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Seeing the big picture: best practices + tips & tricks
on November 6, 2009
One of the author's stated goals for this book is "to help remove some of the fog that may be masking the end-to-end vision of the technology and to help you see the beauty and the full potential of ASP.NET and SQL Server." He does an excellent job of doing just that.
We all want our web applications to run lean, clean and fast, but how do we best spend our time doing so? You might ask, "Should I spend more time improving my caching strategies? How should I approach it?" or "Should I spend my time trying to optimize IIS's performance? Where do I begin with that?"
With so many different ways to approach any given problem, you could spend days or weeks learning all the different ways you MIGHT be able to get your desired results. But if you're like me, after a while you just say, "OK, OK, someone please just tell me the best way to approach this for most situations and I'll tweak it for my needs." That's what you get here.
This book is great. It is a collection of best practices, tips and tricks for architecting your web applications to be both ultra-fast AND ultra-scalable. Instead of listing a thousand things you might want to try out to see if it helps, this book just says, "here is a proven approach that works for most situations, most of the time". Thank you! Let's implement it and move on to the next one.
But more than just telling you, "Do this, then do that", this book explains the Why's as you go along. This is invaluable as it is how we actually learn and integrate these things into our understanding of the big picture.
It is clear that the author has deep and intimate knowledge of the subject. His credentials explain why. He began working with the Internet and writing network-oriented software in the 70's. More recently, he was an architect at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC) in Silicon Valley where he ran two- to three-day architectural design sessions once or twice each week for some of Microsoft's largest and most sophisticated customers. In understanding their issues and helping them architect solutions he saw many of the same questions coming up time and time again. Questions such as:
* "How can we make our HTML display faster?" (Chapter 2)
* "What's the best way to do caching?" (Chapter 3)
* "How can we use IIS to make our site faster?" (Chapter 4)
* "How should we handle session state?" (Chapter 5)
* "How can we improve our ASP.NET code?" (Chapters 5 to 7)
* "Why is our database slow?" (Chapters 8 and 9)
* "How can we optimize our infrastructure and operations?" (Chapter 10)
* "Where do we start?" (Chapter 11)
I'm thrilled someone has finally written a book like this. It really helps a developer learn and understand the end-to-end big picture... not only the How's but, more importantly, the Why's.
Kudos Mr. Kiessig.