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Murach's ADO.NET 4 Database Programming with C# 2010
Author(s): Anne Boehm and Ged Mead
Published: 2011, ISBN 978-1-890774-63-9, 714 pages, 320 illustrations
Publisher (more . . .):   Murach




 Five out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: November, 2011
  Reviewer: George McCarrolle
       When I read the previous edition of this book concentrating on ADO.NET 3.5 I was not thoroughly impressed. However, this new ADO.NET 4 edition is vastly improved on the old edition. Having read other Murach publications over the past few years the style of instruction is unchanged. As you begin to thumb through the book notice the layout of all Murach books; the left side is setup for the user to read the test in that particular section, while on the right hand side is reserved screenshots and detailed descriptive data. This style serves the reader well; it allows you to understand the basic concept while being immersed with the actual look and feel of the application you creating.

     The only gotchaís I should mention before I delve into the book is the need to have Visual Studio 2010 installed. If you donít have Visual Studio 2010 IDE installed you must do so right away. All of the code examples throughout the book along with the code examples you can download from the website use Visual Studio 2010 IDE. The other gotcha is based on the fact that C# is the language of choice, okay a very obvious choice for me, but I must mention it none the less. With that, it must be stated that this book is a great primer for Visual Studio. As you walk through the book, you canít help but come away with a greater appreciation of Visual Studio 2010 IDE and what it can accomplish when paired with a good programmer.

     If you are new to ADO.NET then this is the book for you. The instruction starts with a basic introduction to databases, then ADO.NET. At this point, the book moves into more specific content tailored around creating a working ADO.NET application that allows end users to view and interact with the data.

     The book is really designed for programmers new to ADO.NET, but not new to C#. The book focuses on ADO.NET from a C# development perspective. For programmers who live in the C# world this will not be an issue. I come from the background of C++ and Java, and thus I needed to brush up on my C# when I purchased the ADO.NET 2008 version a few years ago. In the mean time I have enjoyed learning C#, along with creating various programs due to this book.

     I learned a lot from this book. It introduced me to areas of Visual Studio that I had never seen before, as well as LINQ and Entity Framework. There's a great deal of material here, and it is presented in great fashion. It lives up to the Murach claim that their books are "several books in one", replacing what would otherwise be a book on ADO, a book on LINQ, and another book to solidify the topic. The depth of the instruction is second to none. The other item worth mentioning is this book only focuses on SQL Server, but I suspect if you are using another RMDBS such as Oracle you may use Apex or something else to pull and display your database data.

     As I moved through the section of the book while working with the download code examples provided I was struck by how easy it is to learn the various concepts the book is teaching. In most books you are given two ways to digest the information. One way is have all of the information thrown at you, and you hope youíll come away with some sense of what you are doing, or the other way is to immerse you in the code and have you learn the programming skills using the hands on method. This book, along with all of the books in the Murach series allow the reader to use both options and this greatly enhances the learning experience. I personally have several Murach books in my collection.

     I personally enjoyed the section on XML data, along with the updated LINQ and Entity Framework section as well. All in all, this book will allow you build a solid C# ADO.NET programming foundation. If database programming is your chosen endeavor, this publication along with downloadable product files will eventually make you a rock star. As with all tools this book will not teach you everything you need to know about ADO.NET, but it will teach you the proper skills to advance, along with a programmerís natural curiosity to learn more success is not too far away.
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