Author: Lars Powers & Mike Snell
Publisher: Sams, 2008
Aimed at: .NET programmers
Pros: A comprehensive tome
Cons: About to be superceded
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
This is a book all about using Visual Studio 2008 and not about using any particular language or development technique.
It covers all the obvious topics at great length with lots of screen dumps and file listings which mostly serve to fill the space.
Part 1 opens with quick tours both of VS 2008 and the IDE and has a third chapter that looks at the .NET framework enhancements in VS 2008 and language additions introduced with this version.
Part 2 deals with the IDE in-depth, including browsers and explorers and editors and designers. Chapter 7 on consuming and creating shared code is the first indication that this book has an emphasis on the way in which .NET fosters collaboration and participation in community projects.
Part 3 on writing and working with code looks first at the productivity aids - starting with change tracking and coding problem indicators in the VS Text Editor, through code outlining to the Intellisense and Task List features provided. This is followed up by chapters on refactoring and debugging code.
Part 4 is about extending visual studio and starts by introducing the Automation Object model looking at object model versions the Solution and Project objects and how to working with Windows. It then looks at creating macros, add-ins and wizards.
Part 5 deals with creating enterprise applications – ASP.NET, Windows Forms applications, WPF, Ajax and database, web services and Windows Workflow.
Part 6 takes us into the territory of Visual Studio Team System. and so will appeal to users who actually have Team Studio. The only problem is that there is no discussion of how to tackle deployment and other issues if don't have Team Studio.
Although this is a comprehensive and useful tome there is likely to be a new edition for Visual Studio 2010 is released and I look forward to the 2010 edition.