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Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginner's Guide

2.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1847199768
ISBN-10: 1847199763
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frank LaVigne has been hooked on soft ware development since he was 12, when he got his own Commodore 64 computer. Since then, he's worked as developer for financial firms on Wall Street and also in Europe. He has worked on various Tablet PC solutions and on building advanced user experiences in Silverlight and WPF. He lives in the suburbs of Washington, DC. He founded the CapArea.NET User Group Silverlight Special Interest Group and has been recognized by Microsoft as a Tablet PC MVP. He blogs regularly at FranksWorld.com. Cameron Albert is an independent soft ware development consultant, with over ten years of experience, specializing in Microsoft technologies such as Silverlight, WPF, WCF, SQL Server, and ASP.NET. Having worked in the medical, insurance, and media/entertainment industries, he has been involved in a variety of development solutions featuring a broad range of technical issues. Cameron also dabbles in game development, utilizing Silverlight and XNA. He maintains a blog that details his exploits in the development world at cameronalbert.com. Cameron lives with his wife in Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (April 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847199763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847199768
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,092,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. R. Lucas on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have worked through Chapter 7 of this book. Below is what I have found.

The code listings in this book are from a previous version of Expression Blend not Expression Blend 4.0. So the explanation of the code in the book is useless as you will be looking at code generated from Expression Blend 4.0 -- if you do the exercises yourself. I would give this book 0 stars if I could.

It is clear the authors, editors, reviewers and publisher attempted to simply make more money from the previous Silverlight 3.0 version of the book by simply cut and pasting. They didn't ever bother to change the source code. The projects are in Visual Studio 2008; not Visual Studio 2010. You cannot create a Silverlight 4.0 project in VS 2008. This is not professional and not a way to build a reputation and win a loyal customer base.

For a beginner's book I think that explaining how a Silverlight Solution is structured and how the Silverlight Project relates to the web project should be explained. The examples simply state add this to the Silverlight project and add that to the web project. I would like to know why. Some of the code listed in the book go for pages. Unless you are a serious C# programmer with a thorough understanding of LINQ, you will be lost.

Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginners Guide
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Format: Paperback
I want to be clear and up front: I was the Technical Reviewer for this book, so I've been excited about it for a while now. I receive NO money for working on this book. I receive NO commissions or royalties from its sales. Of course, I do want to see the book succeed, which it should easily do on its own merits. I'll try to be as objective as possible, but since I may be a little biased I understand if you take my review with a grain of salt.

This book takes a different approach to Silverlight. This is not just another reference book. Instead, the book guides you through the hands-on development of several applications and shows you how to incorporate typical features as well as some really cool not-so-typical ones. Of course the book covers entry level material, like introducing XAML and the tools you will want to use. The book has a fair mix of Visual Studio and Blend. Within just a few chapters though, you are adding media, interfacing with Bing Maps, using Isolated Storage, etc. Some of the highlights for me are Data Validation, RIA Services, Charting, and more.

I would not make this your only Silverlight book: you still need a solid reference book. That being said, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone getting started with Silverlight. The examples therein will help you accomplishing something nontrivial in a much shorter amount of time than it would take on your own.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My experience of using this book is disappointing. I was familiar with chapters one through four and wanted to jump into chapter 5. The first instruction it gives is to open the CakeORamaData solution. I did find this solution in the chapter files, but the work was all completed, so there is no solution I could use to follow the instructions in the book with. My other Silverlight book gives both starter and completed solutions, the perfect approach. This might be a decent book, and others who use the book differently could possibly have a more positive experience. Unfortunately, I used about a full workday trying to figure out how to get to a place where I could just follow along with the exercise, then gave up.
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Format: Paperback
I loved it when I received it and now hate this book. I used it with VS.2010/Blend RC 4.

I loved this book, as it provides everything I need to learn a new technology quickly:
- It provides step-by-step guidance to build a website
- It creates a single, real-world website, extending it from chapter to chapter
- It is written in simple English, clear style.
- It is well suited for students/beginners
And it is refreshingly new in its mixture of Blend and Visual Studio, as it is needed in the real world.

The author's knowledge is excellent.

However it misses the final touch. Obviously the reviewer hasn't tried to program the samples himself.
- The download source code for VB.NET is missing - why do VB.NET programmers pay the full price?
- The text in the book is not closely related to the downloadable C# samples. Which sample is to be used at the start of a chapter, which in the middle is not said. You have to find out.
- The step-by-step guidance is not "air-tight", when you're lost in Expression Blend, than there is no help in finding your way back.
- The guidance is misleading sometimes, enforced by dark grey arrows in screenshots with black background - invisible when reading at night! Why not using white arrows?
- The book does not mention the required state of Blend before clicking an icon. Therefore dialogs described in the book do not appear ... you're lost again, finding your way out by trial and error. A waste of time.

My recommendation: If you want to code yourself, wait for refurbished edition with better step-by-step guidance.
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