This book is certainly worthy of being part of the SAMS Unleashed series; it starts from explaining the Architecture and components of SharePoint 2010, followed by detailed and clear explanations of how the branding process works in SharePoint 2010, alongside with comparisons against the previous editions of SharePoint. The book covers not only customizations with SharePoint Designer but Administration, workarounds to existing out of the box limitations, InfoPath, BCS and Data Manipulation.
The book is divided into four parts:
o Part I
Consists of six chapters covering quick and architectural overview of SharePoint 2010 that explain the components of the SharePoint 2010 interface; configuration tasks such as configuration of anonymous access and the creation of Site Collections. Details of how navigation works are explained and how they relate to Lists, Libraries, Content and Content Pages. Part I, concludes with customizations at the browser level through Web Parts and a Site look and feel.
o Part II
Begins with the introduction of SharePoint Designer 2010, its usage, user interface, configuration options and administration of sites through SharePoint Designer; continues with the creation of Sites, Content Types in relation to SharePoint Designer and the creation and configuration of Lists and Libraries.
o Part III
Covers SharePoint Designer Editing Features, working with Content Pages within SharePoint Designer, Web Parts and Web Part Pages, Extending Content Pages, Page Layouts, Web Part Zones, CSS, XLST, List View Web Parts, Master Pages and Themes.
o Part IV
Begins with Data Sources, the different types of Data Sources, overview of BCS, introduction of External Content Types, associating External Lists, manipulation of data with ASP.Net Data Controls, overview of the different types of SharePoint Views, which view should you use, XSLT List View Web Parts, Data View, Data Form Web Parts, Configuration and Customization of List Forms, jQuery, how InfoPath can be used to customize List Forms, creation of workflows, types of workflows, Site Workflows and concludes with the creation of custom List Actions.
SharePoint Designer 2010 Unleashed has something for all SharePoint 2010 roles from administrators, IT Pros, Developers to Architects; and targets beginner and intermediate levels as well; the author does a great job at providing workarounds for issues that are not easily resolvable. The 1500+ pages are evidence that a tremendous amount of effort was involved during the writing process, which includes the Service Pack 1 updates. SharePoint Designer 2010 Unleashed is certainly worth the investment in time and money.