After the launch of SharePoint 2010 it is time to have a look at various options to integrate Bing Maps into SharePoint. In preparation of a couple of blog posts and workshops I embarked on a journey that started with converting my laptop into a server. Originally I had hoped that I could use an old laptop for this but after a look at the system requirements it was clear that SharePoint 2010 only runs on 64-bit machines and hence it had to be my latest laptop. I’m running a Lenovo ThinkPad W500 with 4GB memory and that is just enough to meet the minimum requirements.
The first step was to install Windows Server 2008 R2 and because after all I still want to use it as a laptop as well I activated wireless services, desktop themes and a couple of other things. A great resource on this topic is “Converting your Windows Server 2008 R2 to a Workstation”.
Next came SQL Server 2008 R2 which was recently released to manufacturing. I was particularly after the new SQL Server 2008 R2 Reporting Services which contains now a mapping component with integration with Bing Maps. The reporting service is configured for SharePoint integrated mode.
Of course SharePoint 2010 had to be installed and then I got greedy and also installed Project Server 2010 and the Office Web Apps for more and even better demos. Of course I expected some pain during all these installation but I was pleasantly surprised that everything was extremely simple and straight forward. Not once I ran into trouble. So far I’m quite happy running Windows Server 2008 R2 on my laptop but I could really do with a bit more memory.
When I started to explore SharePoint 2010 I immediately loved the Office Web Apps, the Ribbon and the FAST Search Engine. The collaboration features are just awesome and support for Silverlight Web Parts is build into the platform. You can just upload a Silverlight Application Package (XAP) into a Document Library and reference it in the Silverlight Web Part:
Of course that can’t be all. Over the next couple of blog post I will have a look at several ways to integrate Bing Maps into SharePoint 2010 and connect it to SharePoint lists, databases and other web parts. Stay tuned there will be more soon.