Microsoft Roadmaps and Learning SharePoint 2013

Microsoft Roadmaps and Learning SharePoint 2013

By Edward Jones

Since its general release in early 2013, the latest version of SharePoint has been widely adopted by businesses. New features focused around mobile and social capabilities as well as the cloud application model have made SharePoint 2013 appealing to many.

As with any new release, a transition period occurs whereby admins and developers must get to grips with the latest software. 

This creates several challenges as users adapt to the new interface, learn to utilize new and upgraded features, and occasionally perform the tricky task of migrating from a previous version of SharePoint.

As always, Microsoft is on hand to lend support in the form of Learning Roadmaps.

What’s a Learning Roadmap?

A Learning Roadmap is a compilation of educational content (articles, videos, white papers), with the express purpose of creating a pathway towards achieving set goals in the pursuit of building knowledge and expertise on a set topic or technology.

Learning Roadmaps are designed to cater to a series of knowledge levels, be it "introductory" or "expert" so that learners may adjust their learning experience based on previous experience. Microsoft structures Learning Roadmaps in the following format:

  • Prerequisite information– the base knowledge required to prepare you for the topic you are about to learn.
  • Level 100– the most basic tier, giving introductory information about the topic
  • Level 200– building on Level 100, this gives intermediate information about the topic
  • Level 300– building on previous levels, this section covers advanced material on the topic
  • Level 400– this contains expert material on the given topic (I have yet to find Level 400 in the roadmaps)
  • Additional – a collection of supporting resources to facilitate continued learning

Learning Roadmaps Currently Available

Since the launch, experts from the SharePoint IT Pro blog have released a series of learning roadmaps through the TechNet Library. These Roadmaps center around the core features of SharePoint 2013 and are as follows:

Upgrade for SharePoint 2013

 This was in fact not the first Learning Roadmap released by Microsoft, surprising considering many people adopting SharePoint 2013 were existing users looking to upgrade. This guide focuses on the knowledge required to perform an upgrade from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 and is ideal for those who have not previously completed an upgrade.

The guide covers the basics of understanding the upgrade process, and best practices, progressing you through to advanced actions such as customizing your upgrade and transitioning databases from 2010 to a new farm in SharePoint 2013.

Authentication in SharePoint 2013

Pre-requisite information in this guide requires you understand the fundamentals of Web Infrastructure before familiarising yourself with authentication. Completing this guide will help you to master key concepts and methods such authenticating users, applications, and high-level architecture for claim-based authentication.

Virtualize SharePoint 2013

Virtualization is a central feature in most current Microsoft products and is no different in SharePoint 2013. This guide will take you through core concepts of virtualization, helping you to install, configure and deploy SharePoint 2013 in a virtual environment. Upon completion you will have a solid understanding of Hyper-V as well as an overview for set-up options for SharePoint 2013 such as deploying via Microsoft’s public cloud, Windows Azure.

Windows PowerShell for SharePoint 2013

Since its release, PowerShell has been hailed as a godsend for automation tasks amongst System Admins (which it was specifically designed for). Following this learning roadmap will help you learn the basics of PowerShell and understanding permission requirements. By the end, you will have familiarized yourself with scripting and begun automating complex tasks within SharePoint 2013.

User Profiles for SharePoint 2013

This roadmap will give you the fundamental understanding of user profiles before teaching you how to synchronize and maintain profiles learning how to grant Active Directory Domain Services permissions for profile synchronization.

Database Management for SharePoint 2013

Managing and maintaining a database is a key element for success in any business. This roadmap will teach you the core functions of managing a database, such as creating backups and performing recovery in the event of server failure and data loss. More advanced aspects of this roadmap will teach you to move content databases within SharePoint 2013.

Permissions for SharePoint 2013

Permissions are a must in SharePoint 2013; giving a user unrestricted clearance with lack of knowledge can lead to serious issues--think bull in a china shop. This guide will take you through key concepts of permissions as well as levels of access associated with permissions such as admin and service accounts. More advanced users can learn about fine-grained permissions, default permission levels, and user permissions in SharePoint 2013.

Create Your Own

So there you have it: As of June 21, 2013 there are seven guides available helping you get to work with SharePoint 2013.

If you are looking to get up to speed sooner and the guide you are looking for isn’t currently available, why not create your own?

Considering the guides seem to appear every six weeks, you might want to create your own learning roadmap. Microsoft has created a Learning Roadmap Template allowing you to do exactly that, so now you can customize your own learning experience.


Edward Jones is a technical writer for Firebrand Training creating interest articles and How-to guides on a series of topics including SharePoint, Windows Server, and Windows desktop OSs. In his previous position for a national charity managing IT systems, Edward has experience with SharePoint 2010 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

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