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Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development: Building Publishing Sites with Office SharePoint Server 2007 [Paperback]

Andrew Connell

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Book Description

June 23 2008 Wrox Programmer to Programmer

This book is for SharePoint developers working with Publishing sites—sites that leverage MOSS 2007 WCM capabilities. It does not cover administrative topics in any great detail, only where absolutely necessary. For the most part, no two chapters are dependent upon each other, so each chapter can be used as a reference independently of the others. Readers need not have any development experience with SharePoint, but they should have some experience with and a working knowledge of ASP.NET 2.0 development practices and topics. Of course, it is beneficial if the reader does have at least a working knowledge of what SharePoint is all about.

This book covers MOSS 2007 WCM Publishing sites. You will find some chapters that seem to cover general WSS 3.0 topics, but everything is treated in the context of a Publishing site. While the chapters are arranged in a logical order, it is not necessary to read the book from cover to cover in a linear fashion. The following is a brief description of each chapter:

Chapter 1, “Embarking on Web Content Management Projects”—This chapter explains what this book is all about, who the target audience is, and who will benefit most from the book. It also details what the reader needs in terms of a local development environment in order to implement the solutions. In addition, each of the subsequent chapters is explained very briefly to provide an overview and clarify how each chapter fits in.

Chapter 2, “Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Development Primer”—This chapter covers the fundamentals of WSS, including definitions of terms such as farm, Web application, site collection, site, list, and document library, and the general architecture of WSS. Some basic object model techniques are demonstrated in this chapter.

Chapter 3, “Overview of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Web Content Management”—This chapter briefly explains each of the various components that make up MOSS. In addition ,while the book is development-focused, the “ABCs” of content-centric Internet sites is covered.

Chapter 4, “SharePoint Features and the Solution Framework”—Both new to WSS 3.0, the SharePoint Feature and solution frameworks are covered in great detail in this chapter, as well as a process for automatically creating WSS solution packages on every project build.

Chapter 5, “Minimal Publishing Site Definition”—Many users create new WCM sites by using the Publishing Portal template. Unfortunately, this adds quite a bit of unnecessary content to the site. This chapter picks apart the Publishing Portal template and Publishing Features and demonstrates how to create a minimal Publishing Portal template.

Chapter 6, “Site Columns, Content Types, and Lists”—Three core components to every WSS 3.0 site—site columns, content types, and lists—are covered in this chapter.

Chapter 7, “Master Pages and Page Layouts”—This chapter covers everything you need to know about creating, editing, and leveraging master pages and page layouts within Publishing sites.

Chapter 8, “Navigation”—While WSS 3.0’s navigation is founded on the ASP.NET 2.0 navigation provider framework, there are a few SharePoint-specific topics, which are covered in this chapter.

Chapter 9, “Accessibility”—If it’s not already, accessibility is becoming an increasingly important topic with regard to Web sites. This chapter explains the different levels of accessibility and discusses some techniques and tools developers can leverage to create sites for users with disabilities.

Chapter 10, “Field Types and Field Controls”—Although it’s a WSS 3.0 concept, field types and field controls are covered in this chapter in the context of a Publishing site. This includes creating custom field types with custom values types and controls, as well as custom field controls that leverage existing field types.

Chapter 11, “Web Parts”—This chapter covers creating custom Web Parts and some advanced topics related to custom Web Part development, such as Editor Parts, customizing the Verbs menu, and leveraging asynchronous programming techniques. This chapter also covers the three Publishing-specific Web Parts and some advanced customization and styling options of the Content Query Web Part.

Chapter 12, “Leveraging Workflow”—The Windows Workflow Foundation, part of the .NET Framework 3.0, is fully leveraged by WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007. This chapter explains how to create custom workflows using Visual Studio and leveraging InfoPath Web-rendered forms.

Chapter 13, “Search”—Every content-centric site needs a robust search offering. This chapter explains the different components of MOSS search, as well as many customization opportunities such as modifying the search results.

