New Year TimeThe Obligatory Year-end Report

Note: This is cross-posted from my new server, and all article links point to there.

It is now the last week of December, and you know what that means. Lying in wait among the crumpled wrapping paper, danced-out sugarplums, and pine needles (not to mention the feathers and other "presents" from all those birds your true love gave to you) you’ll find year-end wrap-ups from every corner imaginable.

This is mine. 🙂 I’ll get to the more general stuff in a moment, but there was one personal SharePoint-related thing that stood out for me in 2009, and that happened the very first day.

I Became a Published Author

While I (along with Asif and Bryan) did all of the work in 2008, my book Professional Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 was officially released by Wrox Press on January 1st of 2009 (December 31st, 2008 in some markets). I’m honored by the very positive reviews, and want to thank everyone who has purchased it.

Ironically, its importance is going to continue on into 2010, and possibly beyond. While SharePoint 2010 is top-of-mind for many people right now, the fact is that SharePoint 2007 is going to be around for a long time to come. But, SharePoint Designer 2010 cannot work with SharePoint 2007 sites, so SPD 2007 will still be needed if you want to customize older SharePoint sites. Since SPD is now a free download, there isn’t much in the way of printed documentation, other than (you guessed it) third party books – like mine.

The Year of the "Community Conference"

One amazing thing that stood out about 2009 was the popularity of independent SharePoint-related conferences and seminars. I personally presented at two – the "Best Practices SharePoint Conference" in San Diego, and the "SharePoint Technology Conference" in Boston.

But the big trend was the emergence of the "SharePoint Saturday" mini-conferences. These are one-day, free to attend conferences, that are held all over the world. Here you will find breakout sessions by the very same experts that present at the larger venues, like Tech-Ed and the official Microsoft SharePoint Conference. Check out the SPS site, and plan to attend one of these events near you!

And, of course, no mention of the "Community Conference" would be complete without mentioning the "Conference Community" on Twitter. This is a bit less formal, but essentially you will find a play-by-play for almost every conference being happily tweeted by the attendees with hash tags like #SPC09, or #SPSINDY.

SharePoint 2010

Of course, the big news was the announcement of Office and SharePoint 2010, and the availability of the public beta. The official release is currently set for the "first half" of calendar 2010. As many articles have pointed out already, much has changed. There will probably still be some significant changes between now and the final release, though what they might be, nobody can say.

Other Significant Events

Some of the other SharePoint things that happened to me in 2009

  • I became Michael Gannotti’s very first "Backseat Driver"
  • I was once again awarded as a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint Server
  • I autographed and gave away almost 500 copies of my book while working the Microsoft Technical Learning Center booth at Tech-Ed in Los Angeles

SharePoint, the Target

No post about SharePoint in 2009 would be complete without some mention of another buzzphrase that started appearing in 2009 – "SharePoint Killer". Almost every new application that had the slightest thing to do with collaboration or content management seemed to earn headlines of "Is X the Next SharePoint?" or "Y will make SharePoint Obsolete". From Google Sites to Google Wave. From Drupal, to Alfresco, to the classic DotNetNuke. Yet while each may have one area where it shines, none of them really has the versatility or power to match SharePoint, assuming they are even truly comparable.

Blog Highlights

For those of you new to my blog, here are some of the articles I wrote this year that you might find particularly interesting:

Looking Ahead

With the planned official release of SharePoint 2010, 2010 the year looks like it will be just as exciting as 2009. One thing that is very clear is that Microsoft is putting a lot more effort into the supporting infrastructure for SharePoint. From native support in Visual Studio, to online documentation, to partner training.

While people may have been shocked by SharePoint’s meteoric rise, nobody is going to be surprised by its continuing momentum.