Professional Sitecore Development Paperback – May 29 2012
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From the Back Cover
Discover the steps for creating a Sitecore website
Sitecore provides the leading digital marketing and content management system (CMS) available for the Microsoft ASP.NET platform. Demonstrating how to leverage familiar tools such as Internet Information Services (IIS) and Microsoft Visual Studio, this book guides you through a diverse range of topics to help you achieve the greatest value from your investment in this comprehensive enterprise solution. Beginning with fundamental topics to help you get started with the Sitecore platform, this book focuses on maximizing developer productivity with minimal time to web.
Professional Sitecore Development:
Discusses Sitecore's content authoring tools
Demonstrates how to use the extensive APIs
Explains the security infrastructure and error management capabilities
Suggests strategies to optimize, scale, and troubleshoot your solutions
Contains real-world advice for testing Sitecore solutions
Describes project management and deployment methodologies
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.
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About the Author
John West is Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in his eighth year working at Sitecore. With more than 25 years of experience designing and developing software solutions using Microsoft tools and technologies, John West is one of the most experienced Sitecore engineers in the world.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It is hard to read and to understand. I had previous experience in Sitecore and in several points I had a hard time to understand the paragraphs.
Also it has too many refereces "See my blog at ... for details" or "Look at ... for more information". The book is plenty of these statements.
God point is that it covers lot of useful aspects in Sitecore.
This book, however, is different. The book's introduction clearly states: "This book is for developers who have recently attended Sitecore .NET Developer Training." It continues, "This book is not a step-by-step guide to building solutions with Sitecore...The reader should have a working knowledge of Sitecore...This book attempts to provide the next few rungs on the ladder toward Sitecore mastery...."
On the other hand, the book description on this site led me to believe it would be a good introduction to Sitecore. In fact, for those with no experience developing in Sitecore, this book really has nothing to offer. As an advanced ASP.NET developer with years of experience, but not Sitecore experience, this book was inaccessible. The subtitle should be: "For experienced Sitecore developers ONLY."
When I started reading his book, it became immediately apparent. While the white papers and reference material cover the "How", much of John's book covers the "Why". As a technologist, both are important but most important (especially as a client-facing technologist) is being able to understand the "Why"s and be able to articulate them in speech conducive to carrying those thoughts across to your clients. John's efforts in this book make discussing the "Why"s with laymen possible.
Additionally, there is great coverage across DMS, rules and publishing. These are areas that aren't covered well unless you've spent money on advanced training or trial-and-error time with the actual product.
There are some areas that are a little more sparse than I would prefer. Security is one of those areas. With many folks looking to the cloud these days, protocols like ADFS are becoming more prevalent. Coverage in this area would have prompted me give the book a hands-down 5.
All in all, I'm very satisfied with the breadth and depth covered and extremely appreciative that someone so well immersed in Sitecore was willing to take the time to consolidate a wealth of knowledge in a few hundred pages.
But therein lies something of a dilemma; Sitecore is a wonderfully deep and hugely featured product, but I paraphrase the author, who after 8 years working with the product, is "still learning", and "picking up new tips and tricks". He's not alone I'm sure; there's a lot to take in and until now, no single resource to cover it all.
It's therefore safe to say that Professional Sitecore Development is one of the most anticipated and warmly welcomed books in the Sitecore community ever. As a regular blogger and resource gatherer, John West (@sitecorejohn), Chief Technology Officer at Sitecore and all round Sitecore guru has delivered a gem.
So where to start? As John notes himself, a book about a Web CMS is something of an anachronism, but far from being a dry reference tome the book is structured somewhat like Sitecore itself. By this I mean it's builds on fundamentals, chapter by chapter, leading you through the principles of sensible data constructs then moving onto presentation and beyond. And it's this approach which makes it a "good read", as opposed to a dictionary of Sitecore functionality.
John kicks off with a good overview of WCMS in general that highlights his years of experience in the field, and while this book is suggested as a follow on for Sitecore Developer training, it's this "building from the basics" approach which makes the book accessible to anyone with an interest in the topic. The Sitecore overview would have even a newbie exploring the Sitecore Desktop in short order.
But the newbie would certainly be breathing deeply at the end of the next chapter, which tackles the big concepts of information architecture in Sitecore and blasts through pretty much everything you'd need to know to start architecting a solution from the content side of things. From data templates, to languages, validation, versioning, inheritance, standard values and file types, this section is like the Sitecore Foundations one day developer training on major steroids.
Part of the big attraction of Sitecore for me is the perfectly clear separation of content from the presentation layer and any survivor of HTML circa 1996 will can tell you just how bad code soup used to be. John makes the point that he doesn't want to duplicate the existing Sitecore documentation around presentation components and suggest chapter 3 is "terse" for this reason; I'd suggest John is being falsely modest here. The explanations around the ASP.NET page lifecycle added a depth of understanding for me and pretty soon we're into the API for what I thought was a comprehensive (if terse) rendering of the presentation side.
From chapter 3 onwards, we rip through Security, Error Management in their respective chapters before tackling Scaling Optimising and Troubleshooting, Automated Testing and Managing Implementations. And at chapter 11 we're into the gold with best practices and tips and trick. The whole book is then rounded off with a Developer Resources appendix and a chapter detailing Sitecore installation. If that seems like a too-quick summary it's only because there is simply so much information in these chapters, all of it relevant and useful and none of it compiled so comprehensively anywhere else, online or off.
So like the product itself, it's a big topic to tackle, a big book to review and impossible to compare as there is no other like it. For me John has achieved a nice balance between summarising densely technical explanations with practical real-world examples and a liberal sprinkling of coding examples. And while it's hard to get that gripping airport novel feeling with a technical topic, the net effect is a book I found inspiring. This is to the credit of how the book has been structured - starting with the basics and leading to an exploration of the endless possibilities of Sitecore.
It's a challenge to construct a first of its type, and while John has called this version 1.0, his depth of experience with the product and the web world as a whole shines through in a brilliant and matured manner. Peppered throughout are nuggets of wisdom, best practice and sensible guidance that every Sitecore developer can benefit from. And probably like every Sitecore developer around the world I want my good old-fashioned, printed-on-dead-trees copy right now.