For my final session at TechEd, I took in Ted Pattison's presentation on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 as a Social Computing Platform, which was "centered around the User Profile Service" and was directed primarily at the developers in the audience. As an aside, this year's TechEd struck me as leaning more heavily toward developer-centric content than the IT Pro audience which, as a non-developer, kept me on my toes, let me tell you.
Ted began by noting that whatever you think of "social," it's here now and the entire industry is moving toward it, as evidenced by SharePoint 2010's wholehearted embrace of social features and functionality. Ted's demos were unfortunately hamstrung by VM issues through much of his session, but he soldiered on, talking through his intended demos when necessary. Ted began by showing a Contact Details Web Part, using that as his jumping off point to show the MySite org chart which, in turn, led to a discussion of the "people data" available out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2010. That out-of-the-box people data includes: user profiles; rich object model; User Profile Web Service; social data (including activity feed, Social Data Service, and more), and the aforementioned org browser.
Ted then moved on to a discussion of the User Profile Synchronization Service (UPS) architecture, explaining that it allows "flexibility of the scale-out story," as opposed to the old Shared Service Providers (SSP). In getting started with setting up the UPS, Ted recommended the following resources: Configure profile synchronization (SharePoint Server 2010), and Spencer Harbar's Rational Guide to implementing SharePoint Server 2010 User Profile Synchronization.
Jumping back into his demo, Ted showed that under the Application Management heading in Central Admin you're provided with several options for the management of service applications. Regarding the configuration of synchronization connections, Ted said "We can be pretty selective about pulling down what we want" (a good thing since, in larger organizations, selecting "all" likely wouldn't make a great deal of sense). Ted said of the Edit Connection Filters option that "You might find some good things to further refine what you're pulling in." Ted said that synchronization "leverages the Forefront Identity Manager 2010" before moving on to a demonstration of the Synchronization Service Manager tool. Of that tool, Ted said that "You have a lot more control with this particular tool" and that it "gives you much better diagnostics."
Of the developer tools in Visual Studio 2010, Ted said "The developer tools make it so anyone can enjoy SharePoint development," much to the amusement of the developer-filled audience. Ted then provided a brief tour of some of the developer tools, including the SharePoint Customization Wizard, before adding a Visual Web Part to his demo SharePoint site via Visual Studio. Of these tools, Ted said they represented "The holy grail for SharePoint developers; we can actually do visual programming for a change." Ted then showed that in clicking Package, a WSP file is built for you and that, in clicking Deploy, by default the feature is automatically activated within the target SharePoint site.
Ted then demonstrated programming against UP, stepping through some pre-written code, and pointing out the UserProfileManager within the code, showing how he'd coded a Web Part connection so that the UP data could be passed from one Web Part to another. Ted then explained that change logs are now available and you "can now create a UserProfileChangeToken and UserProfileChangeQuery … which means that you can now get and see changes made in UP.
Ted concluded by showing (and recommending) code authored by Matthew McDermott which makes it possible for you to send data back-and-forth between external social sites such as LinkedIn and SharePoint, and that sample is available here: Code Sample: SharePoint-to-LinkedIn Connector.
Bamboo Nation's complete coverage of TechEd 2010:
- What's New in Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2010
- Overview of Social Computing in SharePoint 2010
- SharePoint & Azure – 'How Do They Play Together?'
- ECM for the Masses – How Microsoft SharePoint Server Delivers on the Promise' in SharePoint 2010
- Fine Tuning Your SharePoint Server 2010 Environment
- SharePoint Security – Permissions, Identities & Objects…Including a 'Gotcha' that Breaks Security Trimming
- Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM & SharePoint 2010
- Outlook Social Connector – Deployment & Development Overview
- SharePoint 2010 as a Social Computing Platform
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