Pro SharePoint 2013 App Development
Pro SharePoint 2013 App Development

Author: Steve Wright
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 407
ISBN: 978-1430258841
Aimed at: SharePoint developers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewed by: Kay Ewbank

Will this book help you develop SharePoint apps in the cloud?

There's a new cloud app model in SharePoint 2013 Server and SharePoint Online that lets you create apps that run in the cloud rather than on the local server, so minimizing any effects on the local performance. You can work using normal Visual Studio, and once developed, the apps can be sold through the Microsoft SharePoint Store. It's an interesting idea, and this book takes you step by step through the process of creating such an app.




The book starts with an introduction to SharePoint apps and how they fit with not just SharePoint but with Azure and SQL Azure. This is a high-level intro, and Chapter 2  is still fairly high level in discussions about whether to use Visual Studio or Napa, with exercises working through both options. Wright next shows how to deploy and update apps either locally in SharePoint's App Catalog, or online in the SharePoint Online Store.

Having gone through the basics, the book moves on to more advanced topics. There's a good chapter on using JQuery for client-side logic including using the free Knockout Library for client-side binding. Wright then looks at how you can interact with objects such as SharePoint lists, sites and documents.

App security and how to deal with app permissions and scopes is tackled next, with good coverage of scope rules, authentication and identities. By Chapter 7 we're on to web services with REST and OData, how to choose the right client-side library, and managing data. Business Connectivity Services are the next topic under consideration, with plenty of examples and exercises showing how you can make use of data stored outside SharePoint.



By Chapter 9, Wright has moved on to app logic components – how to build the middle tier of your application. This is the point a lot of developers get bogged down, but Wright's descriptions are more down-to-earth than most and his description of workflows and how to code to use them seemed comprehensible. I was less convinced by the next chapter on developing the user experience. Site branding and immersive pages are undoubtedly important, but more a matter for the marketing department. To be fair to Wright, his aim is to show you how to write apps that can be integrated into an existing branded site rather than trying to turn you into a marketing person. The next chapter returns to more technical topics with a look at SharePoint Search, how to add search to your apps and how to show search results within them.

SharePoint 2013 has a range of options for using social features – tagging, likes, mentions, and so on – and there's a good if fairly short chapter on how to use community sites, share content, and develop personal sites for users. The last two chapters look at using SharePoint Services to enhance apps, and using other app environments such as Office and Windows Phone apps.

This is a good read, with plenty of code and exercises to work through. Wright manages to stay pretty level-headed and not fall into SharePoint jargon madness, and overall I think if you followed through the exercises you'd end up being able to create useful SharePoint apps.



Java Programming Interviews Exposed

Author: Noel Markham
Publisher: Wrox
Pages: 200
ISBN: 978-1118722862
Audience: Intermediate Java Programmers
Rating: 3
Reviewer: Alex Armstrong

A book to prepare you for the torture of a job interview seems like a good idea. But is it possible?

Zero Bugs and Program Faster

Author: Kate Thompson
Publisher: Kate Thompson Books
Pages: 180
Print: 0996193308
Audience: All programmers
Rating: 4.5
Reviewer: Ian Stirk

This book aims to show you how to become a better programmer. How does it fare?

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