SharePoint Dragons

Nikander & Margriet on SharePoint

Tag Archives: books

Third-Party JavaScript

As technical reviewers, we see a lot of books. We feel that Third-party JavaScript is a great book with a horrible title. During review, we’ve commented on the title several times, and suggested to replace it with something like “Enterprise JavaScript”, but the title lasted. This is a sad thing, but don’t judge the book by its title. This is truly a great book that takes writing JavaScript to the next level. We mean, JavaScript is a fun language, and after jQuery we were quite impressed with where you can take this language, but this book has brought our understanding of the language to a whole new level – that is saying something, as we have worked with JavaScript since it’s v1.0 version was released way back when. We’ve even worked with Netscape’s LiveWire (server-side JavaScript aeons before Node.js, btw, why do people love server-side JavaScript, we lived in that world and were quite happy to leave!).

To us, this book is about writing enterprise-level JavaScript code, a topic important in a time where SharePoint devs have to depend upon CSOM so much. It covers:

  • Distributing and loading JS applications
  • Rendering HTML and CSS
  • Communicating with the server
  • Cross-domain IFrame messaging
  • Authentication and sessions
  • Security
  • Developing a 3rd party JS SDK
  • Performance
  • Debugging and Testing

Taming Text


When you haven’t done it yourself, it’s hard to imagine the effort that goes into writing a book. Not just a couple of chapters, but an entire book. Sometimes, we hear complaining about the lack of in depth books, but we guess that a lot of people don’t realize that the more in depth a book gets, the more work it is to write, and the smaller the audience for the book becomes. Because of this mechanism, with a new product release you’ll see lots of books getting published covering more or less the same grounds.

When we were technical reviewers of the book “Taming Text” it became quite clear that this was one of those rare cases where a very specific topic gets covered in great depth. We have one fear for this book, the fear that the audience for this book will be so small that the end result won’t be very satisfying for the authors. This is undeserved, as it is a great book.

What is it about? Basically, it covers how to find, organize, and manipulate text. It discusses topics such as:

  • How to work with phrases, clauses, morphology
  • Searching and indexing
  • Fuzzy string matching
  • Identifying people, places, and things
  • Clustering text
  • Classification, categorization, and tagging

If you belong to the audience that is interested in this, check out

Arduino in Action

As you may be used from our blog, we devote some attention to the books we were technical reviewers of. Before we start with the review of Arduino in Action ( ), one quick word. People ask us why there are no books about esoteric topic X or topic Y. The answer is simple: the market is simply too small to justify the time and effort it takes to write about such topics. This was our biggest fear for this book: is the Arduino audience big enough to provide some type of ROI for the authors? We hope so.

Arduino is an inexpensive, easy-to-use, open source hardware and software platform that allows you to control all types of cool sensors, LEDs and what not. This book describes that don’t even come close to our daily software activities, but it did make us feel like a bunch of inventors. Especially the chapter about wearables is a gem, we can imagine a future world filled with them!

jQuery in Action

We were technical reviewers of the book “jQuery in Action” ( ) and thought it was really good. The recommendation on the back by John Resig, creator of jQuery, says it all: “The best-thought-out and researched piece of literature on the jQuery library.”

The book discusses:

  • JavaScript essentials
  • jQuery fundamentals
  • Selecting elements
  • Generating new HTML
  • Working with element sets
  • Changing element styling and content
  • Events
  • Animations and effects
  • jQuery utility functions
  • Extending jQuery
  • Using Ajax
  • Themes and effects
  • Mouse interactions
  • jQuery UI widgets

Entity Framework 4 In Action

As technical reviewers of the book “Entity Framework 4 In Action” ( ) we thought it was time to devote some attention to it… Here’s what it’s about:

