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The Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2009 got underway in Las Vegas this morning with keynotes from Steven Ballmer and Jeff Teper kicking off the conference. The SQL Server, ADO.NET Data Services, and Sync Framework teams are all there in force, and had a number of exciting announcements. Be sure to check all three team blogs for information on announcements, activities, and sessions at the SharePoint Conference this week.

Project “Gemini” Name Revealed   SQL-PPivot-Excel_h_rgb  

Today, Microsoft announced the official name of Project “Gemini,” now Microsoft SQL Server PowerPivot for Excel. PowerPivot for Excel helps drive timely and informed business decisions by empowering end users to access, integrate and analyze massive amounts of data on the desktop and share information using the familiar Microsoft Excel tools.

In addition, PowerPivot provides IT departments the ability to monitor user generated solutions by integrating seamlessly with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. With PowerPivot, users and IT departments can: 

  • Integrate massive amounts of data on the desktop from virtually any source
  • Perform lightning-fast calculations and analysis on large data volumes
  • Share and collaborate on user generated analysis through integration with SharePoint
  • Monitor user generated applications

With powerful analysis capabilities delivered through agile and familiar tools like Excel and SharePoint, organizations can expect faster end-user adoption, lower training time and reduced costs. For more information on PowerPivot for Excel, visit http://www.powerpivot.com .

Microsoft Sync Framework Now Integrated in SharePoint

Also today, the Microsoft Sync Framework team announced that Microsoft Office 2010 is replacing the internal synchronization engine that ties Groove Workspaces to SharePoint with the Microsoft Sync Framework.  This change supports synchronization for larger numbers of users sharing Groove Workspaces – up to 28 times the currently enabled number of users. 

Using this Sync Framework integration, API’s within SharePoint Server have been exposed, allowing the ISV community to easily create third-party solutions that work with SharePoint Server. Maxim Lukiyanov, program manager, SharePoint Server at Microsoft, says, “The Sync Framework will greatly reduce the amount of code that an ISV needs to create, and this represents probably the most painful code that they otherwise would have had to write.” Ultimately, this will enable users to benefit from the zero latency of working on their own computer using the rich client software of a Groove workspace or the ISV software.  For more details on Microsoft Sync Framework for SharePoint, visit http://blogs.msdn.com/sync/ .

ADO.NET Data Services Simplifies Access to SharePoint 2010

Finally, the Microsoft ADO.NET Data Services team announced that, starting with SharePoint 2010, all SharePoint sites are automatically exposed as RESTful data services that follow the ADO.NET Data Services convention. Now, any client with an HTTP stack can read and write to SharePoint just by using simple HTTP methods and Atom (XML) or JSON formatted data. Also, clients can post documents and read documents easily by using the HTTP interface. Since SharePoint exposes full metadata through the service, all Data Services tools such as Visual Studio, .NET client, and cross platform clients (e.g. PHP, Java clients recently announced) will work out of the box with SharePoint. Furthermore, all the Silverlight support for data services will work as well, making it straightforward to front SharePoint sites with Silverlight applications that directly access SharePoint data without the need of server-side code. By enabling a standard based REST-style interface, ADO.Net Data Service greatly simplifies the programmatic access to SharePoint sites. For more details, visit the ADO.NET Data Service team blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/astoriateam/.