- Paperback: 268 pages
- Publisher: Apress; 1st ed. edition (4 May 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1430241764
- ISBN-13: 978-1430241768
- Product Dimensions: 19.1 x 1.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,341,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Practical SharePoint 2010 Information Architecture (Expert's Voice in Sharepoint) Paperback – 4 May 2012
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About the Author
Ruven Gotz leads the Collaboration Practice in Canada at Avanade. As a SharePoint MVP, Yammer Certified Community Manager, highly-rated speaker and author with over 25 years of IT industry experience, Ruven has spent the past decade delivering award-winning SharePoint solutions and advising clients on collaboration, governance and other aspects of applying technology to enhance productivity. Ruven is a long-time contributor to the SharePoint community, co-founding the Toronto SharePoint Business Users Group and serving on the organizing committee for SharePoint Saturday Toronto and SharePoint Summit Toronto.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Part of my excitement was due to the fact that I knew the book's author (and respected him - as many others in the SharePoint space do - as an extremely knowledgeable and friendly person), and part was due to the fact that someone was *finally* putting together a book on SharePoint information architecture!
If you've been working with SharePoint for any period of time, then you may have heard about a project or two that failed to deliver on their promise. In many cases, examining failed SharePoint projects leads back to a common source of problem: the failure to adequately assess and plan the underlying information architecture. In the rush to "get the site out," it's easy to overlook the need to understand how stakeholders think about their data, how site collections should be organized, how content types should be structured, and more. Failing to address these concerns places just about any SharePoint implementation in jeopardy.
In many ways, this book is something of the "missing BA (business analyst) guide" that should have been made mandatory for anyone attempting to envision and architect a SharePoint implementation. I found myself reading through the book's chapters, thinking about my own implementations, going back over sections, taking notes on some of the techniques described ... and laughing a lot given the book's light-hearted approach to its topic.
Nowadays, I find myself coming back to this book before I start engagements that involve SharePoint planning. It's an excellent planning resource and reminder, and I keep it close-by on the bookshelf behind me. I can't recommend it highly enough, and I honestly believe that there's no other resource quite like it in the SharePoint space right now.
The book leads you through from preparing for success, tools and approaches to use for metadata, site layout and navigation, page layout and design, process mapping, successful search strategies, and getting your people to use the designed solution.
In most cases, Ruven suggests tools (often free software) and techniques to apply those tools where you would be the facilitator/leader of the process. With the information from this book you can get a good start on following Ruvens' methods with the materials presented in the book.
One chapter presents information about using Issue Based Information Systems (IBIS), which is a powerful tool for dealing with complex social/political problems where no clear solution exists. This chapter provides a good reason to invest further study in this tool, but does not provide enough to really get going on it yourself. I have done previous study in IBIS, so this was not a big problem for me.
While the book makes reference to some SharePoint features in a "you can do this" kind of way, it does not provide instruction on how to configure or use SharePoint to accomplish specific tasks. I found this both useful (in that it does not distract you from the lesson at hand) and frustrating (in that I have to figure it out without a direct reference).
The techniques are applicable to any version of SharePoint, and some are useful for other types of problem solving/solution architecting situations.
Overall, the book is easy reading with good examples and humour to keep it interesting. The easy part is reading the book, the challenge is to put it into practice (which will require practice). I find myself going back and re-reading chapters as I prepare to work with people in the area covered by a chapter.
This is a book I will keep close and reference often until I am well practised in the techniques presented.
Ruven explains taxonomy and metadata and how to develop content types. I think he might have spent more time discussing how enterprise taxonomies fit into the context of SharePoint and some of the discovery processes (90 minute sessions per group that should be completed in a single hour) may be a bit constrained for my taste, but they are - again - practical. This approach is very much aligned with agile processes and the idea that we can get a good sense of what users need very quickly and then iterate, so I will not fault him for this approach. It is likely all that is needed in many cases.
Another area that might need more discussion would be treatment of the decision making process for splitting content among sites and within sites along with construction and configuration of libraries. However, some of these areas start to veer off into configuration versus information architecture.
There are some great techniques for derivation of content models and for understanding of metadata structures. The method for gaining consensus among teams and documenting the thought process behind decisions using Dialogue Mapping is very useful.
I would recommend this for anyone doing SharePoint IA work and it is a great first edition treatment of the topic. I would write more about the book but don't have it in from of me. One of my senior consultants immediately borrowed it from me after I showed it to him last week at a conference. I'll likely not see it back...
Worth the money and read.