Thursday, September 14, 2006

Upgrading to SharePoint 2007 class is a big hit!

We finished up our first class of our new course: Upgrading SharePoint 2003 to SharePoint 2007. For Shane Young, Kevin Pine and myself, this has been a "labor of love" for the past six weeks or so and it feels good to have the first class behind us. All together, I would say we have at least 300 man hours invested in developing the course.

The course is designed for students to learn about the intricacies of upgrading a highly customized SharePoint 2003 environment (both SPS and WSS) to SharePoint 2007 (WSS v3 and MOSS). In developing the course, we spent many hours customizing a 2003 portal and sites with things like custom branding, custom site definitions, third-party web parts, search customizations and much more. Our goal was to come up with a starting point for the class that serves as a good, robust test of the MOSS/WSS v3 upgrade process.

We did all of this in a Virtual PC image that each student gets as their starting point. On it the student installs MOSS 2007/WSS v3 and works through an automated upgrade using the gradual upgrade option provided with the new software.

Shane spent many, many hours writing hands-on labs that the students use to work through the upgrade. Kevin spent many more hours writing hands-on labs that help the students work through the post-upgrade issues - of which there are many.

The course was very well received by the 14 students that attended. We always use SharePoint Surveys to collect feedback from each class. Here is the feedback Shane and Kevin received from the students that completed it:

I think this is pretty good feedback for a first-run course on a software product that is not even close to shipping yet! (Note: the lowest marks we received were related to the course materials and were due to the inevitable fact of having some typos in this first run of the course. The students were gracious enough to help us find and fix them, for which we are very grateful).

Way to go Shane and Kevin on these outstanding results!

We will be running the course every month from here on out. Next month it runs in Chicago and is already sold out at 20 students. In November we are running it in Denver and then it comes back to Nashville in December.

If you are an early adopter of SharePoint 2007 (or thinking about being an early adopter) and want to learn the ins and outs of the upgrade process and options, this is a great way to get started. Go here to register.
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