Archive for the ‘ Books’ Category

The Book of CSS

There is a LOT of buzz right now about the strength of web technologies for all kinds of development.

CSS has always been a bit of a black art to me but as I’ve embraced developing with jQuery I’ve needed to develop some level of expertise.

With HTML 5 and CSS 3 we get an incremental expansion of features.

I got “The Book of CSS3” by Peter Gasston from the folks at No Starch Press.

It covers the new features of CSS3 and all the fancy stuff but has solid practical guidance for developers on how to do things like layout and columns (which I have struggled with.)

I also found the sections on using the visual features of things like transforms, animations, gradients, and fonts very useful.

Recommended !

Murach Web Development Books Updated to 4


[ Click the books above to see them on Amazon ]

I’ve said for many years that were I ever to teach a university course on web development Murach’s books would be the textbooks that I would use.

Since many folks have emailed me to say that they used these books to learn ASP.NET I thought I’d let folks know that Murach has updated them to the 4 versions of .NET

The folks at Murach were nice enough to send me the latest versions and they are everything that I’ve come to expect from a Murach book.

The ASP.NET book is THE quintessential resource for learning ASP.NET Web Forms Development (yes, WebForms is still the #1 ASP.NET Development model by a significant margin).

It covers details of every aspect of ASP.NET Web Forms development. Two particularly interesting coverage areas are the use of WCF services and details  working with web applications on Windows 7.

The ADO.NET book not only provides tutorial on all the aspects of ADO.NET data access but walks you through building an application. Though there is the expected focus on LINQ, Entity Framework, etc. there is also coverage on other data like XML.

As always, You can’t go wrong.

BOOK: Eloquent JavaScript

For years I’ve said “JavaScript is inevitable”.  More and more all web developers are needing to add richness to their Web UIs and their UI Interactions.

The thing about Scripting Languages is that folks tend to learn by trial and error. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s how I learned JavaScript.

But, writing Client Side & Server Side code together can be tricky. I very frequently get email from customers experiencing a debugging problem whose answer is fund in confused or incorrectly mixed Client / Server coding.

So, writing good, clean MODERN JavaScript is not only important to but a service to anyone who will need to crack open your code in the future to make enhancements (including the original author).

So I got this book. “Eloquent JavaScript – A Modern Introduction to Programming”.

This is a great book except for the subtitle. Since it’s called an introduction, folks that have some JavaScript experience might pass this book up and that would be a shame.

I found it not only a tutorial but a style guide.

Coverage includes, Data Structures, Object Oriented JavaScript Programming, Functional Programming, Modularity, the DOM, HTTP Requests, as well as all the basics of JavaScript.

I encourage you to check it out [ HERE ]

BOOK–ASP.NET Site Performance Secrets from Packt Publishing.

There are few ASP.NET Performance books out there and even fewer good ones.

This one I like. Matt Perdick has taken an interesting approach by not just presenting technology tips and tricks that can be used to positively effect performance but rather presents the technologies in the context of a methodology one can use to identify and resolve performance problems in their own web applications.

Matt covers the tools you can use with the bottleneck pinpointing process to find and fix issues with :

  • Time to First Byte
  • Memory Usage
  • CPU Consumption
  • Caching
  • Browser
  • Proxy
  • Output
  • IIS Output
  • Data
  • Thread usage and Asynchronous Architectures
  • Reducing Long Wait Times
  • Database Access
  • Time to Last Byte
  • Compression
  • Forms Optimization
  • JavaScript and CSS
  • Images
  • Load Testing
  • It’s easy to read with ample code samples and screenshots and contains many, many of the kind of tips you would expect concerning things like ASP.NET View State, Element Ids, working with User Agent specifics, etc.

A good addition to your ASP.NET Expertise.

[ Get it HERE ]

BOOK–Murach’s PHP & MySQL

Yep! Another great Murach’s book.

This book is the quintessential learning resource for PHP development.

Like all of Murach’s books, it teaches far more then the nuts and bolts of the technology but also what the right ways to use them are.

The book is up to date with PHP 5.3 and takes you through getting the PHP Stack set up (Windows or Mac)

It quickly covers foundational requirements like HTML, CSS, and HTTP and then jumps into how to write and debug PHP code.

It not only covers the breadth of detail about web programming specifics with PHP, like cookies, images, uploads, etc. but also provides great higher level guidance.

