Just starting out with SharePoint 2010 or even SharePoint in general? The book ‘Beginning SharePoint 2010 – Building Business Solutions with SharePoint’ is an Awesome resource to get your hands on to get you up and running quickly!
First of all, this book is written by veterans (Amanda Perran, Shane Perran, Jennifer Mason, Laura Rogers) in the SharePoint community and not just from an outsider’s perspective which helps tremendously since it has been my personal experience (teaching on SharePoint for 6 years now) that it is not the easiest thing to teach effectively.
This book starts directly by hitting on the major areas of SharePoint that a beginner should understand real well to make good use of this platform. Topics like Sites, Workspaces, Lists, Libraries, Workflows, Site Columns, Content Types, Branding and more are discussed in detail. Not only how to use these things, but in which scenarios would you want to utilize each. The business reasoning for using, for example, a particular site or list template is extremely important for the long term success of your SharePoint deployment.
Another really good thing about this book is that it can be used just as well by people who already understand the fundamentals and now want to dive deeper into advanced topics like Records Management, Business Connectivity Services, Forms Server, Search management and of course the understanding of implementing a plan for governing the whole thing. Once you go through these topics in this book, then you get a better understanding for how these pieces all fit together on the platform. However, if you do want a deeper dive on each of these topics, I would recommend picking up a book which covers just that subject.
One more thing I would like to mention is the inclusion of exercises in this book – a great idea in my mind for folks who learn kinesthetically (like myself). Following these exercises, you can actually experience the beauty (as well as the gotchas) of SharePoint.
My recommendation: Buy it for yourself or your end users. It’s worth the price!