Chapter 14, “Authoring Experience Extensibility”—While the authoring experience in Publishing sites is quite robust, at times developers need to extend this offering for specific content owner requirements. This chapter covers this, including customizing the Page Editing Toolbar and the Rich Text Editor HTML field control.

Chapter 15, “Authentication and Authorization”—This chapter covers everything you need to know about the ASP.NET 2.0 authentication provider model SharePoint fully leverages.

Chapter 16, “Implementing Sites with Multiple Languages and Devices”—This chapter covers the topic of maintaining sites that need to offer their content in multiple languages, as well as developing custom Web Parts that are multilingual aware.

Chapter 17, “Content Deployment”—A common request for larger content-centric Web sites is to have an internal authoring environment for content and then push the changed content out to a destination site, either in an organization’s DMZ or at a co-location facility. This chapter describes the content deployment capability in MOSS designed to handle such business requirements.

Chapter 18, “Offline Authoring with Document Converters”—While MOSS 2007 Publishing sites offer a very robust Web-based content authoring experience, SharePoint provides a way to author content offline using tools such as Microsoft Word or InfoPath. This chapter explains what you need to know about configuring the document converter infrastructure and creating custom document converters.

Chapter 19, “Performance Tips, Tricks, and Traps”—Internet-facing content-centric sites built on the SharePoint platform need to be designed and developed with performance in mind. This chapter provides numerous guidelines and tips that developers can leverage to create the most performant sites.

Chapter 20, “Incorporating ASP.NET 2.0 Applications”—SharePoint (both WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007) is not an end-to-end solution but an application platform. While it provides a significant amount of functionality out of the box, developers can leverage this platform in building custom applications. This chapter discusses some techniques that can be used for such tasks.

One approach book takes is not to dwell on the more common minutia of creating projects in Visual Studio, or the huge topics of core Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 development or SharePoint administration. These topics warrant their own books, and throughout this book you will find recommended resources for these topics. This book does cover some subjects that have their roots in WSS, but they are presented within the context of a Publishing site.

Finally, this book approaches every topic of implementation from the perspective of SharePoint customization and SharePoint development. While one implementation may seem to be better than the other, it takes no position on either, as the goal is to simply educate readers about the advantages and disadvantages of each. These concepts are defined in Chapter 2, “Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Development Primer.”

This book is also available as part of the 4-book SharePoint 2007 Wrox Box (ISBN: 0470431946) with these 4 books:

  • Professional SharePoint 2007 Development (ISBN: 0470117567)
  • Real World SharePoint 2007 (ISBN: 0470168358)
  • Professional Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Design (ISBN: 047028580X)
  • Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development (ISBN: 0470224754)

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Product Details

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development

By allowing multiple users to create and update web pages without the use of HTML or specialized editing software, SharePoint Server 2007 Web Content Managament (WCM) is a fascinating system that organizes web content and design edits from each one of the site's contributors and then compiles all those changes into a finished product. Author and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MVP Andrew Connell presents the first book to focus on the features and fundamentals of WCM as well as the various services that are offered by the Windows SharePoint Services platform.

Tackle each core aspect of a typical Publishing site development project using the techniques outlined in this book. You'll walk through key points, design elements, and development approaches that will demonstrate how WCM brings the power of content management to a large audience, and you'll quickly grasp why SharePoint Server is a robust platform for hosting content-centric Web sites.

