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Books reviewed

P: n/a
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers,
although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my
observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page designer
before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how difficult
it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull
together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about
any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it
helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give
up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be
otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning much
as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see my
opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S.
Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net way of
thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of the
book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book
first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at
the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples.
The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right up
my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good
stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted.
Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally
undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net.
Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well
illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the examples
that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the code
example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was one
of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the
illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small to
read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the written
word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite my
misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read
reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks
ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see
already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid
full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust
application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about this
anon.

..Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last. Examples
all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend
much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and
intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to
work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers
from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical
(these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out
www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a
reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing,
math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even
if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This
book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues. Buy
it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will miss
more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without some
knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone, I
have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way.

Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL, I
never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book that
was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The Practical
SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for Mere
Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for some
reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book will
remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some
topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the only
one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books I
buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even
returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!). I've
read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I
did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay that
out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that I
had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step" manual
was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor wants
to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not on
the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there.
Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what
you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books.
Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and
Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates






Jul 21 '05 #1
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8 Replies


P: n/a
I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are so
good and such must haves I have to chime in.

If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's
Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton of
other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's
the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However it by
no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that more
advanced developers would find useful

As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on Sceppa's book
and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books there
is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another must
have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like Vaughn
have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment each
other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without
both of them.

As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to
the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and
Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first
rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite large
and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they have
some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think
that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will
say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's book
definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But
ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps without
both of them.

Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but if
you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a bunch
of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on
SQL CE and CF Development.

Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET Compact
Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller than
the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get so
much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how
good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the other two
are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
excellent as well..

As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's Applied
..NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding how the
framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the
framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and
his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the
framework as best you can.

Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything
in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in the
game, they totally got it right

Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those books
has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a
bit.

cheers,

Bill
--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers,
although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my
observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page designer before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how difficult it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull
together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about
any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it
helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give
up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be
otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning much as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see my
opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S.
Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net way of thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of the
book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book
first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at
the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples.
The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right up
my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good
stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted.
Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally
undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net.
Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well
illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the examples that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the code example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was one of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the
illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small to read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the written word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite my misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read
reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks
ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid
full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust
application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about this anon.

.Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last. Examples all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend
much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and
intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to
work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers
from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical
(these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out
www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a
reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing,
math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even
if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This
book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues. Buy
it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will miss more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without some knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone, I
have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way.

Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL, I
never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book that was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The Practical SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for Mere Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for some reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book will remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some
topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the only
one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books I buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even
returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!). I've
read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I
did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay that out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that I
had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step" manual was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor wants to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not on
the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there.
Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books.
Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and
Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates






Jul 21 '05 #2

P: n/a
Hehe ... if they weren't on my list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.
However, I'm cognizant of Bill Vaughn's stuff (I have read some of his stuff
online), as well as the "recommended reading list" on devbuzz. Also, the
Tiffany SQLCe book I've seen touted well, but just have not gotten to it
yet.

There have been a few books I read before .Net that are so good that I hate
letting go of, including "PocketPC Dvelopement in the Enterprise" by
Christian Forsberg and Andreas Sjostrom (simply invaluable for pulling all
of the PPc concept together) and "ADO: ActiveX Data Objects" by Jason T.
Roff (a heckuva ADO reference).

Thanks for the advice -- so when are you writing yours?

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message
news:OX**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are so
good and such must haves I have to chime in.

If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's
Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton of other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However it by no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that more
advanced developers would find useful

As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on Sceppa's book and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books there is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another must
have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like Vaughn
have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment each other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without both of them.

As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to
the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and
Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first
rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite large and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they have some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think
that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will
say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's book
definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But
ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps without both of them.

Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but if you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a bunch of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on
SQL CE and CF Development.

Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET Compact
Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller than the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get so much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how
good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the other two are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
excellent as well..

As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's Applied .NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding how the framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the
framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and
his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the
framework as best you can.

Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything
in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in the
game, they totally got it right

Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those books has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a
bit.

cheers,

Bill
--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers, although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my
observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page

designer
before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how

difficult
it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull
together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it
helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning

much
as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see my
opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S.
Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net way of
thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of
the book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book
first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples. The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right up my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good
stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted. Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally
undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net. Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the

examples
that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the

code
example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was

one
of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the
illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small

to
read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the

written
word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite

my
misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can

see
already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about

this
anon.

.Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last.

Examples
all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and
intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical
(these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing, math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This
book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues. Buy it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will

miss
more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without

some
knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone, I have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way.

Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL, I never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book

that
was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The

Practical
SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for

Mere
Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for

some
reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book

will
remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the onl y one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books I
buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even
returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!).

I've read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay

that
out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that I had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step"

manual
was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor

wants
to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not on the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there.
Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for

what
you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books. Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and
Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates







Jul 21 '05 #3

P: n/a
You guys have done a great job covering the material and I'm going to hang
on to your lists to add to my library - but I wouldn't leave out Visual
Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook, by MacDonald. It's great for those quick
answers - especially the kind that make you re-think your whole approach.
And, for dealing with some of those C# examples - the C# and VB.NET
Conversion Pocket Reference by Mojica (O'Reilly) is handy.

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:OU**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
Hehe ... if they weren't on my list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.
However, I'm cognizant of Bill Vaughn's stuff (I have read some of his stuff online), as well as the "recommended reading list" on devbuzz. Also, the
Tiffany SQLCe book I've seen touted well, but just have not gotten to it
yet.

There have been a few books I read before .Net that are so good that I hate letting go of, including "PocketPC Dvelopement in the Enterprise" by
Christian Forsberg and Andreas Sjostrom (simply invaluable for pulling all
of the PPc concept together) and "ADO: ActiveX Data Objects" by Jason T.
Roff (a heckuva ADO reference).

Thanks for the advice -- so when are you writing yours?

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message
news:OX**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are so
good and such must haves I have to chime in.

If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton
of
other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's
the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However

it by
no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that
more advanced developers would find useful

As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on Sceppa's

book
and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books

there
is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another must
have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like Vaughn have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment

each
other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun

without
both of them.

As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and
Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first
rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite

large
and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they

have
some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's book
definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps

without
both of them.

Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but

if
you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a

bunch
of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on SQL CE and CF Development.

Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET Compact
Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller

than
the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get

so
much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the other

two
are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
excellent as well..

As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's

Applied
.NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding how

the
framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the framework as best you can.

Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in the
game, they totally got it right

Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those

books
has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a
bit.

cheers,

Bill
--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers, although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are
my observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page

designer
before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how

difficult
it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be
otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still
learning much
as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see
my opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S. Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net
way
of
thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of

the book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at
the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples. The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was
right
up my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some
good stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you
kickstarted. Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net. Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the

examples
that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the

code
example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was one
of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of
the illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small
to
read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the

written
word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that
despite my
misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved.
I have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some

peeks ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see
already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More
about
this
anon.

.Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last.

Examples
all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it
and intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how

to work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical (these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a
reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing, math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert.
This book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues.
Buy it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will miss
more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without

some
knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational
tone, I have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the
way.
Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL,
I never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting"
book
that
was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The Practical
SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for

Mere
Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But
for some
reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just
as big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book

will
remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about

some topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the onl y
one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books
I
buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with
even returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!).

I've read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I
did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not
lay that
out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was
that
I had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step" manual
was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor

wants
to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is
not on the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right
there. Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what
you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech

books. Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop

and Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates








Jul 21 '05 #4

P: n/a
I'm with you 100% on the MacDonald stuff. Actually, just about everything
he's written for .NET rocks. You've got to be impressed by his command of
so many different areas.

--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Rick Spiewak" <ri*********@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:uq**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
You guys have done a great job covering the material and I'm going to hang
on to your lists to add to my library - but I wouldn't leave out Visual
Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook, by MacDonald. It's great for those quick
answers - especially the kind that make you re-think your whole approach.
And, for dealing with some of those C# examples - the C# and VB.NET
Conversion Pocket Reference by Mojica (O'Reilly) is handy.

