Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect with me on LinkedIn

SharePoint Conference 2012: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

[ 8 ] November 19, 2012 |

The Dynamic Owl team was fortunate enough to attend the SharePoint Conference 2012 last week. It was a great conference and it was amazing to see how large the SharePoint community is becoming with over 10,000 people attending and a huge array of vendors in the vendor hall.

We did stay a little too long (7 days in Las Vegas is way too much) but learnt a ton that we will be able to leverage with our customers. As always there is good stuff, bad stuff and some ugly stuff that happens in conferences so here are my highlights, low lights and head scratchers!

The Good

SharePoint Mobile and Apps

This was really interesting  and pleasantly surprising. There will be two flavors of support for mobile applications for SharePoint 2013 – native apps and mobile optimized views. Both of these focus around the MySite capabilities and include the Newsfeed and SkyDrive Pro features.


I had a look at the iPad experience and also at the Windows 8 native app and was super impressed! I know that an iOS version is in the works which is great as well although with Android having a huge market share (around 60%) surprised that this was not mentioned.

What I think this will mean is more of a business value story around the social features of SharePoint 2013. Imagine being on the road and being able to ask a question through your newsfeed via one of these apps and connecting with a colleagues that knows your answer? Some very interesting scenarios now that social and mobile have some combined power behind them.

Project Server Capabilities

I only went to a couple of sessions on Project Server 2013 but I was amazed by the maturity of the product, particularly in the cloud. We always have clients that are looking for basic Project Management capabilities and this could really be the answer they are looking for.


I really loved the new reporting features using Powerview, the simplicity and the integration with Microsoft Project. For more information check out the Microsoft Project Blog.


Lots of great sessions on apps and I think that the SharePoint developers out there are starting to get how this will work. It is a paradigm shift but I think that Microsoft communicated the changes quite well and you could see how important this is when Scott Guthrie was part of the keynote.

Personally I love the new App model and think it will open up a new world of possibilities in SharePoint. To see an example of the power of App check out this recent post by Richard diZerega


Finally licensing has become easier and much more effective for organizations. Here are my takeaways:

  • No need for Extranet users to have CALs: This is a huge change and will encourage the usage of Extranet since it is basically free for external users.
  • No more FIS license for public sites: Once again huge news! You want you public facing site on SharePoint 2013? Pay for the SharePoint server license and you are ready to roll. I think that Microsoft wants to target the WCM market and with this change it will make it very cheap for many organizations.

This really means that Extranets and public facing websites will become very cost effective for many organizations.

The Bad

Yammer and Social – what is the story here?

I really like Yammer and I really like the social features in SharePoint 2013 but I am terribly concerned about the integration that is being touted. During the keynote we were shown that a user can socialize a piece of content in Yammer easily from SharePoint through the press of a button. That’s cool but what about the native social SharePoint 2013 features?

I think that this will confuse users horribly and lead to a very strange experience whilst true integration occurs. For example if I want to share a document do I do that in Yammer or through my SP2013 newsfeed? How will search work? If I want to update my profile do I do it in Yammer or SharePoint?

We all know that the social features can be a difficult sell to many organizations and people need simple tools. I really hope that we don’t get into the scenarios where they is two disparate pieces of functionality the mimic each other, that will only confuse users and stifle adoption.

Content By Search Web Part only available in Enterprise SKU

Looks like the Content By Search Web Part will only be available in the Enterprise and Plan 2 SKUs. This is really concerning as the CBS Web Part is probably the most powerful new feature in SharePoint 2013 that allows you to do many interesting things.

Hopefully this will change in the future or that I am just plain wrong!

The Ugly


This was plain ugly and didn’t work. I think that this caused lots of stress for attendees and presenters and made many of the demonstrations go horribly wrong. You put in 10,000 nerds in a technology conference with an average of 2 or 3 devices means you need capacity for about 25,000 devices. Lets make it happen next year guys!


Only one session on InfoPath with no official word on its future. With so many companies making extensive use of the technology to me its really concerning. I asked a few of the product team members and no real official word either so hopefully we get some guidance sooner rather than later.

Weight Gain

Seven days in Vegas means lots of eating for Denise and I! Along with all that fatty food means weight gain and time to hit the gym. However we ate at some fantastic places including:


I think that the future for organization using SharePoint is very, very bright indeed. The move to the cloud, new licensing and mobile support where part of many improvements to the platform that where showcased in this years SharePoint Conference. I would love to hear what some other impressions were so please leave a comment and thanks for reading!


Category: General

About Michal Pisarek: Michal Pisarek is the founder of Dynamic Owl Consulting and a Microsoft SharePoint MVP. View author profile.

Comments (8)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Michal Slowikowski says:

    From what I’ve heard during Microsoft Conference in Poland it seems that they’re thinking about killing IP. I thought that it was a joke (really bad one but still a joke) but it seems that it might be true – no major updates (or even minor ones) for IP designer, only one session for IP on SPC and literally no changes to IP form services (they can give search to foundation but you still need enterprise for IP? C’mon). It seems like they will follow the path of design view – taking away customizing options from nondev users and giving you possibility to customize forms and everything else through code. I just hope that I’m wrong and everything will be fine.

  2. Stefan Bauer says:

    I agreed to your points because most of them matches my good, bad and the ugly.
    On the Yammer topic to me it was a little bit over represented. The good thing with yammer is from my point of view it will be gone in three years. It would be the same as it was with Groove, Fast Search and even FrontPage (SharePoint Designer).
    If you have SharePoint 2013 you won’t need Yammer. If you have Yammer and feel lucky it would be hard to switch to SharePoint.
    Future will tell which one will survive but I think it would be SharePoint as it always was.

  3. Romain says:

    Thank you for this great post.

    About content search web part, that is the first time I hear that CBS WP would be exclusive to Enterprise SKU.

    With SP2013 Preview release, I had the opportunity to hear/read that this webpart would be included with Standard SKU.

  4. Nathalie says:

    Thank you Michael for the article! I didn’t had the chance to go to session because I had only a vendor pass, but I enjoy reading summary like that, so I can stay in touch with SharePoint.
    I’m kind of happy that Infopath has no future, I understand your point that for companies that use it, it’s going to be a major change, but, as user and consulting person, I’ve just heard bad things about it!

    Wireless was really ugly at SPC, and for people like us from another country with no dataplan, it was really unpleasant.

  5. Sunjay says:

    I have not got any official response as yet, but i did ask the question is IP dead. My view it seems like. IP is dead. Long Live IP. :-( i am sad.

  6. I love the Project Server section for some reason :) Glad you see value for customers regardless of size and maturity

  7. Paul Keys says:

    great article. I am just as confused re the whole “Yammer thing”. Personally I think MS bought yammer for their client base, perhaps to bring their clients into the cloud. But in my opinion, Yammer offers no more than SP 2013 does natively, and why would MS intentionally push social content outside of the SP platform? Makes no sense.

    As for InfoPath – there were a couple sessions on MS Access in SP, I have a feeling that they might be looking at replacing InfoPath with Access 2013 forms. Never thought I’d ever say this about MS Access but I’m impressed!

  8. François Lessard says:

    I have another feeling about replacement (or migration path) to Infopath: Microsoft LightSwitch. Or course, Infopath can be use by a power user, where LightSwitch is integrated with Visual Studio and required developper expertise.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.