What you will learn from this book

  • Optimal methods for embarking on web content management projects

  • Leveraging the provided Publishing Web Parts and creating custom Web Parts

  • How to create custom field types and field controls

  • How to customize the SharePoint authoring environment

  • Techniques for implementing sites with multiple languages and devices

  • Ways of creating a minimal SharePoint site definition

  • Implementing an offline authoring experience

  • Various performance tips, tricks, and traps

Who this book is for
This book is for Web development professionals, particularly ASP.NET 2.0 developers who are building content management sites with the SharePoint platform.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Andrew Connell has a background in content management solutions and Web development that spans back to his time as a student at the University of Florida in the late 1990s managing class sites. He has consistently focused on the challenges facing businesses to maintain a current and dynamic online presence without having to rely constantly on Web developers or have a proficiency in Web technologies.
In 2005 and 2006 he was designated a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Content Management Server for his contributions to the MCMS community. When the functionality of MCMS was merged into the SharePoint platform, he became a MOSS MVP (2007 and 2008). Andrew has contributed to numerous MCMS and SharePoint books over the years.
He has spoken on the subject of MOSS 2007 development and WCM at various events and national conferences such as TechEd, SharePoint Connections, VSLive, Office Developer Conference, and the Microsoft SharePoint Conference.
Technology is not only Andrew’s job, but also a personal passion: He thrives on expanding his technical knowledge. When not in front of his computer, he enjoys football, golf, the beach, and spending time with his family. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife, Meredith, his son, Steven, and their two dogs. You can always find Andrew online at his SharePoint development and WCM-focused blog at www.andrewconnell.com/blog.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Content Management in Depth June 18 2008
By James Waymire - Published on Amazon.com
WCM (Web Content Management) is becoming a "hot" item in many MOSS deployments. I should also clarify that this book is focused on WCM as opposed to ECM (Enterprise Content Management), as this seems to be a confusing topic for some. So it is mainly for those looking for working with the publishing infrastructure within MOSS (replacing MCMS - Microsoft Content Management Server), not with the Document Management features (Archiving, Records, etc...). This book is a great reference for those of us who develop against MOSS but who haven't had a chance to work with the WCM features.

I was especially pleased on the sections covering custom fields, field controls and control templates for truly customizing the authoring experience for your content authors. It is hard to find good information on extending the authoring environment and this book gave me enough info to really customize the publishing features of MOSS for my end users and content authors.

While not covering every single possible scenario, this reference provides more than adequate instruction and guidance on using the built in API's to accomplish most tasks. I do not expect a book to spoon feed me everything I need to know about a topic especially if it is to be useful as a general reference. The book does a great job of covering enough of each subject to give you a jump off point to build from on your own projects. As the title states it is in the professional line of WROX books so it expects that you have a good deal of familiarity with MOSS and .Net development. It did a great job of giving instruction without the heavy handed hand holding that some entry level or beginning books tend to lean toward. For those who are not as familiar with SharePoint or .Net I would definitely recommend looking into some introductory training or books first before jumping in. While I would welcome more coverage on some of the topics, they can always go into additional books or in AC's already extensive list of topics covered in his Blog or workshops.

I give this book 5 stars for giving me more tools as a developer to work with the WCM aspects of MOSS. All of the examples in the book so far that I have used have been fully functional despite the fact that this book was probably written prior to the release of some of the fixes that have been released for MOSS like SP1, etc...

I definitely recommend this to anyone who is a SharePoint developer looking to get into the WCM aspects of the product.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book today June 19 2008
By Chicken Chaser - Published on Amazon.com
I received a copy of Andrew Connell's new Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development: Building Publishing Sites with Office SharePoint Server 2007 book this week. As expected, Andrew's new book is excellent - well written with a ton of substantial content.

What I like about this book:

Chapter 5 dissects SharePoint's out-of-the-box MOSS 2007 Publishing Portal site definition. This chapter then covers how to create a Minimal Publishing Portal site definition which does not include the extraneous artifacts included in the somewhat bloated out-of-the-box version.

I particularly like Chapter 10 on Field Types and Field Controls. Unfortunately, there is little documentation and online resources available about creating custom field types. Andrew's book offers a complete chapter on the subject, with clear explanations and good examples.

Chapter 15 on Authentication and Authorization provides the reader with instructions to configure forms-based authentication for an extranet/internet-facing SharePoint site. Users often have trouble setting up FBA, but this book gives the needed instruction and guidance.

Professional SharePoint 2007 Web Content Management Development: Building Publishing Sites with Office SharePoint Server 2007 is a must have for any serious SharePoint developer. I have been developing on the SharePoint platform for almost a decade, and this book will stay within arm's reach of my keyboard. Seriously, buy this book today.