  • Discussion of ORM
  • Querying the object model
  • Linq to entities
  • Domain model mapping, defining relationships and inheritance
  • Entity lifecycle
  • Persisting objects
  • Handling concurrency and transactions
  • Entity SQL
  • Working with stored procedures
  • Working with functions and views
  • EDM metadata
  • Customizing generated code and the designer
  • Discussion of application architecture and EF
  • EF and ASP.NET
  • EF and n-tier development
  • EF and Windows Applications (Windows forms and WPF)
  • Testing EF
  • Performance testing

SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action

We were technical reviewers of the book “SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action” and found it to be one of the best books about SharePoint 2010:

It discusses the following topics:

  • Using web parts in the SharePoint UI
  • Working with web parts via SPD
  • Building web parts in VS.NET 2010
  • Using controls, validators, CSS, web part verbs
  • Web part properties, custom editor parts, type converters and runtime filters
  • Web part resources and localization
  • Packaging, deployment, sandboxed solutions, and upgrading
  • Troubleshooting
  • Performance and caching
  • Ajax in web parts
  • Notification messages, the status bar, and the dialog framework
  • Adding controls to the ribbon
  • The client object model
  • Silverlight web parts
  • Mobile web parts
  • MVP pattern
  • Service Locator pattern
  • Testing web parts
  • Creating connectable web parts
  • Building web part pages and dashboards

Continuous Integration in .NET

We find CI in .NET a difficult topic, because you’ll typically need assemble a lot of different building blocks. It’s not a luxury to have a book paving the directions for you. The book CI in .NET by Kawalerowicz ( does exactly this. We’ve been technical proofreaders for this book, and it was fun to do so. The book discusses:

  • What is CI?
  • Setting up various source control systems
  • Automating the build process
  • Choosing CI servers
  • Getting continuous feedback
  • Continuous Unit testing
  • Performing integration, system, and acceptance testing
  • Analyzing code using FxCop, StyleCop, NDepend, and TeamCity
  • Generating documentation via XML or Sandcastle
  • Deployment and delivery
  • Continuous database integration
  • Extending CI

SQL Server DMV’s In Action

This blog post is about a truly awesome book, and we’re not just saying that because we were technical reviewers of this book. This book ( ) contains tons of working samples that help you out in every day work. It also does a great job of explaining SQL DMVs. The book contains:

  • What are DMVs?
  • Index related DMVs
  • Improving query performance via DMVs
  • Operating System DMVs
  • CLR DMVs
  • Transaction related DMVs
  • Database level DMVs
  • Creating a self-healing database via DMVs
  • An additional bunch of useful scripts using DMVs

As you may have noticed: that’s a lot of DMVs!

SharePoint 2010 Site Owner’s Manual

Whenever we’re technical reviewers of a book, we feel it’s fun to help promote the book. In this case, the review is about the book SharePoint 2010 Site Owner’s Manual by Yvonne Harryman ( ). This is a great book for end users and power users. It discusses:

  • A thorough overview of the different features for different versions,
  • Creating sites using site and list templates,
  • setting up document collaboration sites,
  • enterprise content management features,
  • publishing to the web,
  • business intelligence,
  • SharePoint Designer,
  • InfoPath,
  • Reporting,
  • Access web applications,
  • Search,
  • My Sites,
  • And more…

Brownfield Application Development in .NET

Whenever we’re technical reviewers of a book, we feel some responsibility for it. Therefore, we feel it’s a good idea to devote some attention to the BrownField Application Development in .NET book.

The first question that came to our mind was: what is brownfield application development? Well, the author puts it like this:

“An industrial brownfield is a commercial site contaminated by hazardous waste that has the potential to be reused once it’s cleaned up.”

So, this idea applied to software, is called brownfield application development. This book discusses techniques for cleaning up such software messes, namely:

  • Continuous Integration
  • Automated Testing
  • Software metrics and Code Analysis
  • Defect Management
  • Better OO practices
  • Relayering applications
  • Loosening dependencies
  • Cleaning up the UI (discussing MVC and MVP)
  • Refactoring Data Access
  • Managing external system dependencies

Interested? Check out