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:OU**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
Hehe ... if they weren't on my list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.
However, I'm cognizant of Bill Vaughn's stuff (I have read some of his stuff
online), as well as the "recommended reading list" on devbuzz. Also, the
Tiffany SQLCe book I've seen touted well, but just have not gotten to it
yet.

There have been a few books I read before .Net that are so good that I

hate
letting go of, including "PocketPC Dvelopement in the Enterprise" by
Christian Forsberg and Andreas Sjostrom (simply invaluable for pulling all
of the PPc concept together) and "ADO: ActiveX Data Objects" by Jason T.
Roff (a heckuva ADO reference).

Thanks for the advice -- so when are you writing yours?

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message
news:OX**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are so good and such must haves I have to chime in.

If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton
of
other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's
the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However it
by
no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that

more advanced developers would find useful

As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on
Sceppa's book
and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books

there
is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another
must have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like

Vaughn have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment

each
other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun

without
both of them.

As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite

large
and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they have
some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's
book definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps

without
both of them.

Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but if
you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a

bunch
of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on SQL CE and CF Development.

Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET
Compact Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller

than
the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get
so
much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the
other two
are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
excellent as well..

As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's

Applied
.NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding
how the
framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the framework as best you can.

Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in
the game, they totally got it right

Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those

books
has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a bit.

cheers,

Bill
--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
> fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB

developers,
> although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
> of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would
be > looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.
>
> So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are
my > observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page
designer
> before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how
difficult
> it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull > together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much

about
> any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it > helped me.
>
> I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give
> up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might
be
> otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning much
> as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't
see my > opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.
>
> The following list is in no particular author order:
>
> Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now),
David
S. > Platt
> As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the
..Net way
of
> thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus
of the
> book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book > first.
>
> VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
> Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10
at
> the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples.
> The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was

right
up
> my alley. If you can find it, buy it.
>
> Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
> Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some

good > stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you

kickstarted.
> Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.
>
> Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin > I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally > undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with

ADO.Net.
> Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly

well
> illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the
examples
> that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in
the code
> example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this

was one
> of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the > illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small to
> read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of > you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the
written
> word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
> DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the > material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages > tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite my
> misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.
>
> Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd

read
> reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
> have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks
> ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see
> already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once
I'm > finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever

paid
> full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a

robust
> application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More

about this
> anon.
>
> .Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
> One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last.
Examples
> all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't

spend
> much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and > intend to get back to it
>
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates > This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to
> work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
> completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with

answers
> from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
> visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.
>
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
> I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical > (these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to
check
out
> www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
> technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.
>
> C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
> I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as
a
> reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts,

parsing,
> math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name

it. Even
> if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This > book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting
issues. Buy
> it.
>
> Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you

will miss
> more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum
without some
> knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
> excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational

tone,
I
> have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the

way. >
> Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
> I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
> troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL,
I
> never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting"

book that
> was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The
Practical
> SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for Mere
> Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.
>
> SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
> I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
> tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for some
> reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
> big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
> disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This
book will
> remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some
> topics in the book.
>
> ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
> Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the

onl
y
> one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider

books
I
> buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with

even > returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of > thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!).

I've
> read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but
I
> did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not

lay that
> out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that
I
> had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step"
manual
> was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor wants
> to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
> audience that I didn't fit in.
>
> Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
> One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is

not
on
> the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right

there. > Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
> with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what
> you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech

books.
> Save your money.
>
> If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and > Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:
>
> Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie

Yates >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



Jul 21 '05 #5

P: n/a
I do have that pocket reference but simply took it for granted. It is handy,
yet its small size certainly points out how modest the differences truly are
between C# and VB.Net. In fact, I'm of the opinion that Microsoft did a
disservice to name VB.Net as "VB". As one disgruntled longtime VB developer
once wrote, "whatever it is, it aint VB".

"Rick Spiewak" <ri*********@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:uq**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
You guys have done a great job covering the material and I'm going to hang
on to your lists to add to my library - but I wouldn't leave out Visual
Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook, by MacDonald. It's great for those quick
answers - especially the kind that make you re-think your whole approach.
And, for dealing with some of those C# examples - the C# and VB.NET
Conversion Pocket Reference by Mojica (O'Reilly) is handy.

