Sessions and slides from the #ESPC14

This week I was attending and speaking at the European SharePoint Conference in Barcelona and it was just great!
To sum it up quickly great city, many interesting sessions, great food and awesome people :)

I want to thank everyone who attended my session for the great feedback. Seems like you learned something new and had some fun too! So did I :)

I had two sessions, both on the last day of the conference.

SharePoint Apps, Past, Present, Future, an Open Discussion Board

Together with Rodrigo PintoChris O’BrienJeremy Thake , Thorsten HansRadi Atanassov and Adis Jugo I sat on the podium to discuss our experiences and the challenges with the new way of developing for SharePoint, Office and Office365.

It was fun and interesting to hear the different views and also to hear the questions and concerns from the audience. I hope everyone got something out of it and will take the new app model and ways to implement solutions at least into consideration for the next projects. The earlier you do, the better you are prepared for the future versions of SharePoint and Office.

Jeremy recorded the whole discussion and will publish it soon on his new pod show. I will update this post as soon as it is available.

SharePoint Continuous Integration With VSOnline & Azure

I have been speaking on many conferences and user groups about Application Lifecycle Management for SharePoint over the last 6 years, but the topic never gets old :)

Compared to when I started speaking about this topic a lot of things in SharePoint ALM world changed and improved of course, but the ALM maturity in many SharePoint teams and projects still seems to be at the beginning (at least most can now claim that they have source control, Yay! ;) )

This time I focussed entirely on the continuous integration and deployment process and showed how you can automatically build, quality check (of course with my own SharePoint Code Analysis Framework SPCAF) and deploy SharePoint farm/sandboxed solutions and apps.

Although I explained during the session the automatic deployment/staging with Visual Studio Online (formerly known as Team Foundation Service), virtual machines running on Microsoft Azure (formerly known as Windows Azure) and SharePoint online (also known as Office365), the same process can be easily implemented with on-premises Team Foundation Server and SharePoint. I just wanted to include as many buzzwords as possible in my session :)

Anyway it is just soooo much simpler and quicker to get everything up and running with the cloud services compared to their on-prem counterparts.

As mentioned in my talk, I simply created a new build process template for Chris O’Brien’s SharePoint/TFS Continuous Integration Starter Pack in order to support Git projects in Visual Studio online. The included actions will pass the configured target server and the drop location to the specified script.


The template is not limited to that though. You can basically run any type of PowerShell Script after the successful build. It just needs to be stored either locally on the build controller or in source control. As the hosted build controller provided in VSO does not have PowerShell remoting access to any of your target environments this works of course only with a custom build controller.

You can download the ProcessTemplate and the slightly updated “MasterBuildScript.ps1” from here. You can use it together with the SharePoint/TFS Continuous Integration Starter Pack.

I also showed a more complex, yet way more powerful continuous deployment process, which does not require any script to be placed on the servers and will take everything from the drop location instead, integrating my own SharePoint Solution Deployer PowerShell script available on CodePlex. I am going to package the CI/CD components for the next release and post a blog here explaining everything in detail how to set it up.

Last but not least the walkthrough how to setup continuous deployment for Provider hosted apps from VSO to MS Azure and SharePoint Online is described in great detail on Kirk Evan’s blog.

So long, and without further ado, here come the slides.

With the Cloud Services Azure and VSOnline professional SharePoint Development has never been easier. Having the infrastructure available on demand and only paying per use allows you to build complete production-like SharePoint farms in no time at minimal costs. VS Online on the other hand provides everything you need to develop projects alone or in a team. SourceControl, WorkItems, TeamBuild, Automated Testing including the traceability of all of it and detailed reporting. Even better, with an MSDN subscription both VS Online and Azure is already included. This session explains the important bits about setting up your SharePoint farm(s) on Azure, using VSOnline to automatically build your SharePoint solution or app and what you need to automatically stage the build to your farm or SharePoint Online.