Thursday, February 10, 2011

What to know before learning SharePoint 2010

This is the question I have received from many people. Even they are not working in Microsoft related technologies they like to work on SharePoint 2010 [only because the demand and features it has]. So, to learn SharePoint 2010 what are the technologies you have to know or what are the main concepts you should be strong at, this is what we will discuss in this post.

The technologies/concepts you have to know as a Developer:

  1. ASP.NET/C#: SharePoint 2010 is completely built on ASP.NET 3.5 whereas SharePoint 2007 is built upon ASP.NET 2.0. So, if you know basic ASP.NET 3.5 features then you get better ideas in implementing SharePoint 2010 coding and better understand concepts.
  2. SQL Server: This is very important to know as SharePoint A-Z stores in database only.
  3. Windows Workflow Foundation: There are workflows in SharePoint which is useful to solve business process problems. To create the workflows either in SharePoint designer or custom workflows you should have idea of WWF.
  4. XML/XSLT: I can say everything in SharePoint is XML. So, if you are strong in XML then you rock. XSLT is applying styles for XML.
  5. AJAX/Java script: AJAX is a generic concept and in ASP.NET the implementation is a bit different and you may need to know the general concept on how it works. Along with that you have to know java script.
  6. Windows Communication Foundation: WCF is very popular these days as it has very good features. SharePoint 2010 is using WCF Services instead of Web Services. So, to work with them you have to know it. [For SharePoint 2007 it is not needed]
  7. Silverlight: There are modules in SharePoint 2010 developed in Silverlight. And the integration of Silverlight code to SharePoint is also very easy now. [For SharePoint 2007 it may not be needed, but you can create custom Silverlight module and deploy to SharePoint 2007]
  8. Internet Information Services: You have to know what is IIS and how it works.

The technologies/concepts you have to know as an Administrator:

  1. SQL Server
  2. IIS
  3. Windows Server
  4. SharePoint Designer

So, these are preliminary set of things everyone should know before learning SharePoint 2010. No need to know everything very deep, but you have to get complete idea of what it is and how they work. So, it may take around a month to know about these concepts and start learning SharePoint 2010. If you try to learn directly SharePoint 2010 without knowing these concepts you may successful in doing content management, SharePoint designer workflows, customize the look and feel etc. but do not know what is happening inside and how they work. You cannot do any coding etc. So, make sure you are spending good amount of time to learn these before jump directly. Hope this helps you.


  1. that's cool info which you have shared

  2. I don't necessarily agree that you need to know all of this as a SharePoint developer, or even that many of these. It all depends on the situation and what you're building and what technology you use. You can build SharePoint web parts with only some basic knowledge and an ASP.NET background. You can build end user solutions with knowledge of how to configure and create views and either a little SharePoint designer and/or JavaScript. It's not like you have to know all of these technologies to build SharePoint solutions. It would be nice if this post had some actual meat around what parts of these tools and technologies you need. As it is, it's a good introduction but would like to see more.

  3. Agree. But, my intention is if they know these concepts [not deep till they know coding] then they actually better understand of what they are doing. Just go through it and know the concept of what WWF is and what it does, or what WCF is and what it for? etc. Anyway, thanks alot for your comment. I will try to improve posts content.

  4. its very useful info...which shows correct way to learn sahrepoint 2010. thanks alot...

  5. what should you do if you wanna be a sharepoint developer and you are horrible at programming is there a easy way out other than learning programming....?/

  6. If you want to be a SharePoint Developer, you should have skills atleast on .NET and C# programing. There is no mandatory thing you should do SharePoint development, if you are bad at coding the best option you always have is SharePoint administration.

  7. i dont know programming and i want to be a sharepoint developer....what should i do....?

    is it possible for a non-programmer to be a sharepoint developer...?

  8. What are the softwares need to be installed along with sharepoint designer 2010 to work with that? Is there any need to install visual studio 2010 to work with sharepoint?