Covering SharePoint On-Premises, Office 365 and More, Join Us at Office & SharePoint Live!

Whether you're a developer or IT Pro, training on SharePoint and Office 365 is essential to keep up with the business needs of almost every company out there. Andrew Connell and Matthew McDermott are taking over the post today to tell you why Office & SharePoint Live! should be your training of choice!

We are thrilled to invite you to Office & SharePoint Live!, an event that brings together the most informative and influential experts on Office 365 and SharePoint. This event shares no-hype, practical, independent perspectives about SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and Office 365.

The presenters and sessions we've selected to present at Office & SharePoint Live! in Orlando, Florida, on December 5-9 are best-in-class!

We'll be joined by colleagues whose expertise and talent are world-renowned, including Agnes Molnar, Dan Usher, Brian Alderman, Paul Schaeflein, Rob Windsor, Mark Rackley, and so many more than we could name here! All of the Office & SharePoint Live! speakers have been working with SharePoint 2013 and 2016 in the real world in both on-premises and Office 365 deployments. Together we bring broad perspectives on SharePoint that will enlighten your entire organization, from management and business users, to IT staff and developers.

We'll be focusing heavily on SharePoint and Office 365 from a developer and IT Pro perspective, as it's our goal to ensure your success if you choose to move forward quickly to this latest release of SharePoint both for customers who have on-premises deployments or who leverage the hosted solution offered by Microsoft: Office 365. If you're considering both, we have hybrid content for you as well!

We’ve also aligned the content at Office & SharePoint Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus on not just SharePoint, but also SQL Server, Modern Applications, .NET development with Visual Studio, and more – all in a single venue.

We'd love to see you in Orlando this December for this independent Office and SharePoint event! You can learn more about Office & SharePoint Live! by visiting Take advantage of these incredible experts and their insightful sessions!

Best Wishes,

Andrew Connell
MVP, Independent Contractor, Instructor, Author
Andrew Connell, Inc.

Matthew McDermott
Founder and Director, Aptillon, Inc.

Office & SharePoint Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/13/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

All Things Data: Reasons to Attend SQL Server Live!/Live! 360

Data seems to be on everyone’s mind these days, including how to harness it, protect it, and use it in the most effective way possible. That said, here are SQL Server gurus Don Jones and Andrew Brust with some insights on how SQL Server Live! can help you, and your company, lead the data race…

SQL Server continues to be a big deal for many organizations. And even as SQL Server itself moves into new versions, we continue to rely on a variety of versions to run all of our mission-critical line-of-business applications. It makes a DBA’s job messy, creates complications for developers, and fosters an overall environment of data chaos. But we’re here to help you reign in the crazy, make better use of your existing resources, and leverage new technologies as appropriate.

At SQL Server Live!, we’re continuing our focus on real-world, relevant content that you can use right away. From sessions designed for the “reluctant SQL Server admin,” to sessions designed for hardworking developers, through to performance optimization and even business intelligence and analytics, you’ll find it all. Whether you’re an administrator, developer, or curious about Analytics and Data Science, SQL Server Live! brings you the information you need: performance tuning, query design, BI architecture, and more.

We’ve also aligned the content at SQL Server Live! with that of the many co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you an unprecedented opportunity to focus not just on SQL Server, but also IT Pro content, Office & SharePoint, .NET development with Visual Studio, and cross-platform mobile development – all in a single venue.

Whether you need to dive deep into a particular technology, or hit a broad range of sessions that address your specific business and operational needs, you should find everything you need at Live! 360 Orlando.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Andrew J. Brust
Senior Director, Datameer

Don Jones
Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content

SQL Server Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 09/06/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Don Jones & Greg Shields Take Over: Why You Should Attend TechMentor/Live! 360

As a former editor of TechNet and Redmond Magazine, TechMentor is an event near and dear to my heart: no nonsense education, zero marketing speak and training on what you need to know NOW. To give you a better idea on what to expect, here are Conference Co-Chairs Don Jones and Greg Shields on why you should attend TechMentor/Live! 360

The end of another year approaches and with it the opportunity for another great week of TechMentor training. Co-located again this year with the Live! 360 conference, this TechMentor in Orlando is all about 2016 – Windows Server 2016, that is…

But that’s not all. This year’s TechMentor in Orlando spreads around the IT learning with an entire track on IT security and nearly an entire room dedicated to Windows PowerShell and DevOps. You’ll build a production-ready vSphere environment from the ground up. You’ll integrate Azure workloads into your network and your Active Directory. You’ll learn more about DirectAccess than you thought was possible. And, you’ll leave with some slick security tricks to protect yourself from the bad guys.

Whether your datacenter has a dozen servers or several thousand; whether they're centralized or distributed globally; whether they're physical or virtual; whether they're on-premises or deployed in the cloud; TechMentor offers the cutting-edge education designed to help you get the most from your current investment, while making smart decisions for future technology investments.