There are sections on often overlooked topics for new PHP developers like Object Oriented Programming and using the MVC pattern in PHP.

As I often say about Murach’s books – if I were teaching a course on PHP development, this is the book I would teach the course from. Not only a great learning / training resource, but once you’ve read it, it becomes a great desk reference.

Murach’s C# 2010



If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you already know that I love the Murach Books.

Murach’s has updated their great C# book for v4 / 2010.

If I were going to teach a course on C#, this is the book I would use.

From the official description….

#1: A FAST start, coupled with Visual Studio productivity
This book starts you off using all the best features of Visual Studio so you can begin productive work almost immediately. In fact, it has you create a simple business application in chapters 2 and 3 so you can see right away how the core features of C# and of Visual Studio work. Download these chapters for free, and see for yourself.

#2: Object-oriented programming made clear
When it comes to object-oriented programming, too many C# books resort to whimsical but useless metaphors, like illustrating objects by creating animal classes such as mammals, cats, and dogs. Then they leave it up to you to figure out how to transfer these concepts to business applications.
In contrast, we present business objects such as customers, invoices, and products so you can see how OOP is used to create multi-tiered applications in the real world.

#3: Confidence in handling business requirements
Learning to use C# classes and OOP techniques isn’t enough. You also have to know how to code for the tasks that are required in most business applications. So this book builds on your skills in incremental steps to teach you how to validate data, handle numeric, date, and string data, work with loops, arrays, and collections, code methods and event handlers, handle exceptions, and work with text, binary, and XML data.

#4: A solid grounding in database programming
You can’t create business applications without handling databases. So this book teaches you how to use C# 2010’s tools for rapid application development, like the data sources feature and data handling controls. It also includes introductions to ADO.NET coding and to LINQ, a feature that lets you query almost any data source…not just databases…using the C# language.
Powerful stuff that’s glossed over in a chapter or two in most other C# books.

#5: No side-stepping of business requirements
This book presents complete, non-trivial applications that illustrate what you need to know on the job. Studying applications like these is the key to mastering C# development, but you won’t find them in many other C# books.

#6: Practice exercises solidify your skills
The exercises at the end of each chapter let you apply what you’ve learned, giving you valuable, hands-on experience. And because we provide the starting points for these exercises here at our site, you get the maximum amount of practice in a minimum of time.

#7: Paired pages make learning a breeze
If you haven’t ever used one of our books before, you may want to download a sample chapter before you buy. If you do, you’ll discover why programmers are so impressed by our "paired pages" format and why college students ask their instructors for Murach books. Not only does this format make learning easier and faster, but it also makes this the ideal reference book when you’re on the job.

#8: 100% guarantee
Like all our books, this one is backed by our 90-day trial period and 100% guarantee. It must teach you C# 2010 the way the best professionals use it, or send it back for a prompt refund.

[ You can get it HERE ]

Enhancing your Organizational and Leadership skills.

As we approach the end of the calendar year it’s common to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and focus on what we seek to accomplish in the coming year.

I wanted to take the opportunity to share a couple of resources that I’ve been finding usefull.

J.D. Meier (from our Patterns & Practices team) lives an alternate life as a management guru.

He writes about his work in the space here

He’s also written a great book – “Getting Results the Agile Way.”


If you really don’t want to buy the book you can read it all on line.

Check it out and start planning for 2011 to ROCK !

BOOK: Murach’s HTML, XHTML, and CSS


I’m a huge fan of Murach’s books in general. I like books that I could teach a course from.

This book is no exception, but I’m blogging about it for a particular reason.

I recently wrote a blog post about our choices for developing Web Applications on the Microsoft platform.

Choosing between ASP.NET–WebForms, MVC, WebMatrix – Choice is a GOOD thing.

I’ve been saying since the first release of ASP.NET MVC that WebForms is not dead and someone in the Twitterverse even referred to me as “Microsoft’s WebForms Apologist”

No matter what you choose for your web development stack, you’ll need a sound understanding of HTML and CSS AND the relationship between the two.

If you’re somewhat new to web development or have always relied on the WebForms controls for output – this book will give you a great start. If you’ve written HTML and CSS from scratch this book will be an easy read for you and may fill in some of the gaps.

As I’ve been focusing on developing jQuery expertise I’ve found this book useful to keep on my desk and refer to.

Click [ HERE ] to check it out.

