Nick Hadlee's Blog on SharePoint and Other Occasional Rants…

New Zealand SharePoint Conference – Day One Tit-Bits
June 9, 2010, 6:07 pm
Filed under: 2010, NZSPC

The first day of the New Zealand SharePoint Conference is almost over and it has been a really good day with some great sessions and a lot of attendees. I managed to attend a couple of sessions in between being a “booth-babe” and there were some great extra things I didn’t already know that came out. Yes I hear you saying there is a lot of stuff you don’t know…[quiet in the cheap seats!]

SharePoint 2010 has sort of been out for quite some time because the Beta has been available since late last year so this isn’t yet-another-post on SharePoint 2010 and why it will change your life. It’s just a “things I reckon I need to remember” post.


I was lucky enough to see Todd Bleeker do his talk on REST and LINQ and for me a lot of this stuff was pretty interesting and a good refresh on things I had read but maybe not seen. So how easy is REST and LINQ to use? Very easy if your Todd! Anyway the highlights from his session were:

List Improvements

The improvements to SharePoint 2010 lists have been highly publicised for some time but its always good to refresh (I know I said I wouldn’t do this but lists are the lifeblood of SharePoint solutions so I’m making one exception):

  1. Relationships – if your using list lookups (the heart of many SharePoint based solutions) you can now enforce the list relationships between lists(lookups). This is either via restricted delete or cascading delete
  2. Joins – you can join lists when using LINQ to query them
  3. Data integrity – because of 1. you now can have proper data integrity in SharePoint lists that have these relationships defined.

Random Internet Explorer Tip

  1. Internet Explorer – Feed Settings to Help XML “Debugging”

    This was a very handy little tip for when you want to check some RSS or REST output via the browser (Of course the browser would be Internet Explorer right?). By default IE will make the data look nice (via a built in XSL stylesheet I assume) but you want the raw XML. How do you get it apart from a view source? You need to turn off the default behaviour in IE via the screenshot below:




  1. REST is AJAX’ian and nice and snappy for anything where you want no page post-backs. However if you want to do any aggregation (sums, counts etc) via REST then this automatically means it will be done on the client and that’s not really very efficient. What’s the better way? Do those type of “heavy” operations using LINQ so its all done on the server and then the result can be sent to the client. Ahhh…much better!
  2. A point came up from the audience (it was Adam Cogan I think) questioning whether using LINQ with SharePoint can be dangerous if the very likely situation arises that the underlying structure of the lists change (e.g. a user removes a field). The answer from Todd was yes that’s true and therefore you should couple the use of LINQ with SharePoint content types to ensure the fields that make up the base class created/used by the LINQ will not change!
  3. The DataContext – you make one of these with SPMetal which is a command-line tool provided by SharePoint. The bare minimum that SPMetal needs to work with is 2 parameters. One is the site url and the other is that type of class you want it to output (An extension like .CS or .VB) – seriously that sounds too easy!
  4. If you want to see the CAML generated by LINQ then set the .Log property of your DataContext object to a StringWriter and then you can see the CAML!
  5. The IQueryable interface (which is what the SPMetal generate class  implements) lets you output a List<> with the simple method .ToList() – again too easy!


15 Things Every Developer Should Know

Next up was Paul Swider with his 15 things a developer should know about SharePoint. Only 15? No seriously it was a lot of stuff to get through and the tit-bits that came out were:

  1. Start Visual Studio as the Administrator (Run As “Administrator”) if you want debugging to work nicely. This will let you attach to the IIS worker process
  2. Sandboxed Solutions. These were created as a result of developers writing bad code and bringing down the servers/farms. Ha ha I just found that funny enough to post!
  3. A sandboxed solution can be turned into a farm solution by toggling a property in visual studio and redeploying it. Good to know…
  4. The resource governor only works for sandboxed solutions but it would have be a good addition for farm solutions!

There was a question I still need to follow up:

  1. How can you query the term-store and term-sets via a web service? I’m thinking via a DataView web part or jQuery here.

5 Reasons to Attend the 2010 New Zealand SharePoint Conference
May 8, 2010, 1:48 am
Filed under: 2010, NZSPC, SharePoint

Ok so does anyone really need any reasons to attend a conference, let alone a SharePoint conference? Probably not…but maybe, just maybe, you need a little ammo to justify getting your manager, your wife/husband/partner/significant other/whoever to let you come along.

So in Letterman-like fashion heeeere’s tonight’s top 5 reasons to attend the 2010 New Zealand SharePoint Conference:

NZ SharePoint Conference

1. SharePoint 2010

The NZ Conference is on June the 9th and 10th (less than 5 weeks away) and SharePoint 2010 gets its public launch on May 12th. That’s only about 30 days between the launch and the conference. How many other SharePoint Conferences are going to be so close to the launch date? What better place to come and learn about SharePoint 2010?

2. SharePoint 2007

SharePoint 2010 is getting a lot of attention at the moment but this conference isn’t all about SharePoint 2010! There is still going to be a lot of 2007 focused content so if you want to hear about SharePoint 2007, maybe listen to what great things people have done with it, talk to people who have worked with 2007 for the last couple of years then “this will be the New Zealand conference to learn about SharePoint 2007”.

3. World Class Speakers

This year’s speaker line-up is really impressive!

There is a mix of international and local speakers which includes a number of MVP’s, a Certified Master, not to mention a whole other range of fantastic speakers from diverse backgrounds. The internationally renowned SharePoint experts are making fairly lengthy trips to get here and share their knowledge and there is some great home grown talent too so come and listen to what they have to say. I bet you learn a thing or two!

<Plug> Gary Payne and myself will be giving the session 2007 and 2010 Head to Head in the Real World to compare building a solution using 2010 vs. 2007. If you want to see what has changed, been made easier, or just want to see two SharePoint solutions built in under 50 minutes then come and see our session!</Plug>

4. It’s THE New Zealand SharePoint Event of the Year

Unlike other technology-focused conferences (such as TechEd) this will be about SharePoint, SharePoint and more SharePoint. If you want to know anything about SharePoint (2007 or 2010) and you’re in New Zealand between June 9-10 then this is the place you should be.

The session content will range from beginner (100 level) to deep-dive (300 level) in either Business, Technical, Vendor and Voice of the Customer streams. Whether you’re an IT pro, developer, consultant, business analyst, decision maker or end-user, there WILL be something at this conference for you.

5. It’s a Conference!

This is a two day event. Its a great way to get away from the office – of course the primary focus is on the sessions but conferences are sooo much more than sessions. SharePoint conferences are a fantastic way to network with other SharePoint people, maybe meet some of those individuals you interact with online, and there is more than likely going to be at least one world famous SharePint happening too.

So if you haven’t already it is high time to go get your conference ticket before they sell out!

Check out the online interest around the NZ conference on twitter and if you’re at the conference come and find me and say hello. I’ll be at the User Group Community booth, delivering a session and generally wandering around chatting to people.

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