New book: Building Web Applications with Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer Step by Step


Let me introduce John Jansen, author of this new title:

John here. I’m excited to announce that Building Web Applications with Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer Step by Step is now available! This book was born from an inside joke in Microsoft’s SharePoint Designer product group that if we could just ship John Jansen in the box with SharePoint Designer, our users would be much better off. Well, I thought about that and decided to do what I could to help. I recorded some training videos for high-level customizations (some of which are available on Office Online) but felt like I could still do more.

Last June, through a complex series of events, I met with a team from Microsoft Press, presented a sample chapter and initial Table of Contents, and off we went. The book as an idea became a reality, and (gulp) I had to write it in my “spare” time while testing and leading a team of testers to help ship the next version of SharePoint Designer.

The way that I decided what to include in the book was pretty simple: I had built a site for my wife using FrontPage and SharePoint Team Services and then modified it with SharePoint Designer Beta on Windows SharePoint Services. All the time I was working on that site, I also did some freelance design for some realtors and a non-profit. I noticed a large number of similarities between the sites and the people who wanted them created: they all needed to better understand how to modify the look and feel of controls, even though the HTML for those controls is only available at run time; they needed to build an easy to maintain navigation structure; they needed to track something (customers, products, events, ratings); they needed quick views of that tracked data with some KPI formatting; and they knew nothing of the underlying technology to even begin searching online for how to do it. In addition to all these similarities, they could each benefit from a technology they didn’t even know existed yet: workflow.

In addition to building real-world sites, I also read and (not as often as I would like) participate in the SharePoint news groups, where I see questions answered with “I’m sorry you can’t do that in SharePoint” when, actually, if the person had SharePoint Designer it would be simple as pie (or at least possible, if not simple). I took some questions I’ve seen posted and made them into lessons in the book. On its own, each lesson answers a specific question, but when combined, the lessons reveal a broad swath of information about the platform in general.

This book is not meant for someone who is just starting out in SharePoint Designer. I don’t take very much time addressing the toolbar configuration or why the taskpanes work the way they do. Instead, I hope you have read Penelope Coventry’s book on SharePoint Designer, Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer 2007 Step by Step (Microsoft Press, 2008), and then use both of these books together to build rich web applications that will enable you to solve your specific challenges.

So, please go buy it, review it, and let me know what you want to learn next.

—John Jansen
Senior Test Lead, SharePoint Designer

Everybody, here’s a taste of the book from Chapter 10, “Accessing the Styles Behind SharePoint Pages”:






  And here is John’s fuller bio:


John’s book is loaded with details, and its companion CD contains the practice files needed for the step-by-step exercises, a fully searchable e-book, and other useful resources.

As John says in the book, we “hope that you find this book useful and applicable to your specific challenge, and that you come away with the knowledge and expertise to build rich applications on the SharePoint Platform”!


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