Book Reviews

Training DVD Review: “The SharePoint Shepherd Reveals: Introduction to SharePoint Development”
Rob Bogue simply does good work. “The SharePoint Shepherd Reveals: Introduction to SharePoint Development” is no exception. In Rob, you’ll find an experienced, well rounded consultant with an inside track and a good sense of humor. You will not get far into this training video before you recognize that. Right out of the gate you get a quick demo of how to create a Web Part followed by a detailed explanation. That sets the precedent for the rest of the series.
The first thing that stands out is that Rob does things in the right order. There is a lot to SharePoint, hence the need for a guided tour. Rob starts out with an overview of Web Parts – one of the key features of SharePoint that is often taken for granted. Rob then progresses to security, data access, lists, then some of the more advanced development topics. Rob’s commitment to best practices is evident throughout the lessons. It is a really nice touch to break down the development environment as well.
Rob strikes me as someone who as a young man would tear electronics apart to figure out how they work and then put them back together. If you are the same type of person, you will appreciate the explanation of what happens behind the scenes when you click a button or run a command. Rob’s mantra is sound: just because you CAN do something does not mean you SHOULD. I encourage you to watch the lessons multiple times. If are new to SharePoint development, revisit the video series once you have developed some solutions and it will help you make sense of some of the things you’ve done. I appreciated the overview of SharePoint architecture and Rob’s disclosure of some of the tools he found useful for development and debugging. Even if you are starting out on SharePoint 2013, you’ll find that much of this series is still applicable.
Regarding the production itself, it is evident that many, many hours of work went into this series. I thought it was a good mix of lecture and demos. The use of a chromakey green screen allowed Rob to superimpose himself over the slides he was presenting. This was a nice deviation from a typical PowerPoint presentation and will manage to grab your attention a little more. It is really the next best thing to an in-person presentation.
If you are SharePoint developer who is serious about development following best practices, I encourage you to add “The SharePoint Shepherd Reveals: Introduction to SharePoint Development” to your training library. It’s a valuable tool. You’re sure to learn from it.
SharePoint for Project Management

In his book SharePoint for Project Management, Dux Raymond Sy provides an excellent structure for getting your PMIS started using SharePoint.  What I liked most about his book was that, at its core, it was really a book about project management and good practices that help to make a project successful.  These core concepts do not change, no matter what the project may be. (Come on all you project managers out there – admit it… you create a project plan for everything you do, even if it’s organizing your sock drawer!)  By focusing on good project management practices, instead of just SharePoint facts and features, Dux is able to make the book resonate with project managers.  As he then steps us through the relevant capabilities in SharePoint, we are able to quickly tie the “how to do it” with the “why to do it”.  Of course, you can always try out one of the templates already available for tracking projects, but going through the book is also just a really good SharePoint 101 for those needing an introduction to the technology. 

SharePoint 2007: The Definitive Guide
 
This book is one of my favorite SharePoint books in terms of introducing people to the platform.  Readers are introduced to the features of SharePoint at a nice, introductory pace.  The differences between Windows SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 are clearly explained.  I like to recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an introduction to SharePoint.
Apress Book Review Program
Apress
 
If you are an ESPUG member and see an Apress or Friends of Ed book you would like to review, let us know and we will order it for you.  Once you review it, it is yours to keep.
 
All of our group members also receive a 25% discount if you order from Apress.  Here is how to order:
 
Place your order with our distributor, Springer, by calling 1-800-SPRINGER. Once you connect with a customer service representative, please mention the discount code, "APRESSUG" along with the name of your user group.
O'Reilly Book Review Program Details

ESPUG Members - If you are interested in reviewing books four our Book Review Blog let me know.  Each book that you review is yours to keep.  Below are the details from our O'Reilly rep about discounts our group receives on all of their books.
O'Reilly

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Your group members receive a 35% discount on O'Reilly, No Starch, PC Publishing, Pragmatic Bookshelf, Rocky Nook, SitePoint, or YoungJin products purchased directly from O'Reilly. The discount code your members should use is DSUG. Orders can be placed online at http://www.oreilly.com/store/ or by calling 800-998-9938. Your members are also entitled to a discount on O'Reilly conferences and tutorials. Other special discount offers may also be forwarded to your group from time to time.

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