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We’re very pleased to announce that Jennifer Mason, Christian Buckley, Brian T. Jackett, and Wes Preston’s book, Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects has shipped to the printer!

This hands-on book focuses on a different business scenario in each chapter, using a standardized approach to guide you through the solution-building process from start to finish. Build effective business solutions with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 by applying example workflows and principles from real-world projects. Learn how to use your SharePoint skills to develop a corporate intranet, a media hub, a system to support distributed teams, and solutions to many other scenarios.

The book will be available via online retailers around March 25. In the meantime, here’s more information about the book:

Contents at a Glance

Chapter 1: Building a Project Management Solution

Chapter 2: Building a Training Registration Management System Using SharePoint Enterprise

Chapter 3: Building a Basic FAQ Solution Using SharePoint Foundation

Chapter 4: Building a Learning Center Using SharePoint Foundation

Chapter 5: Building a Help Desk Solution Using SharePoint Server Standard

Chapter 6: Building a Remote Teams Activity Site

Chapter 7: Building a Team Blog Platform Using SharePoint Enterprise

Chapter 8: Building a RFP Response Solution

Chapter 9: Building a Contact Management Solution

Chapter 10: Building a Resource Scheduling Solution

Introduction

If you are reading Microsoft SharePoint 2010: Creating and Implementing Real-World Projects, it is likely that you are experienced with SharePoint but looking for ways to really get the most from the out-of-the-box tools. Let’s face it; the truth is that SharePoint is a large platform, with many different tools and methods for building and creating solutions. For someone who is getting started, there is much to take in and learn. That is where this book will come in handy! In the pages of this book, you will be working through and examining many different everyday examples that you are likely to have encountered at your organization.

This book is designed so that you can examine the business problems and then pull together the various tools and techniques available for building solutions within SharePoint to address the given business needs. We have quite a bit of ground to cover, so let’s started.

Who This Book Is For

Before jumping into the chapters, you should be aware that we are expecting you to have a general understanding of the basics of SharePoint. This means that you should be somewhat familiar with common site administrator tasks. This allows us to focus more on why and how to do some advanced configurations. If you aren’t familiar with some of these techniques, you can still continue with the book, and you will still gain lots of knowledge, but you might want to supplement your reading with some of the resources that we recommend in the resource appendix at the end of this book.

Assumptions

To help you understand the level of experience that is prerequisite for this book, following is a list of common tasks that we expect you to be familiar with. We define familiar as knowing the general concepts, not necessarily knowing how to configure and manage everything on the list. For example, in a chapter we might provide an instruction such as “Create a new view for this list.” We expect that you know what a SharePoint view is, and our examples for the view will be specific to the solution at hand and won’t really be focused on the general concept of a SharePoint view. If you are unfamiliar with any of the following items, don’t worry, because it should be easy for you to get up to speed so that you are familiar enough to work through the chapters. Besides, if you are reading a chapter and run into something that you aren’t familiar with, Bing is only a few clicks away!

· Creating sites and webs (subsites)

· Creating lists and libraries

· Managing site permissions

· Creating and customizing list views

· Working with web parts

· Customizing a site with Microsoft SharePoint Designer

· Customizing list forms with Microsoft InfoPath

· SharePoint and Office integration

How This Book Is Organized

When you read each of this book’s chapters, you should look for ways how you can apply the same solutions within your environment. Each chapter is organized in a way that allows you to start with a business problem and then work through the implementation, followed by a discussion about maintaining the solution over time.

The approach the authors have taken in the book is to standardize each chapter's structure, which allows you to understand the what, why, and how of each solution quickly:

· Identifying the Business Problem: Explanation of the business problem to be solved

· Gathering Information: What are the requirements from the business side?

· Designing the Solution: How is the solution going to be implemented, and which SharePoint features are going to be used?

· Building the Solution: How the solution is created (using a lot of screenshots)

· Managing the Solution: What else can/should be done, but isn't part of the project's building process (driven by the individual company's requirements, such as managing permissions)?

· Reviewing the Platform: Can this solution be implemented in SharePoint Foundation, SharePoint Server Standard, SharePoint Server Enterprise, and Office 365 (SharePoint Online)?

This format is consistent across all chapters, so you gain experience in the process of evaluating business problems and applying SharePoint solutions to address specific needs.

