Techdays 2013 – our sessions

On 7 and 8 March, the yearly returning  TechDays event was held in the Netherlands. This was already the 4th year in a row that I was visiting the event as a speaker, with a total of 6 sessions. I wasn’t the only speaker ofAchmea; some colleague’s of mine were speaking as well. (Fact: Alex thissen spoke for the eleventh year in a row. He lost track on the amount of sessions 😉 We had a great diversity on subjects (Security, SharePoint , ALM, windows 8) and I’ll give a quick overview of the content covered in our sessions.

Overview of our speakers and their sessions

On March 7th, I kicked off with my session “Introduction to Apps for SharePoint 2013“. The room was completely filled: about 85 people: some of them couldn’t even sit down! In this session, I told about SharePoint 2013 being called “the cloud release” by Microsoft,  the anatomy of SharePoint apps and the different kind of apps that can be developed. Also some simple autohosted and sharepoint hosted apps were being developed on stage, using the Javascript CSOM and using the REST interface. Alex de Wit won a book on SharePoint 2013 app development by answering the question “there are 3 kind of apps that can be developed. Two of them are SharePoint hosted and Auto-hosted apps. What is the third one?”. Before my session I met Donald Hessing and Bram de Jager, who both had a session on the same subject. Luckily, we didn’t have much duplicate content: the sessions complemented each other.

  • Bas Lijten (Achmea): Introduction to SharePoint 2013 apps – the real introduction to apps for non SharePoint devs
  • Donald Hessing (Cap gemini): SharePoint 2013 Design Considerations for Developers  – considerations when to use auto-hosted or provider hosted apps and when to host them on azure or not.
  • Bram de Jager (Macaw): Developing SharePoint 2013 apps with Visual Studio 2012 – builded a SharePoint App called silly facts 😉 on stage.

In the next timeslot, Alex Thissen (one of our principle architects, C# MVP and regional director) started his first session (out of  three) about Windows Azure Active Directory (WAAD) and WebSSO: from on-premise to the cloud, in which he told us how to use WAAD, Azure Control Services and an on-premise ADFS 2.0 installation to achieve Single Signon on the web. His second session was a kind of follow up: “Claims-based security for web-apps using WIF 4.5“.

Between these two sessions of Alex, Phons Stokkermans and Martijn van de Sijde told us “Hoe niet te eindigen in Kassa!” (“Prevent showing up in WatchDog!”). People who visited this session now know some of the precautions Achmea takes to protect the organization against cybercrime. Subjects like the integration of the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) in our ALM processes and static security scan tooling( Microsoft Cat.net and HP Fortify). Nice to know: the information shared within this session is usable for both SMEs as well for large enterprises.

On the next day of the conference, Remco Jorna kicked off with a presentation on how Achmea builds 100 websites and mobile apps in one year. He told the visitors how the Microsoft Competence center optimized the production chain to become more predictable and improve quality when building websites and applications.

After Remco finished his session, it was my turn again to enter the stage, together with Ad Reijngoudt (@Areijngoudt). Ad is a .net developer and developed a nice windows 8 app with a static datasource. After a small braindump on how that application could benefit of some SharePoint 2013 capabilities, we decided to do some research, which resulted in “Windows 8 apps and SharePoint 2013“. We talked about subjects like Rest/Odata, the integration of the search charm with SharePoint Search and authentication with office365. A blogpost is being written on these subjects (so make sure to revisit this blog soon!)

Noteworthy reference:

I REALLY liked the session by Michael Hompus: “Serious request with Windows Azure“. He learned us how a traffic-heavy site for Serious request was build, and made benefit from the azure capabilities. Did you know that the actual costs were just a mere  EUR 805,= for hosting?

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