Book Review: Windows Azure Step by Step
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Published: 04 Oct 2011
Abstract
With the help of Windows Azure, .NET developers can develop and deploy applications on the cloud. In this review, Anand examines the contents of the recently released Windows Azure Step by Step book published by Microsoft Press. Does the book meet the expectations of every .NET developer? Will you learn all the concepts related to Windows Azure? Find out by reading this review.
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

Nowadays, many .NET developers are integrating cloud computing technology such as Windows Azure into their web applications. Windows Azure has completely changed the way in which the applications are deployed and managed.

Advanced .NET developers extensively make use of Azure framework. However, many beginners are keen to master the concepts behind this new technology. But they don't have access to reliable resources other than online articles which are spread across the web. Windows Azure Step by Step by Roberto Brunetti is one of the latest titles released by Microsoft, which attempts to provide a comprehensive coverage of all the concepts associated with Windows Azure.

Inside the Book

Chapters 1 and 2 examine the concept of Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform. While Chapter 3 examines the steps required to create a Web Role Project, Chapter 4 provides a detailed overview of Storage related concepts such as Local Storage, Blob APIs including the steps required to create a Windows Azure Storage Account and also a brief look at the Windows Azure Management Tool.

Chapters 5 and 6 examine Table, Queue Services and concepts related to Affinity Group, Content Delivery Network, Certificates, Diagnostics including Live ID and Subscriptions. Chapter 7 examines the components related to building an AppFabric Solution such as Service Bus, Direct Connection, Bindings and HTTP for Management URI. Chapter 8 provides detailed coverage on the development of Windows Azure Solutions using WCF Data Services and OData.

With Windows Azure, you can develop database oriented applications using SQL Azure, which you will learn in Chapter 9. The author has provided a comprehensive coverage of the various concepts such as creation of database server in the Cloud and SQL Azure Migration Wizard.

Chapter 10 examines the creation of a storage account project including the usage of HTTP and REST. You will also learn the steps required to access the storage account from PHP. The final chapter provides an outline of the various features of a Multitier Solution and the concepts related to Data Access Layer and Service Agent.

I am a bit disappointed after going through the book because the author doesn't provide the steps required to deploy a Windows Azure application. The author should also provide the process for obtaining Azure web space and the relevant steps to deploy an application from your system.

Conclusion

The author has provided a comprehensive explanation of concepts with relevant screenshots. Each chapter ends with a short summary and a quick reference, which provides the relevant steps you need to perform in order to achieve important tasks.

From my point of view, the book will be useful for beginners who would like to learn Windows Azure without spending too much time. It will be also useful for advanced level developers as they can use it as a ready reference reckoner. The book can also be used to teach short term computer courses on Windows Azure.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (ASPInsider) is the author of Community Server Quickly. He works as an independent consultant based in Trivandrum, India and runs www.learnxpress.com and www.dotnetalbum.com.

About the Book

Title

Windows Azure Step by Step

Author

Roberto Brunetti

Publisher

Microsoft Press

ISBN - 13

978-0735649729

Edition

May 2011

Pages

344

Price

$34.99

Amazon Price

$21.84

Rating

****

 



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