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on 12 December 2006
Bought this book with the idea to quickly go through it and take the new 70-536 exam. Unfortunately there are so many errors in descriptions, code and statements that I am now using it as a study guide for the areas required in the exam, and MSDN online as the actual source of information. This is obviously taking much longer than expected and i probably won't be ready for the booked exam.

The book I guess covers all the required areas but in such low detail and often in way that contradicts itself and MSDN that it leaves me wondering if I know more than the book or if I'm just not understanding the course, hardly giving me confidence for the exam.

I know this is a first edition but surely the writers aren't using me as a proof reader. There is a list of corrections on the Micrsoft Press web site but even the couple hundred contained errors hardly touch the extra errors that i've found! I have to read the book, the corrections and MSDN all at once to know what i'm reading is correct.

The book does cover VB and C# which is fine, unfortunately mixing the languages in code examples is not! The corrections site doesn't catch a lot of these errors so be careful with a second edition as it will still probably be wrong.

Even if the text is factually correct the uninspired explantions of the code are so poor I still turn to MSDN.

There isn't much choice for study guides for exam 70-536 at present so you may still have to buy this book. Just do so knowing you'll have to do a lot more work than just reading it, like reading the correct explanations, methods, events etc, somewhere else. Unfortuntely plan more time than you should have needed to.

Very much a rush job for a new exam that ultimately fails to fulfill its purpose and leaves the reader unsure about the knowledge they are trying to learn.
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on 4 July 2006
Some of the information in this book is just plain wrong - I hope the examination doesn't use it as a definitive guide! The chapter on serialization contains some glaring inaccurancies regarding serialization events. My advice is to verify some of the statements for those areas you are unfamiliar with.
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on 27 August 2007
This book seems to be split into good chapters, with a logical progression through to the end.

However, I don't think that I have ever experienced a technical book with so many errors. I'm not talking factual errors, I'm talking about simple copy and paste errors. If you consider that this book is a combined work of 3 people, also adding to that the technical editor - this is 4 people that should have proof read the book. Unacceptable. To start a section titled 'Creating an installer', with the text 'You can configure application domains to create....' and then continue with a 6 line paragraph that has been copied verbatim from the previous chapter is absolutely shocking, and should never have got past any form of review.

For reference, the Microsoft Knowledge Base articles for the corrections for this book are KB923018 and KB935218.

If you are looking for a book for this exam, I would suggest looking at Amit Kalani's offering - as in my previous experience, his books have been excellent quality.
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on 12 December 2006
I think the format of the book is generally good. The content is reasonable for a book of its kind although I came across exam questions that I feel the book did not prepare me for. Anyone actually working with VS 2005 and C#/VB.NET should find the exam a breeze using this book. The practice test are very good in my opinion I didn't need anything else. I would have preferred the examples to be in C# or at least if they would have provided a PDF version with just the C# and another for the VB.NET that would have made it excellent. The same applies for the practice tests. Even in the practice tests you have both languages and you have to scroll down the pages to see all the options. In the exam the first thing you do is pick the language. Having said that, I would still recommend it. I did the exam yesterday and passed!
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on 25 June 2006
I was really looking forward to getting through this book so I can take the new MCTS 70-536 exam, but unfortunately it's not quite as good as I'd hoped.

The explanations and examples are a bit dull, even for an exam guide, and there are a few obvious mistakes which could easily confuse .NET newbies.

The code examples are given in both VB.NET and C# which is annoying, regardless of which language you use.

Hopefully it covers all the material you'll need to pass the exam, but I wish I'd waited for Amit Kalani's book on the same subject because his previous .NET exam guides were excellent.
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on 4 August 2007
I've been using C# for about 4 years and took the exam in Feb 2007.

I found this book *excellent*. The book assumes that you are a competent developer and don't need a description of the history of the world of computing, its just good, solid fundamentals and growing your knowledge set throughout - obviously!

Although I was familiar with a lot of the content, it was all well justified, used in examples and clear. Some sections were difficult to get through but with the MSDN at hand and spending some time working through the Practice Exercises at the end of each chapter helped significantly.

The book doesn't focus on Web or Windows programming as it is a generalised "how to use" guide for all sort of areas from exception handling, thread management and configuration, making is a good all rounder.

I would agree with the other reviewers that it isn't a reference book, but it is a study guide, and written as one.

I do recommend it, because I got 98% :-P
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on 27 December 2006
I have recently passed the exam having gone through the book and completed the exercises.

The book is mostly well written however I had to do some additional reading on MSDN to get me up to the exam standard. The book comes with a CD that contains the book in pdf format and some practice exam questions which were very useful. Also included is a CD with a ninety day licensed version of Visual 2005 and a coupon for a 15% discount on the exam.

In order to pass I also had to buy another practice test application because there were some small areas that were not covered - however the book does cover 99% of what is needed for the exam.

Without this book the exam preparation would have been a lot harder.
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on 28 March 2008
I've been developing .Net applications since version 1.0 and wanted to use this book to polish what I know and fill in any gaps. Unfortunately this book has proved to be almost of no use whatsoever.

The first hard lesson to learn is that the book MUST be read alongside the substantial list of corrections available on the Microsoft website. If you don't heed this warning you quickly form the opinion that not only has the book not been proof read by a third person but that it's not even be proof read by the authors.

The second major problem is that the combination of authors working on the book has led to an inconsistent style and tone. In one section you might be hand held through an exercise as if you don't know what the keyboard is and a mere handful of pages later you are treated as if you are a developer working on the Framework at Microsoft!

On the whole I found this book is deeply unsatisfying and as pointed out by another reviewer possibly only worth the contents page as a guide to what the exam might contain as the book itself and the questions on the CD ROM have too many errors to be used as a credible study tool.
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on 24 January 2011
I heard there is a Second Edition of this book, I hope for the readers sake's its a complete rewrite.

Riddled with inconsistencies, typos, and errors, the quality of this book is shocking. I had a look at the errors and ommissions list on the Microsoft website and it seems there's a mistake or error every two pages.

The actual writing style of some of the topics is quite horrendous as well. In particular the chapters on Configuration and Security. Without any explanation as to how the Configuration files are structured it makes it nearly impossible to understand how to use the classes, which is the books main focus. The Security section is also terrible. .NET Security is not actually that complex, as I found out afterwards, but book makes it sound complex and obscure.

I will do my level best to stay away from Microsoft Press books for the foreseeable future, or at the very least check the rating first on Amazon.
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on 13 November 2006
I've found the book to be a decent exam guide, it covers all areas of the framework, gives fairly decent practice exercises and good test exams - I don't think you can ask much more of a study guide. If you're looking for a very detailed description of 1 area of the framework, this isn't the book for you. It covers only enough of each area to pass the exam and keep the book a manageable size.
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