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:OU**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
Hehe ... if they weren't on my list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.
However, I'm cognizant of Bill Vaughn's stuff (I have read some of his stuff
online), as well as the "recommended reading list" on devbuzz. Also, the
Tiffany SQLCe book I've seen touted well, but just have not gotten to it
yet.

There have been a few books I read before .Net that are so good that I

hate
letting go of, including "PocketPC Dvelopement in the Enterprise" by
Christian Forsberg and Andreas Sjostrom (simply invaluable for pulling all
of the PPc concept together) and "ADO: ActiveX Data Objects" by Jason T.
Roff (a heckuva ADO reference).

Thanks for the advice -- so when are you writing yours?

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message
news:OX**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are so good and such must haves I have to chime in.

If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton
of
other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's
the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However it
by
no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that

more advanced developers would find useful

As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on
Sceppa's book
and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books

there
is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another
must have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like

Vaughn have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment

each
other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun

without
both of them.

As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite

large
and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they have
some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's
book definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps

without
both of them.

Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but if
you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a

bunch
of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on SQL CE and CF Development.

Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET
Compact Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller

than
the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get
so
much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the
other two
are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
excellent as well..

As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's

Applied
.NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding
how the
framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the framework as best you can.

Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in
the game, they totally got it right

Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those

books
has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a bit.

cheers,

Bill
--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
> fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB

developers,
> although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
> of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would
be > looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.
>
> So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are
my > observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page
designer
> before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how
difficult
> it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull > together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much

about
> any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it > helped me.
>
> I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give
> up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might
be
> otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning much
> as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't
see my > opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.
>
> The following list is in no particular author order:
>
> Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now),
David
S. > Platt
> As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the
..Net way
of
> thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus
of the
> book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book > first.
>
> VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
> Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10
at
> the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples.
> The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was

right
up
> my alley. If you can find it, buy it.
>
> Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
> Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some

good > stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you

kickstarted.
> Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.
>
> Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin > I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally > undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with

ADO.Net.
> Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly

well
> illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the
examples
> that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in
the code
> example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this

was one
> of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the > illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small to
> read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of > you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the
written
> word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
> DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the > material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages > tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite my
> misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.
>
> Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd

read
> reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
> have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks
> ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see
> already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once
I'm > finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever

paid
> full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a

robust
> application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More

about this
> anon.
>
> .Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
> One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last.
Examples
> all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't

spend
> much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and > intend to get back to it
>
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates > This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to
> work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
> completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with

answers
> from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
> visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.
>
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
> I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical > (these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to
check
out
> www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
> technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.
>
> C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
> I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as
a
> reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts,

parsing,
> math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name

it. Even
> if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This > book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting
issues. Buy
> it.
>
> Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you

will miss
> more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum
without some
> knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
> excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational

tone,
I
> have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the

way. >
> Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
> I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
> troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL,
I
> never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting"

book that
> was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The
Practical
> SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for Mere
> Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.
>
> SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
> I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
> tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for some
> reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
> big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
> disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This
book will
> remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some
> topics in the book.
>
> ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
> Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the

onl
y
> one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider

books
I
> buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with

even > returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of > thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!).

I've
> read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but
I
> did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not

lay that
> out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that
I
> had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step"
manual
> was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor wants
> to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
> audience that I didn't fit in.
>
> Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
> One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is

not
on
> the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right

there. > Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
> with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what
> you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech

books.
> Save your money.
>
> If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and > Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:
>
> Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie

Yates >
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>



Jul 21 '05 #6

P: n/a
Earl,

I just picked up a brand new book at TechEd last week that looks mighty
handy for new VB.Net developers for the Compact Framework. It's called .Net
Compact Framework Pocket Guide by Wei-Meng Lee (O'Reilly) ISBN
0-596-00757-4. The whole book isn't much larger than a PocketPC, and except
for not mentioning www.OpenNetCF.org as a great source for free .Net
classes, it contains pretty much everything a VB developer needs to get
started. It's available here
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/compa...kpg/index.html and at other
online stores.

