Unity Connect Amsterdam 2015 Developer Preview

Scot Hillier

by Scot Hillier on 9/23/2015

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Amsterdam 2015, Developers, Unity Connect conference

The current technical landscape for SharePoint and Office developers can certainly feel overwhelming. Everyone knows that developers no longer write server-side code, but it’s not always clear exactly what form a particular solution should take. At the highest level, you can choose from SharePoint add-ins, Office add-ins, and Office 365 applications. Within each of those solution types, you can utilize the SharePoint REST API, CSOM API, Office API, or Unified API. Additionally, you can pick from various development frameworks such as ASP.NET web forms, ASP.NET MVC, or Angular. Fortunately, a few days at Unity Connect Amsterdam 2015 will help you organize your thoughts.

Get the event started by attending the keynote session in which Dan Holme, Spencer Harbar, and I will bring clarity to the current state of SharePoint and Office.  In particular, developers will immediately get our thoughts concerning the different development options, their current role, and future value. After the keynote, you’ll be ready for some deep diving into specifics.

As you move into particular development sessions, give some thought to whether you want to focus on pure development or utilizing built-in SharePoint capabilities such as search. For pure development, the conference is rich in topics surrounding JavaScript and API development such as Waldek Mastkrz presenting solutions with the Office Graph. On the SharePoint side, you’ll find topics such as Matthew McDermott’s Solving Business Problems with Customized Search Centers, which will show you how to create powerful search-based solutions with almost no code.

Throughout the conference, you’ll also find several quick-hitting, 20-minute sessions that you can attend during a break in the larger conference. These sessions are intended to present a tool or technique that you can utilize as soon as you return from the conference. A good example is my 20-minute session on the CDN Manager, which helps centrally manage JavaScript library references.

When you’re ready to get serious with frameworks, Unity Connect Amsterdam has you covered. Andrew Connell starts with a session on TypeScript for the enterprise, followed by building Single-Page Apps with Angular, and finally using Breeze to access services from JavaScript. Just following Andrew through the conference will give you a mini workshop in enterprise JavaScript development. Along with these sessions, the conference has several deep dives into the APIs for SharePoint, Office 365, and Graph.

If you are still in the on-premises world, but looking to plan for the cloud, the conference can help there, too. Vesa Juvonen will be presenting Transforming Your Full Trust Code to the SharePoint App Model. This is an important session for on-premises developers because it demonstrates new techniques for the cloud that can replace older on-premises approaches. Building off of that idea, you can attend my session on branding that will show how to safely brand SharePoint online sites. If you have an interest in extending Office products, don’t miss Jeremy Thake's session about creating Office add-ins with JavaScript and HTML.

Along the way, there are lots of other great sessions as well, so check out the full agenda and start planning. Also, be sure to bring it all together with a workshop. For developers, I’ll be presenting a full day of developing SharePoint and Office solutions with Angular, REST, OAuth, and Azure Active Directory. Overall, Unity Connect Amsterdam has a great lineup for developers. All of the speakers are excited to be part of the event and can’t wait to see you there!

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