Steve Smith is Joined by Brett Lonsdale, Eric Shupps & Spencer Harbar for the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference Keynote

Steve Smith delivers his introductory remarks at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution ConferenceSharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference organizer Steve Smith took the stage in London this morning to greet attendees, promising “three days of absolute fulfillment and awesomeness.” Acknowledging the difficulties that the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano has presented for Conference speakers, attendees, exhibitors, and, not least, organizers, Steve, and the Combined Knowledge crew have heroically scrambled to reshuffle sessions accordingly. Very few sessions have been canceled (and when they have, they’ve been replaced by equally solid topics and presenters), and Steve noted that while the flight cancellations have made it impossible for most Americans to get to London, it also meant that there were a number of “top-level [SharePoint] guys” who were already in London, were “unable to leave,” and have now been “dragged in with a rope” to present either their own sessions or the sessions of others (from existing slides). Cheers, all!

Speaking of heroic efforts, in continuing to discuss the volcano-related travel disruptions, Steve saluted SharePoint MVP Tobias Zimmergren, who drove the 844 miles from Malmo, Sweden. Tobias tweeted in advance that he’d be embarking on a road trip, asking in his tweet, “who wants picking up [along the way]?” As a result, Tobias arrived in London with a carload of fellow Conference-goers yesterday, some 22 hours (!!) after having departed Sweden.

Following his introductory remarks, Steve began the keynote proper, bringing Brett Lonsdale, Eric Shupps (possibly the only American other than me to make it to the Conference), and Spencer Harbar to the stage as co-presenters to chart the SharePoint path from 2001 to 2010.  This brief history of SharePoint was presented in the form of a demo, so as to “walk the walk instead of just talk the talk.”

Steve kicked off the demo with a brief tour of what SharePoint looked like (and what could be done with it) in the 2001 release, largely focusing on the document management aspects that were SharePoint’s primary calling card at the time.  Shifting gears to demonstrate the 2003 release, Steve joked, “now we’ve got pictures and stuff!” before bringing in his first co-presenter, saying of the 2003 model, “I could extend this with code if I wanted to get my developers on it, right, Brett?”

Brett Lonsdale, Eric Shupps, and Spencer Harbar co-presenting at the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference keynoteAnswering, “absolutely,” Brett then discussed what the 2003 version of SharePoint meant for developers, focusing on the ability to create event handlers, and demonstrating how both site and list definition was accomplished.

Eric then took over to speak to the changes from the 2003 to the 2007 release and, most notably from a developer and admin perspective, the introduction of the feature and solutions framework which, among other things, “solved the problem of version to version upgrade compatibility.”

Spencer then took over to talk about scaling for the enterprise, and forms-based authentication in 2007, with the acknowledgment of, “a much-improved user interface for editing the content in the pages, and significant improvements in the robustness [of the overall UI].”

Having mapped SharePoint’s evolution in a nutshell, the Conference’s table had been set, and a world of SharePoint 2010 dishes were about to begin being served up in six different tracks over the next three days of “absolute fulfillment and awesomeness.”

As I mentioned in my first post from the Conference, my hope was to catch at least one session per day, and I’m happy to report that this afternoon I was able to catch Brett Lonsdale’s session on “Utilizing Roll Up Web Parts in SharePoint 2010.”  My post on that session will be is located over on our SharePoint 2010 blog as quickly as the booth schedule allows.

Read our complete coverage of the SharePoint 2010 Evolution Conference:

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