--
Ginny Caughey
..Net Compact Framework MVP

Have an opinion on the effectiveness of Microsoft Embedded newsgroups?
Let Microsoft know!
https://www.windowsembeddedeval.com/...ity/newsgroups

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers,
although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my
observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page designer before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how difficult it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull
together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about
any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it
helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give
up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be
otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning much as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see my
opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S.
Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net way of thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of the
book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book
first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at
the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples.
The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right up
my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good
stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted.
Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally
undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net.
Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well
illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the examples that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the code example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was one of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the
illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small to read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the written word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite my misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read
reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks
ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can see already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid
full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust
application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about this anon.

.Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last. Examples all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend
much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and
intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to
work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers
from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical
(these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out
www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a
reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing,
math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even
if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This
book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues. Buy
it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will miss more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without some knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone, I
have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way.

Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL, I
never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book that was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The Practical SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for Mere Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for some reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book will remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some
topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the only
one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books I buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even
returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!). I've
read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I
did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay that out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that I
had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step" manual was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor wants to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not on
the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there.
Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for what you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books.
Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and
Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates






Jul 21 '05 #7

P: n/a
I'll keep an eye out for that one Ginny. Thanks.

"Ginny Caughey [MVP]" <gi******************@wasteworks.com> wrote in message
news:uu**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
Earl,

I just picked up a brand new book at TechEd last week that looks mighty
handy for new VB.Net developers for the Compact Framework. It's called ..Net Compact Framework Pocket Guide by Wei-Meng Lee (O'Reilly) ISBN
0-596-00757-4. The whole book isn't much larger than a PocketPC, and except for not mentioning www.OpenNetCF.org as a great source for free .Net
classes, it contains pretty much everything a VB developer needs to get
started. It's available here
http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/compa...kpg/index.html and at other
online stores.

--
Ginny Caughey
.Net Compact Framework MVP

Have an opinion on the effectiveness of Microsoft Embedded newsgroups?
Let Microsoft know!
https://www.windowsembeddedeval.com/...ity/newsgroups

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers, although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF. A lot
of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be
looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.

So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my
observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page

designer
before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how

difficult
it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull
together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it
helped me.

I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't give up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might be otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning

much
as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see my
opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.

The following list is in no particular author order:

Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David S.
Platt
As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net way of
thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of
the book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book
first.

VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10 at the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples. The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right up my alley. If you can find it, buy it.

Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good
stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted. Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.

Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin
I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally
undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net. Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the

examples
that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the

code
example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was

one
of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the
illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small

to
read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of
you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the

written
word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the
material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages
tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite

my
misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved. I
have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can

see
already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm
finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about

this
anon.

.Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last.

Examples
all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and
intend to get back to it

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates
This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how to work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.

Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical
(these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check out www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.

C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as a reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing, math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it. Even if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This
book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues. Buy it.

Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will

miss
more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without

some
knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone, I have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way.

Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL, I never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book

that
was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The

Practical
SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for

Mere
Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.

SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for

some
reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just as
big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book

will
remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some topics in the book.

ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the only one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books I
buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even
returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of
thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!).

I've read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but I did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay

that
out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that I had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step"

manual
was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor

wants
to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
audience that I didn't fit in.

Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not on the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there.
Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered up
with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for

what
you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books. Save your money.

If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and
Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:

Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates







Jul 21 '05 #8

P: n/a
I'd also recommend "101 Visual Basic .NET Applicaiotions". It's also
pretty cook-book in nature, and the 101 sample apps were designed to
be F5'able (no special config needed to get the sample code working).

<fullDisclosure>
I'm an author on the book, so I'd love it if someone who's read the
book chimed in with their impressions.
</fullDisclosure>

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message news:<ul**************@TK2MSFTNGP11.phx.gbl>...
I'm with you 100% on the MacDonald stuff. Actually, just about everything
he's written for .NET rocks. You've got to be impressed by his command of
so many different areas.

