Visual Studio, with it its possible to create native apps on all mobile platforms. Xamarin test cloud: Pinterest uses it for testing their mobile apps on 2000 real devices. Slack too.

Donovan Brown is back on stage. Now he demos Team Services with

idea, code, source code management, build, test, release and deploy – the whole story in one tool.

Awesome stuff not only for Devs. Demo on a Mac with Visual Studio Code, Git – same workflow, just a different platform. Any platform, any language – friction free – is the goal here.

Personal Computing

Windows 10: 150% faster releases than with windows 7. 400 Millions monthly active users.
Office  365: 70 Millions monthly active subscribers
EMS: 1 Billion logins per month

Windows 10 Ink Workspace

Yusuf Mehdi on stage. With just one click on your pen he opened the new experience to quickly craft stick notes with cortana intelligence in the background. He demoed it with $MSFT and the ink turned blue and added context infos. Here the stock price of Microsoft.

Yusuf shows how to add math formulas in OneNote – and solve for X. Not only kids will love that feature.

Delve Analytics

Who reads your mails? How is your bosses response time. Manage your time because time is precious. How much time do you spend in meetings? Delve Analytics tracks that in the background, Yusuf calls its “Fitbit for your workplace”.

Surface Hub

The average meeting needs 11 minutes to start.

Stormboard application: Planning application with embedded documents and sketches runs perfectly on Surface Hub – right in a video call. Make meetings more productive.

Surface Hub


Video: Average detection for security breaches is 200 days.


1 billion devices updated. 200 billion emails analyzed for spam and threads. Largest virus scanner in the world. The numbers are awesome.

Security by the numbers

Announcement: Microsoft Defender Application Guard (MDAG)

Microsoft Defender Application Guard

This MDAG is a hardware based solution to run the Microsoft Edge browser in a sandbox. Demo shows minikatz to dump passwords on a windows 7 maschine with just one command line. With windows 10 the passwords are transparently protected.

Demo: A website that disables all security settings on your computer – without a single notification to the user. Second run was with MDAG – no change on the local computer.

MDAG in action

Short demo about O365 Security & Compliance Center & Microsoft Advanced Thread Analytics.

Digital Transformation #2

Scott Guthrie is back on stage, this time with Accenture CIO. They got more than 100.000 users on Windows 10, SharePoint and Skype on O365.

We cannot give the users yesterdays services!

Scott Guthrie and Accenture CEO


Cloud Cloud Cloud, flexibility, security and productivity at Ignite 2016 – but nothing surprisingly big and fancy here. Let’s see what insights the following vision keynotes gives us.  Stay tuned!

Julie White's closing


2015 Recap: The king is dead – long live the king!

02 Jan 2016
January 2, 2016

3 times and you have a pattern, right? This is not the first time I write a recap for the past year, (2014, 2013) – and it is always good fun to reflect the last one and plan the next one.

The Past aka 2015

2015 was a super busy year for me – both work, community and private live was packed and very intense.


I attended so many events this year, without my outlook calendar a reflection would not be possible anymore. Lets start with my favorites:

SharePoint Saturday Belgium / Antwerp

That was my first SharePoint Saturday ever – and it was epic. The spirit of the Belgium SharePoint Community is awesome, speaking there was really rewarding for me! Maybe I cant attend in 2016, but if I have the chance I probably will.

ShareCamp 2015

ShareCamp is totally unique, I totally love the open style of the conference – everybody can speak there, beginner, experts, customers, everybody. I totally like the mix, especially when there are topics that are outside of the “SharePoint box”, I learned a lot there and for me that is perfect infotainment.

ShareCamp Sessionvote


Search Stammtisch Munich

We are only few, but dynamite comes in small packages 🙂 Every first Monday we meet in my favorite cocktail bar. It is the best place to talk about SharePoint Search and everything around it, from 3rd party to hybrid, to Azure Search – we covered everything. I hope to see more people this year, but well, Search is a niche and won’t attract hundreds.

taken from

SharePoint User Group Munich

I think I attended very SharePoint User Group Meeting in Munich (that should be 5-6) and organized one. Always good fun!


