This week was a particularly good week – one that I’ve been waiting to have for a *very* long time. Many who know me know that I’m a huge Boston Bruins fan – I grew up in New Hampshire and have bled black and gold my whole life (even during those late ‘90s and early ‘00 years when many were ashamed to admit they were Bruins fans); well this past Wednesday, after 39 years, the Bruins finally brought Lord Stanley’s Cup home to Boston! For those that don’t follow hockey this probably doesn’t mean much – but to a true hockey fan this is way greater than the Super Bowl or the World Cup or anything like that – and for someone from Boston, the first US based NHL team, it’s that much greater. So with that win my week was looking pretty good – and then Thursday came and, still high from the win, I finally got my own physical copy of the book which I (and my co-author, Shannon Bray) spent so much time working on over the last year. And that brings me to the real purpose of this post – to officially announce the release of the book!
The book actually released earlier last week but due to a minor miscommunication I didn’t get my author copy of the book until just this Thursday – and I didn’t want to put this together until I actually had the thing in my hands. Before I say anything else I want to first thank my co-author, Shannon Bray – I can get pretty nit-picky with technical stuff like this and Shannon was great in how receptive he was to any feedback I had with his chapters. I also want to thank Spencer Harbar for helping with the technical reviews of the book – Spence wasn’t able to review everything we wrote due to the way the edit process works with Sybex but I believe that the book is greatly improved due to his contributions (if there’s an error in the book you can assume that’s something Spence didn’t get to review ). And of course I need to thank the whole Sybex team for making the book possible.
Okay, enough of that – let’s talk about what’s in the book. Let me first provide you with some helpful links to where you can purchase the book or download the supporting materials and preview chapters and whatnot:
- Buy the book from Amazon
- Buy the book from Sybex – this is also the “official” book site and where you can find all the downloads
- Chapter 1 – Windows PowerShell 101 (PDF)
- Index (PDF)
- Table of Contents (PDF)
- Appendix A – Creating Custom Cmdlets (PDF)
There’s also supposed to be a ton of sample scripts available for download but for some reason those haven’t made it up on the book’s site yet (I’ve got an inquiry into Sybex to see what’s up – as soon as they are posted I’ll send out a tweet with the download link – follow me on twitter for updates: @glapointe). Also, from the Amazon site you can use the “Look Inside” feature (just click the book logo) to view some additional content as well as the first few pages of most chapters.
One note about Appendix A – this particular chapter is actually my favorite chapter – it was the most fun to write and includes a *ton* of information that is not documented anywhere. When Shannon and I put the original chapter outline together we did not have this chapter included as the original target audience was supposed to be IT administrators – as a result, Sybex did not budget for the additional page count and the chapter got dropped (I was upset that it got labeled as an Appendix and then more upset that it got dropped, but Sybex is running a business and I respect their decision, I’m just bummed that I couldn’t see it in print).
Also, those of you that pay close attention to details might note that the book title changed slightly (I didn’t know this until I got it in my hands). The book was originally “Automating SharePoint 2010 with Windows PowerShell 2.0” but it got changed to “Automating SharePoint 2010 Administration with Windows PowerShell 2.0” (I know, it’s verbose). It’s a subtle change meant to bring the title in line with other books that Sybex is releasing. However, what I want to be clear about is that this book is not just meant for IT administrators – true, they will benefit from it the most, but remember, I’m a developer, that’s where my passion is, and as such I tried to include as many nuggets as I could to make this book a value to both IT administrators and developers (heck, just the first three chapters on Windows PowerShell in general should be a must read for both audiences).
Now let’s take a look at what is in the book. I’ve pasted below the chapter details as found in the front section of the book; one thing I added is who was responsible for each chapter. I should note that, in order to help enforce a sense of consistency and technical accuracy, I did provide Shannon with a lot of assistance on his chapters, so though I’ve only called out the chapters that I was primarily responsible for, I was in fact a major contributor on all chapters.