--
W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded

http://forums.devbuzz.com
http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
"Rick Spiewak" <ri*********@mindspring.com> wrote in message
news:uq**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
You guys have done a great job covering the material and I'm going to hang
on to your lists to add to my library - but I wouldn't leave out Visual
Basic .NET Programmer's Cookbook, by MacDonald. It's great for those quick
answers - especially the kind that make you re-think your whole approach.
And, for dealing with some of those C# examples - the C# and VB.NET
Conversion Pocket Reference by Mojica (O'Reilly) is handy.

"Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
news:OU**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
Hehe ... if they weren't on my list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.
However, I'm cognizant of Bill Vaughn's stuff (I have read some of his stuff online), as well as the "recommended reading list" on devbuzz. Also, the
Tiffany SQLCe book I've seen touted well, but just have not gotten to it
yet.

There have been a few books I read before .Net that are so good that I hate letting go of, including "PocketPC Dvelopement in the Enterprise" by
Christian Forsberg and Andreas Sjostrom (simply invaluable for pulling all of the PPc concept together) and "ADO: ActiveX Data Objects" by Jason T.
Roff (a heckuva ADO reference).

Thanks for the advice -- so when are you writing yours?

"William Ryan eMVP" <do********@comcast.nospam.net> wrote in message
news:OX**************@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
> I appreciate your intent here, but you've left off a few books that are
so > good and such must haves I have to chime in.
>
> If you are going to do any serious VB.NET Development, Francesco Balena's > Visual Basic .NET Core Reference is the one book to have. There are a ton
of > other books that address certain areas better than this book does, but it's > the most thorough book on VB.NET there is, and there's always enough
> discussion and samples of any topic to get you over the hump. However it
by > no means only caters to newbies and there are plenty of examples that more > advanced developers would find useful
>
> As far as ADO.NET goes, I totally agree with your statement on Sceppa's
book > and from my observation, it's one of the most universally loved books there > is. However Bill Vaughn's ADO & ADO.NET Best Practices is another must > have. He's got a ton of insights in that book that only Gurus like Vaughn > have I think these two books, although on the same subject, compliment each > other well. Learning ADO.NET wouldn't have been nearly as much fun without > both of them.
>
> As far as CF Books go, there's a good list and discussion on them here
> http://www.devbuzz.com/content/books.asp
> On the Compact Framework, Dan Fergus and Larry Roof's Definitive Guide to > the Compact Framework can't be left out of any must have list. Andy and > Steven's book is the first one I bought on the subject and it's a first > rate book from start to finish. Dan and Larry's Book though is quite large > and had the benefit of being published a little later on. As such they
have > some more examples and they elaborate more on many subjects. If you think > that Andy and Steven's book is dry, I don't know that I'd agree but I will > say that they stay very focusedon any given topic. Dan and Larry's book > definitely injects a lot more of the author's personality's into it. But > ti's as good of a book as it gets. I wouldn't want to write CF apps without > both of them.
>
> Not everyone using the compact Framework will be using SQL Server CE,but
if > you are, Rob Tiffany's Sql Server CE Development with the .NET Compact
> Framework is a must have for two reasons. 1) It's a great book, has a bunch > of great examples and is easy to follow 2) It's the only one out there on > SQL CE and CF Development.
>
> Dan Fox and Jon Box's Building Solutions with the Microsoft .NET Compact > Framework is another great one to have in the collection. It's smaller than > the above two are, but that in a way is its strength. The fact they get
so > much info across in a relatively small amount of space is testimony to how > good they commmunicate. It's not a definitive reference like the other
two > are, but it touches upon many important issues and the examples are
> excellent as well..
>
> As far as General .NET books, you can't leave out Jeffrey Richter's Applied > .NET Framework Programming, the quintessential text on undrestanding how
the > framework works. It's a must have if you care about understanding how the > framework works behind the scenes, and this one has a picture of Jeff and > his new hellicopter which should provide plenty of incentive to learn the > framework as best you can.
