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SharePoint Designer 2010 Unleashed Paperback – 16 Sep 2011
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From the Back Cover
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 includes a wealth of powerful and comprehensive collaborative features, including social networking, extended search, records management and business intelligence features, just to name a few. SharePoint Designer 2010 is the core design tool for designing, prototyping, and customizing both SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010 sites, from small sites to enterprise-level internet sites and intranets. All SharePoint users, from information workers and administrators, to designers and developers, will find a clear, comprehensive reference in SharePoint Designer 2010 Unleashed that will empower them to extend SharePoint beyond the out-of-the-box Microsoft interface. Learn how to:
- Work with SharePoint 2010 out-of-the-box features and understand the extent of design and customization possible via the Web interface
- Leverage the power of SharePoint Designer 2010 to maximize and extend SharePoint 2010 site customizations
- Customize a site from the early stages of prototyping and design to the final deployment phase
- Build powerful workflows and align them to your business processes
- Integrate and present external data into SharePoint sites
- Effectively brand your SharePoint Server 2010 sites to make them unique and powerful
- Leverage custom branding through the use of CSS, master pages, templates, themes and other features
About the Author
Kathy Hughes is a Microsoft MVP for SharePoint Server with a Masters Degree in interaction design from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. Hughes trains and consults on SharePoint, focusing on design, usability, and customization. She contributed to multiple SharePoint Server 2007 books, and authored a comprehensive five-day SharePoint Server 2007 Designer course used by Mindsharp and its partners worldwide. She speaks regularly at Microsoft events including TechEd Australia and Office DevCon Australia.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is suitable for anyone that is either embarking, or currently involved in SharePoint 2010, at a level from Contributor and above. I say, embarking, as approximately 20-30% covers SharePoint in general, in an easy to read informative manner yet still conveys the technical information you require. That alone is not easy to achieve. Don't get me wrong, this is not a re-hash of SharePoint's history and why you should use it etc., this is new material written in a concise and pleasurable style.
I was going to say something like the first 200 or 300 pages cover overviews but actually it is quite difficult to just isolate out the content in that manner. Yes, it starts with some overviews but before you know it you are picking up SharePoint Designer tricks, tips and how-tos without knowing it. I am glad it is not one of those volumes with endless screen shots and bullet points to follow. They do exist, but quite rightly when it is the only sensible concise why to cover the point.
If you will be working, or expect to work, on SharePoint, at a more technical level, something above an Information Worker, then this could be the only book you need.
Administrators should use it to supplement a good administrators companion to not only make better use themselves of SharePoint but understand how the business is using it.
Developers should have it, even before they start development, as SharePoint supports so much that can be done with Zero Code. Starting with this and then moving on to bespoke development with Visual Studio once you have a sound understanding of SharePoint and can identify when and why code needs to be cut.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The great thing about the Kindle version is that it is so easy to access (compared to the published book which at more than 1600 pages would be a little weighty to be carrying around). The bookmarking and linking within the Kindle book make it a snap to navigate around and jump between topics. The only thing I would have possibly liked to see is an entry in the Kindle 'Go to' jump list pointing to the Index. The Index is a really quick way to find key topics. Tip: for now I simply manually jump to Location 25225 of the book to view the index... 25225, remember that location :-)
Note, there's also a bunch of free downloads that accompany the book - more than 50MB of samples, code and additional stuff. The link is above in the main Product description. I only just realised this.
The breadth of the book is pretty staggering, covering high level topics in a way that makes them easily digestible, but also diving into minute details in every area. The technical attention to detail in this very impressive.
As other reviews have noted, the book includes coverage of just about everything, from in-depth InfoPath topics and ASP.NET controls, right down to comparing the pros and cons of DIVs versus tables in SP styling and the subtleties of encoding characters. An area like Workflow is given excellent treatment, as are all the various data integration and BCS scenarios. Who knew SharePoint Designer has so much packed into it?
It's unusual to find an auther who covers both front-end and back-end development so well. I was surprised to find that the author - who knows the intricacies of XSLT and data transformation deeply - also knows so much about the ins-and-outs of CSS and visual styling.
This book won't be for everyone, eg if you are after a basic introduction to SPD then this will probably overwhelm you. But if you are developer looking to learn SharePoint Designer 2010 in a deep way, then this is the book to use.
However, I am still giving this book 5 stars because of the quality and quantity of content. I can't see any other way of effectively communicating this much information. If you are just starting out in development you can go a long way with this book - it works as both a reference book and as a more narrative/instructional book.
