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66 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2004
I bought Scot's book hot off the presses, since it's the first major SharePoint 2003 book. When I got it, I breezed through it, and I'll be honest - I was unimpressed.
Well, I had reason to browse through it again, and this time I just sat down and started reading it. That's when I realized - certain book publishers that use multiple authors had taught me not to bother reading computer books through, as they were so disjointed they worked better as technical manuals. So that's what I'm used to - being able to flip a few pages and find the thing I'm looking for.
Scot's book is different. It harkens back to a day where you could actually read through a book and learn a new technology in a structured manner. If you take the time to read the book from start to finish (it doesn't take long - if you skim the tutorials you can probably get through most of it in a single evening) it's a good thorough introduction to SharePoint. And I mean thorough - there are tutorials on building web parts, working with page templates, creating data views in FrontPage, integrating Windows Single Signon...
(Incidentally, I'm not trying to cast aspersion on one method of publishing over another - I'm simply trying to indicate the different "reading philosophies" each may require)
He also has a nice walkthrough for creating a new portal from the ground up - laying out areas, sites, as well as explaining users and groups.
All in all, I give this book a healthy thumb's up for anyone who wants to learn SharePoint admin and development - for the first book out of the gate, it's an excellent reference to have.
Philo
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2004
I was working through the MOC courseware, which is incoherent and riddled with mistakes, and I turned to this book using one of my time-tested methods for determining the merits of a tech book: I looked to see if it addressed the problem I was stuck on, and how skillfully it described the solution. I also look to see how well it attacks the most confusing subject I'm trying to come to grips with.

This book succeeded fabulously on both counts. My particular problem had to do with pinpointing an error in which my new Web Part was rendered as an obnoxious and non-specific security error in a Web Part Page. The answer: make sure that your .dwp file has a properly coded 'Assembly' section in it. Scot's explanation illuminated the whole strong-naming and deployment cycle beautifully.

As for the confusing subject, the first few chapters build an SPS portal from the ground up, explaining everything along the way. No one paragraph holds the key, but when you're done building this simple portal, you look up and the lights have been turned on. You start being able to successfully distinguish among portal, site collection, top-level site, area, topic (these are all variants of sites, btw), etc. and will know when when one is a better fit than another. The concepts that most experts fail to explain are no longer mystifying. That's a tremendous accomplishment.

This book could single-handedly dispel the myth that SharePoint Products and Services require mystic knowledge to operate.

Beware that the book's primary focus is development and programming, which it also explains beautifully, but even if you're an administrator, the first few chapters alone will be worth the price of admission.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 7, 2005
"Microsoft Sharepoint: Building Office 2003 Solutions" by Scott Hiller is a introductory book on Sharepoint technology for developers

Starting 4 chapters are on Introducing Sharepoint Portal server, Installation and on content creation (nothing for developer there). Next 3 chapters provide good understanding of web part development. There is chapter on Integration with office 2003 Smart document stuff. Next Chapter discusses the programming to Sharepoint object model. Next chapter provides some information on the Sharepoint Portal server administration and at the end it discusses the 2 office solution Accelerators (for Proposals and for Recruiting).

This book contains good amount of sample code for the web parts development, and 2 Solution Accelerators chapters. Other chapters are of introductory knowledge on Sharepoint usage and administration. Depending on your need only few chapters might be useful. If you have knowledge of .NET development and want to understand web part development, web part chapters of this book along with the Microsoft Sharepoint SDK might be good place to start.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2004
I found this book to be an excellent resource for people looking to do anything with sharepoint, whether it be development or deployment or anything inbetween. This book covers all the bases, and while it isn't as in depth as future sharepoint books will be, the information is timely. For me as a developer and implementer with sharepoint projects stacked on top of one another, i'm scrambling for as much information as i can get. With other sharepoint books still being a month away from being available at the time I write this, I'm glad that I found at least one helpful resource to use in the interim. If you're looking for a super advanced tech manual, this is not the book for you, however for right now it's the closest thing you're gonna find outside of MSDN.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2004
This book covers some great topics, but not in enough detail in some of the areas I had hoped. I was shocked when I received the book because I was expecting a typical thick geek book--a disappointment for spending $(...)!
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
Here ares ome of the bugs i had encountered with this book

Missing hardware configuration on chapter 2 to start the 1.excersises in the book

2.Some steps on installing and running web parts past security poorly stated.

3.At time there was no data on the web page to demonstrate web part capabilities and other SPS features

4. Documents do not move on chapter 8

5. Cannot get testing Secure Access to work on chapter 10

6. Could not get the accelerartors to work on chapter 11

This book is a very good introduction to SPS and the reader does learn alot on the subject. However some of the interesting features do not work from the book due to poor description or bad writeup. however the author was very thorough in his coverage.
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2004
This is the first book Ive read till now about SPS 2003, but of course, after MOC (Microsoft Officel Curriculum) books. Ive really loved the way of the book. Examples were great and the path he followed was ideal. Thnx.
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10 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2005
The chapter in this book on Web Parts is well explained and laid out with one huge fundamental flaw; the author can't decide whether he wants to illustrate examples with C# or VB.Net. He'll begin explaining a concept in C# and suddenly switch to VB and vice versa. Regardless of how proficient a programmer you are, this is awkward and confusing. Examples should be done in C#, VB, or both.

I understand the desire to cover both VB and C# in a single book, but this awkward attempt to do so effectively produces an inadequate implementation of each rather than a decent implementation of both.

Developers seeking to use this book to learn more about building Web Parts for Sharepoint should steer clear. It may be an inadequately documented field, but this book does not contribute positively towards it.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2006
im moving over from vb to c#, so naturally I would like to see examples written in c# so I can get the semantics down.

This book does not do that. Half in c#, half in vb, fully useless.

Next time release 2 versions of the book. Or better yet, write some of it in vb, some in c#, some in python, some in perl....
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2004
I wont pretend to write a glowing review, I just want say that this is worth looking at.
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