I don't have any experience in sharepoint except knowledge of tools available (& their costs). I am aware of MSDN articles/videos/blogs that could be helpful to learn sharepoint

Now if i need to build a sharepoint site on my own sitting at my home, that would help me in learning the sharepoint on a PRACTICAL basis rather than cramming theory, how could that be done?

Hope I'm clear with my question. Let me know if not.


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    please spend some time honing this question. As it is now it is too broad. What are your final aim? Are you a developer, ITPro, business user, power user, end user? SharePoint is huge and complex, if your answers should add any value we need more info on what your goal is – Anders Rask Apr 25 '12 at 10:58
  • Andres, I'm still exploring how learning sharepoint could be useful to me but I have been an ASP.NET Developer and thus believe Sharepoint Dev would be the first important thing to learn about. – xorpower Apr 25 '12 at 11:07
  • Like @AndersRask said, I don't think this is currently an answerable question. Learning is also a very personal thing... some people learn better by reading a SharePoint book while others need to actually setup a VM to play. If you have more specific questions, we will be happy to help! – Kit Menke Apr 25 '12 at 13:23

When I started going SharePoint almost 7 years ago I started with administration. I first got a SharePoint environment and got to understand how it works from an admin power of view. What are sites collection, what are sites, how to add web parts, working with SharePoint designer etc.

If you know asp.net you wouldn’t have much of a hard time to get into SharePoint development.

There are plenty of books about developing for SharePoint but i would start with simple things like Web parts and such.

Another option you have to get started is to do the 5 days training course Microsoft has for SharePoint (course number 10175A).

In any case i think it would be much easier to develop once you grasp all the admin part of SharePoint.

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  • Thanks JohnnyT for your input! As a matter of fact, I have work (although not too great) in ASP.NET – xorpower Apr 25 '12 at 9:53
  • Then go ahead and install SharePoint to play around with it :) in my experience of teaching that Microsoft course I mentioned earlier, students that didn’t go through understanding the UI and administrative part had much harder time to develop... – Johnny Tordgeman Apr 25 '12 at 9:55
  • Thanks, I would surely go through this. Anything more you would like to add – xorpower Apr 25 '12 at 10:06
  • Is it possible anyhow by having a virtual machine in which I install the Sharepoint Server and play with Designer & Infopath? or some other similar solutions. – xorpower Apr 25 '12 at 10:21
  • I have a virtual machine just for that. it works great. – Johnny Tordgeman Apr 25 '12 at 13:53

JohnnyTs response was really good. I'll just add some ideas from my own experience.

If you are looking for practical projects to work with, a good place to start is to try to create a document management system where you integrate with the Office applications and use templates, different content types and metadata columns and/or managed metadata. This can all be done through the web interface, and you will end up getting a broad overview over many aspects of SharePoint. Make sure you also hook up the Document Information Panel in the Office applications (this is where you set document metadata when working from Office) - there are a lot of pitfalls you can end up stepping in, but when you've done it once you will have good control on the administrative side of things.

Once you've created a decent system for managing a lot of documents, you could try integrating it with search, which needs to be configured both centrally and locally in your site. This will teach you many aspects of the administrative process. Later projects to try are a basic publishing site and a forms filling/handling/return system, perhaps using InfoPath.

Always be alert for ways to do things in an ideomatically sound manner - a very common error when working with SharePoint is to try to force it to do something it wasn't meant to do. You should learn to write Web Parts / Application Pages / Event Handlers / Workflows eventually, but the less custom code you need to write, the smaller the chances that something will break unexpectedly.

Practically speaking, you could do a standalone server installation and install SharePoint Designer, Microsoft Office and Visual Studio on the server itself. I recommend you use a dedicated machine for this. Make sure you install the cumulative updates so at least some of the bugs are weeded out. For more realistic testing, you should network the development machine with your desktop environment and test with Office against SharePoint from your desktop.

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  • +1 for "the less custom code you need to write, the smaller the chances that something will break unexpectedly" :) – mundeep Apr 25 '12 at 15:56

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