When I says "development" I don't mean to say this book covers a lot actual coding, because it doesn't. Almost none. I'm using the term development in the sense of customizing, modifying, and expanding SharePoint from its out of the box version using SharePoint specific tools. Obviously this book is not about working in Visual Studio and C# or VB, but I was pleasantly surprised with how far you can get by properly understanding what SharePoint has to offer and how powerful Designer can be.
Tweeting and unpackaging Sure, I replied, I am doing a lot of stuff with SPD these days, so I can do a practical check to see if my questions (and those of my customer) are dealt with in this book.
I picked it up (riding my bike all the way through the Antwerp Harbor with pouring rain) and I was immediately amazed at the weight of the book! When I removed the cardboard packaging, the orange/red cover with 1600 pages of SPD goodness was looking at me.
The book: Parts, Chapters and content
The book is divided into 4 parts, who have their respective chapters.
In the beginning of the book you have the "Contents at a Glance" overview, showing those parts and chapters:
Part I: Welcome to SharePoint Server 2010
1. SharePoint 2010 Overview
2. SharePoint 2010 Architectural Overview
3. Introduction to the SharePoint 2010 Fluid Interface
4. Design Administrative Tasks: Site Settings, Permissions and Creating Sites
5. In-Browser Customization: Navigation, Content Pages and Content
6. In-Browser Customization: Branding with Web Parts, Themes and Master Pages
Part II: Enhancing Sites with SharePoint Designer 2010
7. Web Interface Design with SharePoint Designer 2010
8. Creating Sites with Site Templates
9. Working with Content Types and Columns in SharePoint Designer
10. Creating and Configuring Lists and Libraries
Part III: Styling and Designing SharePoint 2010 Sites
11. Understanding SharePoint Designer Editing Features
12. Working with Content Pages in SharePoint Designer
13. Building New Content Pages and Configuring Web Parts and Web Part Zones
14. Extending Content Pages with Media and Dialogs
15. Creating New Publishing Page Layouts
16. Working with and Creating New SharePoint Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
17. Creating New SharePoint 2010 Master Pages
18. SharePoint Themes and Themable CSS: The Icing on the Cake
Part IV: Data Manipulation and Business Processes
19. Configuring Data Sources (Non-BCS)
20. External Content Types and External Lists (BCS)
21. Manipulating Data with ASP.NET Data Controls
22. Overview of XSLT List View and Data View Web Parts in SharePoint 2010
23. Working with XSLT List View Web Parts (XLVs)
24. Working with the Data View and Data Form Web Parts
25. Configuring and Customizing List Forms
26. Customizing List Forms with InfoPath 2010 Forms
27. Using Workflows and Creating Custom Workflows
28. Creating Custom List Actions: Adding Buttons to the Ribbon and List Item Menus
After that, a ToC is shown with all the processes that are described in the book. That list goes on for about 23 pages.. no shortage on content here!!
Same for the end of the book..40 pages with index so you can look up a specific word or functionality ( like "Conditional Formatting").
That leaves about 1500 pages of pure, shiny SPD functionality! Really every aspect of using SPD passes by, from creating workflows to creating custom forms, from configuring external datasources to changing the look&feel.
A large number of "notes" are scattered around the how-to's to give more in depth information or to outline special cases ("adding the rating control to content pages is only relevant where you are running SP 2010. It does not apply to foundation").
This makes the book ideal for people who are working with SharePoint (just started or SP Veterans). Almost no code is mentioned in the book (except some small css or very understandable other stuff) and all the how-to's are really clear. I also like the best practices. It is not when you can that you should, so these come in handy for the less tech-savvy in the organization. They are clear and give the reason why you shouldn't.
My 0.02 $
Just like SharePoint Administrators have their SharePoint Administrator's Companion book, key users / information workers have this "bible". Every SharePoint team needs at least 1 copy of this book because once you have it nearby, you are going to use. A lot! I noticed that my other SharePoint team members are more at my desk then before just to browse in the book.
It covers everything (and I do mean everything) you can do with SPD2010, very efficiently written in a process structure so you can follow the steps in order to get to your goal. A lot of images help you to keep on track.
I know there are a lot of good (and sometimes not so good) sources online, but they are not always right or apply to an old beta version. Kathy did an amazing job on writing this, and I can only imagine the hard work and hours of blood, sweat and SharePoint tears that were necessary to create this "all the cool stuff you can do with this program" book. If she wasn't a MVP already, she would sure get my vote!! (not that anyone ever asks, but hey..)
This book is not going on my shelve, I am going to keep it on my desk next to my keyboard so I can grab it every time I need it!