-Tony Bierman [MVP WSS]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on web content management with MOSS June 17 2008
By Randy D. - Published on Amazon.com
I received Andrew's book at TechEd 2008 in Orlando (I guess Microsoft purchased a bunch before they were available for order on Amazon). I've read through most of the book, and it is definitely something everyone working with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) will want to have on their bookshelf. Andrew is certainly known for being one of the experts in the SharePoint WCM community, and his knowledge of the product shows throughout the book. The book is filled with best practices and advice covering a wide range of topics that would be particularly important to folks working with MOSS.

Some of the highlights for me were: Creating a Minimal Site Def, Site Columns, Master Pages and Page Layouts, Field Types and Controls, and Web Parts. I also found the section on Features and Solutions to be particularly useful as it gave me an excellent step by step guide to packaging my MOSS branding files.

If you are working with MOSS publishing, you need this book.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed - More introductory than in-depth June 17 2008
By Sathya Srinivasan - Published on Amazon.com
NOTE: This is an updated version of a previous review I had made. Most details have been kept as is. I have bumped the review from 2 starts to 3 (couldn't edit starts and hence had to re-post).

I have been a regular visitor of AC's blogs which contains a number of tidbits about SharePoint (most of which are not in the MOSS documentation, which is sad). I was eagerly expecting his book on WCM as I am currently working on a WCM project.

However, the book itself is very disappointing in its content. True that it contains a good introduction to WCM component of SharePoint, but I was expecting more beyond what I can find by simple Google blog searches.

Here's my rationale for the 3 stars.

1 star for compiling relevant info on WCM. ASAIK, this is the only book on the WCM aspect of SharePoint to date.
2 stars for covering all the basics of SharePoint, including references to 3rd party tools like Telerik and AKS.
3 stars for covering the field controls, master pages, and layouts with good detail.

That said, here's why I removed the other 2 stars.

1 star for not covering enough on Content Deployment. One of the most important aspects of WCM is content deployment (more so than other aspects of SharePoint). First, there is only one chapter on this. Second, the first 10 pages are about how to get the OOTB job up and running (with screenshots). The remaining 2 pages talk about the API. I was definitely expecting a lot more in this area such as gotchas, tips and tricks, planning, etc. in this section, given that this is a WCM book. Moreover, given the numerous issues that MOSS has with Content Deployment (of which a number of hot fixes have been posted by MS), there is not a single mention on what to watch out for.

1 star for not pointing out the limitations of SharePoint. This a Wrox book not a MS Press book. I expected AC to be a little more even-minded than just be a mouthpiece for MS. There isn't a single mention of where MOSS is limited and what to do about the same. Good examples are in the "Authoring Extensibility" section and in "Accessibility" section.

The default HTML Editor has a strong limitation that it does not allow you to embed flash, multimedia, JavaScript, etc. (due to the overly cautious nature of MS - you can't even disable this behavior). Telerik has a limitation of not allowing you to place "reusable content" - one of the biggest components of reuse in SharePoint - and not a single mention in the book - just a quick 2 paragraph introduction...

I wish the book had covered more details in these areas, along with providing details on how to setup a farm for WCM purposes (the concepts of Authoring, Staging, Public, etc.). This would have helped those who want to setup SharePoint explicitly for WCM. The need is there as most other SharePoint books talk about setting up the farm for an Intranet scenario than a WCM scenario.

Overall, it's a good attempt by the author to describe WCM in SharePoint, but it would have been better if it were unbiased and more informative.

Disclaimer: I also appreciate the author for quickly responding to my earlier post explaining his stand. While I don't agree with some of the statements, I can understand his rationale (hence the bump-up by 1 star). Hope the author comes up with a bigger-better book on WCM in future!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this if you'll start a SharePoint WCM project Aug. 27 2008
By W. J. M. Strien - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides a complete overview of all the various subjects that you can come across in a Web(application) Content Management (WCM) project on the SharePoint 2007 platform. It gives you introduction, background explanation as helpful tips and tricks.
I had the misfortune that this book was not yet published when starting my first MOSS 2007 WCM projects. However, even then I still learned and profited from reading.

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