harbar.net component based software & platform hygiene

Quality SharePoint books

Print | posted on Saturday, March 14, 2009 8:04 PM

I’m often asked for book recommendations. One of the good and bad things about the popularity of SharePoint 2007 is there are now gazillions of titles to choose from. Back in the day you’d struggle to find any SharePoint material on the shelves and in 2001 there was only one decent book at all. Today it’s a different story. Trouble is with quantity comes an inevitable decrease in quality. Of late however there has been a number of excellent books published. I’m not saying these are the ones you should get, but rather that the ones listed below are ones that I rate as being of significant quality and technically accurate.

In this post I’m assuming you are familiar with fundamentals and already own such seminal works such as Inside WSS and the Admin Pocket Companion.


Inside the Index and Search Engines: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007
This is probably the finest technical material ever published on SharePoint 2007. It really is an exceptional achievement both in it’s technical quality but also it’s writing and clarity. Of course this is a book just about search, but the authors have done a tremendous job of covering all the core bases and more besides. If you are working with SharePoint in the enterprise you simply must own this book. There are a few minor errata (annoyingly one in a topology diagram) but otherwise it’s first rate.

The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users
There’s way too much focus on technical things in the world of SharePoint. All too often people overlook the real world of SharePoint, which is all about Content and Users. I’m frequently amazed at the number of SharePoint practitioners I meet who are so locked in focus on either the IT Pro or Development side, that they overlook the real power in the platform. It’s essential that practitioners are effective at using the software they are deploying. I have to keep forcing myself to live by this mantra, it’s not easy if your day job is all about disposing objects and managing slices of SAN. This book is a great reference to ensure you don’t loose the plot completely.

Inside SharePoint Administration
Blimey. This one is a bit good. I was skeptical, but the guys really pulled this one off. It’s the best all in one admin guide for SharePoint 2007, no doubt about it. It’s new, that means it includes real lessons from real deployments. It doesn’t ever really go real deep but as a 360 view of the world of SharePoint administration it’s far superior to any of the other similar titles on the market. The writing style is kinda chatty, and there are a few minor errors. However if you want one book to get up to speed on looking after a SharePoint deployment from the IT side this is the one to get.

SharePoint 2007 Developer's Guide to Business Data Catalog
There’s a ton of resources out there for working with the BDC, but this is the first proper treatment in print. Brett Lonsdale and Nick Swan have done a great job here. Whilst the title is “developer’s guide” this book really should be required reading for anyone implementing BDC for enterprise line of business integration. They cover all the bases and then proceed to dive into the gory details of programming with BDC. BDC is such an immensely powerful capability, it cannot be ignored. Going forward this will be even more important, so get skilled up now. I thought I knew a bunch about the BDC but after reading this I realized I had been accosted by the relentless marketing machine behind LOB integration :)

Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development: Building Publishing Sites with Office SharePoint Server 2007
The longest title ever in the history of SharePoint, even longer than the product name itself :) To be perfectly clear I shouldn’t really be pimping this one, as I contributed a few chapters, and the main man is my long time cohort, the scary smart cookie Andrew Connell. But it is rather really good, if you want the inside skinny on what publishing sites on SharePoint are all about – this is your 1st stop material.