SharePoint Saturday Kansas City was a blast. Sold out registration amounted to over 200 attendees, and the community college did a great job both in providing needed facility resources and in catering lunch (via their culinary school). Becky Isserman and Kevin Hughes are to be commended for organizing the event and keeping all the amazing speakers in line. Copious quantities of water, coffee, and sugar were in as ready supply as power outlets.
My presentation was an end-user focused session comparing customization using three methods: OOTB browser based tools, SharePoint Designer, and custom code. In general, the message was that the greatest flexibility comes with custom code, but this also incurs the highest risk and cost. Recommendation, then, is not to custom develop unless it is determined that requirements cannot be met any other way. With feedback and questions from the audience, I plan to add a section on development best practices for IT managers (separate dev environment, Service Level Agreements for consultant work, etc). Any suggestions for this section would be welcome.
Big thanks are owed for help on the presentation, which summed up interviews with some experts who volunteered to help with their advice and opinions: Lori Gowin, Mark Rackley, Clay Cobb, Aidan Garnish, and Laura Rogers all gave opinions on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the three approaches. Bjorn Furuknap gave permission to use some screen shots from his blog.
As is par for the course at SharePoint events, SharePint was educational as well. Juan Celaya warned us of the dangers of tree-bound elephants. JD Wade introduced us to the latest in ergonomic office chair design. Dennis Bottjer explained some handy acronyms. Susan Henry and Mark Rackley produced ShareWow! SharePoint infomercials. Eric Harlan gave lessons in the use of bread products as air filters. Cathy Dew traded hair care tips. Scott illustrated narcoleptic conversation starters. Becky Isserman shared the Menorah lighting and taught us to play Dreidel. Coskun Cavusoglu impressed us with business cards featuring a pronunciation guide. And much comradery was enjoyed by all. The SharePoint community is awesome.