Not just for IT Pros, TechMentor’s a place for devs as well. TechMentor Orlando 2016 is again part of Live! 360, which means you’ll have access to five other conferences at no additional charge, including expanded content from SQL Server Live! and Office & SharePoint Live! With over 215 sessions, and 30 tracks to choose from, Live! 360 offers TechMentor attendees an incredible value, yet still intimate enough to ensure one-on-one access to speakers and experts.

Join us at the beautiful Loews Royal Pacific Resort, just steps away from Universal Studios Orlando, for a healthy mix of all-day workshops and 75-minute breakout sessions. We’ve rounded up some of our industry’s best and most experienced presenters that we guarantee you won’t want to miss.

We’ll see you in Orlando!

Don Jones
MVP, Curriculum Director for IT Pro Content

Greg Shields
MVP, vExpert
Author Evangelist

TechMentor Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/29/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Reasons to Attend Live! 360 Orlando: A Message from the VSLive! Conference Co-Chairs

Why should you attend Visual Studio Live!/Live! 360 in Orlando this December 5 – 9, 2016? Trust me, I could go on and on about it, but why don’t I turn the reins over to our venerable conference co-chairs Andrew Brust, Rockford Lhotka and Brian Randell, and have them tell you why? Take it away, gents…

Life Development moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." – Ferris Bueller

This *slightly* altered quote from Ferris couldn’t be more appropriate when talking about the world of software development. It changes almost every day, with amazing new tools and technologies in the cloud, on mobile devices, the Web at large, and on operating systems from Windows to MacOS and Linux. In order to be a “wizard” at your craft, you need to have a good educational source that builds your skills.

We’re Andrew Brust, Rockford Lhotka, and Brian Randell, and as Conference Co-Chairs for Visual Studio Live! Orlando, we’d like to personally invite you to join us this December at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, FL. We think there’s a great way to digest these changes and seize their collective opportunity, and that’s to hear about them directly from the finest expert speakers in the business.

We’ve also got coverage on technologies like Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 / .NET 4.6, the forthcoming Visual Studio “15”, Web API, Single Page Web Apps, Xamarin, and TypeScript. Then there’s our workshop content, covering DevOps and ALM, Cross-Platform Distributed Application Architecture, Service-Oriented Technologies, Angular 2, and Building Web Apps with Azure. These sessions and workshops drill deep into the new subjects you need to master and the fundamentals that are always important.

We’ve put together an amazing lineup of sessions on: ASP.NET Core, Web Client (HTML5, JavaScript, Angular, and more), Cross-Platform Mobile Development, ALM and Team Development, DevOps, Windows Client, Azure / Cloud Computing, Software Practices, and more.

Plus, Visual Studio Live! Orlando is once again a part of Live! 360, which means we’ve worked with the other conference chairs to ensure our content is aligned with the co-located technology tracks at Live! 360. This gives you the unique chance to explore SQL Server, Office and SharePoint, Modern Apps, and IT Pro content in addition to the leading-edge and relevant developer education you’ve come to expect from Visual Studio Live!

Microsoft and its developer technologies are poised to move into the future, and you’ve got to keep up with the changes. At such a pivotal time, Internet-based content isn’t enough. Find a way to get to Visual Studio Live! Orlando and get live content and interaction with independent experts. Your career deserves nothing less.

We hope to see you there!

Andrew Brust
Senior Director, Product Marketing and Evangelism, Datameer

Rockford Lhotka
CTO, Magenic

Brian A. Randell
Partner, MCW Technologies

Visual Studio Live! Conference Co-Chairs

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/23/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

SharePoint Future, Search and More: 5 Questions with Matthew McDermott

If you’ve been to Live! 360/Office & SharePoint Live!, you’ve no doubt crossed paths with Matthew McDermott.

As SharePoint has risen in stature, Matthew has fully immersed himself in Microsoft’s collaboration platform. Matthew has been a Microsoft SharePoint Server MVP eight times. He a founder and director at Aptillon, Inc., a veteran presenter and conference co-chair at SharePoint Live!, and a part-time trainer for Critical Path Training.

When he’s not working his magic with SharePoint, he helps out the FBI, and the Austin and San Antonio, Texas Police Departments as a canine handler for K9 Search. He also likes spending time in the kitchen and tending bar.

To get a better sense on the future of SharePoint, we recently asked Matthew for his expert take on a few key areas relating to this platform.

1. "What first got you into SharePoint?"

I started out back in 2000 with Microsoft and “Project Central.” I was a Delphi developer and getting into Project Management. I liked where Microsoft was going with its dashboards and portals. When Microsoft released Project Server, I jumped right in. Although it turns out the part I was fascinated with was the “Issues, Risks and Documents.” Those were all being handled by Windows SharePoint Services, the baby brother of SharePoint Portal Server. I shifted my focus from Project Server to SharePoint and never looked back.

