Video: Recap of the European SharePoint Conference #ESPC13

When I got back from the European SharePoint Conference in Copenhagen, I couldn’t resist… I had to talk about it. So I did a little video that does a very short recap of the events.
Obviously there was a lot more going on but I didn’t want to do a 3 hours long video 😛
Hope you enjoy this recap:

Exploring Copenhagen after #ESPC13

So the conference is over and you are still in Copenhagen. Well, so am I!
A few other SharePoint people are sticking around and we decided to perhaps get together and make it an exploration day. It’s always better in a group!

I have heard a few suggestions but there is no official plan yet so feel free to make suggestions when we meet. If there is something you absolutely want to see I am sure no one will object J

The few places:

-The Mermaid (bottom of the list for most)
-Meat district in the evening (turns into restaurants and bars with bonfires in middle of the street)
-and more that I can’t think of

Usually I would set up a meetup but since you need an account and I am not sure everyone is comfortable with that or tweeting with the right mention or hashtag I thought an eventbrite might work.

Register for the event

And I will send out emails tonight and tomorrow morning to make sure no one is left behind.

We will also be meeting on last day (today) of conference in community area 4:15pm

SharePoint Parties at the #ESPC13 European SharePoint Conference

Just arrived in beautiful Copenhagen for the European SharePoint Conference. I remember getting an email recently saying there was over 1500 registered attendees and that was last week. I am very excited to see all my European friends and some who have traveled from the United States or Canada like me for this conference.

European SharePoint Conference #ESPC13

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What does SharePoint 2013 mean to the Power Users?

Recently, we have been gradually exposed to SharePoint 2013. I mean sure, you might have been one of the 10,000 attendees at the Conference in Vegas but have you taken the time to sit down and analyze what a migration to SharePoint 2013 would mean for you? Previously, I have covered in a SharePoint 2013 migration series the different features and supported scenarios to help you get started. In this article, I want to focus on what SharePoint 2013 means to the Power Users.

It’s all just technology

If you are like me, you might get excited about the latest and greatest gadgets and features that come with a new version of a product. When SharePoint 2013 was announced I was looking at apps, the new Design Manager, how pages are coded, etc. However, to the Power Users in your company, it’s just another technology to help them do their job. And a big one that is bringing them a lot of work in fact. They are forced into the world of IT to provide solutions to the End Users. Columns, Tables, Site Columns, Web Parts, these are things they now have to learn and understand to provide the solution in SharePoint.

You can call it SharePoint 2013 now, it won’ t matter to them. They want a tool to help them do their job. SharePoint 2013 will only be good if it actually helps you increase the amount of work you do for the same amount of time it used to take you.

Why Power Users will love SharePoint 2013

I was lucky enough to be speaking in SharePoint Saturday St Louis on January 12th of 2013. My session was related to some of the benefits Search will bring to us. More specifically, the Content Search Web Part.

In short, the Content Search Web Part is the new and improved Content Query Web Part. If you don’t remember what that is, the CQWP allows you to query any content in your Site Collection and display it using reusable styles. It is one of the most powerful tools for a Power User in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. Why? Because it allowed the Power User to provide no-code, reusable solutions throughout the company. The Content Search Web Part, takes it somewhere else. Instead of querying the Site Collection like the CQWP, it actually talks to Search directly. This means it has access to everything the SharePoint Search has been configured to Crawl.

The real power of the Content Search and the flexibility it provides

The real power of the Content Search Web Part is in its easy to use Query Builder and the Design Templates that go with it. You can learn more about that by downloading the slides I made available after the SharePoint Saturday.

Basically, it allows the Power User to build his own queries without knowing much about coding or managed properties. Ex: Get me all the blog posts in the company where the category is SharePoint. Or, Get me all the Tasks assigned to the user currently logged in. These are queries the Power User will be able to build in just a few minutes now.

Even better, it allows them to display the results using “Display Templates”. These are reusable HTML files that will give a look to the results of the query done above. It can show up as a slider, events calendar or even a full page. In SharePoint 2013, an entire page could be rendered as the result of a search on the logged in user.


