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Sharepoint Programming beginner

  Asked By: Tara    Date: Sep 29    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 1210

I am an administrator for our sharepoint deployment. I am the only
person on the team and was wondering where to start to get programming
experience to do some customization in Sharepoint.

I have extremely little experience programming although I have taken 2
semesters of Visual Basic.Net. Is this enough to get me started or do
I need some other programming language, such as Visual Studio.Net ASP
programming experience?

Are there any good books to get me started? I feel that with the
proper tools, I could get at least some minor templates modified for
our company.

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6 Answers Found

 
Answer #1    Answered By: Delbert Frederick     Answered On: Sep 29

Programming may not be the first thing you want to look at in terms
of customizing SharePoint. Mastering FrontPage 2003 is a beter first
step.

FP is exceptionally capable of modifying the look and feel  element
and it is your gateway to the Data View Webpart; one of the most
powerful aspects of SharePoint

To master this element you need to focus on HTML, especially the DOM
(Domain Object Model), JavaScript, XML and XSLT. I have yet to find
good  book that covers these topics in relation to SharePoint, but I
have heard that Todd Bleeker may be working on one. Also you could
do a lot worse than to pick-up the O'Rielly Pocket references of each
topic.

You could also spend so quality time at
http://www.w3schools.com/default.asp which will give a great
introduction to each technology.

 
Answer #2    Answered By: Kalyan Pujari     Answered On: Sep 29

This is just the kind of information I am looking for. As a beginnger, it is so difficult to determine where to start. As questions arise I will keep your offer of help in mind.

 
Answer #3    Answered By: Allison Stewart     Answered On: Sep 29

Well, I beg to differ, just a little anyway J FrontPage is a great tool for accessing certain features of sharepoint  but is also a very limiting tool as well, if you consider the ramifications of using it; un-ghosting the page. The key word in Liz’s post was ‘templates’; once FrontPage is used, the page is its own instance. The next time the same type page is created, it will need to be modified, yet again with FP, to achieve the same results.

There is a great site on the style sheets for SPS and WSS here: www.sharepointcustomization.com/.../...ssguide.htm

The look and feel  can be modified  a great deal using only CSS and may achieve what you are hoping for.

 
Answer #4    Answered By: Emmett Hyde     Answered On: Sep 29

I just wanted to stress what Roy mentioned about Un-Ghosting a page. After learning the impacts of un-ghosting a page, I've become a firm believer that it's a bad thing, as Todd says 'Ghosting is Good'.

What happens normally in a standard unmodified sharepoint  installation is you'll have a page that is populated with meta data from the data base which gives it it's unique properties and information. If you use Front Page you must be EXTREMELY careful, if you change anything other than the areas that display meta-data and then save the page, you've 'Un-Ghosted' the page. If you make changes to the base page for the site you now have to change 2 copies instead of just one, otherwise the unghosted pages will not pick up the changes, along with possible issues with upgrades in the next version of Sharepoint. If you start  having a lot of unghosted pages you can see where this can rapidly become an issue with maintaining your portal/server.

If you have the budget for it, I HIGHLY recommend the courses offered by MindSharp, I took the developer course, and it was like getting a brain dump of what someone has learned in terms of best practices over a 2 year period in the space of one week without having to go through the agony of the sparse documentation that's available for Sharepoint.

 
Answer #5    Answered By: Michelle White     Answered On: Sep 29

These gentlemen make a good  point. Site/page customization  should be
approached with care. Server performance and resource utilization
are important considerations and page ghosting effects both. How
important they are will depend upon the size and scope of your
installation.

One important note is that once a page is "unghosted" there is no
going back, so make sure any testing is done in a sandbox, not on
your production site.

Robert Bogue wrote an excellent article on Ghosting, Site Templates,
and Site Definitions back in March or April. I went back and found a
link to it. http://www.devx.com/dotnet/Article/27673/0/page/1

This might help give you some insight into the factors you need to
consider as you decide what changes you wish to make, and how best to
make them, especially if you go through the process of creating your
own site definition.

Mindsharp covers (or at least used to cover) site definition
creation, so I would have to second Robert's suggestion to get some
training.

 
Answer #6    Answered By: Sheena Ray     Answered On: Sep 29

There is the GhostHunter web part, so once you are ghosted you can go
back, up to a point. It doesn't cover every unghosted nook and
cranny... but it is a great tool and can really help save the day.

http://www.bluedoglimited.com/Downloads/pages/Web%20Part%20Toolkit.aspx

 
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