Part 1 – Getting Started With Windows PowerShell Basics
- Chapter 1, “Windows PowerShell 101,” begins with a basic understanding of Windows PowerShell: the shell, cmdlets, variables, and types and how to work with and output data. (Gary)
- Chapter 2, “Filtering and Iterating Your Data,” expands on the concepts of Chapter 1 by showing how to add structure and logic to commands. (Gary)
- Chapter 3, “Making Your PowerShell Reusable,” completes the basic Windows PowerShell run-through by explaining how to turn a series of commands into functions, scripts, and modules. (Gary)
Part 2 – Installing and Configuring a SharePoint 2010 Environment
- Chapter 4, “Deploying New Installations and Upgrades,” details how to create an installation script for new Farm installations and presents upgrade scenarios and scripts that can ease the upgrade process. (Gary)
- Chapter 5, “Configuring Server Communications,” builds on the information learned in Chapter 4 by detailing the various settings that affect the communication of SharePoint with and through dependent resources, such as network adapters, the firewall, and Active Directory. (Shannon)
- Chapter 6, “Configuring Farm Application Settings,” shows how to use Windows PowerShell to configure some of the core configuration options available on the General Application Settings page of the Central Administration site. (Shannon)
Part 3 – Deploying and Managing Applications
- Chapter 7, “Managing Web Applications,” covers the creation and manipulation of Web Applications and the various configurable properties that are scoped to the Web Application level. (Shannon)
- Chapter 8, “Managing Site Collections and Sites,” continues where Chapter 7 left off by covering the creation and manipulation of Site Collections and Sites and the various configurable properties that are scoped the Site Collection or Site level. (Shannon)
- Chapter 9, “Understanding Authentication,” builds on the information from Chapter 7 by detailing the Classic and Claims authentication modes that must be taken into account when provisioning and working with Web Applications. (Shannon)
- Chapter 10, “Managing Features and Solutions,” details how to manage SharePoint Solution Packages and Features, including those deployed to the Solutions Gallery (Sandbox Solutions). (Shannon)
Part 4 – Services and Service Applications
- Chapter 11, “Managing Service Applications,” introduces the Service Application concepts and foundational information necessary to understand the subsequent chapters that focus on provisioning individual Service Applications. (Gary)
- Chapter 12, “Provisioning Support Services,” covers the provisioning of the core Service Applications that are necessary for SharePoint and/or other Service Applications to function properly, including: Web Analytics Services, State Services, Secure Store Services, User Code Services, Claims to Windows Token Services, and the Usage and Health Data Collection Services. (Shannon)
- Chapter 13, “Provisioning Business Intelligence, Business Connectivity, and Word Automation Services,” continues the Service Application provisioning with the Business Intelligence–focused Service Applications (Excel, Access, Visio, and PerformancePoint) and the Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and Word Automation Services Applications. (Gary)
- Chapter 14, “Provisioning Search Services,” tackles what is undoubtedly the most complex Service Application, the Enterprise Search Services Service Application, and it concludes with the Foundation Search, the only place where STSADM will be used in the book. (Shannon)
- Chapter 15, “Provisioning Metadata and User Profile Services,” completes the Service Application provisioning story with the Managed Metadata Services Service Application and the User Profile Services Service Application, including coverage of the many issues oft en experienced with the User Profile Synchronization Service. (Gary)
Part 5 – Managing and Maintaining a SharePoint Environment
- Chapter 16, “Managing Operational Settings,” covers monitoring SharePoint, including how to work with Unified Logging Service (ULS) logs and the Health Analyzer, and Timer Jobs, and concludes with coverage of the Developer Dashboard. (Shannon)
- Chapter 17, “Back Up and Restore a SharePoint Environment,” details the various backup and restore cmdlets available for backing up the Farm, Site Collections, Sites, and lists. (Shannon)
- Chapter 18, “Optimizing the Performance of a SharePoint Environment,” walks through the most common areas where performance gains can be had, including resource throttling, caching, and remote binary large object (BLOB) storage. (Shannon)
Part 6 – Advanced Administration
- Chapter 19, “Remote Administration,” shows how to connect remotely to and work with a SharePoint Farm using Windows PowerShell, thus reducing the need for direct server access. (Gary)
- Chapter 20, “Multi-Tenancy,” builds on the previous chapters by demonstrating how to build a SharePoint hosting Farm. (Gary)
- Appendix A, “Creating Custom Cmdlets,” takes the SharePoint PowerShell story to the next level by showing how to extend the
out-of-the-box capabilities by adding new cmdlets, views, and extensions. (Gary)
The book came in at 737 pages – for my first attempt at writing a book this was rather immense (it will make a great doorstop some day ). Shannon and I did our best to make the book informative and technically accurate – hopefully readers of the book will agree – that said, if you find something you disagree with or that is simply wrong/inaccurate/incomplete/total bullsh**/whatever, please let us know (just please be kind ). You can either fill out the errata form on the Sybex site or post a comment here (there were many, *many* late nights and weekends involved with the writing of this book and, as such, it’s quite possible that I brain farted a thing or two).
Shannon and I hope you enjoy the book – if you do, please tell a friend, if you don’t, well, um, the book’s already printed so not much I can do to fix it but maybe I can do some more blogging to make up for it .