C# 8.0 and .NET Core 3.0 – Modern Cross-Platform Development – Fourth Edition Review

C# 8.0 and .NET Core 3.0 – Modern Cross-Platform Development

This is a book written by Mark J. Price for Packt Publishing. I must say that I don’t know Mark, but I was asked by Pack to review this book, which I gladly did!

The topics covered in this book are vast, so it should be no surprise the size of it: more than 800 pages. It spawns across 21 chapters, each of them ends with some exercises. It talks about pretty much everything .NET, as you can see:

Chapter 1

Introduction to Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio 2019 for Windows and Mac. Presents some useful extensions for Visual Studio Code. Talks a bit about the .NET Framework and its branches and offspring, Xamarin, Mono and .NET Core. Also explains the intermediate language that .NET compiles to and how to produce native code from .NET. Also shows how to use Visual Studio Code to get code from GitHub and build console apps. Finally, it gives some pointers on how to get support from the Internet.

Chapter 2

Presents all the C# versions from 1 until 8, the last one to date. Shows how to enable a specific version on a .NET project. Gives a an overview of the unchanging C# language features, like variables, data types, reference and value types, and presents a simple example on how to get input from the user.

Chapter 3

Expands on the C# language started on the previous chapter introducing branching, conditions, pattern matching, assignment, operators, loops and casts.

Chapter 4

Introduces functions, how to debug and unit test them.

Chapter 5

Explains Object-Oriented Programming with C#. How references to assemblies and namespaces work. Field and property modifiers. How to use the return values of functions, including tuples. Method overloading, optional parameters. Partial classes. Properties with indexers and different levels of access.

Chapter 6

Talks about interfaces and type inheritance. Explains events and delegates. Generic types. Reference and value types. The dispose pattern. Member overriding and hiding. Preventing inheritance. Polymorphism. Casting. Extension methods.

Chapter 7

Packaging .NET components in assemblies and NuGet packages. The .NET Standard and .NET Core. Publishing applications. Decompiling assemblies. Publishing to NuGet. Porting to .NET Core.

Chapter 8

Common .NET types and operations: numbers, string, regular expressions, collections, spans, indexes, ranges, network resources, types, attributes. Internationalization.

Chapter 9

Files, file streams and serialization. Working with the filesystem. Text encoding. XML and JSON serialisation and compression.

Chapter 10

Data encryption and decryption. Data hashing and signing. Random number generation. User authentication and authorisation.

Chapter 11

Database programming with Entity Framework Core.

Chapter 12

Using LINQ. Custom LINQ methods. LINQ to XML. Parallel LINQ.

Chapter 13

Performance monitoring. Tasks. Synchronizing access to shared resources. async and await.

Chapter 14

ASP.NET Core web applications. SignalR. Blazor.

Chapter 15

ASP.NET Core Razor Pages. Using EF Core with ASP.NET Core. Razor Class Libraries.

Chapter 16

ASP.NET Core MVC.

Chapter 17

Using Content Management Systems (Piranha CMS).

Chapter 18

ASP.NET Core Web API. Swagger and Open API. Health checks. WCF and gRPC are mentioned briefly.

Chapter 19

Machine learning with ML.NET.

Chapter 20

Windows Forms apps. Windows Presentation Foundation apps with .NET Core and Windows Compatibility Pack. The XAML Standard. Modern Windows apps.

Chapter 21

Using Xamarin for building cross-platform mobile apps. Calling web services.

Conclusion

As you can see, this is a lot, and goes from the plain C# language to machine learning and Blazor. I’d say that some topics, such as Content Management Systems, could have been dropped, but other than that, pretty much everything that a developer longing to learn .NET could wish for is here. A great deal of ASP.NET Core, which is good, as it is for sure the strong part of .NET Core. So, if you’re one such developer, this is one book that you may want to get, you won’t feel disappointed! Definitely a good value for money!

Now Reading: C# 8.0 and .NET Core 3.0 – Modern Cross-Platform Development – Fourth Edition

Update: see the review here.

I am now reading C# 8.0 and .NET Core 3.0 – Modern Cross-Platform Development – Fourth Edition, by Mark J. Price, from Packt Publishing. Expect a review from it very soon.