I had the chance to speak at 2 commercial conferences about SharePoint Search this year: SharePoint Days and ShareConf – for 2016 I will try to speak more, maybe I try a different conference, too. Let’s see how it goes.

My blog

From a content producing side, 2015 wasn’t my best. I only crafted 16 posts, but well some of them took really a lot of time. Cloud Hybrid was one of them – and as a premiere I blogged about my new hobby: Paragliding. As one of my new year resolution is “fly more!” the chances are high that I will blog about it again.

Facts and figures

I like figures and statistics and all that – 89.000 page views is not that bad for my tiny blog, isn’t it? I have nothing to compare too, but I am quite happy with it. +12% from last year!

Blog Stats 2015

blog stats for 2015


Countries 2015

180 countries – I say “hello” from Germany!

My most visited blog posts are apparently from 2014 – luckily two are about search and that makes me happy:

  1. Installing SharePoint 2013 SP1 with SQL Server 2014 on Windows Server 2012 R2 – Picture Love Story (~14.000 views)
  2. #SharePoint 2013 – Create a Search Service Application and Search Topology with Powershell (~10.200 views)

  3. Install Office Web Apps 2013 for SharePoint 2013 – with PDF Preview (9.700 views)


On the contributions part, I tried to commit some time to my favorite tool – SharePoint Search Query Tool – and it is totally worth it. I use that tool so often, so why not improve it to make it even better?

Additionally I started my own tool – Azure Search Tool – I have to admit that I haven’t put any time into it recently, but it’s still fully functionally. I will block some time soon to give some more love because its a cool and useful util.

The Future aka 2016

2015 was a shift year – I saw a lot of clients migrating to SharePoint Online and I think even more will do in 2016. With that move I learned a lot about migration to the cloud, SharePoint Apps and Azure – and I think that will be my business focus for 2016. Maybe we launch a SharePoint App as a product – that would be fun!
Lots of work a head, many challenges to be solved – there is a good year ahead of us! And we will see SharePoint 2016 RTM very soon. I am not as excited as I was for SharePoint 2013 – but the platform matures with every release and I hope to see many many Search challenges and projects. Even more as with 2013 because SharePoint Search is business critical, right?

Main goals for next year: SharePoint Search, Apps, Azure, Community, SharePoint Search, Hybrid, Azure Search, Paragliding. I am a simple man 🙂

just hanging there

Happy new year!

With that said, I wish you all the best for 2016, health, prosperity, lots of excitement and fun!

ShareCamp 2015 – Recap

01 Jun 2015
June 1, 2015

Germany’s latest and greatest SharePoint community event was last weekend (30.05.2015 & 31.05.2015 at Microsoft in Munich) – and it was awesome, once again!

ShareCamp Session Vote

ShareCamp Session Vote


200 attendees!

ShareCamp & Community

What is so special about ShareCamp? Easy question, it is entirely community-driven. On both days, Saturday and Sunday, there is a session vote before the “conference” starts. So the attendees prepare presentations and do a short intro during the vote – if more than 3 people raise their hand there will be a session and there were lots of em. 6 tracks in parallel if I recall it right. And the concept works for many years now, more than 200 attendees had a good time this year! Not to mention the SharePint party. The good thing here? No only experienced and known speakers get the chance to present their ideas. And not only the mainstream sessions get voted – there were a lot of close to or far way from SharePoint sessions. And I met a lot of old SharePoint friends that are spread over the country – good to see ya! 🙂

Alegri Team @ ShareCamp

Alegri Team @ ShareCamp

Sessions & Discussions

So what sessions did we have this year? A lot of them. Here is a list of the sessions I attended or prepared.

1. Azure Search vs SharePoint Search (2x)

On Saturday I held a presentation about Azure Search. The title was on purpose a little bit baiting, you can’t compare the incomparable here and that’s good. But I started with a brief overview what SharePoint Search is, how it evolved and talked about its strength and weaknesses. Then I switched over to the brand new Azure Search I evaluated for a client project. And showed a demo app that is (Sourcecode) available here. Basically I showed the entire Azure Search workflow from service & index creation, pushing documents via SharePoint to Azure Search – and the options you have to get items back out of it. I had good fun. So much, that I presented the session again on Sunday 🙂 Here I showed a second demo (available here) that indexed a local folder and pushed the filenames and paths to Azure Search. Does that sound familiar? I tried to cover some of the typical SharePoint content sources: SharePoint Content and Fileshares. It’s not even close what I showed but similar.

