The second day of the SharePoint Conference was a highly productive one from my perspective as it allowed me to focus on integration with SAP attending sessions, meeting people and exploring third-party products all relevant to SAP.
The first session I attended was an overview of the SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services (BCS) which is the evolution of the Business Data Catalog (BDC). The session covered the significant improvements in all of the three key investment areas of presentation, connectivity and tooling. With new components including a client-side runtime for Office connectivity and offline support, the infrastructure for the next version of Duet is starting to come together. I will cover this in much more detail in the future, so watch this space.
The highlight of the day was Matt Ordish’ presentation on surfacing SAP through SharePoint. Architectural principles around utilising both SAP and Microsoft technologies were discussed and kept the audience very interested. The session was really well attended which was great to see. News included the fact that the IView Web Part will not be available in SharePoint 2010 and the recommended approach for embedding SAP UI will be using iFrames instead. Again, I will write more detailed posts on this in the future.
I spent the afternoon catching up with people that are active in the SAP/SharePoint interoperability space and also had some great demos of third-party products that streamlines the process of getting business data from LOB systems into SharePoint. Stone Bond Technologies showed off their slick Enterprise Enabler product and Lightning Tools had a new release of their popular BDC Meta Man, upgraded for SharePoint 2010, and they also facilitated a detailed demonstration by Simplement of their approach to SAP integration.
The last session of the day in my schedule was a SharePoint 2010 Interoperability Overview. The Business Connectivity Services (BCS) is obviously a key component here but it was great to see an increasing number of standards being supported across the product. SharePoint will now be fully accessible across browsers by supporting WCAG 2.0 which has been a major roadblock until now in terms of using SharePoint for public websites. Various other standards will be supported including new web service protocols and CMIS for content management.
The conference is at the Mandalay Bay complex and when staying in these Las Vegas mega compounds, it is easy to forget that there is a real world somewhere on the outside. Just to keep my sanity intact, I went for a run in the late afternoon before joining everyone else at the SharePoint Beach Party featuring Huey Lewis and the News. It was a well executed 80’s theme party complete with break dancers, graffiti artists and various imitations of 80’s rock stars mingling in the crowd.