C# 8.0 and .NET Core 3.0 - Modern Cross-Platform Development - Fourth Edition

@MarkJPrice @RavitJain @PacktPub

Succinctly Series Readers Awards

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My e-book Entity Framework Core Succinctly was silver winner on the Succinctly Series Readers Awards!

Many thanks to all who voted for it! And congratulations to Joseph D. Booth for winning the gold award for his Natural Language Processing Succinctly and to Alessando Del Sole (@progalex) for his bronze award for Xamarin.Forms Succinctly!

https://www.syncfusion.com/awards/succinctlyseries/2018succinctlyreadersawards

Entity Framework Core Cookbook – Second Edition

Some of you may be aware that my new book for Packt Publishing is out! It is titled Entity Framework Core Cookbook – Second Edition because it was meant to be the second edition of Entity Framework 4.1: Expert’s Cookbook. In fact, it is mostly a full rewrite.

It is organized in chapters:

Chapter 1: Improving Entity Framework in the Real World

Chapter 2: Mapping Entities

Chapter 3: Validation and Changes

Chapter 4: Transactions and Concurrency Control

Chapter 5: Querying

Chapter 6: Advanced Scenarios

Chapter 7: Performance and Scalability

Appendix: Pitfalls

When I started writing it, .NET Core was still in early RC1. Things changed a lot from RC1 to RC2 and then again to RTM, so I had to revisit all chapters in the end. It was a pity that EF Core 1.1 was released shortly after the book was closed, because I could have talked about it too. Also, there are things that I could have covered, like extending Entity Framework Core, but there were so many of them! Smile Maybe in a future time!

Those of you who are interested can get a copy from the Pack Publishing site or from other sellers, either as an e-book or in hardcopy.

I want to thank everyone at Packt Publishing, namely Chaitanya Nair, Merint Mathew and Siddhi Chavan for their professionalism and support!

Machine Learning Week – Packt Publishing

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The good guys at Packt Publishing are at it again!

Packt Publishing is celebrating the Machine Learning Week. Machine Learning Week runs from Monday 18th January until 23:59 GMT on Monday 25th – throughout one will be able to save 50% on some of the most popular titles – such as Python, Java .NET and many more. Also, with a 50% discount on top titles, one can also pick up a 5-eBook bundle for just $50. Checkout link http://bit.ly/209h0lv!

Blend for Visual Studio 2012 by Example: Beginner’s Guide Discount Offer

I recently published a review of Pack Publishing’s new book, Blend for Visual Studio 2012 by Example – Beginner’s Guide. Well, guess what, Pack is offering a 50% off discount if you buy it between 17th and 25th of September! You just need to use this discount code:

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Keep in mind that this code is only valid for this ebook!

So, what are you waiting for? Winking smile

Blend for Visual Studio 2012 by Example Review

Introduction

I was recently asked by Packt Publishing to review another of their books. This time it was Blend for Visual Studio 2012 by Example, a book by Abhishek Shukla (@abbeyshukla), apparently, the first book on Blend for Visual Studio, even if it still covers Visual Studio 2012, most of it will apply to 2013 as well. My interest in Blend came from the fact that I recently had to work with Silverlight, and Blend is, of course, one of the must-have tools.

This book is for beginners on Blend, and it covers a number of technologies around XAML:

  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
  • Silverlight
  • Windows Phone
  • Windows Store

Each chapter starts by explaining some concept and then goes on to a sample application that demonstrates it.

Chapter 1 – Getting Started with Blend

So, the first chapter is just an introduction on what Blend is used for, how to get it and install it, the Blend IDE, etc. We are guided through a sample (and simple) application built in Silverlight. I’d say it’s a decent start.

Chapter 2 – Layout Panels

The second chapter talks about one of the fundamental building blocks in any graphical application: the layout components. We are presented the five basic layout panels existing in WPF (Grid, Canvas, Stack Panel, Wrap Panel and Dock Panel) and given one example of its usage (except Wrap Panel and Dock Panel). Others, like Border, Popup, Scroll Viewer, Uniform Grid and View Box are also just succinctly described.

Chapter 3 – Working with XAML

This one is about the Extensible Markup Language (XAML), the glue that brings together WPF, Silverlight, Windows Phone and Windows Store apps. We are taught about namespaces and custom registrations, the XAML syntax, and how XAML relates to C#. We also learn about styles, a very important concept.