Because this book is intended to be read by a large, diverse audience, it is likely that not all scenarios will apply specifically to your needs. It might also be that your scenarios match only part of our solutions. What happens then? It is our intention in this book that you should be able to pull the pieces that apply specifically to your needs and then make adjustments as needed to meet your specific requirements. The chapters should be considered as starting points. If you are a master chef, you might follow a recipe but add your own spices to really enhance the meal you are creating. In the same way, you can think of this book as a collection of recipes. You might follow the recipe exactly or you might enhance or make substitutions. In fact, you might very well combine the techniques from different chapters into a single solution. The point is, where you are able to, look at the different solutions proposed and then adapt them for your specific environment.

Here is a quick summary of what you can find in each of the chapters:

Chapter 1, “Building a Project Management Solution Within SharePoint,” explores a project management solution that provides a way for the project team to collaborate and for the project manager to report project status to the management team.

Chapter 2, “Building a Training Registration Management System Using SharePoint Enterprise,” provides a solution that allows users to view a calendar of courses and then register for those courses directly from the calendar. This solution is built using many of the rich enterprise features in SharePoint, especially InfoPath.

Chapter 3, “Building a Basic FAQ Solution Using SharePoint Foundation,” provides a solution that utilizes SharePoint Foundation to create a centralized location to store and manage FAQs. This solution highlights the rich feature set within SharePoint Foundation and guides you through making the most of the customizations available to you.

Chapter 4, “Building a Learning Center Using SharePoint Foundation,” focuses on designing and implementing a learning center site that aggregates classes and the related documents, discussions, and links to external resources. SharePoint Foundation elements such as lists, lookup columns, and simple SharePoint Designer workflows are utilized to build the solution.

Chapter 5, “Building a Help Desk Solution Using SharePoint Server Standard,” focuses on designing and implementing a help desk solution for creating and tracking service requests for a departmental organization. SharePoint Server Standard elements such as more complex Visio to SharePoint Designer workflows, document libraries, and wiki pages are used to build the solution.

Chapter 6, “Building a Remote Team Activity Site,” takes a look at a simple way to keep geographically dispersed teams connected and their schedules aligned by providing a shared calendar solution. The chapter also offers suggestions for further aligning tasks and documents.

Chapter 7, “Building a Team Blog Platform Using SharePoint Enterprise,” walks through the building of a team blog platform, with all the expected blog components, and outlines a method for reviewing and approving content in a secure and managed way.

Chapter 8, “Building an RFP Response Solution,” walks through the design and steps to build a solution for consulting or services organizations that respond to requests for proposals or bids. The solution enables consistent communication across the organization and manages bid-creation tasks across multiple teams. The solution can be built using any version of SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint Online (Office 365).

Chapter 9, “Building a Contact Management Solution,” steps through the design and building of a contact management solution using core SharePoint functionality available in any version of SharePoint or SharePoint Online (Office 365). The solution extends the out-of-the-box contacts list and starts down the path of presenting multiple facets of data regarding contact management and activities.

Chapter 10, “Building a Resource Scheduling Solution,” walks through the design and steps required to build a resource scheduling solution. This solution uses a relatively underutilized feature built into SharePoint sites, called the Group Work Lists. The solution can be built using any version of SharePoint 2010 or SharePoint Online (Office 365).

Managing Expectations

The best thing we can do for our readers is to help them understand the expectations we have from this book. This way, as you are reading the book, you can get the most from it. When the team of authors started discussing this book, one of the key things we kept focusing on was the desire for the audience to be able to read through the chapters and use the information within the chapters to build solutions within their organization. While you learn lots of techniques in the pages of this book, the overall purpose is not to teach you how to create a workflow or how to configure a library, but instead to convey why you would want to perform those tasks. After reading this book, you should have the tools needed to look at business solutions objectively and then pick and choose the different approaches within SharePoint for building solutions that address the problems at hand.

What Is a Real World Scenario?

In the title of the book we use the term real-world projects. Because this term can be slightly overused and under explained at times, we want to be sure to define what we mean when we use it. In the context of this book, real world is defined as various scenarios encountered by the authors as we have used SharePoint as a tool to build solutions that address business needs. As the authors came together for this book, each of us submitted ideas based on concepts we have built solutions for. Each of the solutions has been implemented within one or more organizations. The solutions we selected are ones that we feel address a large audience. This approach allows us to offer solutions that most readers can relate to in their everyday work experiences.