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Programming WCF Services Paperback – 16 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (16 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596521308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596521301
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 4.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 799,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Building Service Oriented Applications with Windows Communication Foundation

About the Author

Juval Lowy is a software architect and the principal of IDesign, a company specializing in .NET architecture consulting and advanced .NET training. Juval is Microsoft's Regional Director for the Silicon Valley, working with Microsoft on helping the industry adopt .NET. Juval participates in the Microsoft internal design reviews for future versions of .NET and related technologies. Juval published numerous articles, regarding almost every aspect of .NET development, and is a frequent presenter at development conferences. Microsoft recognized Juval as a Software Legend as one of the world's top .NET experts and industry leaders. Contact him at

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By John S 7765 on 30 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I don't find this book very useful, it's tone is long-winded, and it wastes too much space printing interfaces etc word-for-word, which is unnecessary.
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Format: Paperback
This is the most thorough material I have found about WCF. It takes you at least one step further than most other materials.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Erlank on 26 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this to get a detailed understanding of WCF and how it can be adapted; and I've found it disappointing in that respect.

My primary criticism is that the book seems to be a collection of special cases or tool-oriented tricks. For example, the first section in the chapter on service contracts discusses operation overloading, and what specific attributes/configuration you can use to deal with it - great, but I'd rather read a more fundamental discussion on service contracts and interoperability than just a few syntax examples for a relatively unlikely use case. This chapter also contains the bulk of the book's discussion on metadata - six pages - which I think is superficial for a concept that I would consider to be a chapter in its own right. I would make similar criticisms for a lot of the book.

Unfortunately (based just on reading this book) I now have a rather dim perception of WCF itself - it seems like a clumsy conglomeration of stuff with no real coherence to the design. I hope that this view improves with further experience.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 22 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Seems To Be Missing a Chapter 26 Jan. 2009
By Michael W. Schellenberger - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I struggled between purchasing this book or Michelle's 'Learning WCF', being a developer for going on 20 years now I didn't want to get another beginners 101 book. Having read many articles and a few books by Juval and knowing I like theory not wizardry I went with Juval's.

I must say I am disappointed so far, in Juval's style of great theory he just jumps right in and you are pretty much in over your head off the bat. Not that you can't understand what he is saying but the way it is explained just doesn't help understand WCF in general. While I am only on chapter 3 I had to look forward and see that it only gets deeper, it seems to explain the pieces but not how they fit together.

I had to go back and look at the intended audience for the book. It says nothing about prior WCF experience just an experienced .NET, OO developer. I have been messing with WCF for a few weeks, played with WSSF, I have built a number of production web and windows service applications as well as worked with remoting quite a bit.

I bought the book to get more detail/theory but must say it has not helped me a bit thru chapter 3. The book hasn't provided any direction on putting this stuff together into a working example and I think that is what it is missing.

I have little doubt when I get over the initial WCF learning curve this book will be a great asset but for now I'm going to shelve it and look elsewhere.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Some good information, but uneven 3 July 2010
By Silverstein - Published on
Format: Paperback
This text (which I'll refer to as P) is one of the better WCF books, but there's plenty of room for improvement. The other reviews have plugged a lot of the strengths, so I'll keep this brief.

The real way to review this book is to compare it to the other leading title (Resnick's Essentials of WCF, which I'll call E). Since both books are missing a lot of information, but are in some ways complementary, if you read both, you get about 75% of the basics.

Organization: E is uniform and iterative, and provides introductions and summaries for those who read systematically. P is uneven and non-iterative. Some P chapters are strong, but E looks as if someone consciously went through the entire book with a fine-toothed comb (so to speak).

Transactions: E barely treats transactions, but P dedicates (IIRC) a chapter to them and takes a stand on using them in the design guide.

Hosting: The P hosting section is weak, and the coverage of WAS (which the author recommends for W2K8 deployments) is seriously deficient. Properly hosting and tuning a WCF application is half of the battle, and that battle is almost entirely left as an exercise for the reader. E does a much better job of explaining hosting, but, unfortunately, is also deficient in coverage. OTOH, P has an introductory section of using service host factories to gain some programmatic control over hosting from inside the app, something that E ignores. P also includes hosting advice in the nice guidelines section at the end.

