Category Archives: Books

Book Review: Practical Microsoft Visual Studio 2015

While the title of the book is “Practical Microsoft Visual Studio 2015”, the author, Peter Ritchie, outlines how you can using Microsoft Visual Studio to effectively develop software and lead a team. Peter covers, a quick walk through of Microsoft Visual Studio, how to work with teams, version control, design and architecture, development, deployments, and testing. Anyone getting started with Microsoft Visual Studio or even experienced engineers, architects and leaders can find stuff in this that is useful for their day to day tasks. The best part of this book is the way the author explains each topic in a simple way based on his 20 or so ( 🙂 ) years being in the software field.

Disclaimer: I was one of the technical reviewers of this book.

Bootstrap for ASP.NET MVC Review

Starts off with a good introduction to using Bootstrap in your ASP.NET applications.  It covers the default “File | New” experience, manually added files and my favorite, NuGet. The author then continues with introducing the Bootstrap element styles in a logical order, starting with the grid and ending with form validation.  Next the author introduces the JavaScript components of Bootstrap.

In the next part of the book the author does what I have not seen in other books on Bootstrap, the author explains how to create helper methods, which is good but there already is a well used package for that in which the author has a chapter on on at the end of the book.

The author goes on to give suggestions are to how to work with and convert sites that do not have bootstrap.

I’m not sure why but the author included a whole chapter using the jQuery DataTables plugin with some of it’s extensions with Bootstrap.

Overall, the book was easy to read, the author was clear and logical in his explanations of Bootstrap. I would recommend this book to someone just starting to learn Bootstrap and working on ASP.NET applications.

Pro NuGet Book Review

First off, I love the subtitle “Your Salvation from Dependency Hell’, although NuGet does offer its own Dependency Hell sometimes.

The first chapter starts out as you would expect, how to get started with NuGet.  However, the authors  added a helpful page of links to the different NuGet tools and documentation that they would be referring to.

The next chapter goes through, in great detail, how to install, uninstall and upgrade NuGet from the user interface, NuGet Powershell Console and command line. They then continue to talk about NuGets solution package management and visualization features.

The third chapter is a doozy, the authors explain in great detail how to author a NuGet package. They cover versioning, dependencies, configuration transformations and more.

The next chapter covers publishing NuGet package in three different ways; on NuGet.org, through the command line, and NuGet Package Explorer. The authors continue the chapter by explaining how to publish the symbol files for you NuGet packages.

The authors then show you how you can host your own NuGet repository on your servers or use a service like MyGet..org to host your packages privately.

The next three chapters talk about integrating NuGet into you release management process for both continuous and automated delivery as well as integration with your build services (TFS and Team City)

The final two chapters talk about extending NuGet to add features to it and using NuGet to make your applications extendable.

Overall, this books first 5 chapters starts with what you would expect a book or a set of blog post on NuGet would. However, the authors provided a lot more than just the “normal” stuff, they added a lot of extra detail and reference points.  But what really sets this book apart from the rest is the last 5 chapters that go into how you can incorporate NuGet into your current environment and processes. It also provides lots of ideas on how you can custom NuGet and use NuGet to make your own application extensible. 

Book Review: Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET

When I first learned about this book I could not wait to get my hands on it for two reasons.  One, my current work project involves designing an API for an application to “talk” to a wide variety of systems. The second is one of the authors, Glenn Block. I’ve known Glenn for a while. I’ve seen him present, I’ve talked with him, read his blog posts and knew the book would not disappoint and it did not.

The book starts off with covering the HTTP protocol, then moves into the different types of API styles like the Richardson Maturity Model, RPC, REST and others. The authors do this to give the readers an understanding of how the web works and why the Web API framework in ASP.NET is the way it is. The authors describe, in depth, building out an API, versioning it, applying security, formatting responses and talk about testability of an API.

In short, this book is a must have for anyone working on or designing any API.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in the hopes that I would review it. I only post reviews on books that I think would provide some benefit to the development community.

Get Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET on Amazon.

Book Review: Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook

When I first looked at the title of the book Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook I wondered what it could be about.  You can’t cook with Visual Studio, at least not yet 🙂 . It turns out that, outside of two chapters, the book is an series of getting started guides with topics the are new(ish) to Visual Studio 2013. It is not a bad thing. If you are getting started with using Visual Studio 2013 or Team Foundation Server or .NET 4.5.x, this book provides a good overview of the new features in Visual Studio and version 4.5.x of the .NET Framework.

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in the hopes that I would review it. I only post reviews on books that I think would provide some benefit to the development community.

Get Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook on Amazon.

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