Gearing Up for the SP24 Conference

sp24confThe whole idea of SP24 is fairly ambitious: a 24-hour online conference, with half of the sessions running live, in real-time (video backups on hand) and others provided in video format (but with a staff on hand to orchestrate) following the sun from New Zealand to Hawaii the next day. The community turned out to vote for the sessions they wanted to see (with a sprinkling of invited speakers), resulting in 4 tracks, over 100 sessions, and all built from and run on a SharePoint 2013 site (hosted by You can find out more about the event and its organizers here.

While some of the organizers approached me about speaking, this time around I was more interested in helping run things in the background, signing up to participate as one of the track anchors. I’ll help manage the first 6 development track speakers, including (in order of appearance):

  • Jack Fruh, a SharePoint administrator who spearheads the SharePoint Saturday Chicago Suburbs (#SPSChicagoBurbs) event.
  • Thorsten Hans, developer and SharePoint MVP at Experts Inside in Germany.
  •  Jeff Adkin, former engineer with Microsoft IT, now at OBS Global in Canada.
  • Chris Givens, developer, SharePoint MVP and CEO of Architecting Connected Systems in San Diego.
  • Edwin Sarmiento, SQL Server MVP and Microsoft Certified Master with 15C in Ottawa, Canada.
  • Marat Bakirov, SharePoint MVP senior developer at Readify and co-organizer of the first two SharePoint conferences in Russia.

You can register for as many sessions as you’d like – and the entire event is free, with Q&A throughout. You can find the session planner here, and each session description includes an overview video (prepared by the speakers), speaker bio, anchor bio (thank you very much!), and links to social tools. Don’t worry if you can’t make the event – recordings will be made available. (But live is always better). Here are the abstracts and links to the sessions which I’ll be introducing:

SharePoint PowerShell Time Machine by Jack Fruh (@sharepointjack)
Have you ever wished you had more hours in the day? We might have the next best thing! Find out how you can go back in time using PowerShell with SharePoint! In this session you’ll learn the basics of PowerShell with SharePoint, and you’ll see a few scripts that can help you go back in time by enabling versioning, recording Site Groups and Users and more. Between our "time travel" scripts, and scripts that just save time, this is one session that pays for itself. This material is all usable as soon as you’ve completed the session!

Speed up App Devs by using ShareCoffee by Thorsten Hans (@ThorstenHans)
SharePoint Apps are very powerful and flexible. This great flexibility brings higher complexity. Dealing with this complexity for each App costs both – time and money; this is actually where ShareCoffee comes into play. The small but powerful open-source library speeds up your App-Development by providing an unified API across all available REST operations for SharePoint. No matter if you’re running Auto-, Provider- or SharePoint-Hosted, no matter if you’re using AngularJS, jQuery or Reqwest. ShareCoffee gives you one unified API to call them all. Creating a preconfigured CSOM ClientContext for Cross-Domain calls? No problem. Loading SharePoint App Chrome in five lines of code? Join this talk and learn how to use these and other features of ShareCoffee by yourself.

Automation in the land of SharePoint by Jeff Adkin (@JAdkin)
SharePoint 2013 produces the highest ROI by combining tools and collaboration. The area where SharePoint begins to falter is in the time needed to administer the product. In this session we will look over administrative tasks that are repetitive, time consuming and downright monotonous. We will grab our trusted SharePoint Management Shell and our task manager, and prepare to do battle against those evil tasks. In the end we will have our tasks automated saving ourselves some sanity and our company’s some money.

Deep dive into SharePoint REST Architecture by Chris Givens (@givenscj)
Learn how the SharePoint built the REST architecture using SOA patterns and how you can utilize special tools to help you build your REST paths in your Apps!

Database Configuration for Maximum SharePoint Performance by Edwin Sarmiento (@EdwinMSarmiento)
Most of the SharePoint installations I’ve come across with use the standard and default configurations on the database server. However, the health and performance of your SharePoint farms are directly related to how your SQL Server databases perform. If the SQL Server databases are not performing well, that will translate to poor SharePoint performance. So, before you start spending more money into buying faster servers or upgrading your CPU and/or memory, you might want to check out this session first. We will learn how to properly configure a SQL Server instance for maximum SharePoint performance. We will look at understanding the underlying storage, proper database files placement, tuning the tempdb database database and other configuration settings that will help your SharePoint databases achieve optimum performance.

BCS – uncovering the mysteries by Marat Bakirov (@mbakirov)
Business Connectivity Services is a very good idea that appeared rather simple – a transparent view of the other data that are not stored in the Sharepoint, though it looks like. First version called Business Data Catalog was rather simple and provided read-only access to data. This evolved in Sharepoint 2010 with read write support, and now has evolved even more in SharePoint 2013 with additional features. However, people often meet some complex problems. A few examples – a limit of the number of items you could return from a single operation in a list or in an external picker. One of these limits is tweakable to some extent, and another is hard-coded. After that people often stop considering the technology, despite there is a simple redesign of your model that would solve the problems. In this talk, we will try to make an overview of the components that are contained in the Business Connectivity Services, will try to describe key notions like filters, associations, and providers. The
n we will discuss the possible implementation of the data providers that you could implement yourself. After that, we will discuss the new functionality in SharePoint 2013, such as ODATA provider, an ability to have an app-scoped external type, events, and other enhancements. The author has a wide experience of working with BCS, including developing custom providers, connecting to Oracle and working with BCS on the client side.

In addition to this great lineup, don’t miss the keynote presentation by my good friend and former Microsoft peer, Bill Baer, Senior Technical Product Manager and SharePoint Certified Master on the SharePoint product team, who will be once again sharing his keynote from the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas last month, entitled SHAREPOINT ON-PREMISES, IN THE CLOUD, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN at 3pm Pacific on April 16th.

Don’t miss it!

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.