Congratulations Microsoft MVP 2013!

This is the subject of the email I received on the Fool’s Day. Luckily it was not a joke, it was the confirmation of my nomination as SharePoint MVP. I still don’t believe it fully, but I slowly begin to adapt to it.

In the Catalonian SharePoint User Group event SharePoint 2013 Novedades y más allá we expressed our long-term view in which Barcelona should become the “SharePoint City”. Now we have 2 SharePoint MVPs here who are keen to keep the things in motion. We want to host the European SharePoint Conference 2014 in Barcelona, please!

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What is MVP?

MVP, or Most Valuable Professional, is an award bestowed by Microsoft upon the professionals that excel in the contribution to the technical community, within the scope of a Microsoft product. Microsoft official MVP page explains it in depth.

And now, what?

Well, the idea is to keep sharing the little I know with the people who find it interesting and to keep helping the community from the humility and service. In a nutshell, what I have been doing the last years. In a couple of months I’ll find a way to merge this blog and my Spanish language blog and give a new visual identity to the new, unified blog. Ideas are welcome!

To all of you who have kept encouraging me to contribute to the comminity in all these years, a big thank you!

I’ll be speaking at SharePoint Evolutions Conference in London

A few months ago I was confirmed as a speaker on the SharePoint Evolutions Conference (aka SPEVO13) that will take place in London, from April 15th to 17th. This conference is organized by the fantastic folks at Combined Knowledge and it was formerly known as the International SharePoint Conference (ISC).

The conference will be crammed with SharePoint experts and community leaders. Still not registered? There are still seats left. Wondering about what will you find at the conference:

  • Over 113 Sessions delivered by Global SharePoint Experts, Microsoft Speakers and MVP’s.
  • 3 Days of Sessions covering Business, Technical, Developer, Information Worker, Community and Case Study Tracks and Ask the Experts sessions
  • Over 40 hours of networking opportunities

I will speak in the Community track. My session is about a real-world case that the company I work for is involved. I expect to contribute the things that we learned during the successive improvements of the customer’s SharePoint intranet, both in technical and organizational sense. I hope that somebody will find some inspiration in the things that I will share and hopefully it will help others to avoid some of the pains that we experienced.

London's Best

On the other hand, I’m eager to meet the old friends from the fantastic SharePoint community and to make some new ones! The community is the BEST part of SharePoint, by large.

See you all in London!

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Balsamiq Mockups: A Review

As you can probably remember, my frequency of blog posts here has been reduced in the last months. The reason is simple: I’ve been engaged in a enterpreneur startup course, organized by Tetuan Valley in Barcelona. I had an idea for some time already to make a browser business management game, but with a funny touch. The result of all this activity is White Collar Game, still in development. You can check the project blog for more details.

I had to look for a suitable application for making mock-up screens quickly (and I mean really quickly!). Microsoft Visio was too “polished” to be really useful for quick mocking up and drawing by hand had the inconvenience of scanning and the costly retouching and modification.

I stumbled upon balsamiq studio’s Mockups, an Adobe AIR application available as both web and desktop application. The mockups are extremely easy to make: just drag a widget from the toolbar, double-click, write the text and that’s it. The application is updated really fast (almost every week) and there’s a huge repository of pre-made elements available at MockupsToGo. The look-and-feel of the mockups is just right: they aren’t hand-drawn but they look like that. It gives you this funny feeling of freedom to criticise and rearrange things, which is not easy to do with a more “polished” mockup that looks like it’s the real thing.

The fact I like the most, besides being almost perfect tool for doing mockups, is the fact that the company is also a startup, created by Peldi Guilizzoni as a side project when he was working at Adobe. Now he has established the company in Italy and keeps a really interesting blog about the company, including yearly figures and publicly disclosing the company insights in it.

For more information about the balsamiq Mockups tool, check this short video on YouTube.

Thumbs up for Balsamiq!

Things I Have Been Reading Lately

http://spg.codeplex.com/
A new drop of the official SharePoint Guidance. It now covers SharePoint 2010 and further expands on the SharePoint solution architectural decisions and implementation guidelines.

http://webclientguidance.codeplex.com/ 
After some time using Web Client Software Factory (WCSF) guidance from Microsoft p&p team, they are now coming with a new version of web client guidance, oriented to ASP.NET with jQuery, AJAX and even ASP.NET MVC. Excellent read, even in the present rough form.

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http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff423674.aspx
http://claimsid.codeplex.com/  
A guide to Claims-based Identity and Access Control, with a downloadable book in PDF format. It’s invaluable in understanding the new Windows Identity Framework (former Geneva Framework) and SharePoint 2010 claims-based authentication.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc949034.aspx
http://www.codeplex.com/WCFSecurityGuide 
Web Service Security Guidance for WCF, available as an online book and as a PDF file. I admit that WCF is a huge step forward in distributed applications but the security implications are too important to be left unattended. After reading this guide I had clearer image of all those pesky web.config WCF tags and their effect. Priceless when you are debugging cross-domain WCF calls 🙂

My New Blog in Spanish: SPEdinKapic.Blog

I’ve decided to write a new blog, in parallel with this one, with the Spanish-speaking SharePoint audience in mind. As I work in Barcelona (Spain), there are many readers of this blog that come from there and I believe that a localised content for them is a good thing. What I don’t know is which blog is going to be my “primary” blog. Only time will show it.

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The URL of my “other” blog is http://spblogedin.blogspot.com

¡Bienvenidos!

My Contributions on MSDN SharePoint Forums

I’ve been resuming my collaboration on MSDN SharePoint forums lately, so that’s why I’ve been slow to update the blog these days.

I answer questions on MSDN SharePoint Development Forum, General Forum and Spanish-language Development Forum. You can check my threads here.

I can only hope that my answers help shed some light on everyday SharePoint issues. It’s a pleasure to be able to help.

SharePoint Four-in-Hand and Trainer, too

Few days ago I did the last remaining SharePoint exams, which I was postponing for a long time due to everyday tight agenda. Now I join the ranks of SharePoint certified folks, as a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist in MOSS 2007 and WSS 3.0, both in development and configuration.

The configuration exams were more challenging than the development exams, especially the 70-631 (WSS Configuration) which had a few Network Load Balancing IP addressing questions that made me sweat a little bit.

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I also applied and become approved into the Microsoft Certified Trainer program. As my job also involves teaching .NET and SharePoint, it was very important to me to become certified as a trainer. Let’s see where this road will take me.

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