This book is for people who want to "get things done" in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. You won't find a long and detailed history of the SharePoint product or a comprehensive explanation of every SharePoint feature. Rather, this book is a collection of recipes designed to quickly show you how to achieve common SharePoint tasks. Each recipe has a set of easy-to-follow instructions that first show you "how to do it", followed by an explanation of "why it works".
This is not a "tell me everything about SharePoint" book. You can read that for free on the Microsoft websites. Much like driving a car, you don't need to know how the engine works to be able to take the kids to school. This book is not "SharePoint explained"; rather this book is "SharePoint applied".
Taken individually, each recipe will make you more productive when using SharePoint 2010. The recipes are intended to be read "stand-alone". Feel free to dip in and out of the book as and when you need to know how to perform a particular task.
However, if you read this book as a whole, the simple, intermediate, and advanced recipes that it contains will walk you through a range of collaboration, data integration, business intelligence, electronic form, and workflow scenarios. The recipes will build your SharePoint knowledge to a point where you can "think SharePoint", applying the skills you have learnt to solve complex business problems. At the end of the book, I present three "no code" SharePoint applications that show you how to approach this.
This book is written from the perspective of the end user, not the SharePoint product. In creating its recipes, I haven't restricted them along product boundaries. Along with the standard SharePoint recipes that you would expect, you will also find recipes that show you how to use SharePoint Designer and InfoPath Forms Designer when they are needed to get the job done. You will also find a number of recipes that focus on integrating SharePoint 2010 with Office 2010. Some authors would have you buy several books to cover all these topics; I ask you to buy only one.
If you want to be more productive with SharePoint, then this book is for you.
This book is presented in eight chapters and an appendix covering the following areas:
Chapter 1: Getting Started—SharePoint Essential focuses on SharePoint 2010 fundamentals, including creating and using your My Site, tracking colleagues, bookmarking sites, registering for alerts, and using themes to change how SharePoint looks and feels. Recipes are provided that show you how to create columns, lists, content types, and how to secure information on a SharePoint 2010 site.
Chapter 2: Working Together—Using SharePoint to Collaborate explores the tools that allow you to use SharePoint 2010 to work more effectively. It shows you how to create a Team Site and add users to it. You will learn how to create a shared calendar for important events and a shared task list to keep track of your team's tasks. You will see how to manage the calendar and tasks using Outlook 2010. You will learn how to use the site to gather feedback using a discussion forum and how to share PowerPoint slides using a slide library.
Chapter 3: SharePoint as the Data Hub—Storing and Integrating Data is all about storing and integrating data in SharePoint 2010. It covers storing data directly in SharePoint, using custom lists, and so on. It shows you how to include data from an external database using external content types and how to include common terms in the managed metadata store. Important list concepts are covered including creating list views and columns based on metadata.
Chapter 4: SharePoint Document Management Deep Dive explores document management in SharePoint 2010. You will learn how to upload and download documents and use the document management features such as versioning, "check in/check-out", publishing, and content approval. You will see how to take your documents offline using Outlook 2010. You will see how to use content types to store different types of documents in the same document library. You will learn how the new co-authoring features allow multiple authors to work on the same document at the same time.
Chapter 5: Getting the Message Out—Using SharePoint to Communicate focuses on SharePoint 2010's communication features. It explains how to create a blog on your My Site and how to post to that blog from Word 2010. It shows how to create and publish web pages in a publishing site, how to use announcements to communicate important news, and how to use audiences to target your messages to the right people.
Chapter 6: Where's My Stuff?—Finding Things with SharePoint is all about using SharePoint's search facility. It shows how to use basic and advanced searches to find documents, information, and people. It shows how to save your searches as alerts so that you will automatically be notified if the results change.
Chapter 7: Gaining Insights—Using SharePoint for Business Intelligence explains the business intelligence capabilities of SharePoint 2010. It shows you how to create master/detail views of SharePoint data and how to create Key Performance Indicators. The creation of charts is illustrated using the built-in Chart Web Part and the PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer. Reports are created using the Report Builder tool, and Excel Services is used to run spreadsheets directly on the SharePoint server.
Chapter 8: Automating Business Processes—Recipes for Electronic Forms and Workflows examines SharePoint's electronic forms and workflow capabilities. Recipes are included that provide a deep dive into InfoPath 2010 and the electronic forms technology included in SharePoint Server. You will learn how to use the Collect Feedback workflow to receive feedback on a document that you have authored. You will see how to create custom workflows using Microsoft Visio 2010 and SharePoint Designer 2010. You will learn how to view a workflow's current execution status, its execution history, and how to start SharePoint 2010 workflows directly from inside a Word 2010 document.
Appendix: Joining the Dots—Creating Composite Applications draws together all the recipes presented early in the book to create three "no code" SharePoint 2010 applications. These simple Human Resources, Customer Relationship Management, and Project Management solutions build upon and reinforce the concepts presented earlier in the book. The purpose of this chapter is to teach you how to "think SharePoint", applying the knowledge and tools you have gained to solve real business problems in the future.
To follow all the recipes in this book, you will need the following software:
SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition
SharePoint Designer 2010
InfoPath Forms Designer 2010
Visio Premium 2010
Internet Explorer 7 or higher
You will need to have access to a "My Site" and will need various SharePoint 2010 permission levels from Reader up to Site Administrator. If you have another version of SharePoint 2010 (Foundation, Standard) or lower access permissions you will still find many of the recipes in the book useful. Details of the software and permissions levels that you require and the SharePoint versions that it will work with are included in each recipe.
SharePoint 2010 is both an application and a development platform. It allows for extensive post-installation customization and development. The recipes in this book have been tested and verified on a vanilla SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition installation. It is possible that your installation may look or behave differently depending on the amount of customization that has been applied.
If you don't have access to SharePoint 2010 Enterprise Edition but would like to try all the recipes in this book, Microsoft has a 180-days' evaluation version that you can download and install. However, SharePoint is a heavyweight server product, so make sure your machine can meet the hardware prerequisites before you do. Find the evaluation download at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/ee388573.aspx.
During the production of this book, Microsoft released Office 365, including the latest version of their SharePoint Online offering. All the recipes in this book have been tested against the Office 365 E4 service plan.
SharePoint Designer is a free download located at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=d88a1505-849b-4587-b854-a7054ee28d66.
This book is for people who want to "get things done" in SharePoint 2010. It doesn't matter if you consider yourself a SharePoint user, project manager, business analyst, trainer, administrator, or developer; if you need to work with SharePoint 2010, then this book is for you.
Unfortunately, many SharePoint "experts" never take the time to learn SharePoint 2010 as the user sees it. They simply fail to understand what the product can do, and end up either constantly selling their customers short or reinventing the wheel.
In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.
New terms and important words are shown in bold. Words that you see on the screen, in menus, or dialog boxes for example, appear in the text like this: "Open the Site Actions menu and select the More Options menu option".
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