Thursday, November 20, 2008

re-cap of the 2008 Conference for Non-Profits

So this year's Conference for Non-Profits is over. As usual Blackbaud put on a great show. Props to all the folks that made everything happen! I had a lot of fun seeing attendees from past conferences as well as meeting lots of new ones. I thought I'd do a quick post recapping some of the highlights, at least from a developer's perspective.

During Monday's keynote, Shaun Sullivan unveiled a pretty killer Facebook Toolkit for NetCommunity. I haven't had a chance to do anything but download it but you can be sure to see some posts in the future about it. It looks like it's got a pretty comprehensive integration layer between Faceook and NetCommunity. In a later sessions Michael Andrews dove a bit deeper into the Toolkit and gave us a good overview of what's possible. You'll be able to basically build your own Facebook application that will allow you to post news and events, acquire new constituents, collect gifts or donations and of course leverage existing relationships in Facebook to help spread our mission. It's important to point out that this is a developer's toolkit and you'll probably need someone technical in nature to help you implement it.

Shaun also showed off Nimbus, Blackbaud's dive into the world of "cloud computing". I'm pretty impressed with it. It's going to help alleviate much of the problems that could occur in an RE7 to RE8 migration by syncing your RE7 data to the "cloud" and converting it over to an RE8 format. When you are ready to migrate over to RE8 all your data will be up-to-date in the "cloud" for RE8 to access.

Tuesday was Infinity SDK day with Ben Lambert. Some great stuff in those sessions. I think that topic could have been discussed for 4 days alone and I probably would have still had questions. The Infinity platform is just awesome and as a developer I'm extremely excited about how simple and easy it's going to be to customize Blackbaud applications in the future.

Lastly I wanted to mention the Developer's Contest. My entry, Events To Google, was selected by the Blackbaud as the winner. Thanks to everyone who congratulated me on the win. All the entries will be available on Labs soon and will include the source code to those projects. That's huge and I think it represents a major milestone in Blackbaud's continuing efforts to broaden the developer community for their products. If I stop look at what was available a year ago in terms of developer resource for Blackbaud products it's amazing how far they have come.

So it was a great conference and I left energized, partly due to all the Red Bull in the Internet Strong Lounge, and with lots of new ideas for the next year.

Thanks again to Blackbaud and the events team that helped make this another great conference!

1 comment:

SkipperMJ said...

Nicely written and I concur, except for the Red Bull - tried to stay away from that!