Windows Communication Foundation Step By Step

Author:John Sharp
Publisher: Microsoft Press, 2007
Pages: 448
ISBN: 978-0735623361
Aimed at: .NET developers new to WCF
Rating: 3.5
Pros: Hands on, practical introduction to WCF
Cons: Minor technical issues; not a "keeper"
Reviewed by: Dave Wheeler

This book containing a series of hands-on exercises that will help you to quickly learn how to use WCF in your applications. Note that it relates to .NET 3.0 - but we haven't all upgraded yet. 

Sharp writes well; the exercises work and highlight the points that they were intending to; in other words the book does what it says on the tin, and does it well.
I had some teething troubles installing the required software on Windows Vista, as the book uses the Microsoft P&P Enterprise Library, but beyond that and a few minor niggles everything went smoothly.

It's hard to get excited about the Step by Step books, but if you need to get up to speed with WCF, you're pressed for time and learn best by typing then this book is not a bad option. As with all Step by Step books, though, the emphasis is on the "how" of the technology being presented, not the "why".

Sharp's writing is concise and informative, but clearly constrained within the format of this book. Given the likely audience of senior developers/architects for this technology area, this lack of depth – and the requirement to complete the exercises to gain much benefit from the book – might dissuade many from opting for this book.

In conclusion, this book provides a good, introductory set of hands-on exercises to help you pick up WCF. However, with other richer and more detailed books now available on WCF and relating to more recent versions of .NET,  unless you specifically like the Step by Step format then you would be advised to check out one of the other books that cover this technology.

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Service-Oriented Design with Ruby and Rails

Author: Paul Dix
Publisher: Addison-Wesley
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-0321659361
Aimed at: Experienced Ruby developers
Rating: 2
Pros: Plenty of code
Cons: Lacks explanations
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This is all about building services in Ruby with an emphasis on Rails (versions 2 and 3). By service the book [ ... ]



Pro Arduino

Author: Rick Anderson & Dan Cervo
Publisher: Apress
Pages: 316
ISBN: 978-1430239390
Audience: Intermediate Arduino Users
Rating: 2
Reviewer: Harry Fairhead

If you have flashed an LED too many times then it might be time for something a little more complicated. Pro Arduino sounds just what you need. [ ... ]


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