BOOK : Murach’s C++ 2008


Yes, C++ is alive and well and as I always say, you just can’t go wrong with a Murach’s Book.

This is the book I would choose if I were going to teach a course on Managed Code C++ programming.

It starts at the beginning and works it’s way through OO concepts to advanced C++ 2008 language features and practical practices like working with events, XML files, etc.

Of no small interest, and one of the big advantages of doing .NET programming with C++ can be found in chapter 19 : How to work with legacy “C” and native “C++” code.

[Get it HERE ]

Technorati Tags: Book Murach’s C++

BOOK: Murach’s JavaScript and DOM Scripting Training and Reference

  Some time ago I posted about JavaScript being inevitableOver the last couple of weeks I’m been writing some web security related videos and writing some DOM based hacking examples.

In the course of that I picked up Murach’s JavaScript and DOM Scripting training and reference. It’s everything I’ve come to expect from a Murach’s book !!! 

It’s simply a complete guide to writing JavaScript with a practical guide to not only “doing” JavaScript but manipulating the DOM and CSS.

It’s great to read a book that continues to have value after you’ve read it cover to cover.

I now have a stack of Murach’s books on my desk 🙂 and this one is proving to be very useful, not only for the security stuff I’m doing but as I’m diving deeper into ASP.NET MVC and writing more client side code.

Hope you can check it out.

Software Development Books

BOOK – ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework – AGAIN !


Back in June I posted about Murach’s Book – ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework with VB 2008

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Murach’s books.

I’m preparing to record a podcast on data access and so I pickup up this book.

In a word – BRILLIANT.

It covers the three primary data access technologies that matter to developers using current .NET development tools.

Detailed coverage of all three makes this book a no-brainer. I read it cover to cover and it has assumed a bit of high-value real-estate on my desk !!!!

Well, now it has a companion on my deck – the C# 2008 Version

[ Buy the VB Version Here ]

[ Buy the C# Version Here ]

Technorati Tags: Microsoft ADO.NET LINQ Entity Framework Book Murach

Client Side & Web Development Books


Non-Technical Non-Fiction Books I’ve Read


Business Books

Fiction I’ve Read


Personal Defense / Fighting / Shooting


JUST RELEASED: p&p Acceptance Test Engineering Guide, Volume I – beta2

Microsoft patterns & practices is excited to announce the latest addition to
the p&p library of software engineering guidance:


Acceptance Test Engineering Guide,
Volume I
(BETA 2)

Codeplex site:

Here is some of what it covers !

Common Scenarios

– How to Plan for Acceptance Testing

– What Kinds of Acceptance Tests to Run

– How to Create and Run Acceptance Tests

– Defining What “Done” Means

– How to Justify Your Approach

– How to Streamline Your Acceptance Process

Contents of at a Glance

PART I – THINKING ABOUT ACCEPTANCE explains six mental models that are useful when thinking about the acceptance process.

Chapter 1            The Acceptance Process

Chapter 2            Decision-Making Model

Chapter 3            Project Context Model

Chapter 4            System Requirements Model

Chapter 5            Risk Model

Chapter 6            Doneness Model

PARTII – PERSPECTIVES ON ACCEPTANCE describes the acceptance process from the perspectives of key stakeholders in two different kinds of organizations: the Information Technology Department in a business and the Product Development Company. Most readers involved in the acceptance process should find some commonality with at least one of the roles describes.

Chapter 7            Business Lead’s Perspective

Chapter 8            Product Manager’s Perspective

Chapter 9            Test Manager’s Perspective

Chapter 10          Development Manager’s Perspective

Chapter 11          User Experience Specialist’s Perspective

Chapter 12          Operations Manager’s Perspective

Chapter 13          Solution Architect’s Perspective

Chapter 14          Enterprise Architect’s Perspective

Chapter 15          Legal Perspective

PARTIII – ACCEPTING SOFTWARE introduces the practices that are necessary for planning the acceptance process, for performing acceptance testing and for improving the acceptance process.

Chapter 16          Planning for Acceptance

Chapter 17          Assessing Software

Chapter 18          Managing the Acceptance Process

Chapter 19          Streamlining the Acceptance Process

BOOK – Murach’s ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework with VB 2008


It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Murach’s books.

I’m preparing to record a podcast on data access and so I pickup up this book.

In a word – BRILLIANT.

