Saturday, October 1, 2011

Book Review: Dependency Injection in .NET

- by
Mark Seemann

Paperback: 584 pages
ISBN-10: 1935182501 | ISBN-13: 978-1935182504

I sat down to review this book and actually ended up writing one paragraph. Then I realized that all I am doing is basically presenting the reviews on Amazon in different words. The good reviewers have said it very nicely there and I won't be doing it any better than them. So, I thought why bother.

Let's just say this is an awesome book, an absolute must read for any .net developer or architect.

And I rest my case.

I am not affiliated to the authors or publishers of this book in any ways.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Review: Entity Framework 4 in Action

- by
Stefano Mostarda | Marco De Sanctis | Daniele Bochicchio

Paperback: 576 pages | ISBN-10: 1935182188 | ISBN-13: 978-1935182184

I received the book from Manning Publications as part of the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP). This is the perfect book for learning and mastering Entity Framework. I started reading the book as a beginner to entity framework with very little prior work experience. The way the whole concept of ORM is introduced by the author is awesome. The authors have clearly explained the advantages and disadvantages of the ORM and compared Entity Framework with NHibernate, the most used ORM at the moment, well done.

The book is divided into 4 parts:
  1. Redefining your data access strategy
  2. Working with Entity Framework
  3. Mastering Entity Framework
  4. Applied Entity Framework.
These sections build up on EF 4 very gradually covering all basics on the way. If you are a novice, you will find it very easy  in terms of the learning curve. Folks at intermediate level need not be disappointed though. It doesn't miss out on the advanced topics or best practices while trying to make the beginners happy. It covers real life scenarios really well and points out the type of issues that you may run into along with the solutions. The name of the book contains "in action" and it does live up to it. Also I like the fact that I got an e-book along with the printed one. Makes it easy for searching. Though I would still prefer to read a printed copy.

But this is not a small book, this is more of a 'complete reference'. And the chapters in a way depend on scenarios or examples covered in previous ones. So if you pick up the book and start from the middle you may not find it easy to comprehend. The book comes with a sample app that the authors walk you through the book. Be aware that you may run into compilation issues at times and will have to debug through to add appropriate references to make the code run. This will not be a problem if you follow the book from page 1 instead of picking it up in the middle. I strongly recommend this book.

Also worth mentioning is that this book is much better than the book by the same authors and Manning.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Book Review: ASP.NET 4.0 in Practice

- by
Daniele Bochicchio | Stefano Mostarda | Marco De Sanctis

Pages: 504 | ISBN: 978-1935182467

About a year ago Manning was kind enough to allow me to review a book of theirs, it was in the pipeline then and now out in the market. I had access to this book as part of their Early Access Program and reviewed it multiple times in the draft phases. Now that it is out in the market I thought it would be nice to blog about how it started and how it turned out in the end and provide a basic review for future buyers.

Overall, this is a great book for intermediate level programmers. And it is important to say right at the outset that it is NOT a book for beginners. In fact the foreword clearly says so. It doesn't aim to be a complete reference, rather it is a collection of best practices presented in a Q & A + Discussion manner.

Where it works

You can just pick up the book, read the theory, practice the code snippets given and you are ready to go. Don't be surprised if you end up using the code snippets in many real life problems in enterprise web development.

The chapters in Part 3 on-wards are independent of each other and presented in a capsule-course manner, so can be read by themselves.

Initially I commented that there isn't enough pictorial representation of concepts which they have taken care of somewhat.

Where it could be better

A beginner may not find the explanations easy enough to understand. The chapter flow is certainly not helping. (Ch 2 talks about EF?!) For a beginner, it will be difficult to understand certain advanced concepts such as "Path canonicalization vulnerabilities" in the chapter on Security and almost the entire chapter on Performance. Basics of these topics/problems need to be explained a bit more before a solution (and hence the advantage) is proposed.

Also I found the writing very incoherent. There are plenty of grammatical mistakes. Even without that, I feel, the authors are in a hurry to reach the code snippet and don't cover the theory behind it in-depth.


Good for intermediate level developers, but not good enough to get them to an expert level. Definitely not for beginners.


I am not affiliated to the authors or publishers of this book in any ways.