Pro SharePoint 2013 Branding & Responsive Web Development


Claims : Pro SharePoint 2013 Branding and Responsive Web Development is the definitive reference on the technologies, tools, and techniques needed for building responsive websites and applications with SharePoint 2013. The book focuses on solutions that provide the best browser experience for the myriad of devices, browsers, and screen orientations and resolutions.

Read Definately Yes! Buy Yes

Simply put , a good book not only tells you about things but actually convinces you to do so. And this book certainly does that.

From all the SharePoint books flooding the market since 2013 was out, this is perhaps the first one which is for Techies. Not simply  another run off the mill ‘click here, click there and its done’ type . The book is long, detailed and conveys more about SharePoint and its capabilities than simple web site design (as its title erroneously suggests). Techies would love it for the plethora of knowledge nuggets thrown around in book.

Initial chapter(s) sums up the new features available in platform especially around WCM. The book goes through basics of Html5, css and JQuery and chance are you would know most of it. But still i would suggest to cursory go through the pages. You would be surprised to find some gem of information over there.

By using a real world scenario throughout the book, not only you understand the technology  better but you can actually re-use the artifacts straight in your projects.

Personally the book convinced me the use of Design Manager for converting my html slicing to Master Page. Not that i did not know the functionality before, but being a developer i was not convinced to let an auto processing tool make my master pages. Since the books presented a live example of how easy and fast design manager could be,  i was sold. This functionality i have since then used in more than 5 of my project.

The books is detailed and answers most of the day to day challenges you would meet while branding SharePoint. For ex, when it says Responsive design, it does not limit itself to showing some product pages but details how search results can be made responsive. Following the example you not only learn search  page design but how actually search works in SharePoint 2013.  It gets your hand dirty in Responsive design/SharePoint code, and dirty as we know is better for understanding.

By the end you would end up learning much more about SharePoint as about Responsive design. The book does talk of other concepts and features (if not in detailed example) like product  Catalog, search, Device channel panels etc. Coz of this, i think the title of the book 'Responsive desgin etc ' is a bit of a misnomer. The book travels a bigger canvas of complete WCM and its damn damn good at it.

Other notable feature is tips and tricks around various topics (ex how to actually fix twitter bootstrap for SharePoint) and genuine quality blog links mentioned in the book. This information you won’t find lazily searching on google. The example of using CSWP to show rotating images is simply brilliant (check if you want this ). Nuggets like talking about implementing client side HTML Forms, Geo location pages, etc. are worth reading.

Forget SharePoint devs, a designer/slicer whose company works with SharePoint, should also read the book. I know it’s some sort of a blasphemy for a designer to look into platforms. But this books follows the same design processes, tools as a normal designer's life would, so it’s not that hard to follow. Having this knowledge might not make him a better designer but surely a much needed SharePoint designer. This is going to solve those long hours of bug fixes which a dev. team undergoes to incorporate HTML slicing into SharePoint

Negative is that the books missed some parts of the code (like not putting site actions button on Master page while designing Master Pages) and relying on readers to incorporate the page edit functionality. Some chapters did not mention the prerequisites to work with its examples. Book assumes readers will try the example in a sequential order of chapters. That is not always the case, as you might skip certain sections/chapters because you know them. 

The other negative is for its authors  to not write books on other areas of SharePoint. The talent they exhibited in this book makes it obligatory on them to write about other parts of SharePoint too