It covers the three primary data access technologies that matter to developers using current .NET development tools.

Detailed coverage of all three makes this book a no-brainer. I read it cover to cover and it has assumed a bit of high-value real-estate on my desk !!!!

[ Buy it here . ]

I’m updating my recommended books on www.ASP.NET

Over the next few weeks I’ll be updating all me recommended books on the ASP.NET website.

If you are an author or a publisher of a book that you would like me to consider, please contact me via this link

PLEASE NOTE – these book recommendations on are NOT “listings.

I only recommend books that I actually have in hand and that I deem “recommendation worthy.”

All suggestions are welcome !

BOOK – Sample Chapter ASP.NET MVC 1.0

I’ve avoided ASP.NET MVC for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool. I just haven’t needed it. WebForms suits, and continues to serve me quite well.But still, as a developer who also does a lot of PHP (and other) web development. Sometimes I wanna use the “do it yourself” web dev model. Enter ASP.NET MVC

Some of our guys wrote this book and it’s now shipping from

You can grab a free sample chapter HERE

Technorati Tags: ,,

BOOK – Manning WPF in Action with Visual Studio 2008

 WPF in Action with Visual Studio 2008
Covers Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1 and .NET 3.5 Service Pack 1!
Arlen Feldman and Maxx Daymon
November, 2008 | 520 pages
ISBN: 1933988223

For a long time I’ve been largely a “web guy”. Not so much by choice but by circumstance, just like I was a main-frame guy in the 80’s.

Full client applications are SO powerful.

IN 2009 I really want to contribute to and, though I’ve done allot of work in Windows Forms, my WPF experience is a bit light and WPF is the future of Windows Client development.

So, needed a book that would “plunge” me back into WPF thinking. Serendipitously, about the same time I was asked about doing a manuscript review for    WPF in Action with Visual Studio 2008.

I loved it, as you will tell when you pick up a copy of the book and see my comment on the back cover !!

I read so many books that I can almost guess in advance based on the publisher, series or author how good a book will be and the “In Action” series books are generally great but   WPF in Action with Visual Studio 2008 is especially good becuase it is both details and professionally practical.

It does waste paper teaching me how to build fractals or stick drawings in XAML but takes a quickly passed serious approach to getting the reader up to speed to do REAL work.

  • It’s Visual Studio 2008 based so it’s both current and based inside the tools we use to developer WPF applications.
  • It makes comparative references to Win Forms, etc, so it sets content in things we already understand.
  • It has good coverage of the new Layout Mechanism which is different than previous UI technologies.
  • It contains concise coverage or 3D, Transitions, Templates, and Data
  • It relates full WPF on the desktop with XBAP, ClickOnce, and Silverlight
  • It has great “advanced” sections on Interop and Threading based Performance.

Get it here –   WPF in Action with Visual Studio 2008

And send me your WPF content suggestions for

Patterns & Practices: Application Architecture Guide 2.0 Knowledge Base

J.D. and the very smart folks over in the Patterns and Practices group have been at it again and have published another GREAT development resource.

Patterns & Practices Application Architecture Knowledge Base

Authored by ….

J.D. Meier , Alex Homer, David Hill, Jason Taylor , Prashant Bansode , Lonnie Wall, Rob Boucher Jr, Akshay Bogawat.

It’s downloadable as a PDF file and is a simply incredible Application Architecture Guide.

Now if I could just get it for my Kindle !

BOOK: Murach’s SQL Server 2008 for Developers

I consistently meet good developers who are not database “experts”.

Many of us had a good deal of formal education on Data Structures, Algorithms, Patterns, Syntax, Methodologies, but learn about developing with Databases and the associated tools a little bit as a time as our work took us through the process.

Murach’s has just updated their great book on SQL Server for Developers for all the 2008 versions from Microsoft.

Not only does it provide detailed enlightenment on all the “tools” like the SQL 2008 Management Studio, but it’s full of practical “How-DO-I” stuff.

For example, we all know that binary or other “un-typed” data can be stored in a Table Column of type “BLOB”. But how do I get stuff into and out of a BLOB field.

See Chapter 19 on working with BLOBS. The intro shows the T-SQL Syntax for INSERT statements to work with a BLOB. But later in the chapter comes a whole sample application with C# code !!!

That’s just one example – pick up a copy for the rest 🙂

Check it out [ HERE ] on

Wally tells you what’s new in 3.5 SP1

My Buddy WBM has release a new eBook !

