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Microsoft® Windows® Communication Foundation Step by Step (Step by Step Developer)

3.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735623361
ISBN-10: 0735623368
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits:

-Provides sequential, step by step guidance for creating WCF-enabled services
-Delivers context for understanding how services interoperate and how to relate service-orientation to the more-familiar object-orientation
-Perfect for new-to-topic developers
-Includes a CD with exercises and code samples for each chapter

About the Author

John Sharp is a principal technologist at Content Master, part of CM Group Ltd, a technical authoring and consulting company. An expert on developing applications with the Microsoft .NET Framework and interoperability issues, John has produced numerous tutorials, white papers, and presentations on distributed systems, Web services, and the C# language. He is the author of several popular books, including Microsoft Windows® Communication Foundation Step By Step and Microsoft Visual C# Step By Step.


Product Details

  • Series: Step by Step Developer
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press (January 31, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735623368
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735623361
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,141 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Sharp gained an honors degree in Computing from Imperial College, London. He has been developing software and writing training courses, guides, and books for over 25 years. John has experience in a wide range of technologies, from database systems and UNIX through to C, C++ and C# applications for the .NET Framework, together with Java and JavaScript development. He has authored several books for Microsoft Press, including six editions of C# Step By Step, two editions of Windows Communication Foundation Step By Step, and the J# Core Reference.

John also writes for the Patterns and Practices group within Microsoft, and has helped to develop several guides covering a variety of areas, including Windows Azure, software development, and data access.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is both good and bad. The good is that the author is skilled at explaining complex material in simple straightforward manner and this is a rare skill for computer book authors. Also, the labs are more interesting than the standard "hello world" type of labs. However, like most of the WCF books out now, it is written for Visual Studio 2005 and for XP and not for Vista and Visual Studio 2008. The lab solutions don't even work. The worst is that the author and the publisher have no VS 2008 lab downloads or update notes. Some of the other authors have went to the trouble of doing that.
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Format: Paperback
I've read quite a few books in the Step by Step series and am often a little frustrated with them. By their very nature, they walk you through specific scenarios and explain them to you. They typically do this quite well. And while I typically get a lot out of this, I often am left wanting for more. This isn't a knock on the series, it's just an inherent limitation. After all, no author can foresee every scenario a reader might have.

This book was a little different though.

The first three chapters were pretty typical in that they were the basic use cases you'd expect. THen you hit Chapter 4 "Protecting an Enterprise Service" and things get interesting fast. From start to finish, just about every single security question I had was answered here. Chapter 5 builds on it and expands the scenarios to the internet and by the time you get through those two chapters, you'll 'get' security and WCF.

The book then goes onto Service Contracts, State management, Transactions and Reliable sessions. I was a little underwhelmed with the discussion on Reliable Sessions but it was decent.

Chapter 10 goes on to using configuration to manage services and man, this really helped me to make progress. It's so easy to screw up simple things in configuration and end up hitting a wall, but this got me through it.

Chapter 11 goes on to discuss OneWay/Asyn operations (which is one of the more straightforward aspects of WCF). Nothing dramatic here but again, a pretty good discussion.

Chatper 12 goes onto Performance. Superb! Too often when I was learning the WCF, I was satisfied to get things working and didn't worry nearly enough about performance. Eventually though, you're going to have to deal with Performance and this chapter gets you there.
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This book delivers just what it promises, a learn-by-doing, practical, hands-on approach to WCF. Uncompromisingly so, in fact.

A typical section consists of two or three paragraphs of introduction and theory, followed by five pages of step-by-step instructions for creating an example. The instructions are very detailed, on the level of "In the Enterprise Configuration console, in the File menu, click New Application" or "Press Enter to close the ProductsClient console". Sometimes more theory and explanations are strewn between the steps.

I found this to be a messy and occationally tedious way of presenting information.

You have to read through every button press of every guide, no matter how uninteresting the topic is, in case a precious bit of "why" or "when" has been placed there instead of in the theory section. Some elements, like the definition o a behaviour, seems to be missing entirely and is meant to be inferred from what happens when you change it.

Even for the interesting parts, the level of detail can make it tedious to follow. Fortunately, the resulting configuration XML is often listed after a handful of detailed button pushing steps. I often found the XML to be easier to follow (XML for "Set the security mode to Message and the algorithmSuite to Basic128" was easier to understand and perform than 11 steps in which "Expand the ProductsServiceHost project in Solution Explorer, right-click the App.config file and then click Edit WCF Configuration" was one of the shortest).

The information, however unstructured at times, is fairly complete and correct (as far as I can tell). Some books pretend to explain "SetFooSnafucationLevel" by saying "Sets the Foo Snafucation Level" (a blatant cop out), but this book does nothing of the sort.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an outstanding book on WCF. It starts by providing an effective introduction to, and explanation of the need for WCF. It then does a nice job of truly taking the reader step-by-step through the various aspects of WCF, using solid examples and labs to assist in learning. I had taken a 5-day course on WCF ~18 months ago and summarily forgot most of what I learned since I didn't make use of it. While I expected this to refresh my memory, it went well beyond that.

I did run into a couple of issues. I found that I needed to know a bit about SQL Server to provide appropriate login and read/write access for the NETWORK SERVICE user on Vista. In addition, I experienced a little challenge in getting an SSL certificate working for one of the labs. Even taking those issues into consideration, the book is well worth getting if you want to learn WCF -- and if you are moving towards SOA in the .NET world, you definitely want to learn and use WCF.

One other caution. While the content is outstanding, my book had issues with some pages pulling away from the binding. This seems to be a manufacturing issue with the book that I received, so be aware of that when you use the book, in case the problem crosses over to other copies of the book.
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