When to Use This Guidance

Some aspects of SharePoint development, such as adding Web Parts, are relatively straightforward, but as organizations grow, they require more complex applications. To build those applications demands a deeper understanding of SharePoint's capabilities. Organizations can gain that understanding from this guidance.

If you are new to SharePoint development, the first step is to study the Training Management application, which is based on Windows SharePoint Services. The documentation and the application can help organizations understand the fundamentals of SharePoint development. Other areas of interest in the documentation include how to set up a team development environment, and how to test a SharePoint application.

The guidance also covers more advanced areas of SharePoint development. These areas include the following:

  • Integrating SharePoint applications with line-of- business (LOB) systems
  • Customizing published content
  • Adding custom navigation to an application
  • Composing Web Parts that use the Business Data Catalog (BDC) to access publishing data
  • Adding enterprise-scale capabilities to your application, such as caching, exception management, and configuration management

The Partner Portal application, which is the second reference implementation that is included in the guidance, shows how to implement these capabilities. For more information about the topics that are covered in the guidance, see Topics at a Glance.

This guidance is not a replacement for product documentation. Instead, it enhances the documentation by applying that information to a realistic business situation or to one of the reference implementations. In many cases, the guidance refers to the product documentation. You can use the guidance to gain initial understanding. You can then use the product documentation for deeper understanding.

The guidance includes several reusable components that are grouped together as the SharePoint Guidance Library. These components can help you with your own development projects. They implement many of the principles that were used to develop the reference implementations. However, you do not need to use these components to get value from the guidance.

The guidance does not discuss how to customize many areas of SharePoint functionality. In other areas, such as search, this guidance provides a starting point, but it does not provide in-depth information about the subject. The following are several areas that are not covered in this guidance:

  • Business intelligence
  • Excel and InfoPath services
  • Globalization and localization
  • SharePoint My sites and social networking

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