Check it out !

New Features in ASP.NET 3.5 Service Pack 1

Wallace B. McClure

ISBN: 978-0-470-45734-4

Wrox Blox PDF

38 pages

December 2008

Important information about this Wrox Blox PDF download

BOOK – Hacking VoIP

I’ve spent allot of time in my career focusing on Software Security.

I’m also a bit of a VoIP geek.

So Hacking VoIP: Protocols, Attacks, and Countermeasures  was a treat for me, especially since it uses Asterisk which is a hobby of mine.

I’d never really thought about the subject and this book was a great intro. Not too light and a good read. (197 Pages, I read it in a single day.)

I highly recommend it if you are remotely interested din the subject !

Murach’s ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with C# 2008

At the top of this book it says “TRANING AND REFERENCE” in capital letters.

That sums it up 🙂 1000 pages of soup to nuts learning about developing ASP.NET applications in C#, updated for ASP.NET 3.5 and C# / Visual Studio 2008.

In addition to all the concepts for ASP.NET, C#, OOP, IIS, etc, the book has sections on Data Access (AND LINQ), AJAX, Listview & Datapager, CSS and more.

Murach’s makes great textbook style learning material. As I’ve said before. if I were teaching a college class on the subject, this would be on the short list for the textbook of choice.

[ Click HERE to check it out on ]

The IDA Pro Book by Chris Eagle

This book is OFF THE HOOK !

Wanna REALLY dissect a running application ?

IDA Pro is THE tool of choice for disassembly and the crackers choice because of it’s raw power.

Whether you need to solve a tough runtime defect or examine your application security from teh inside out IDA Pro is a great tool and this book is THE guide for coming up to speed.

From the book description ….

  • Identify known library routines, so you can focus your analysis on other areas of the code
  • Extend IDA to support new processors and filetypes, making disassembly possible for new or obscure architectures
  • Explore popular plug-ins that make writing IDA scripts easier, allow collaborative reverse engineering, and much more
  • Utilize IDA’s built-in debugger to tackle obfuscated code that would defeat a stand-alone disassembler 

    Download Chapter 12: “Library Recognition Using FLIRT Signatures”

  • Murach’s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET

    Murach’s ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with VB 2008: Anne Boehm: Books

    ISBN: 1890774472
    ISBN-13: 9781890774479


    I love this book.

    If I were going to teach a course on ASP.NET Development with VB – THIS is the book I would teach it from !

    Get a a copy !

    Murach’s Description

    There is no faster or better way to learn ASP.NET web programming using Microsoft’s Visual Studio .NET than to use “Murach’s ASP.NET web programming with VB.NET.” To get you off to a fast start, the first 5 chapters show you how to use Microsoft Visual Studio to design, code, and test multi-page web applications that use view state, session state, cookies, database data, and code-behind files.

    From there, you learn even faster as you master the core professional skills like HTML, server controls, validation controls, state management, and user controls. Then, you learn how to use the best ADO.NET features for working with a database in a web application including: connection pooling, data commands, parameterized queries, caching, data views, command builders, and the Repeater, DataList, and DataGrid controls.

    Last, you learn how to apply the finishing touches to a web application: security, web services, custom server controls, reports generated by Crystal Reports, email, and deployment. “No other book teaches so much, so fast, or so thoroughly.”

    Amazon Product Description

    “This book is by far the best computer programming book I have ever bought. You can go into my upstairs closet and find 20-30 books that I have purchased since the days of VB6…. All together, they could not add up to as much information as you have given me in the first 11 chapters of this book.” (A developer’s comment on the previous edition of Murach’s ASP.NET)
    Already know how to code Visual Basic 2008 desktop applications? Then, you’re ready to master web programming with the 3.5 edition of this best-selling ASP.NET book from Murach Books.