>
> Then there's the whole Addison-Wesley .NET Developer's Series. Everything > in there is pure gold and although I admit it came out a bit late in the > game, they totally got it right
>
> Anyway, I just figured I had to chime in on this one b/c each of those books > has saved my butt more than a few times and definitely helped me quite a > bit.
>
> cheers,
>
> Bill
> --
> W.G. Ryan MVP Windows - Embedded
>
> http://forums.devbuzz.com
> http://www.knowdotnet.com/dataaccess.html
> http://www.msmvps.com/williamryan/
> "Earl comcast net>" <brikshoe<at.> wrote in message
> news:uH**************@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
> > I've been on a mission this past year to move from VB6 to .Net. I'm
> > fortunate(!?) not to have the big catalog of some long-time VB developers, > > although I have some CE apps that have to be entirely rewritten in CF.
A
lot > > of what I develop has to be written for the PPc, so I knew I would be > > looking for information in .Net, ADO.Net, CF -- and SQL Server.
> >
> > So in the spirit that others might benefit from my journey, here are my > > observations. Having been a tech writer many years ago (and a page designer > > before that), I give these reviews with the caveat that I know how difficult > > it is to write technical literature and also how difficult it is to pull > > together all the aspects of a book. Thus I'm not going to give much about > > any specific errors or bugs, but a general feel for the book and how it > > helped me.
> >
> > I will also give the caveat that I've never read ANY book that didn't
give > > up some useful bits of information -- no matter how bad that book might
be > > otherwise. Final caveat is that I'm not there yet -- I'm still learning
much > > as I develop and I'll still have many questions here. But I don't see
my > > opinions changing on the books I'm reviewing here.
> >
> > The following list is in no particular author order:
> >
> > Introducing Microsoft.Net 2nd Ed (note: the 3rd Ed is out now), David
S. > > Platt
> > As its title implies, its a great book to get you started in the .Net
way
of > > thinking. There are some examples, but that is not really the focus of
the > > book. Touches briefly on all areas of .Net. I wish I had read this book > > first.
> >
> > VB.Net, Matthew McDonald
> > Strange, I've never seen any reviews of this book, and I got it for $10
at > > the half-price bookstore, but its chock-full of information and examples. > > The book is aimed at developers moving from VB to .Net, so it was right
up > > my alley. If you can find it, buy it.
> >
> > Visual Basic.Net, Matt Tagliaferri
> > Another out-of-the-mainstream book (spell that c-h-e-a-p) with some good > > stuff in it. If you are interested in GDI, this might get you kickstarted. > > Also gave me some intro to the datareader and datasets.
> >
> > Visual Basic.Net Database Programming, Evangelos Petroutsos, Asli Bilgin > > I've seen this book slammed in a few reviews, but I feel that's totally > > undeserved. This is a very good book for those just starting with ADO.Net. > > Its deep enough, it gives you a lot of great examples, and is fairly well > > illustrated. I do have some minor heartburn as follows. Some of the examples > > that required the Command Builder to be used did not show those in the
code > > example. Literally, those examples would not run (I'm thinking this was
one > > of the places that William Ryan straightened me out). Next, a few of the > > illustrations were actually screen shots of the code that were too small
to > > read (altho in fairness, you have a CD to pull the code up in front of > > you -- I'm not much on using the CDs unless I do not understand the written > > word). Finally, the layout of the book is kinda goofy as regards the
> > DataReader (you have to look in a couple of different areas where the > > material should have been pulled together). I have about a dozen pages > > tabbed for future reference, so that may give you some idea that despite
my > > misgivings about a few errors, I still find the book very useful.
> >
> > Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> > In the lingo of the 20-something crowd, this book is "the bomb". I'd read > > reviews of how good this book is, and its reputation is well-deserved.
I > > have not finished the book yet, but after several chapters (and some peeks > > ahead into the "Questions that should be asked more frequently"), I can
see > > already that I'll feel more secure in my knowledge of ADO.Net once I'm > > finished. I'm thinking that this is probably the only book I've ever paid > > full-price for. If you were to be stuck with the task of creating a robust > > application with just any 3 books, this would be 1 of the 3. More about
this > > anon.
> >
> > .Net Compact Framework, Craig Morris, et. al.
