Thursday, April 05, 2007

Book Review: SharePoint (Building Office 2007 Solutions in C#)

Microsoft SharePoint: Building Office 2007 Solutions in C# 2005

Scot Hillier

ISBN: 1590598091

This book’s a critical resource if you’re doing development on the SharePoint 2007 platform.  The book hits a solid overview of the many features of Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) and also gives you good dives into many of those same features.  The book also deals with Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) and lays out differences between WSS and MOSS.

Hillier does a great job of covering the gory details of MOSS and hits the pros and cons of each feature.  One example would be the hideous XML you have to hand-generate for working with the Business Data Catalog.  He also does a great job discussing one of my recent pain points: workflow.  Hillier lays out the strengths of the feature (workflow’s power of process automation), then talks about the warts of the feature (design difficulties, numerous issues surrounding SharePoint Designer, etc.).  Hillier is also honest about where MOSS features fall short, such as the note laying Hillier’s preference for the K2 workflow engine over that of native Windows Workflow Foundation on MOSS.

The book is structured in a concise, highly usable fashion.  Hillier discusses topics, then uses clearly written examples to walk you through the topic.  All the examples are implemented in an environment that Hillier focuses an entire chapter on setting up.  That chapter (#2) is one of the book’s gems since it shows you how to get an entire development infrastructure set up and configured using Virtual Server to host three separate machines.

If you’ve already had exposure to MOSS then the book may not have a lot of extras for you.  The dives into each feature aren’t necessarily extremely deep dives, but they are good enough to get you well-versed with the concepts.

Hillier’s book is an absolute must-have if you’re looking to move in to any sort of work on the MOSS platform.


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