Learning Search-driven Application Development with SharePoint 2013

1/17/2014

Claims : With step-by-step tutorials and real-world examples, this book will give you a head start creating fresh and exciting search-driven applications using SharePoint 2013's new search engine.

Read Yes Buy No

In one line, its  high theory but low practical content. This again is written under the pressure of the publishers to put out there in market a SharePoint Search book before anyone else can do so.

The book starts with 10,000 feet explanation on improved sharepoint 2013 search, display templates, Result sources,Relevance and ranking features etc etc. Then proceeds smoothly to the architecture behind the new search engine(something which if you are an avid reader of SharePoint blogs or are following MVP would already have come across).  One nice section was the explanation of the Content-processing component in some details, which i had not read on any blogs till now. Definite points to the book there. So from a very high level architectural point of view, the books gets everything in its favour

The problem starts when the hands have to get dirty. The explanation of various Search Service Application Controls, links etc seems lifted from the helptext of the Central Admin page. Nothing in depth there to make a normal man with normal intelligence (like me) to get the concept easily

Chapter 2 onwards some practical search example are provided and it continues with the rest of the book. Talks through the practical example of setting search source, Result type etc etc. UI customisation is also handled with examples of Display templates  etc. So far so good but then isn't there much much more to learn in SharePoint 2013 search than customising search dislay templates? The author mentions nothing of numerous possible configureation with Content Search Web Part, Catalog item web part and most importantly the Refinement Panels, the role of metadata while interacting with search...and I mean nothing at all !! To me this was the biggest disappointment (wondering how Microsoft would feel about it given then Metadata is all they tom tom now :-) )

Other nice surprise was chapter on CSOM, Apps and search, which is welcome.  There is a chapter on custom BCS connectors for search.  I did not go through the chapter but looked promising.

In the end I suggest you go through the Product Catalogue blog of Bella Engen and rest of her blogs on search. You would know as much about SharePoint 2013 search than this book, if not more

 

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