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Microsoft Visual Studio 2010: A Beginner's Guide (McGraw-Hill Professional)
Author(s): Joe Mayo
Published: 2010, ISBN: 978-0-07-166895-8, 448 pages
Publisher (more . . .):  McGraw-Hill Professional



 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: August, 2011
  Reviewer: Bruce Ekins
       Joe Mayo is a frequent contributor to Code Magazine and has written extensively on ASP.NET, so it is great to see a beginnerís book from such an experienced .Net software developer and Microsoft MVP. It is always hard to decide how much material and what topics to put into a beginnerís book about such a mature and broad topic as Microsoft Visual Studio application development. The author does a great job of balancing overview material with detail, giving the reader new to Visual Studio and .NET a great grounding in the premier IDE and mainstream application technologies from Microsoft.

     All the examples in the book are in C# and VB, so the reader can choose the language to learn or get a flavor of both. The book starts out with a great overview of the Visual Studio 2010 IDE, discussing how to get around the interface and listing the major types of projects VS 2010 can create and manage. Windows, web, MS Office, SharePoint, and database projects are described briefly. The next three chapters give a great overview of C# and VB syntax, from basic OO constructs (classes, interfaces, members, methods and return types) to syntax specific to .Net (events and delegates). To his credit, the author does not try to do an overview of Object Oriented theory, but a reference to a good OO book might help those few readers who have not been introduced to the world of OO yet.

     Part II covers building application projects in general, debugging with the VS IDE, and a quick overview of using the LINQ built-in system to access relational data with SQL Part III begins the meat of the book, showing the reader how to build Windows and web applications using several mainstream .Net technologies: Windows Presentation Foundation, ASP.NET with Model-View-Controller, Silverlight and Windows Communications Foundation.

     The application development chapters give just the right amount of detail and include straightforward descriptions. Code examples are generally a page or two, letting the reader see the major features of each application technology without having to wade through long code listings. The ASP.Net MVC example uses the LINQ methods and data structures covered earlier in the book, resulting in a short program that has all of the basic components of a web application using .Net.

     Part IV of the book describes how to customize the VS 2010 environment. While this is an advanced topic many beginning Visual Studio readers might not be ready for, it gives a flavor of the extensibility and power of the IDE. The Appendix introduces the VS 2010 XML editor, and gives an overview of the role of XAML in creating WPF application.

     Visual Studio 2010 - A Beginnerís Guide is a great introduction to Microsoft application development with VS 2010. The right topics are included along with enough details to give the .Net novice a good overview of the .Net web and Windows application development technologies and tools. Web application programmers with a background in HTML and scripting languages might want to get up to speed on OO theory before diving in, but anyone with some programming background will enjoy and learn a lot from Joe Mayoís book.

Bruce Ekins is a part time programmer and application development technology fan, currently working with Enterprise IT software tools. He has been on the vendor side most of his career, working with myriad IT hardware and software technologies from Cobol to RDBMS to .Net. With an MBA and MSCIT, he believes in getting the most out of IT technology to enable and streamline business processes and operations.
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