Unity Connect 2016
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 20 September 2016

The Unity Connect conference is happening again this November with a great mix of sessions on SharePoint and Office 365. The conference and workshops run from 16 to 18 November, and in addition to SharePoint and Office 365, there are sessions on Exchange, Skype and Azure. 



The conference kicks off with a choice of four full-day pre-conference workshops. Scott Hillier's workshop covers building applications for Office 365 and SharePoint with Angular 2, TypeScript, and the SharePoint Framework. This is a new page and part development model that you can use for client-side development for customizing SharePoint sites. This offers an extra alternative to the option of creating stand-alone MVC applications that use SharePoint REST services. The workshop demonstrates the development of customizations and applications for Office 365 and SharePoint. Where appropriate, the solutions will also include coverage of ASP.NET Core 1.0, Azure Active Directory, and the Microsoft Graph. 

Other workshops teach how to create no-code portals, and how to ensure a successful upgrade to SharePoint 2016. The final workshop, Microsoft Office 365 Power Camp, looks at the latest features in Office 365, including SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business.

Once into the main conference, there's a wide choice of sessions from major names in the SharePoint world, drawn from the SharePoint team and MVPs. The list includes Dan Holme, Scot Hillier, Mirjam van Olst, Jasper Oosterveld, Martina Grom, and Spencer Harbar.

The sessions are organized into several tracks and there are also quick 20-minute Innova sessions sessions providing quick, targeted expert advice across very specific topics, many of which sound interesting. For example Chris O'Brien has an Innova that unpicks how to develop a client web part in the SharePoint Framework. This involves a very different approach to 'classic' development using web parts, and O'Brien shows the advantages of the new technique, and how you can host your JavaScript code wherever you like (e.g. a CDN), so opening up some new options. 

Another highlight is Sonja Madsen's session on building SharePoint Add-ins with JavaScript and C# that looks at building business logic such as calls to databases or other systems in C#, and consuming the data via REST services built with ASP.NET Core Web APIs on Azure. 

In the developer track, MVP Ted Pattison's session on developing with the Power BI REST API sounds interesting, covering the development of custom applications that create real-time dashboards in the Power BI service. Pattison is also giving another session on developing custom Power BI Visuals using TypeScript and D3.js that looks equally useful. It covers the use of JavaScript, Typescript, CSS and the D3.js library to develop custom visuals that that produce various types of charts and graphs.

There are several sessions devoted specifically to Azure Graph and Microsoft Graph, including Mastering Azure Graph, Building Productivity Solutions with Microsoft Graph, and Deep Dive Building Office Mail Add-ins with the Microsoft Graph. This introduces the Office Mail Add-ins and the Microsoft Graph., and uses them to create an Office Mail Add-in that enables sync to your Azure AD Users into your Contacts by using the Microsoft Graph, then extends it with Profile data from the SharePoint User Profile service.

Azure sessions include Brian Reid on Azure Multi Factor Authentication, showing how to let  users authenticate to your on-premises and cloud applications including VPN and remote desktop, as well as Office 365 and Azure services, in a secure manner.

As is traditional for Unity Connect, the middle night of the conference is the SharePint evening where delegates can join the community and Unity Connect's experts for an informal evening of fun, information, entertainment and, of course, beer.


This year's conference takes place in Haarlem, Netherlands which is also the venue for DEVintersection Europe, taking place from 14-16 November. So if you have the opportunity to add on training for HTML5, ASP.NET, Visual Studio, Azure, mobile, IoT, and open-web technologies  for a full-week conference experience.

If you can't wait until November to learn about SharePoint and Office 365 the Scandinavian version, SEF Unity Connect will take place in Stockholm, Sweden October 26-28.

I Programmer readers can use the following codes for a 10% discount when booking places at these events:

UCHPROG10 (Unity Connect)


DEVPROG10 (DEVintersection) 

More Information

Unity Connect

Related Articles

Unity Connect Amsterdam 2015 



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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 September 2016 )