Unfortunately, this is something that is only available on the On-Premise Enterprise version, though there is an expected release on Office 365. But I wouldn’t count it in the less expensive plans

So what does this mean to our Power Users that need this Web Part to build Sites in just a few seconds? Well, you can actually do mostly everything with the Search Results Web Part. It allows you to build queries and use display templates as well. There are a few differences however. The Content Search Web Part was really built to make it easy on the Power User to manipulate the content that comes out of this Web Part.

Happy Power Users

During my session on the Content Search Web Part at the SharePoint Saturday, I could tell by the reactions of the Power Users in the room how helpful this will be for them. Creating a Query based on search and styling it without too much effort, perfect!

Of course there are a lot more features in SharePoint 2013 that will alleviate the work from Power Users to provide specific solutions using SharePoint to their Business Users. The message I am trying to convey in this article is to remember that SharePoint 2013 is nothing but a technology that helps your business run better. To do that, it needs to help the Business Users quickly and with the least amount of efforts possible. I believe there are a few features that will help you do that in SharePoint 2013.

Which feature do you think will give your Power Users an advantage?

How to edit the SharePoint 2013 Preview file for a Master Page

In a previous post, I covered the new SharePoint Design Manager by showing how to add Device Channels and Converting an HTML page into a Master Page. I then took it to the Composed Looks available for power users and showed how to create your own Composed Look. There has been one thing that I was never really 100% comfortable with and that was the Preview file for Master Pages. In this article, I want to go in depth into how the Preview file is created and how you can customize it. Continue reading

My link to that SharePoint 2010 MSDN article now points to SharePoint 2013

What happened to the MSDN article on SharePoint 2010 you had linked in your blog? Suddenly all your links are pointing to the SharePoint 2013 equivalent and you are left clueless on how to find the right information.

The question actually originated on a SharePoint Community based on Yammer called SPYam.

sharepoint msdn articles gone


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Step by Step: Create a SharePoint 2013 Composed Look

With the introduction of SharePoint 2013, we saw many things change. Some of the major new features relates to branding. In previous posts, I have already explored in detail how to convert a regular HTML into a SharePoint Master Page using the new Design Manager. I also covered some of the cool things we can do with the Design Manager like setting up Device Channels, etc. In this article, I want to focus on the new “Composed Look” available in SharePoint 2013. Now I am not going to show you how to pick one that is already available, I am sure you can figure that one out. No, in this article we will create our own and make it available for deployment, step by step. Continue reading

Webinar on SharePoint Adoption Strategies – Wed, Dec 19 2012 12pm – 1:30pm EST

I saw this webinar invitation not getting enough love so I thought I would make sure everyone knows about this.

The Webinar covers strategies to drive SharePoint adoption in your organization.

If you are starting or planning on starting a SharePoint project, or even been running for a while, then this Webinar is definitely worth it.

Benjamin, why should I attend this session? Continue reading

Delay the hover in SharePoint dropdown menus

If you have been using SharePoint for a while now inside your company’s Intranet, Extranet or even Public site, you may have found yourself cursing at the drop down menu.

Let me explain… See, every time a user’s cursor goes remotely close to the top navigation, also called the Global Navigation, the entire drop down menu appears. This can become very annoying; especially since most SharePoint Intranets have more than three sub menu items as show in my example above. Continue reading

Amazing Surface videos – Goosebumps guaranteed

Alright so this isn’t really related to SharePoint, I know but I have come across some amazing videos made by Microsoft to advertise the Surface.

Why am I posting this you would say? Some of my friends will say “Yeah yeah you’re just a Microsoft lover”.

I have recently worked to create some videos where I work. Check them out if you have time. And I know how much work this means. To create a video that “evokes a strong emotion” which is the aim of marketers in a way to make you remember them is not something done so easily. That’s why I am giving big props to Microsoft for having created these amazing videos – it’s worth watching. Continue reading