Joel Abrahamsson has recently published his book EPiServer 7 CMS Development on Leanpub.com. The book is not yet finished, but when you buy it you are entitled to all the coming updates, so there’s really no reason to wait until the final/finished version. The book has a suggested price of USD 35.00 (minimum price USD 20.00). The book comes in three formats, PDF, .mobi and .epub, and you get all three formats when you buy it.
Joel’s book presupposes no previous experience with EPiServer, which means that it should be the perfect place to start for beginning EPiServer developers. That being said, the book takes aim to be comprehensive enough to be of value also to seasoned EPiServer developers. As the man behind PageTypeBuilder (the most used pre-version-7 EPiServer extension ever) and Truffler (the search engine that EPiServer bought and re-branded as EPiServer Find), Joel Abrahamsson is a guy well worth listening to. Go bookmark his blog joelabrahamsson.com (if you haven’t already).
The book consists of two parts; “Understanding EPiServer CMS” and “Site development”. Part I is mostly geared towards beginning EPiServer developers, but as Joel writes: “In order to build an EPiServer site we need to know how our users, the editors, interact with the system.” Even if you think you know everything in this first part, I suggest reading through it anyway, as there might be concepts or terminology here that you’re less than 100% sure of, and you’ll need a thorough understanding of everything in part I before moving on to part II. In part II, the fun (i.e. the coding) begins. Personally, I have been “stuck” with a CMS 6 R2 project for a while, so even if I’ve been toying a little with the new version of EPiServer, there’s a lot of material to cover here. EPiServer development has changed dramatically with this new version, and at least for me, this part was the reason that I bought the book in the first place.
Part II starts off with an explanation of some core concepts, like PageData and IContent, and a brief discussion on “Inversion of Control”, before moving on to “Building an EPiServer site”. The style is informal and easy to read, and the text is clearly meant for the reader to follow along on his computer, not just to be read. However, just reading the text is no problem, as all relevant explanations and screen shots are provided. Some of the more advanced notes and explanations, and differences between CMS 7 and previous versions of EPiServer, are clearly marked as such, letting beginning EPiServer developers know that they might skip this information the first time, and come back to it when they have more experience with EPiServer.
A comprehensive book on EPiServer development is long overdue; the last time there was an EPiServer book was for EPiServer 4. As I wrote in the beginning, Joel Abrahamsson’s book is far from finished. However, the existing content looks very promising, and I look forward to receiving further updates for his book. In my eyes, this book is a must-have for all serious EPiServer developers, regardless of their level of experience.