2. "What is it about SharePoint that keeps you challenged and engaged?"

It has to be the people involved with SharePoint. I love talking to folks about how they’re using (or trying to use) SharePoint and Office 365. There are so many interesting and innovative ideas out there. This is a product that's always in motion, so it really keeps me on my toes.

3. "What are some of the biggest changes or advancements you see coming in the next few years?"

I'm a die-hard search advocate. I'm optimistic that as our systems become smarter, they'll get better at helping us find more than what we're looking for—they'll help us find what we need. Metadata and tagging are challenges that we face now. I would love to see “smarter” methods for classifying our content that result in better search experiences.

4. "What would be your top priorities if you were the lead product manager for SharePoint?"

I would be focused on answering the metadata question. Why do we spend time on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagging content, and then kick and scream about it on SharePoint? That’s because it’s a drag in SharePoint. Tagging on social platforms is easy and fun, and getting smarter every day. If you can recognize my face, why can’t you recognize an invoice?

5. "What are some things that most people miss or don’t get the most out of when using, deploying or configuring SharePoint?"

Honestly, for SharePoint they miss training. They think it should be easy so why do we need training? The problem is that there's general knowledge training, like how to upload a document. Then there's application-specific training, as in, “How does our organization use SharePoint?” Most companies fail to provide either. Then, they complain about lack of user acceptance and poor governance.

Join Matthew and so many other SharePoint experts this year at Office & SharePoint Live!, a part of Live! 360, December 5 – 9, 2016 in Orlando, FL.

Posted by Lafe Low on 08/09/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments

Live! 360 Orlando 2016 Preview: What You Can Expect

Your job is changing. Your infrastructure is evolving. But keeping up with the latest and greatest doesn't have to be a challenge thanks to Live! 360, which offers sessions crafted for (almost) any IT title.

This year, Live! 360 Orlando 2016 brings together six events at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, December 5 - 9: Visual Studio Live!, SQL Server Live!, TechMentor, Office & SharePoint Live!, Modern Apps Live!, and our new offering App Dev Trends. As always, you can pick and choose from any of the 180+ sessions, to best suit your needs.

The week kicks off and ends with full-day workshops on Monday and Friday. Check them all out here.

Here’s a preview of Live! 360 Orlando and what you can expect this year at each of the 6 co-located events:

1. Visual Studio Live!

Visual Studio Live!, the flagship event, starts off with workshops on cross-platform architecture, service-oriented technologies and DevOps. Then the individual sessions get into the nitty gritty of ASP.NET Core, Visual Studio and the .NET Framework, ALM/DevOps, Cloud Computing, and of course, Windows Client.

2. SQL Server Live!

SQL Server Live! has plenty to cover with the recent release of SQL Server 2016. In fact, the week starts off with workshops on performance tuning SQL Server and another on a deep dive in the latest features and functions of SQL Server 2016. Deeper into the week’s agenda, you’ll find sessions on data visualization, enterprise reporting, failover clusters, and SQL Server 2016’s new reporting services.

3. TechMentor

Conference co-chair Greg Shields kicks off the TechMentor event with a workshop session called “Sixty-Seven VMware vSphere Tricks That'll Pay for This Conference!” Use that to sell your boss!

In addition, the always entertaining and informative Mark Minasi will deliver the TechMentor keynote, “Sweet Sixteen, or Just Server 2012R3? A Glance at the Awesome, the Irritating, the Improved and the Expensive in Server 2016.” The rest of the TechMentor agenda is filled with sessions on the technologies you need to know, like Windows Server, Direct Access, Camtasia, Azure, Docker, and of course, PowerShell.

4. Office & SharePoint Live!

Office & SharePoint Live! is a redux of the SharePoint Live! event, bringing in more Office 365 content and focusing content exclusively on IT Pro and developer needs. The workshops will get you rolling with SharePoint 2016, and the individual sessions cover everything from PowerShell with Office 365 and SharePoint data recovery, to the Office 365 UI fabric and enterprise JavaScript development patterns.

5. Modern Apps Live!

Modern Apps Live! is back covering the soup to nuts of developing modern apps, taking you through transforming web and mobile app development, app architecture, and managing your distributed development teams. And if you're developing for mobile, you don’t want to miss Wednesday morning’s Mobile Panel with James Montemagno, Ryan J Salva and Kevin Ford!

6. App Dev Trends

New to Live! 360 this year is App Dev Trends, brought to you by This event will take you through all aspects of developing enterprise apps—everything from down-in-the-trenches development to managing teams, processes and projects. The sessions dive into current dev trends like SOLID coding, managing technical debt, Agile, and bringing your apps into Azure.

We hope to see you at Live! 360, December 5-9, 2016 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando.

Posted by Lafe Low on 07/26/2016 at 1:30 PM0 comments


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