Design: The P design standards section is a nice checklist, but it's not argued properly and it's difficult to find the rationale for some of the points made in the text. OTOH, E doesn't have anything like this. Anyone can read the MSDN/P&P literature on creating WFC services; what readers really need is an informed explanation of how to do it correctly. P takes a stab at it, but E doesn't. Neither text covers other important topics like testability, flexibility, and maintainability as they relate to WCF programming. Both books treat SOA and integration very superficially. P takes a basic stand on good contract design, but E doesn't.

Solution structure/VS project templates/etc: Neither book does a good job covering the different templates (WFC app vs. WCF service library), or how WCF layering should take place. P advocates putting "service logic" in a DLL, but that's about it. E ignores the topic.

Until the next version comes out later this year, I can definitely recommend getting P, but would also recommend getting E to fill in some of the gaps. It would be nice to see not only Lowy expand the design principles section, but maybe also make proper design a first-class component of the book (or maybe even publish an "Effect WCF" book).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very theoretical. Good for refreshing your memory 18 Aug. 2009
By Ravi - Published on
Format: Paperback
I was a fan of Juval Lowys book .net components so when I wanted to learn WCF I got this book straight away. I found it very difficulty to understand in the beginning as I had no hands on experience on WCF. So I got the book WCF Step by Step by John Sharp and did the exercises in his book. After this when I read Juval Luvys book it makes perfect sense. So in short if you are a beginner to WCF this is not the book for you. Get hands on experience by coding some example, struggle through the configuration and errors and then if you want something to refresh your memory or add more theoretical depth to your knowledge read this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great Resource for Experienced Programmers New to SOA 17 Oct. 2009
By Jeffrey Schenk - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a Microsoft Certified Trainer, a real fan of Microsoft WCF curriculum, MSDN articles and the like, but it was not until I read Juval's book that I began to fully comprehend the importance and benefit of WCF.

I was never a com, Corba, or .NET Remoting programmer--never really understood all the flail about SOA, so I found the Introduction to Service-Orientation appendix exceptionally well written--for the first time I am comfortable that I understand the why-behind-the-how of SOA; Juval's isn't the first write up on SOA I have ever seen, but it was the first couched in terms that made me understand.

I am whipping the point about comprehending SOA because if you don't get SOA, then you don't get WCF; if you feel like a deer in the headlights when someone asks you about it, this appendix will be worth the cost of the book.

Sometime's too many choices leads to confusion, and that's certainly how I find the security options available in WCF; if you're struggling with security choices, you will find Juval's approach in the security chapter a welcome salve to that problem, for example, he offers candid assessments of delegation and impersonation that I have seen nowhere else.

The book did a superb job by way of example in making me understand how to best exploit the base classes that come with System.ServiceModel.

The WCF Coding Standard offered should be given an award for all the fantastic guidance it offers to those of us who are babes in the WCF faith-I refer to it constantly, and have used it as a baseline for my own organization's standard.

I read some of the other reviews before making my purchase decision... I noticed a few that claimed this book was too deep for those not already bathed in distributed computing experience--I disagree. While I have been programming for many years (Assembler, C++, Java, C#, more...), I have almost no distributed computing experience, and thanks to the advice of Juval and Michelle Bustamante (another great O'Reilly WCF book), I have successfully implemented the beginnings of what looks to be a rock-and-roll load-balanced WCF/SOA architecture.

While I have learned a great deal from Microsoft courses and sources, a fair measure of the credit for my present successes in WCF goes to these O'Reilly books.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
List of Recipes - No instructions to mix ingredients 18 Mar. 2009
By V. Small - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having now read both Michelle's book "Learning WCF" and Juval's book "Programming WCF", I can state that you need to start with Michelle's book.

Learning WCF will go through various scenarios (labs) on binding, behaviours, contracts, hosting, etc. and you will have a solid understanding and working knowledge of WCF.

Juval's book reads like a list of recipes without the instructions on how to mix the ingredients.

Juval covers the various topics (Services, Contracts, etc.), and lists the various settings, but there are no labs, there is no reference to the sample code, and no way you are going to learn WCF from this book.
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