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An introduction to SharePoint 2010

I have been volunteered to evaluate / learn sharepoint as we are considering it as a platform for meeting some of our business needs. However I have no sharepoint experience and having spent the last hour making two pages I was wondering if you guys could give me any pointers on getting started?

Sorry for the vagueness of this question, we have ordered some sharepoint books which wont be here for a few days and I'd like to at least make a start on this today.

Firstly as a way of learning sharepoint I have decided I will convert an existing website we have into a sharepoint one. So what I want to do is create a site which has a series of pages which are basically forms with some validation and required fields.

Also I would ideally like the data stored in a SQL Server database of my choosing.

Is this something I can create with sharepoint, and if so which of the templates would be best?

And if you know of any tutorials that would point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. Thanks

  • Great question. Don't forget to check the other related questions listed in the right-hand column. I've converted this to a Community Wiki.
    – SPDoctor
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:18

7 Answers 7


If you are looking for something you can watch and get ideas with quickly, there are some great training videos and demos that are available. This one: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/take-sharepoint-server-2010-training-at-your-desk-HA101859255.aspx is from Microsoft and has some very basic information in it. This one: http://sharepointsolutions.com/Pages/free-sharepoint-training-videos.aspx is from one of the SharePoint vendors. It has a lot of different levels of skills and you can watch them all free.

One thing I would point out, is while you have a working knowledge it seems of other technologies, SharePoint works best using it's native functionality. You may want to investigate all of the things that SharePoint can do without having to customize the sites. This could mean re-engineering your solution to meet the needs of the project, but in a different manner. I'd start with something simple, like adding content, seeing how lists work together, and then creating dashboards before jumping into different authentication methods and creating your own separate database. Everything that goes into SharePoint is already in a SQL database and can be worked with using native tools. Duplicating this data to another location is extra work and effort on your part, and usually unnecessary.

I've often been called to assist people who have customized something that the out of the box features already provide. The first thing you need to do is completely familiarize yourself with the concepts of lists and libraries and how they work, then learn about all of the OOTB web parts, this will give you a good idea of what you can do.

Good Luck!

  • thanks for the links and the advice, I'll start to try follow a few of the tutorials & examples in the training videos. I think right now my main need is to learn what sharepoint actuall is / does as I came into the project from being a .Net developer so I was expecting to just open visual studio and start putting code together etc Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 16:34

I am presuming that you are a .NET developer- I gave a presentation at the New England CodeCamp recently (Oct 29th) about SharePoint development. My presentation deck is here: http://weblogs.asp.net/sbchatterjee/archive/2011/11/13/new-england-codecamp-16-oct-29th-sharepoint-dev-presentation.aspx

It has a few good links (on pg 6) and other materials that may be helpful. Regarding your SQL Server data - it can be brought into SharePoint by using Business Connectivity Services (BCS). There's more about it here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee819133.aspx

  • Thanks, you are right that I am a .Net developer. I will have a look through your links, hopefully they will help me get started :) Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 16:35

When I start out learning a new technology through school or a personal basis, I usually buy a self-starter book, usually from publishers such as Wrox, or APress. Both these companies make excellent learning books; so buying some books on SharePoint is definitely a great way to go. In the mean time I will start looking at tutorials provided by Microsoft. The ones I have found tend to be short and more problem solving oriented then teaching you how to use the technology overall. Your second option is of course looking at YouTube. The vast amount of how-to information on this site is outstanding. Some things that you might want to equate yourself with as you already have done would be creating sites and site collections, as these will make up the back bone of SharePoint. Look at differences of site templates as well. For instance: strengths of Publishing Site vs. a Team Site, why choose a blank site, etc. The next thing you would want to look into is Lists, and Library’s. These are huge tools in gathering and storing information and documents amongst SharePoint users. Thankfully Microsoft has done a fairly good job of making the technology simple enough for business users and non-developers. There will be a learning curve as for all highly capable technology, but you will get there soon enough.

  • Thanks for the reply, we have ordered a few books (Wrox Admin and Development ones) mainly the problem is Im not sure just what template is the right one to go with for this site, and having little idea what sharepoint can do or how it does things im a bit stuck as to where to look / what to search for. I'll have a look into lists and librarys as gathering info is one of the main requirements. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 14:35
  • You might just want to play around in it, and learn more before you begin acutal development for your site.
    – Patrick_J
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 15:10
  1. Real World SharePoint 2010: Indispensable Experiences from 22 MVPs Must read book for every SP developer.
  2. SharePoint 2010 Web Parts in Action by Wictor Wilén. Gives deep understanding of web parts development.
  3. SharePoint 2010 Workflows in Action by Phil Wicklund.
  4. Developing Applications for SharePoint 2010 Best practices from Microsoft.
  5. Performance and capacity management (SharePoint Server 2010). MSDN contains a lot of useful information. For some reason people don't like to use search.

A very quick way to get yourself immersed in SharePoint is by attending the free SharePoint Saturday events that are held world-wide:

Main SharePoint Saturday site - http://www.sharepointsaturday.org/default.aspx

a blog post about a typical SPS event - http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/Blogs/GetThePoint/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=454


I have seen a number of .Net Developers successfully start their SharePoint learning by using a free online resource. Microsoft has published a 50-70 hour self-guided course they call the SharePoint 2010 Developer Training Course, http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/gg620703

The course is a mixture of recorded video lecture, hands on labs and video demonstrations with code and guides to repeat.

The presentations and video demos are from top trainers like Ted Pattison.

You mention accessing SQL Data. The module on Accessing External Data includes 4 videos and one hands on lab that should get you started. There may be prequisites covered in the previous modules.


Read this it may be helpful


  • Please when posting external links say what part is helpful, if it is the whole then it would be the whole.
    – Hugh Wood
    Commented Nov 13, 2012 at 16:25

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