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Ultra-Fast Asp.Net: Build Ultra-Fast and Ultra-Scalable web sites using ASP.NET and SQL Server (Expert's Voice in .NET) Paperback – 10 Nov 2009
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About the Author
Rick Kiessig has been doing software design and development for more than 30 years. He is currently an independent software consultant who focuses on architecting and building large-scale websites using .NET and SQL Server. His clients have included companies such as Microsoft, MySpace, Shop.com and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Before that, he worked at Microsoft for four years, first as an architect and developer in MSN, and later at the Microsoft Technology Center (MTC). His experience at the MTC included leading weekly two to three day long Architectural Design Sessions with some of Microsoft's largest customers, to help them design and improve the architectures of their websites and other software. Before coming to Microsoft, Rick worked as an independent consultant in Silicon Valley for 20+ years. Projects included designing and building a large-scale Java-based Content Management System and architecting systems to deliver web content to millions of Interactive TV subscribers. He has also developed mission-critical real-time software for spacecraft that have flown to Mars several times, to the Moon and to a nearby comet. Rick has been an Internet user and developer since 1974. He moved from California to New Zealand in 2006, where he now resides.
Top customer reviews
It's not a beginner book, and is more aimed at seasoned developers, but if your website is running slow, or you take your optimising seriously, then you must buy this book. It's a properly hidden gem. I'd overlooked it a few times, but I used Amazon's 'Look Inside' option to view the contents, and that's when I decided to take a punt. I'm so glad I did, as it's an amazing book, and well worth the cash. Highly recommended.
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The only area where I have any disagreement at all with Kiessig is with respect to ORM. Kiessig states quite correctly that the "performance and scalability [of ORM] is usually very poor." (There's an understatment!) Kiessig goes on to say: "in their current form I can't recommend any of them in high-performance sites, in spite of how unpopular that makes me in some circles." This advice is worth the price of the book a hundred times over. It's also interesting to note Kiessig's observation that this view of ORM makes him "unpopular." Of course it does! He's criticized the OO/ORM "religion". OO/design pattern astronauts are more dogmatic than fundamentalist Christians. Calling out their bloated, non-performant coding practices subjects you to their derision. But thoughtful developers must hold firm.
Let's beat this horse just a bit more. Kiessig says that it might make sense to use LINQ/EF in very limited circumstances such as protoyping and small-scale projects. I strongly disagree with this for two reasons. One, prototyping code often finds its way into production code, thus allowing ORM poison to seep into a production environment. Second, small-scale projects often expand into larger ones and so, again, ORM code could very easily pollute a production environment. Further, I believe that it's crucial to understand not only that ORM has performance/scalability problems, but why ORM is philosophically/theoretically flawed (Hint: the "problem" ORM is trying to solve doesn't really exist, and even if it did, ORM is absolutely the wrong "solution").
Finally, and I promise this is my final jab, I think Kiessig should have put his recommendation against ORM on page one. Why? Because no decision will have a greater impact on performance and scalablity (and maintanability and extensibility for that matter) than the decision not to use ORM.
I want to highlight two other points Keissig makes. The first is about testing. With respect to TDD (Kiessig refers to it as "test-first development"), he states: "I can't endorse its use in real-world environments. My experience has been that it doesn't produce better code or reduce development time compared to other alternatives." My experience and sentiments exactly. But TDD is part of the religion along with ORM. Although it doesn't have the mammoth, project-killing potential of ORM, TDD will nonetheless blow through a lot of developer time with very little to show for it. Legitimate, well-designed unit testing is, of course, a completely different story.
With respect to architecture, Kiessig states: "It should come as no surprise that I favor flat architectures, because they tend to minimize round-trips." Eureka! But then OO astronauts who love the idea of distributed computing and out of process calls won't be able to brag about their 7-tier architectures. I suppose they'll have to impress me with their implementation of a polymorphic facade on top of a cross-bridge-singleton-adapter, called through multiple, inherited generic interfaces, abstracted through a dependency injection container, all done in only 10 times the lines of code required by those pesky database-centric developers.
Despite the digressions here, I think every .NET developer should read this book, and, more importantly, change how they think about building software systems.
You might not realize you're into an obsolete suggestion until you're well into a block of text.
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