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4.0 out of 5 stars A compendium of Windows Azure Wisdom, 19 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook (Paperback)
The problem with Windows Azure is that it doesn't stand still for long enough to document it; even MSDN has been sadly lacking at times. Anybody who takes on a book project like this has to be either brave or mad, but writing a book with such broad and accurate technical information demands respect.

The Windows Azure Platform has a large set of features, but this book seems to cover them all. Everything from Compute and Storage through to AppFabric. There is even practical advice on AppFabric Caching and Windows Azure Connect (both relative newcomers to Windows Azure).

It was refreshing to see the book get quickly into detail and code. This book isn't for newbies; you won't find the usual "why cloud computing" space fillers here, just useful well-considered recipes that are clearly borne of real world experience.

Some of the material will start to date quickly; only today Microsoft launched the Windows Azure SDK 1.5, but Neil has tried to pick important, relevant and useful problems to solve, so I think that the book will fare well over time. I hope he will continue to update and refine it in further editions.

Yes there are one or two structural rough edges - the Index feels a bit computer generated, the AppFabric Caching information is awkwardly split across the first and the last chapters but that's nit picking; the content itself is first class and it's easy to dip into whenever you have a problem or need advice. This is a book that I'm hanging onto.

If you are a Windows Azure Developer or hands on Architect, then it's well worth the money - it consolidates a great deal of Windows Azure experience and wisdom in one place, it will save you googling time and you're bound to learn something new!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Practical and Useful recipe book on Azure, 10 Feb. 2012
A. Ullal (Saratoga, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook (Paperback)
This book skips the introductory (and educational) aspects of Azure so the assumption is that the reader is familiar (or has worked) with Azure. If you're at that stage, you'll find the book very handy for solving specific issues that you may encounter during an Azure project.

The topics that the author has covered are:

Chapter 1, Controlling Access in the Windows Azure Platform.
Chapter 2, Handling Blobs in Windows Azure.
Chapter 3, Going NoSQL with Windows Azure Tables.
Chapter 4, Disconnecting with Windows Azure Queues.
Chapter 5, Developing Hosted Services for Windows Azure.
Chapter 6, Digging into Windows Azure Diagnostics.
Chapter 7, Managing Hosted Services with the Service Management API.
Chapter 8, Using SQL Azure.
Chapter 9, Looking at the Windows Azure AppFabric.

Each chapter then has recipes for specific tasks that one may need. Each recipe starts with a task, a description of the task and how to complete that task. If any preparation needs to be done, the author lists it a "Getting Ready" section. Then, an "How to do it..." section goes into detail explaining how to complete the task with code. Lastly, each recipe ends with an "How it works..." section where the author explains how the code seen in the previous section works.

A warning to the reader: some of the recipes are not task oriented but will help you make architectural decisions, which I found was a pleasant surprise.

In summary, this book is for an intermediate or advanced Azure developer/Architect who is in need of immediate help with a particular issue s/he might be facing in a project.
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Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook
Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook by Neil MacKenzie (Paperback - 5 Aug. 2011)
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