Moving Applications to the Cloud on the Microsoft Azure Platform

Author: Eugenio Pace, Dominic Betts, Scott Densmore & Ryan Dunn
Publisher: Microsoft Press, 2010
Pages: 176
ISBN: 978-0735649675
Aimed at: Intermediate .NET developers
Rating: 4
Pros: Practical, good level of explanation, useful code
Cons: A gimmicky presentation
Reviewed by: Alex Armstrong

This is a very strange book. If you just give it a quick flick through then your first impression is that you have just picked up a cartoon book aimed at dummies. If you look more carefully you will notice blue panels that contain what looks like C# code. On closer inspection it is indeed C# code and if you look even closer some PowerShell scripts as well. What to make of a book that has two such different levels of presentation?

 

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Chapter 1 starts off this a simplified introduction of Azure and cloud computing in general. This starts out being vague but it quickly gets into technical detail. It explains the basic structure of an Azure application, blobs, tables and queues and the all important billing model.

Chapter 2 starts a case study - the Adatum Scenario. Basically the study is all about an expense tracker complete with SQL database and Active Directory. Chapter 3 is about moving this existing application to  Azure.  This is explained right down to listing and explaining the code that Visual Studio creates and you customize. At the end of the chapter the basic application has been converted to Azure.

Chapter 4 goes on to consider the costs of running the application. After this the chapters concentrate on elaborating the basic application. Chapter 5 describes how to set up automatic deployment from a local development system to the real Azure. The bulk of the chapter is about moving the SQL database to Azure Table storage - mainly because it is cheaper. Chapter 6 deals with uploading images and adding a worker role. Chapter 7 is about Life Cycle Management - short sweet and to the point. Chapter 8 looks at expanding the application further and tuning and this brings this short book to a close after 120 pages.

I'm still not sure about the use of a cast of characters.  They are introduced in the preface together with their distinct roles, software architect, senior developer etc. However, like many readers, that's a section I skipped and so to me they came across as random cartoon people. Some of the speech bubbles do contains some pithy hints and warnings, but you could just as easily drop the graphics and raise the apparent reading age by a few years. If the point it to try to suggest that the book is for non-technical readers then this is going to fail as soon as they hit actual words. The book is surprisingly technical for such a short work. It doesn't succeed in convincing me that Azure is simple or easy to use, but it does it best. It is also noteworthy for taking into account the all-important question of how much does this all cost.

At the end of the day - yes it is an odd book, but if you are looking for an introduction to moving an app to Azure this is a very good choice.


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New Programmer's Survival Manual

Author: Joshua D. Carter
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2010
Pages: 300
ISBN: 978-1934356814
Aimed at: New entrants to professional programming
Rating: 5
Pros: Readable and relevant
Cons: Less applicable to small workplaces
Reviewed by: Sue Gee

If you are embarking on a career as a programmer will this bo [ ... ]



Modern Tkinter for Busy Python Developers

Author: Mark Roseman
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Pages: 147
ISBN:B0071QDNLO
Aimed at: Intermediate developers
Rating: 4
Pros: Engaging writing and explanations; good screenshots; decent code
Cons: Gets dry by the end; some of the examples are incomplete or confusing
Reviewed by: Michael Driscoll

I [ ... ]


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 April 2011 )
 
 

   
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