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The best books to learn SharePoint development

A friend of mine has asked me recently what is the best book to start with Microsoft SharePoint development. Well this only seems to be an easy question for someone who has been working on implementation of variuos Microsoft SharePoint apps since some time. While there are really lots of books on the market the I believe could be an introduction to Microsoft SharePoint, and I personally believe the "Beginning SharePoint 2013 Development" from Wrox is an excellent choice. Here is the book cover:

The book is a good start for someone that has no previous experiences with SharePoint. The SharePoint platform has been on the market since some years now, with the very popular previous MS SharePoint 2010 Foundation version, and there is a lot of literature that makes an assumption about the reader's knowledge of previous SharePoint versions. The "Beginning SharePoint 2013 Development" is not one of them. What you will find here is a smooth introduction into the SharePoint platform starting from the very basics.

In the first chapter you will be introduced to the SharePoint architecture, SharePoint application model - with different application types, and then - as a follow up - there a discussion about the tools that could be used for development of SharePoint applications. What is the assumption about reader's skills is knowing HTML (and HTML5), CSS, JavaScript and basics of C# development. The author mentions Windows Azure for SharePoint which is an amazing solution that is becoming more and more popular on the market.

In the following chapters the author introduces concepts more connected with actual SharePoint development - developing different types of apps, SharePoint Client-Side Model and REST APIs, OAuth with Sharepoint, as well as packaging and deploying SharePoint 2013 applications. The last part of the book is focused on advanced topics connected with SharePoint development, including implementation of SharePoint apps that are integrated with Microsoft Office solutions, and development of applications using Office Services.

There is another book which I believe is a great introduction for Microsoft SharePoint development. Wrox has published another book titled "Professional SharePoint 2013 Development" which is a good introduction to SharePoint programming.

The author first starts with an architectural overview of the SharePoint platform, and discussing new things introduced with SharePoint 2013 - so if have any experience with SharePoint 2010, then those chapters will be of your interest. Following up you will find a good introduction of tools to be used for development of SharePoint 2013 apps, and with the application lifecycle management. Author makes a solid introduction into Microsoft Azure and SharePoint integration, and then moves up to different aspects of developing apps.

There is a really interesting chapter about creating search-based applications, which I believe is one crucial for this book, as SharePoint is very often used as a platform for searching. Another interesting subject is using InfoPath with SharePoint 2013, and Enterprise Document Management. Similarily to the previous book, you will also find a lot of information here about integrating SharePoint solutions with Microsoft Office - especially with MS Excel and MS Access.

Creating robust solutions that utilize Business Intelligence is often a requirement for someone working with SharePoint. And happily you will find a lot of information about it in this book. There is a separate chapter which deals with using Reporting Services with MS Sharepoint. The latest version of Reporting Services which is SSRS 2012 can be installed and configured with both SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013, so the integration with Reporting Services is not a new functionality of the platform. But prior to SSRS 2012 there was a number of issues connected with the integration. With SSRS 2012 the Reporting Services has become a true service application in SharePoint. That makes it much easier to deploy the platform and to build applications that utilize its strengths.

In another chapter authors give a solid introduction to PerformancePoint Services - a technology that can allow IT departments to create interactive dashboards which consolidate data from various data sources into unified charts, graphs and tables.

Posted by Michal Sporek