I sometimes get questions about how do you go about building a no-code solution. The fact is that building no-code solutions really do not differ from normal custom code solutions. The major difference is that obviously the developer of the solution doesn't have to be a software developer, they can be any user. They just need to know what the problem is, have a vision and plan on how to solve it and how they can use the tools they already have to build the solution. A lot of the time, business users have built these no-code solutions without realizing it, in Microsoft Excel or Access. SharePoint also provides a robust platform for building no-code solutions. With the features of SharePoint 2010 such as Lists & Libraries, Workflow, InfoPath Services, Business Connectivity Services, Visio Services and Access Services, it is possibly to build solutions without having to write one line of custom code. What makes it better, it allows a business user to be able to solve a problem without needing development resources from an IT department or 3rd party and typically the business user has a vision of the solution as well as domain knowledge of what the solution solves.
So the next question is, how does one get started in creating composite solutions. Well I have compiled some, what I think, are valuable resources to help kick start your endeavor into the world of no-code applications.
- SharePoint Designer How-To's on Office.com - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-designer-help/
- TechNet resources on Business Connectivity Services - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ee518675.aspx
- TechNet resources on Workflow - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint/ff819861.aspx
- "Beginning SharePoint Designer 2010" by Woodrow W. Windischman, Bryan Phillips, Asif Rehmani and Marcy Kellar is a great source of information on famaliarizing yourself with SharePoint Designer 2010 and all that it can do for you. It does a great job of explaining SharePoint Workflows.
- The book can be found here - http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-SharePoint-Designer-Woodrow-Windischman/dp/0470643161/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
- "Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 Step-By-Step" by Penelope Coventry is another great book that walks you through the steps to perform specific tasks with SharePoint Designer.
- "Enterprise Application Development in SharePoint 2010 - Creating an End-to-End Application without Code" by Ira Fuchs is a great resource for learning how to build a no-code application from end-to-end. In this book, you will build an Employee Absence Tracking application from the ground up. The book goes over step-by-step and walks you through the process.