It was a bit tough getting started Wednesday morning in Las Vegas after the Beach Party Microsoft threw us at the Mandelay Bay Hotel but after a slow start it was all about my favorite topics. I concentrated on OBA's and the really cool BCS features they are introducing for 2010. First of all there is the good news that we longer have to wrestle with XML or complex tools to define our Business Entities. This is now all the domain of SharePoint Designer 2010 and all done through a mature UI and Wizards. Just create External lists and configure things like the crud options and off you go. This is all extremely powerful and allows for far more rapid development of OBA's. Great news is that the basic infrastructure and functionality is part of the SharePoint Foundation (formally known as WSS) so there's nothing stopping us from making full use of these possibilities. We'll also see some demo's and articles around IBF like scenario's now available through using SPD and XML (I'll endeavor to post on this as well). What is probably the highlight of SPC2009 for me is a much better understanding how things like 'Connect to Outlook' or 'Sync with SharePoint Workspace' works, it made me realize that there a full data cache sitting in the local user store and again, more good news, Office comes with documented API's to make full use of that for OBA's. There are different assemblies for use with WPF, Silverlight or Java script, for those interested, when the beta comes out, check out the Microsoft.Office.Businessdata Namespace.
Day 4 started with some useful guidance on how to approach Load testing and it's good to see Microsoft is now sharing best practices that were developed based on their internal load testing processes and results. Next Mike Ammerlaan presented on Architecture best practices for 2010 based on what's new or has changed as a result of better insight on how organizations have been using SharePoint and the road blocks they ran into. Obviously this is one of the 'you should have been there' type of sessions, one thing I'd like to point to especially because of my enthusiasm about BCS and External lists is to keep in mind that the new REST interfaces and SPLinq do not work on External lists, certainly something to keep in mind when architecting solutions. Lastly I attended a session on SSIS and SharePoint and the important take away there was that there is a connector for SharePoint lists available on Codeplex.
That's it from Las Vegas, now going for some shopping before wasting the weekend travelling back home ;-)