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Designing Silverlight Business Applications: Best Practices for Using Silverlight Effectively in the Enterprise (Microsoft Windows Development Series) 1st Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321810410
ISBN-10: 0321810414
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeremy Likness was named Silverlight MVP of the Year in 2010. Now Senior Consultant and Technical Project Manager for Wintellect, LLC, he has spent the past decade building highly scalable web-based commercial solutions using the Microsoft technology stack. He has 15 years of experience developing enterprise applications in vertical markets including insurance, health/wellness, supply chain management, and mobility. Likness created the popular MVVM framework Jounce, as well as an open source Silverlight Isolated Storage Database System (“Sterling”). He speaks and blogs frequently on Silverlight, MEF, Prism, Team Foundation Server, and related Microsoft technologies.

 
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Product Details

  • Series: Microsoft Windows Development Series
  • Paperback: 720 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (April 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321810414
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321810410
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,013,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T Anderson VINE VOICE on April 20, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I could change one decision Microsoft has made, it would be the one they made to drop Silverlight. Silverlight is the prefect line of business application platform for the enterprise, and this book shows us how to take full advantage of it.

Although the author does an excellent job of building a case for using Silverlight over HTML5 in many scenarios, the key ingredient missing that would allow me to build Silverlight applications for my customers is support from Microsoft.

Why read this book then? Because XAML is here to stay and I don't want to skip a release. I want to stay completely current even if there is no chance of building Silverlight applications with my current customers. Microsoft not saying it is dead, is not enough for them. They need to hear it will be supported before they use it again. Since that isn't happening anytime soon, neither will a Silverlight project.

All that said, this book was a pure pleasure to read and shows us why Silverlight is absolutely, hands down, the best technology available today for enterprise LOB applications.

This book doesn't contain any fluff. After the awesome introduction there is a Getting Started chapter. I planned on skimming this but as I started skimming I found myself repeatedly pulled into the topics. I ended up reading the entire thing.

The complete list of chapters is Silverlight, Getting Started, Extensible Application Markup Language (Xaml), Advanced Xaml, The Visual State Manager, Data-Binding, Model-View-ViewModel (MVVM), The Managed Extensibility Framework (MEF), Testing, Navigation, The Service Layer, Persistence and State Management, Out of Browser Applications, Line of Business Features, and Debugging and Performance Optimization.
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Having been a Jounce user from very early days I was eagerly looking forward to this book. From his published projects and blog it is obvious that Jeremy has a keen insight into the ways to design software.
However, this book wasn't what I expected. It was much better. I had expected a very Jounce focused guide to writing MVVM silverlight applications. Jounce does not dominate and the advice and samples are applicable to many situations and frameworks.
I particularly like how concepts are developed. To take a small example, property mapping. Many times I have seen this as "the problem of mapping properties between objects is solved and the answer is 'Automapper'" That may be true but this book shows the problem as a natural part of application design and then solves the problem in a simple way. Jeremy shows how to create your own property mapper. No magic, no smoke and mirrors, just what to do and how to do it. At this point I can fully understand the nature of a solution. Then Automapper is shown and now I really get what it does. Later examples just use the tool that Jeremy has created. So, if you are a "I don't need the details just give me the easiest way" person then you can happily use Automapper for a great result. If you are a "I need to understand how it works and bordering on a 'not invented here'" person then you can do it yourself now.
The same approach is taken with inversion of control, MVVM, synchronisation, etc, etc. After reading this book you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision on how to design a small, medium or large line of business application.

This is not a beginners book.
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What is it with the trend over the past few years with really sloppy examples in technical books. A few months ago I slammed Pro Silverlight 5 with VB for having such bad examples and I'm finding exactly the same problem with this book. The book itself is fine and has been well reviewed by others so I'm just going to list the issues I find. I'm reading the kindle version so I don't have page numbers.

1. Just above figure 2-4 there is a line to bind a TextBlock to a model at location 958.
Change TextBlock Text="{Binding Description}"
To TextBlock Text="{Binding Path=Description}"

2. The first downloadable example simply does not work. It's called ApplicationLifecycleDemo. When You run it in debug mode it's supposed to show the lifecycle of various objects in the output panel. It doesn't. All I see is a message in the browser window "Run this application in debug to see the application lifecycle.". I've hit f5 and f10 - Nada. It won't even hit breakpoints. I don't know why it doesn't work but the author is now 0 for 2 on examples.

PS I don't understand how a reviewer readily admits that half the examples don't work and still gives the book 5 stars.
PPS. If anyone wants to pay me to check their examples, I'm sure my rates would be very reasonable :-)
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First I have a tremendous amount of respect for Jeremy and his work with Silverlight. His blogs helped me immensely when I was starting out with Silverlight. I had reservations about Silverlight when I first heard about it and actually didn't get serious about the technology to well into version 3. The older I get I don't subscribe so much to the theory that developers should focus on how many tools they can get in their bag more so they should have the right tools and learn how to perfect them. (As a side not this doesn't mean you can learn a couple of technologies and expect to stick with them your entire career.)

The reason we have jobs is to provide solutions to business problems in the most efficient amount of time possible. The goals of what we produce should be software that is maintainable and flexible.

Jeremy and his blogs on Silverlight best practices and patterns was instrumental in my learning the power and capabilities of Xaml based UI technologies. (I have to give credit to some of the WPF disciples such as Sascha Barber as well.) Jeremy I feel has done a great job of taking his experience and rolling it up into a book for others to read and understand.

With this book being about enterprise applications, there are a couple of caveats they I would have like to have seen covered. These are:
1) Authentication and Authorization options for both intranet and internet scenarios. Security is a big part of enterprise applications.
2) I appreciate the chapter Debugging and Performance Optimization but they talk about tools to find problems. I would have really liked to have seen info that talks about performance and optimization tips. Such as limitations of the number of UI elements that you should try to stay within on a View etc.
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