Microsoft SharePoint is a great product to work with - no doubt, no questions asked but it can be (and is) quite confusing at any stage of your knowledge. Luckily, I had access to this title when I needed it most... For a software development job I had to set up a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 test lab, and honestly without this book it wouldn't have been possible.
Check out the original (and first) review as published on Amazon:
Great reference - a must-read!
Microsoft SharePoint is a great product to work with - no doubt, no questions asked but it can be (and is) quite confusing at any stage of your knowledge. And basically you cannot use SharePoint to the maximum. I was already following some online video courses with Brian Alderman prior to reading this title hence my expectations were already at a higher stake than usual. The other authors didn't ring a bell in me but I was pretty sure that they would easily match the high quality of content.
The book is actually more like a compendium. The overall structures of chapters is well organised and all chapters are written in a very detailed style. There are a lot of PowerShell scripts as most configuration of SharePoint is done via scripting. Sometimes, this is actually a little bit messy to read and to stay focused on the actual task. But the others took care of that and there are online resources to actually get all scripts to do the job.
Speaking about authors, given the circumstances that we have a pool of authors it happens that certain information is repeated and in rare occasions there are controversial statements for the same functionality. Kind of confusing and my reasoning to downgrade my rating a bit. Apart from that, this title is very easy to understand, filled with lots of PowerShell scripting code, and practical advice and guidance to achieve proper planning, installation, configuration and operation of Microsoft SharePoint 2013. Independent whether you need to have an test environment for software development, or you have to set up a full-fledged server farm with a good number of servers.
As stated initially, I started to read this book already last year during my 30 Days of SharePoint challenge prior to implement a SharePoint client using the Client Side Object Model (CSOM) interface. This book on installation, configuration and administration of Microsoft SharePoint 2013 was a heck of an asset and even though I initially had to deal with an installation of SharePoint 2010 at customer's site, I was in pretty good position to move on to a fully virtualised test bed on Microsoft Azure.
Overall it took approximately four to five hours from creating the private network (VPN) on Azure, allocating the various Windows servers for the "perfect" development infrastructure and to get Visual Studio 2013 hooked up for some serious software development. I'd assume that it might have taken me days without the lecture of this title.