I received some good questions during the talk (out of my head in my words):

  • Where is the content? The content will be stored in Azure Search / Cloud.
  • Can you index Office Documents? Yes, but you need to extract the content of the files.
  • How about item security? If you want them, you have to build them. Azure Search has a different focus than SharePoint Search – keep that in mind. Different product, not a replacement!
  • Can you push items to the cloud? YES!!!
  • How you get the items back? You get them via the REST interface and they are transported as JSON.
  • Can you combine SharePoint Search and Azure Search? Not out of the box – you would need to create an opensearch provider that translates the JSON to opensearch compliant XML.
  • Is it ready yet? Yes, definitely. But I have the feeling Azure Search will improve rapidly in the near future.

My slides (German most of it) are available here – but as usual they are not as good without the demo.

Expect some blog posts here, I really like Azure Search!

2. Governance & JavaScript Solutions – how does that fit together?

My second session on Saturday with my colleagues Marco Schmucker and Matthias Edom – we talked about the blessings and curses of JavaScript solutions – what you can do and what it will cost you/your clients. The entire session was based on the scenario that you upgrade you SharePoint to a next version and should estimate how much effort you have to put into it – and what could essentially break. And we discussed with the audience, we gather a lot of different aspects and experiences. Good fun!

Scripting and Governance session

Scripting and Governance session






Slides will be available once I get the link.

3. Provider-hosted App Framework

I am slightly interested into SharePoint Provider-hosted apps and all areas around it. Maybe because I recently started to learn MVC. Maybe because I like the idea of having all the great stuff outside of SharePoint. But in this session Christian Groß (Solutions2Share) showed what framework they use to create their apps. I was really surprised to hear what they experienced over the last year and what it means to build a product – and how important logging, supporting and ticketing is. Good stuff, I hope they will release it as open source sometime in the future…

4. SharePoint Toolbox

The ShareCamp evergreen, I think it’s the 4th time that we had this session at a ShareCamp. I am into tools and this session is about tools – so what could go wrong?! My friend Henning Eiben moderated a really entertaining session with lots of idea sharing and tool discussions. I think we gathered and introduced about 50 tools – commercial or Open Source that every SharePoint developer or IT-PRO should know. ULSViewer, SPDockit, CamlDesigner, SPServices, CKSDev, SearchQueryTool, LogParser, AutoSPInstaller family, SharePoint Patch Service – just to name a bunch!

Dont be a fool – use a tool!

Henning collected a lot of the tools in a delicious feed – go take a look!

6. Provider Hosted Apps Hackathon

I prepared nothing for it – and expected a lot of this session – fun most importantly. We only had one hour to “create” something that looks like an SharePoint app. So what did we do? We decided do a simple app that shows two buttons and asks the key question: “How was your day today?” So we had two buttons with good and bad. The strech goal here was to ship a minimal viable product that simply stored the value in a SharePoint list – in one hour impossible? Damn right. But during the hour we talked and discuss a lot about the problems we face with Provider-hosted apps, whats good and bad – and what challenges & opportunities we see. We almost got it working tho, very close to storing the results – soooo close! 🙂

6. Azure Workshop

I only attended the very last 15 minutes. Too bad, it must have been awesome. At least I heard that many of the attendees said it was their highlight. Okay Patrick Heyde (Microsoft) had some advantages: Firstly he had 3 hours to show how to provision a SharePoint environment on Azure and the experiences he collected over the past 4 years in his role – and he “bribed” the attendees with 75€ Azure vouchers to play with it. Too bad there were so many sessions in parallel – there will hopefully be a next time!

In general I think there should be more sessions that have more time – I would love to talk about SharePoint/Azure Search for a day… or two 🙂


The weekend was packed and I learned a lot – I totally enjoyed it. I am really looking forward for next year!

Thanks again to all sponsors, organizers and speakers – Germany’s SharePoint community would not work without you!

ShareCamp raffle - lots of prices and gadgets!

ShareCamp raffle – lots of prices and gadgets!

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