UK user group meeting in London this Thursday, with Q & A panel

Just a quick note to remind UK-based folks within reach that there is a UK SharePoint user group meeting in London this Thursday. There are two sessions, one of which is an open Q & A for you to bring your trickiest SharePoint questions – I’ll be amongst those on the panel representing the developer side of the house, but the line-up will cover all the bases. Needless to say, if you don’t get chance to ask your question during the main session, there’ll probably be ample opportunity in the pub afterwards. Michael Noel’s session also looks extremely interesting, with a whole host of architecture/infrastructure knowledge condensed into one easily-digestible chunk.

Details from the – to sign-up, use the link at the bottom of this post:

Session 1 – Building the Perfect SharePoint Farm: A Walkthrough of Best Practices from the Field – Michael Noel (see books written by Michael)

SharePoint 2007 has proven to be a technology that is remarkably easy to get running out of the box. On the flipside, however, some of the advanced configuration options with SharePoint are notoriously difficult to setup and configure, and a great deal of confusion exists regarding SharePoint best practice design, deployment, disaster recovery, and maintenance. This session covers best practices encompassing the most commonly asked questions regarding SharePoint infrastructure and design, and includes a broad range of critical but often overlooked items to consider when architecting a SharePoint environment. In short, all of the specifics required to build the ‘perfect’ SharePoint farm are presented through discussion of real-world SharePoint designs of all sizes.
• Learn from previous real world deployments and avoid common mistakes.
• Plan a checklist for architecture of SharePoint environments of any size.
• Build the ‘perfect’ SharePoint farm for your organization.

Session 2 – SharePoint Q & A Session

Following the session from last year we thought it would be a good idea to have a session where you can bring your SharePoint problems and hassles to and we can debate them as a group. We’ll have a whiteboard, a laptop, and lots of clever people to discuss your questions and issues – so bring along your best and toughest!

The meeting is hosted at Microsoft in Victoria – arrive 6pm for a 6:30pm start:

Microsoft London (Cardinal Place)
100 Victoria Street
London SW1E 5JL
Tel: 0870 60 10 100

To register, simply reply to this thread leaving your full name –

Look forward to your questions 🙂

Speaking at the UK SharePoint user group on WCM next week

Next week’s UK user group is conveniently being hosted by LBi, my current employer for a Web Content Management (WCM) special. Now I could be biased here, given that the two presenters are me and my current boss, but I think we have some great sessions. In the first, we’ll do a case study session partly based on the site I talked about previously in SharePoint WCM in the finance sector and Developer lessons learnt – SharePoint WCM in the finance sector, and in the second we’ll talk about practical steps/best practices to consider when building such sites.

The date is Thursday 16th October, location is London (Brick Lane/Liverpool St), and we kick off at 6pm for a 6:30pm start – for folks who aren’t local or can’t make it down, slides etc. will be posted either here or on the SUGUK site. The link for full details and registration can be found at the end of this post – the full rundown on the sessions is:

Session 1 : Web Content Management in MOSS, real life case study – Riaz Ahmed
This session will showcase how SharePoint content management has helped the world’s most international bank, a top 25 FTSE 100 company, deliver an online digital solution for clients, analysts and employees.
See how SharePoint has helped empower analysts worldwide to create, publish and share research information. See how SharePoint has helped clients and investors get access to market information to help decide their next multi-million pound deal. See how flexible, extensible and customisable the SharePoint web content management platform can really be.

Session 2 : Best practices/lessons learnt: building MOSS Content Management sites – Chris O’Brien

This presentation explores key tips and developer techniques for building WCM sites, based on the experience of delivering sites such as that shown in the earlier session. As well as key topics such as security, optimisation and deployment, much of the presentation will cover practices which are not widely documented but which can shave time and make the difference on a very tight timescale. And, since the only certainties in life are death, taxes, and clients changing their minds, we’ll examine how to build a site which is as flexible as possible whilst not being substantially more difficult to implement. Finally, we’ll wrap up with a discussion on how developers can keep their sanity by being able to fix bugs quickly (especially when the boss is stood over their shoulder!) regardless of where they occur in the code, before going on to open Q & A.

For full location details and to register see

As usual, we’ll be going for a pint to continue the chat afterwards – all are welcome!

Speaking at UK SharePoint user group on workflow

For anybody interested in workflow, I’ll be speaking at the UK user group next week at Microsoft’s London Victoria office on 10th Jan. There are two great sessions so I’d encourage UK SharePointers who can get to London to come down. Needless to say, I’ll be posting my slides/sample code etc. for those further afield.

For those considering coming down, the meeting should be fun and it looks like a high turnout – we have over 100 people registered already. My fellow speaker is SharePoint MVP and all-round good guy Andrew Woodward.

The timetable and session abstracts are:

1800 – 1830 Arrive

1830 – 1930  Workflow: A deep dive into developing workflows for SharePoint using Visual Studio and Infopath – Chris O’Brien

Of the three types of workflow available to the SharePoint developer, only Visual Studio workflows provide complete flexibility and power. Without the right information however, the learning curve can be steep for the uninitiated. In this session we’ll start with initial decisions such as SharePoint Designer workflows vs. Visual Studio workflows, sequential vs. state-machine, and InfoPath vs ASP.Net for forms. From there we’ll cover the key steps to get a workflow up and running including retrieving data from an InfoPath form, configuring workflow activities, and deployment of the workflow. Over several demos, we’ll build a basic state-machine workflow, and show why workflow is a valuable addition to any SharePoint developer’s skillset.

1930 – 2000 Snacks and drinks

2000 – 2100 Search Server 2008 – What is it, how does it affect me and should I be testing it? – Andrew Woodward

A look at the recently announced Search Server 2008.  We will walk through an installation and demonstration of the new Federated Search capabilities, what’s provided out of the box, what you can get from free, how to leverage sites using and how to federate results from Google. We will discuss how this fits in with your existing WSS and MOSS deployments and the release timescales.

Registration/more info is at – please add to the thread leaving your full name