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Azure in Action
Author(s): Chris Hay and Brian H. Prince
Published: 2010, ISBN 978-1-935182-48-1, 488 pages
Publisher (more . . .):   Manning




 Three out of Five Stars
  Reviewed: April, 2012
  Reviewer: Howard J. Cohen
       This book says it’s purpose is to serve as an introduction to programming for the Windows Azure Platform. Unfortunately the authors and publishers have not kept up with the rapid changes to the Azure environment. The book was published in 2010 and reflects the programming and Azure Management consoles from then. There are no errata correcting the book to reflect changes that have occurred since then. One nice thing about Manning Publishing is that they offer their books in both paper and electronic formats. If you buy the paper version you also qualify to get the electronic version. This should have allowed either an appendix to the electronic version reflecting the many changes or a revised electronic version. It appears that neither of these was done.

     Specifically the book refers to the Azure SDK 1.1 while the latest SDK is version 1.6 released in November 2011. It refers to a “Windows Azure Cloud Service” while this kind of project is now simple a “Windows Azure Project”. The Figures for the Windows Azure Website Management page is nothing like the latest page.

     On the plus side many of the explanations of what Windows Azure is and how it functions are well written and provide good explanations of how, why, and when to use the Windows Azure Cloud Service. It presents the cost and other advantages of Windows Azure. The chapters are presented in a logical order for gaining expertise as the reader progresses.

     My overall opinion is that while this book has some value for someone just starting out with Windows Azure, it is too far behind the updates etc. to be considered a good value. However, that said I would expect that the authors will update their work and when they do the book may regain its usefulness. Until then I would recommend using the information found on the Windows Azure website  to learn how to develop for Windows Azure.
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