    It covers the 3.5 features that provide new functionality…like the ListView and DataPager data controls, LINQ data sources, new CSS-related tools, and ASP.NET AJAX…while it teaches you how to develop web applications from scratch. And it does that using all the same features that have made earlier editions such favorites among professional developers:

    It’s concise, practical, and crystal-clear in telling you what you need to know

    It shows you how to get the most from Visual Studio 2008 as you code, test, debug, and deploy ASP.NET web applications

    It gives you a 7-chapter section on database programming…2 more chapters than in the previous edition because .NET continues to deliver new, powerful tools for this critical component of business applications

    It gives you solid training in the essential skills that you’ll use every day, including data validation…state management…improving the user experience with easy site navigation and a standard look and feel…boosting user response time with ASP.NET AJAX…handling security…developing reusable controls…working with database data using SQL, object, and LINQ data sources…and more

    It gives you real-world application examples that guide you in applying what you’re learning as you develop your own websites (you can download the applications for free from the Murach website)

    Its paired pages presentation makes for fast reading, instant reinforcement, and time-saving reference (to see how the paired pages work, you can download free chapters from the Murach website)

    Free Data Structures and Algorithms Book from the Slackers

    Data Structures and Algorithms: Annotated Reference with Examples

    This book written by Granville Barnett and Luca Del Tongo is part of an effort to provide all developers with a core understanding of algorithms that operate on various common, and uncommon data structures.

    Data Structures and Algorithms: Annotated Reference with Examples is completely free!


    Book: ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX Pocket Guide

    ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX Pocket Guide
    by Matthew EllisRead more about this book…

    Ok readers. Check out this little nugget.

    Matthew Ellis and Magma Interactive just released the ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX Pocket Guide.

    It contains concise chapters packed with useful info for the ASP.NET AJAX Developer including a Client Side Reference, a Server Side Reference, Web Services, Extender Controls, The Control Toolkit and more.

    At $1.26 per chapter – It’s almost FREE !

    Just click on the book image above to get the details over at

    BOOK: ASP.NET Data Presentation Controls

    Here is a GREAT quick read on ASP.NET Data Controls for you.

    PACKT is not one of the “big” publishing companies, which can be a good thing because that often publish books on specific topics that are left un-covered by the usual suspects. One of their slogans is “Community Experience Distilled” which I think really nails them.

    This book is spans about 240 pages exclusivly on ASP.NET Data Presentation controls.

    It covers things like …

    • Data Binding
    • Repeater Control
    • List Controls
    • Data Grid
    • Grid View
    • Form View
    • Detail View

    Bets of all it contains coverage of both 2.0 and 3.5 concepts like LINQ, the new 3.5 ListView & DataPager controls and using VS 2008.

    Click on the book image above to check it out at

    Book: Murach’s C# Updated for 2008

    If you are an avid reader, like I am, then you know that different publishers tend to have different styles and specialties.

    Murach is unique. They don’t publish TONS of books, but the ones they do publish fill an interesting space.

    Take this one……

    Murach’s C# 2008: Joel Murach: Books

    ISBN: 1890774464
    ISBN-13: 9781890774462

    I first read the 2005 version of both the C# and the VB books and loved them. I said then, and say again, if I were to teach a VB or C# book I would use these as text books. They are complete, but pleasant to read (unlike lots of textbooks.)

    Murach has updated this book to include the 2008 topics.

    I dug into to recently because I was doing some interesting things with Microsoft new Dynamic Data technology which makes much use of Partial Classes. It’s fully up to date with the 2008 stuff !

    Click on the book link to check it out at Amazon.

    BOOK: Microsoft AJAX Library Essentials

    This is another one of those “Sniper Topics” that I like, again from PAKT Publishing.

    Approximately 280 pages of drill down on Object Oriented Client Side development in JavaScript using the Microsoft AJAX Client Libraries.

    Not only does this text enumerates the namespaces in the Microsoft AJAX Client Libraries, and provide good coverage of the Client Component Framework, but it teaches all the “whys” along with the “How Tos”.

    If your building AJAX applications and Microsoft’s AJAX technology is at the center of your work then this book is a “must read”.

    Click on the book image above to check it out on

    Microsoft patterns & practices Web Client Software Factory 2.0

    I know this isn’t “hot off the press” but I’m just

    Microsoft patterns & practices Web Client Software Factory 2.0

    February 2008 Release


    ·    MSDN site:

    ·   Community site:

    And some more information from their February Release Announcement….

    The Web Client Software Factory (WCSF) provides a set of guidance for architects and developers building enterprise Web applications. The factory includes samples, reusable code and a guidance package which automates key development tasks from within Visual Studio.

    Using the Web Client Software Factory assets, developers can create Composite Web applications composed of independently developed and deployed modules. These modules are dynamically brought together at runtime into a common shell. Additionally the factory includes support for ASP.NET AJAX thus providing users with a richer and more responsive user experience.

