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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Wouldn't it be great if you could rely on the same book for a high-level understanding of what Microsoft's .NET Framework means to you as a developer, and detailed guidance for making the most of it? Wouldn't it be great if the same book covered everything from migration to web services? Now, there's a book like that: Wrox's new Professional .NET Framework.
To write this book, Wrox has assembled an all-star team of specialists in advanced Microsoft technologies. To name a few, there's Jeffrey Hasan, author of ADO.NET Programmer's Reference and regular contributor to Visual Basic Web Magazine. There's Ed Musters, whose writings on Microsoft Transaction Server may be familiar to readers of Visual C++ Developer. Denise Gosnell now consults for Microsoft's MCS National Retail Consulting Group. Thiru Thangarathinam specializes in the design and construction of distributed n-tier apps with VB, ASP, XML, COM+, and SQL Server 2000. Collectively, these writers share an exceptional understanding of .NET, the technologies it's evolved from, the problems it's trying to solve, and the challenges Microsoft developers face in using it.
Professional .NET Framework begins with an "aerial view" of .NET, placing Microsoft's framework in context, and comparing it to alternative Web development approaches. Next, the authors present a more detailed overview of the .NET Framework itself, as well as Microsoft's Common Language Runtime, .NET's execution environment for managing running code and providing services that simplify software development. In particular, there's a full chapter on the CLR's automatic memory management and garbage collection -- including .NET's interesting "weak references," which allow you to free up memory used by large objects while still enabling applications to access those objects quickly.
Next, you'll find detailed coverage of .NET's wide array of system classes, which haven't gotten nearly the publicity of the CLR, but give you relatively easy access to an enormous amount of functionality -- regardless of the .NET language you choose to use. There's a full chapter on .NET components and controls, as well as practical techniques for accessing databases and working with data using ADO.NET and its base classes.
Nothing's hotter right now than Web services -- reusable Web components that can be invoked from any platform capable of communicating across the Internet, and make it possible for diverse systems to communicate and interoperate far more simply than ever before. Professional .NET Framework covers Web services in some detail. It introduces the Web Services wire formats HTTP-GET, HTTP-POST, and SOAP; and shows how to describe a Web Service with WSDL (that's the Web Service Description Language, of course).
You'll learn how systems can discover Web services using the UDDI protocol and Microsoft's brand-spankin' new DISCO specification, which may provide a standard way for service providers to publish Web Service contracts and developers to find them.
The authors walk you through designing, creating, and testing Web services; building both transactional and asynchronous web services; and extending Web services using SOAP extensions. There's a full case-study chapter on building a Web application that consumes the functionality of a Web Service. And if you're not impressed yet, there's even a comprehensible explanation of Hailstorm, Microsoft's controversial "off-the-shelf" Web services. Bet you've been waiting for that.
Of course, all this slick new stuff isn't much good if you can't migrate smoothly from where you are, and interoperate with the systems and code you already have. Professional .NET Framework includes a detailed chapter on migrating to .NET, and a case study -- nearly 60 pages in length -- walking through the migration of a Visual Basic 6 application. (And they said it couldn't be done! Well, it can, but there are some things you'd better know before you try.) Tip: Wrox has posted a bonus chapter on the Web covering migration from Java -- and, in particular, Microsoft's orphaned J++.
Last but not least, Professional .NET Framework presents a thoughtful set of best practices for .NET development: techniques that can help you build more reliable, high-performance software, whether you're creating Web services or Windows applications. Don't move to .NET without the practical assistance this book can deliver. (Bill Camarda)
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. He served for nearly ten years as vice president of a New Jerseybased marketing company, where he supervised a wide range of graphics and web design projects. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.