‘Planning for Office 2010 & SharePoint Server 2010’ at Microsoft’s Launch 2010 Event in Washington, D.C.

Microsoft Launch 2010 logo

Following his "Day in the Life with Office 2010" session at yesterdays Launch 2010 event, Yung Chou introduced Dan Stolts to present a session on planning for an Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 deployment.  Dan began with a nod to the theme of the unified productivity platform, saying that the "client products [i.e., Office] and the server products [i.e., SharePoint 2010] working together" is the hallmark of the 2010 release.  Expanding on Microsoft's primary messaging surrounding the 2010 releases, Dan also referenced the fact that, "In 2010, you're going to have the same experience wherever you happen to be," which is to say on the PC, the browser, the phone, or even offline via SharePoint Workspace.

Dan then discussed the planning tools that are available for your use in the three key assessment areas related to planning for your Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 deployment:  system readiness, application compatibility, and file readiness.  Dan suggested that you start, however, not with technical readiness, but with an assessment of your organization's readiness for 2010.  Regarding system readiness (a.k.a. hardware compatibility), Dan recommends the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) toolkit; regarding application compatibility (including third-party products), the recommendations are Office Environment Assessment Tool (OEAT), and the Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI) tool; and for file readiness, your tool of choice should be the Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM).  All of these tools are available from Microsoft as free downloads at the links included above.

Dan explained that the MAP toolkit provides you with a hardware inventory, compatibility analysis, and a readiness report which takes the form of an Excel data report including recommendations.  Dan mentioned that the current version of MAP (4.0) was created for Office 2007, but that it can be leveraged today for 2010.  Alternatively, Dan shared that the 5.0 release of MAP, developed exclusively for 2010, is currently available in beta.  Dan described both releases as a "fairly non-obtrusive installation."  Dan then stepped through the Inventory & Assessment Wizard, demonstrating that once the scan is complete, you can export the results to Excel.  Dan also showed that one of the features which is new in the 5.0 release is an Executive Summary output, complete with the kind of charts and graphical representations of your readiness to upgrade that execs love.

Dan also demonstrated how to use Visio 2010 to draw a network diagram, linking to external data, displaying the data graphically, and allowing you to share the results and collaborate in SharePoint with others.  Dan pointed out that Visio is not required to view the results and collaborate, and said that he'll have a detailed video demonstration of the process on his blog within a couple weeks.

Dan then demonstrated the OMPM, showing the network scan process and mentioning that no changes are made to your data until/unless you decide which, if any, of the suggested changes to implement.

Switching gears to address SharePoint 2010, Dan pointed out that, by default, the Ribbon is turned off at the farm level, but made a point of noting that once it's been turned on, it can't be turned off again.  Dan spent some time discussing the minimum software requirements (detailed in the slides from the presentation available here) before moving on to discuss the process of upgrading from a previous version of SharePoint.  Dan then demonstrated (and recommended) the Pre-Upgrade Checker for SharePoint Server 2010 which is also available from Microsoft as a free download.

Dan concluded by saying that within a couple of months (he's doing it in his free time in the evenings) he'll have complete documentation (including video) on his blog of every click required to upgrade to SharePoint Server 2010 in a real-world scenario, including the upgrade from 32-bit to the 64-bit requirement to run SharePoint Server 2010.  So if you're a SharePoint Admin, and are expecting to upgrade to 2010 by year's end, I'd suggest that you definitely bookmark Dan's blog and keep an eye out for that series.

Read the entire Microsoft Launch 2010 Event in Washington, D.C. series:

For further reading, the complete slide decks from all of the Launch 2010 sessions are available as free downloads under the "Presentation Materials" heading on the Office 2010 and SharePoint Launch resources page at TechNet.

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