Review: Murach's ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework with VB 2008
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Published: 13 Oct 2009
Abstract
ADO.NET 3.5 coupled with LINQ and Entity Framework provides many possibilities for developers. Read what Anand has to say about Anne's latest book on these advanced topics. Will this book help you learn the concepts easily? Does it include adequate coverage with real world code samples? Find it now by reading this review.
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

A programming oriented book should not only examine the concepts, but also try to discuss them with the help of a real world scenario. This is what Anne Boehm has attempted in her latest book titled Murach's ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework with VB 2008. The book is an updated version of the previous edition and it includes coverage of two new concepts as well. The book is divided into four sections spanning 20 chapters and one appendix.

Inside the Book

Section 1 provides a brief introduction to database programming and ADO.NET 3.5. The chapters in section 2 examine the usage of data sources, datasets including the usage of dataset designer. The author demonstrates the steps involved in binding of controls such as textbox, combo box, datagridview with databases in addition to the coverage of relevant coding aspects associated with it. This section also discusses the concept of parameterized queries in detail, which I hope will be useful for advanced developers.

Section 2 deeply analyzes the core aspects of ADO.NET such as connections, commands, data readers, parameters, stored procedures, transactions and object data sources. It also includes a real world application which examines each concept in a step-by-step manner with the help of screenshots and complete source code. I would prefer to see a chapter which examines the role of MySQL and Oracle databases in the development of ADO.NET 3.5 applications in the next edition of the book.

As mentioned previously, the book includes two new chapters which examine the role and usage of LINQ and Entity Framework. While section 4 provides a brief introduction to LINQ along with a comprehensive coverage of the usage of LINQ to Dataset, LINQ to SQL and LINQ to XML, section 5 provides a detailed coverage of the creation of entity data model in addition to the usage of LINQ to entities and the application of entity data source controls in an ASP.NET application. The author also examines the usage of LINQ data source controls with the help of an ASP.NET web application.

An interesting part of the book is that the author has provided extensive analysis of each concept. Each section begins with an explanation of the underlying topic followed by source code and its description in bulleted format. The book will be useful for those developers who have time to master the lengthy content. I feel that developers will not have sufficient time to read the detailed content especially when they are on a hurry. I would suggest the author shorten the lengthy descriptions in the next edition of the book. Moreover, the author should provide a real-world project which demonstrates the important concepts of ADO.NET 3.5 with the help of an ASP.NET 3.5 application.

I very much liked the layout of the book as each concept starts with a brief introductory note followed by relevant screenshots/source code and finishes with a detailed analysis in bulleted format. The author has rightly employed this order in all chapters to provide a uniform look and feel. The book also includes one appendix which provides detailed information regarding the availability of source code file and the various software requirements for getting the most from the material.

If you are looking for a book to master ADO.NET 3.5 in three days then this book is not for you. The book will be useful for those developers who would like to expand their knowledge of ADO.NET in a deeper manner. Instructors can use the book as course material for imparting training as it will help students learn the concepts with the help of real world projects. The publisher distributes additional materials such as PowerPoint slides for classroom presentation, Visual Studio Solutions and Test Banks on a separate CD which is available for free of cost upon request. You can also download sample chapters and complete source code from the website of the publisher.

Conclusion

I must say that the book is indeed a comprehensive resource for learning database programming in .NET as it examines each concept in detail with the relevant screenshots and associated code snippets. Advanced developers can also use the book as an additional reference material even though they will not find any useful information on the book as they might have already gained knowledge of the topics covered from other sources. But still, the book will be valuable for developers in their quest towards mastering ADO.NET 3.5.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (Microsoft MVP and Chief Technical Editor, ASPAlliance.com) is the author of Community Server Quickly and runs www.learnxpress.com.

About the Book

Title

Murach's ADO.NET 3.5, LINQ, and the Entity Framework with VB 2008

Author

Anne Boehm

Publisher

Murach Publishing

ISBN - 13

978-1-890774-52-3

Edition

2009

Pages

708

Price

US $52.50 (Publisher Price: $36.75)

Rating

****

 

 

 



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