Monday, December 31, 2007

SCDNUG 2007 Retrospective

2007 was a great year for the Space Coast Dot Net User Group (SCDNUG.org). Ken Tucker the leader of the group and Microsoft MVP was able to invite all kinds of speakers starting from Scott Guthrie to local speakers, such as Christian Loris, Walt Williams and myself. Ken worked to improve the image and the message of the group and at the end of the year we even started our own book review program. Looking at the events this year I am amazed at the learning and network opportunities the group provided. And all of this at NO COST, FREE! Have a look at the speakers and judge for your self:

January - Ken Tucker - Community Launch Part 1

February - Mikhail Dikov - Community Launch Part 2

March - Scott Guthrie

April - Walter Williams - OOP

May - David McNamee - Windows Workflow

June - VB Team - What’s new in VB9

July - Brian Noyes - Connecting Apps with WCF

Aug - Christian Loris - Validation Application blocks

September - Jeff N Joe Road Show - Silverlight

September - Cory Foy - Ruby for C# developers

October - Russ Fustino - Tool Shed Tour

October - Mike Culver - Amazon Web services for the .net developers

Novemver - Ken Tucker - Intro to Linq

December - Joe Heally - Visual Studio 2008 Install Fest

We still need to be more proactive in popularizing the purpose and the value of our group to IT Pros and developers. I hope in 2008 we'll be able to follow the steps of other groups and do better job in distributing flyers in key locations in the Melbourne/Palm Bay/Cocoa area, and utilizing community resources, such as public radio stations and community colleges. We already started by creating a map on live.com and improving our home page, but there is still a lot of potential and I hope in 2008 we will be able to bring the group to a new level.

Interested to learn more about SCDNUG check out our web site http://scdnug.org/.

Dovizhdane!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Comprehensive guide for MS Office and SharePoint integration developers

The book Pro SharePoint solution Development, Combining .Net, SharePoint, and Office 2007 written by Microsoft insiders Ed Hill, Susie Adams is an indebt review of how to utilize SharePoint in the Microsoft Office ecosystem. This book from the Pro series of Apress delivers a variety of advanced examples, richly illustrated with sample code, downloadable from Apress, and step by step instructions and illustrations in the book itself.

The organization of the book is very convenient and the first four chapters allow the reader to brush up his knowledge about MS Offices and SharePoint with abundant external links. Each consecutive chapter after that represents a standalone example based on a simplified real-world scenario. The examples are focused on the integration with a particular MS Office product. For example Chapter 5 demonstrates a scenario where MS Word integrates with SharePoint and Chapter 9 shows how to construct PowerPoint slides using content stored in a SharePoint list. Every example starts with an introduction and walkthrough, which allows the reader to start reading the chapter directly without losing context.

The complexity of integrating products of the MS Office family in enterprise solutions requires quite a bit of knowledge and experience thus I do not recommend this book to beginners in SharePoint and MS Office programming. While this book has a plenty of introductory and historical information about MS Office development and SharePoint customization, it does not emphasize on important steps of professional SharePoint development such as creation of SharePoint solutions, list and site template customization and provisioning. However if you are already familiar with SharePoint (WSS 3, MOSS 2007) concepts such as solutions, features, workflow etc., this is the book to put all these features in the context of enterprise applications. Since I started working on an integration project with MS Office and SharePoint at the time I was reading the book, I took away plenty of ideas to use in my project.

The software and hardware requirements for the examples in this book are quite high, so if you want to be able to implement them on your own you need to allocate some time to prepare a system with MOSS 2007, MS Office 2007 Enterprise, VS 2008 Professional or Team Edition and for the first example MS Office 2003. In addition there are several manual actions, which require a bit more time. Something, which may not be obvious from the title, is the heavy use of the new MS Office document standard - Office Open XML (commonly referred to as OOXML or OpenXML). This was my first exposure to this format specification and I found its use throughout the book very useful.

Overall this book is of great value to intermediate and advanced developers, working on enterprise applications based on the MS Office system or integration projects with third party vendors. The examples can be read independently and each one of them not only demonstrates the implementation of a particular scenario, but also provokes ideas for other projects.

Dovizhdane!

1590598083, 978-1590598085