    New In This Release

    The February 2008 release of the Web Client Software Factory has the following improvements to the June 2007 release.

    − Full support for Visual Studio 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5

    − Added ASP.NET AJAX extenders for Context Sensitive Autocomplete, AJAX Validation, and Real Time Search that can be used in existing ASP.NET sites and ASP.NET sites built using the Composite Web Application Block.

    − Added UI Composition capability through extending our dependency injection mechanism to support Pages, User Controls and Master Pages.

    − Added Dependency Injection on ASMX Web Services and JSON services.

    − Added a new set of Quickstarts and How-To topics on MVP, Modularity and the new AJAX extenders

    − Added a new Order Entry Reference application that demonstrates all of the new functionality.

    In addition, this release of WCSF has the following community issues and fixes:

    − 42 Workitems closed including the top-voted items on CodePlex

    − Add ASP.NET AJAX Support

    − Web Client Software Factory Support for Enterprise Library 3.1

    − Services through configuration

    − Support for using the Validation Application Block

    − Recipe support for Visual Basic .NET

    − Added Presenter support for Master Pages

    Free Manning ASP.NET AJAX in Action ??

    My buddy Dave over at Encosia has a few free copies to give away.

    Click HERE for the details.

    ASP.NET AJAX in Action – Download Excerpts


    If you’re an ASP.NET Developer – you MUST get this book.

    It’s simply one of the best Tech Books I’ve read and a GREAT tutorial on MS AJAX.

    (And forwarded by ScottGu & Bertrand Le Roy no less !)

    I’ll be publishing sample from the book here over the next several weeks.

    Down this one to get started.


    What is your favorite ASP.NET Book ?


    I’m  working on adding a books recommendation section to the ASP.NET forums.

    I’ll only be recommending books that I’ve actually been able to review myself, since I really want the value of the recommendations to be very high and topically specific.

    If you have a favorite book about any specific ASP.NET (or related topic like IIS) please let me know. (Use the contact form and tell me the Title and Author).

    I’ll get a copy of the book myself and if I agree, I’ll add it to the list of recommendations!

    Patterns & Practices: Visual Studio 2005 Team System Guidance

    A collection of very cool guidance for the wizards over at Microsoft Patterns and Practices on using Visual Studio Team System .

    Check it out over at

    Book: Designing Forms for MS Office InfoPath and Forms Services 2007

    InfopathIf you work in technology then your probably know that Addison Wesley publishes great books.

    InfoPath is a very interesting technology, and one that I think is a little under exposed and documented.

    This book is a definitive source for InfoPath power users and developers.

    InfoPath is the perfect tool-set for Enterprise developers and power users who need to rapidly develop applications that manipulate their operational data.

    This book has great coverage from both perspectives, the power user and the developer.

    Make your analysts read the first half and do a user interface prototype (with data constraints and workflow) then you (the developer) can built the final version

    Check it out here.

    BOOK – Murach’s SQL Server 2005 for Developers

    If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you probably know that I’m a big fan of the Murach’s books and Murach’s SQL Server 2005 for Developers is no exception.

    If I were teaching a course on SQL for Developers this would be the text book that I’d use. It even comes with an Instructor’s DVD.

    While it contains the expected academics, it also includes lots of “real world stuff”.  In addition to the basic mechanics of programming against SQL Server it includes great sections on things like SQL Database Design and a SQL CLR drill down. It also includes cool advances sections like all about working with temp tables.

    This one will stay on my in-reach book case. Hope you pick up a copy.

    ASP.NET AJAX in Action Book

    Alessandro “Garbin” Gallo, David Barkol, and Rama Krishna Vavilala have been working on a great ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 book for Manning called “ASP.NET AJAX in Action“:

    Early chapters are now available online via their early access program.  Click here to learn more and start reading it today.

    BOOK – Raymond Chen’s Old New Thing

    Quite some time ago I reviewed a manuscript for Raymond Chen’s new book “The Old New Thing”.

    Now if you don’t know who Raymond Chen is (which means you’re probably not in software development), he’s been at Microsoft for a really long time and is often the smartest guy in the room.

    So I got a pre release copy of the book. It’s part technical education, part Microsoft Products history and part geek entertainment.

    It’s fun to read and full of great info and anecdotes about the development of Microsoft’s products.

    I highly recommend it.

    Buy it here at