Book Review: SharePoint 2010 at Work by Mark Miller

SharePoint at Work Book CoverMy luck with picking SharePoint 2010 books is continuing because I just read SharePoint 2010 at Work by Mark Miller who assembles a veritable “Best Of” EndUserSharePoint.com writing. This book is a keeper! The book chockfull of practical SharePoint knowledge in multiple facets of designing, developing, and deploying SharePoint 2010 inside the corporate enterprise. The book is actually a compilation of articles written by SharePoint 2010 practitioners who work in the industry.

The  SharePoint Maturity Model that leads off the book  should be required reading for anybody deploying Microsoft SharePoint 2010 today. As I’ve often said, it’s not that SharePoint is bad, it’s the implementation. The SharePoint Maturity Model (by Sadalit Van Buren) homes in on one of the biggest issues I’ve encountered with SharePoint through multiple contracts as a technical writer and that is that too many times when it comes to SharePoint that organizations don’t really know what they have and focus on projects that may not bring a suitable Return on Investment. Organizations need to have a cohesive way to analyze and understand the SharePoint platform as a whole that makes this article required reading in my opinion.

The SharePoint Power User can sometimes be ignored in some organizations which is a shame. This is why another strong selling point of this book is the focus it takes on the SharePoint power users who is perhaps the most valuable ally a SharePoint deployment can have. The book takes a nice tact on empowering the power user including addressing the question of to allow or not allow SharePoint Designer for the power users.

Another element that goes missing or shortchanged in SharePoint implementation is documentation and the book addresses some best practices on documenting solutions. The book’s Empowered Utopia in 10 Steps – which even the author calls common sense – shows how traditional SharePoint development steps can be applied to channeling SharePoint power users and I recommend that every organization take this under consideration.

The book then moves into more technical sections that tackle jQuery; SharePoint Data View Web Part XSL Tags; Hyperlinks in the Data View Web Part; SPJS Charts for SharePoint; Logic Functions; Creating Document Libraries with Mixed Content Sources; SharePoint 2010 Tab Page; and how to address a Global Navigation Solution Across Site Selections. Each of the articles are written in a very methodical and practical tone that SharePoint Developers all over should find appealing.

Too often SharePoint is thrust upon us and books like SharePoint 2010 at Work shine because they offer practical advice and lessons learned from the trenches by people actively involved in SharePoint development and deployment. If you are always on the look out for practical advice about SharePoint 2010 from real people, then I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

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