> > One of the first books I bought and should've been one of the last. Examples > > all in C#, and since I had no .Net experience at the time, I didn't spend > > much time with it. Fairly lightweight tome, but I'm hanging on to it and > > intend to get back to it
> >
> > Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates > > This book helped me out tremendously, not only with the CF, but on how
to > > work with the datagrid and datatables. I do not claim to being there
> > completely, but using some pieces of this book in conjunction with answers > > from the afore-mentioned William Ryan in the forums, I can at least
> > visualize most of the concepts I need to pull things together.
> >
> > Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, Andy Wigley, Stephen Wheelwright
> > I have not finished this book. Examples all in C#, and highly technical > > (these guys might be wound a little too tight, and might want to check
out > > www.moosehead.com). I'm counting on this to fill in the holes in my
> > technical knowledge once I have the nuts and bolts down.
> >
> > C# Text Manipulation Handbook, Francois Liger, et. al.
> > I found this book also at the half-price book store and oh I love it as
a > > reference! This little gem has helped me tremendously with casts, parsing, > > math manipulations, numbers to strings, strings to date, you name it.
Even > > if you write only in VB.Net, the examples are easy to read/convert. This > > book will save you hours and hours of frustration with casting issues.
Buy > > it.
> >
> > Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> > How did books about SQL Server land on the .Net list? Frankly, you will
miss > > more than half the journey if you try to learn.Net in a vacuum without
some > > knowledge of SQL Server. This book is so language-agnostic, it is an
> > excellent resource. Written in a very user-friendly conversational tone,
I > > have been enjoying it tremendously -- while learning much along the way. > >
> > Troubleshooting SQL, Forrest Houlette
> > I found this book totally by accident. It deals exclusively with
> > troubleshooting SQL statements. Heck, while I realized the depth of SQL,
I > > never envisioned that someone could write such a "troubleshooting" book
that > > was language-independent. Using this book in conjunction with "The Practical > > SQL Handbook", "SQL Queries for Mere Mortals" and "Database Design for
Mere > > Mortals" will make you much more confident in your SQL abilities.
> >
> > SQL Server Black Book, Patrick Dalton, Paul Whitehead
> > I really appreciate the "black book" series of books. They helped me
> > tremendously with VB and got me started with understanding C++. But for
some > > reasons, this particular black book has not been as helpful. Its just
as > > big, has just as many examples in it, but for some reason, I feel
> > disconnected and the descriptive material feels lightweight. This book
will > > remain a reference for me, but I'm somewhat scratching my head about some > > topics in the book.
> >
> > ADO.Net Step-by-Step, Rebecca Riordin
> > Of all the tech books I've bought over the last 4 years, this is the onl
y > > one I've ever returned and I did that last night. Because I consider books
I > > buy to be such a repository of reference material, I struggled with even > > returning it, but something about the book just did not fit my way of > > thinking (which cannot be considered a knock on the author at all!). I've > > read some reviews about the book that it has errors and buggy code, but
I > > did not get past the 2nd chapter nor even crack the CD, so I'll not lay
that > > out as an issue either. I think that maybe part of the problem was that
I > > had some knowledge already and clunking around with a "step-by-step" manual > > was like having someone eager to drive a racecar but their instructor
wants > > to show them how to use the shifter. This book probably has a target
> > audience that I didn't fit in.
> >
> > Visual Basic.Net, Richard Bowman
> > One of my bargain purchases that was a dog. If the author's name is not
on > > the cover of the book, that should be some sort of warning right there. > > Actually, there is some good material in the book, but its so covered
up > > with screens on every page, you have to spend a lot of time digging for
what > > you need. An excellent example of how NOT to design pages for tech books. > > Save your money.
> >
> > If you were only allowed 3 books to learn how to write both desktop and > > Compact Framework database apps, my choices would be:
> >
> > Microsoft ADO.Net, David Sceppa
> > Professional SQL Server 2000 Database Design, Louis Davidson
> > Microsoft .Net Compact Framework Kick Start, Erik Rubin, Ronnie Yates > >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
>
>


Jul 21 '05 #9

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