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SharePoint 2010 Workflows in Action Paperback – Mar 10 2011
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About the Author
Phil Wicklund is a frequent blogger, speaker, and author around SharePoint products and technologies. He started working with SharePoint back in 2003 and has since architected and administered many dozens of corporate SharePoint environments. He started as a SharePoint development instructor for Mindsharp, and has since moved into consulting at RBA Consulting, where he shares real-world insights and in-depth best practices with his clients of many varieties.
Top Customer Reviews
Since learning SP 2010 for about 2 years now, I have been continually annoyed by the many references to SharePoint 2010. Actually, there is no such product; there is SharePoint Foundation 2010, and there is SharePoint Server 2010.
The former is available for free from Microsoft, and the latter costs too much money for an average Joe developer.
With this book, you need SharePoint Server 2010 to do the examples; without it, you will not get past chapter 3!
You can read the book, but the hands-on isn't going to happen.
The book doesn't cost too much money, but spending 3 days and not learning more than just using what the MSDN knowledge base material offers is disappointing.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Overall, this was a frustrating read. I felt like I was learning, but kept having to overcome obstacles (some significant) to get the job done. I wouldn't recommend this back to anyone looking to learn workflow in SP2010. Of course, this is equally frustrating since (at the time of writing) there are so few resources available discussing SP2010 workflows in depth.
Bought this book. It's a good fit for my experience level. Good combination of background and follow-along exercises. Got me to the point where I could quickly build simple workflows that interacted with data off multiple lists.
There's more to this book than I need right now. Will probably be referencing it as I progress.
Once you purchase the book, you may download an electronic version. Was handy as I travel and didn't want to lug the book.
Unfortunately for me, I was looking for the latter. :-(
The organization of the book is logical and excellent. Each chapter increasing the level of sophistication and complexity from the last. The examples are interesting, if not always what one would see in a "real" setting. They get the point across, that's what's important. Most of the examples worked for me, once I figured them out.
Where this book fails is in the step-by-step explanations. At first everything is spelled out pretty clearly, but as the book goes on, more and more is either described in rambling prose or not described at all. Add in the occasional missing or incorrect step and some of the later projects can be downright frustrating. Not because they're so complex, but just because they simply aren't clearly explained, or explained at all. In addition, some examples seem be holdovers from SP2007, along with references to the 12 hive, etc. Sloppy editing.
As others have stated, this is a general tour of workflows, providing one example per section (or sometimes none, e.g. state machine workflow in 8.3, where I guess you're supposed to figure it all out yourself). It's a big picture view with excellent breadth, but it sure isn't in-depth in any of its numerous topics.
Unfortunately, this is the best overall book on the subject that I know of. Which is too bad because it only barely scratches the surface, and is only adequately written. What can I tell you, you don't have much choice here folks. Sahil Malik has a brief workflow chapter in his 'Building Solutions for SharePoint 2010', Paul Galvin's 'Pro Workflows in SP2010' suffers from many of the faults of this book and has only one chapter of VS workflows so it doesn't have the breadth this book does, while Ted Pattison, et.al's, 'Inside SharePoint 2010' has a mere 60 pages of workflow examples within it. Slim pickings.
'SP 2010 Workflows in Action' isn't great, but it is the best ... given the other options.
Hence, SharePoint 2010 Workflows in Action is still needed for starting to develop workflows in SharePoint 2013. It gives a good introduction to workflows but although it is +300 pages long some important parts are missing. The chapter about Tasks is a good first introduction, but it lacks a good walk through of the default Approve Task process. There is no discussion of Content Approval besides the description of it as the out-of-the-box and why (or why not) it should be is used in custom approval workflows. Luckily there is Microsoft document for the Approve Task process that describes the Approve Task process in detail with setting Content Approval in it. (I believe it is the best Microsoft SharePoint document, but maybe that doesn't say so much and also that document is weak on why one should or not use Content Approval in a custom approval workflow.)
The last part of the book is about custom-coded workflows. I believe this part is unique although also here I miss discussion of how Content Approval interacts with the ItemUpdated event receiver (and Ladies and Gentlemens – that is the crucial information to know).
A SharePoint 2013 Workflow book is announced but not available so with the mentioned weaknesses, as far as I know, there is no competition for this book.
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