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Programming Windows Azure 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596801977
ISBN-10: 0596801971
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Programming the Microsoft Cloud

About the Author

Sriram Krishnan works on the Windows Azure program management team. He has been involved with the product since before its public launch andhas worked on several of the features covered in this book. Previously,Sriram has worked on several Microsoft products, ranging from Web 2.0sites to developer tools. Sriram is a frequent speaker at Microsoftevents and blogs at http://www.sriramkrishnan.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (May 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596801971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596801977
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,328,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author does little more than recap information that is readily available in the SDK documentation, and has added hardly any thought about the practicalities of Azure development. (In fact, I could find NO evidence of such thought, but I've written "hardly any," in case I missed an iota.) For example, if you want to use an Azure Worker Role, you might create one from the template provided by the Azure SDK add-in to Microsoft Visual Studio. You will peruse the automatically-generated code and think to yourself, perhaps, "okay: what are the implications of the different alternatives for sleeping on the thread in the Run() method." You won't find that question or any others answered in Krishnan's book, though. What you will find is text that simply restates what you will read in the generated template. So save yourself $49.99 and just download the SDK and read the templates. Perhaps you want to use SQL Azure in your solution? The author devotes 9 pages to that subject. Here are a couple of things you might want to do if you actually want to use SQL Azure:

(1) Take a definition of an existing database and deploy that into Azure. There is nothing at all on how one might accomplish that ... not so much as a hand-wave in the direction of the Visual Studio Database Edition facilities that would allow you to generate a complete definition of your database for deployment to SQL Azure.

(2) Connect to a SQL Azure database from an Azure Web or Worker role. Krishnan has a code snippet showing how to accomplish that (which one could have found in the Azure SDK documentation easily enough) but not a word about how one might not HARD CODE the connection parameters, but instead get them from configuration, and, in that case, how best to secure the configuration information.
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Format: Paperback
I do not envy anyone charged with writing this book---particularly for publication in 2010. Mr. Krishnan is unquestionably comfortable with the subject of Windows Azure, but the truth is that as of March 2011, much of the detailed advice in this book is hopelessly out of date. That says more about the speed and timing of Microsoft's portal design-changes and releases of new SDKs than it does about the author, but the simple fact is that much of the actual advice here leads to confusion and failed efforts.

Just a few examples:
--CSPack command-line tool examples failed with errors having nothing to do with environment paths, etc.
--Names of seminal tools have changed: Development Fabric (DevFabric) is now Compute Emulator; Development Storage is now known as Storage Emulator.
--The MS Azure Development Portal has radically changed both in terms of look and feel and in its usage.

In short, look for Azure books published in 2011 or later. The concepts are difficult enough, without having to create your own glossary to translate obsolete names of important tools.

Hopefully, Mr. Krishnan has a 2nd edition coming out soon.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an ongoing review. I will update as I make my way through the book, but wanted you to know my impressions along the way.

Chapter 1: Interesting history about cloud computing. I started to read carefully, but became bored and switched to skimming.

Chapter 2: Windows Azure Under the hood. A little more interesting than chapter 1, but still at a very high level. The author seemed to ramble. Perhaps I'm just impatient.

Chapter 3: Your first cloud app. The author has you create a simple web site by hand (notepad). I had to fix a few inevitable typos. When deploying, the book example uses the 'old' developer portal.

Chapter 4: Service Model. Chapter starts by explaining roles.

Ongoing...
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Format: Paperback
Sriram made an excellent job writing this book. This is a nice introduction to Windows Azure cloud services family. It gives you quite a lot of idea about how do Azure services work and how can you empower your business with them. However this book is written a few years ago therefore a new edition would be great. Some of the stuff you will find in this book is deprecated now (but you can notice this while reading Azure online documentation on MSDN) and there are also lots of new services in Azure now. If you want to learn about them, you should spend some time surfing on Azure website. Overall great book, easy to read and understand. -- Ahmet Alp Balkan.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I want to thank Amazon and OReilly for selling me this completely obsolete book. None of the examples come close to working, and there are NO updates in the book's errata - thanks OReilly for the complete lack of support for a 4 year year old tech book.
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Format: Paperback
I'm just starting on programming services in Windows Azure, and this book really helped me make sense of the various options I have in doing so, as well as how they relate to concepts I already know in the CLR and .NET. I really appreciated the narrative flow of the book: it was laid out the way that I think about building a service, not as a textbook as so many books in this genre are. The sections on Windows Azure storage, in particular, made reading through the documentation on MSDN much more meaningful; the descriptions of the motivations, from a programmer's perspective, of the available options were much appreciated.

On the con side, if you're looking for a book that lays out common architectures for distributed systems and how they might be implemented in Azure, this isn't the book. There are two or three complete examples, only one of which is a common patterns for services. The discussion of queues in particular seemed abbreviated, since they are such a key ingredient of distributed systems.

All told, though, I am very happy I purchased this book; I've already referred back to it several times in prototyping and expect to do so again.
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