Chapter 4 – Styles and Templates

In this chapter, we have more styles and also templates and resources, three concepts closely intermingled. We learn about the several levels on which resources can be declared and the difference between static and dynamic resource references. Then, style definitions, targeting and inheritance and how to use resource dictionaries to skin our applications. Templates come next, in its two major flavors (control and data). We see how we can edit the templates of existing controls

Chapter 5 – Behaviors and States in Blend

This time its all about adding interactivity to applications, through behaviors and visual states. We learn about Blend’s own behavior library, that can be used for both WPF and Silverlight, and get to create a sample animation. Next come visual states, the default XAML mechanism that is supported natively by both Silverlight and XAML, and we also learn how to do a similar animation effect.

Chapter 6 – Understanding Animation and Storyboards

In chapter 6 we go more deeply into animations using the IDE’s powerful storyboard tools. We learn how to record, edit and play an animation built exclusively using these tools and how it gets translated to XAML.

Chapter 7 – Understanding Databinding

Another of the major concepts in XAML is databinding, the subject for this next chapter. We are taught about dependency and attached properties, databinding modes and directions, how to load data from either XML files or our own classes and to bind it to controls. One thing that I think should be here is value converters.

Chapter 8 – Vector Graphics

This chapter talks about the graphic shapes of XAML. We learn how to import existing vector files into XAML and how to create custom shapes.

Chapter 9 – User Controls and Custom Controls

Another hot topic is reusable controls, of the two basic types: user controls and custom controls. We learn about the difference between the two, what they are used for, and create one sample of each.

Chapter 10 – Creating Windows Phone Apps

This chapter is totally dedicated to building Windows Phone 8 apps. It explains the different types of projects, device sizes and resolutions and introduces the Windows Phone Emulator. Then it talks about the requirements that need to be met in order to submit an app to the Windows Store, and how can we test its compliance. Note that only the user interface is covered, not more advanced features of Windows Phone, like sensors, etc.

Chapter 11 – Creating Windows 8 Store Apps

The final chapter is about building Windows Store Apps. We learn about the different kinds of apps available, how to certify and submit our app to the store.

Conclusion

Like I said, it is a book for beginners, without any knowledge of XAML, and from this perspective, I think it does a decent job. It wouldn’t be possible to cover everything , but some important topics received a fair treatment.

Automating Microsoft Azure with PowerShell Review

Introduction

I was again asked by Packt Publishing to review one of their books, this time, it was Automating Microsoft Azure with PowerShell. It came in good time, because I am starting to use Azure more and more, and PowerShell is a timesaver – actually, it is the only way to do lots of things. I have reviewed other books on Azure, which you can find at my blog, here.

The book starts with an introductory chapter, where PowerShell and Azure are introduced, and then goes to the real thing. Not all APIs are covered, namely, Machine Learning, DocumentDB, BizTalk, Stream Analytics, etc, etc, which is not really surprising, since it seems that every month a new service pops out. The book is ~150 pages long, distributed between 10 chapters, which is perfectly acceptable for the amount of topics it covers. The target audience is clearly administrators with little knowledge of Azure.

The author is John Chapman, which can be followed at Twitter as @chapmanjw.

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Azure and PowerShell

This chapter offers an introduction to PowerShell and how to install the Azure integration, retrieve subscription files and connecting to Azure. At the end of it we see how to create a blank website using PowerShell.

Chapter 2: Managing Azure Storage with PowerShell

This one is about storage. It explains about the major storage options that Azure has to offer – Table storage, Blobs, Queues and Files. Basic operations are discussed and we are presented with an example of a backup system.

Chapter 3: Managing Azure Virtual Machines with PowerShell

Next we have a discussion of the APIs available for the management of virtual machines (VMs). We learn how to create the many kinds of VMs existing in the Azure gallery, and performing all the typical operations, including creating snapshots and managing its storage.

Chapter 4: Managing Azure SQL Databases with PowerShell

In this chapter we learn how to create SQL servers and databases, configuring access to them, executing queries and finally exporting and importing data to and from.

Chapter 5: Deploying and Managing Azure Websites

Chapter 5 is about Azure Websites, the old name for Azure Web Apps. We learn how to create websites and how to provision them. Here I got the feeling that a lot is missing.

Chapter 6: Managing Azure Virtual Networks with PowerShell

A short chapter on how to configure virtual networks. Again, a lot more could be said on this.

Chapter 7: Managing Azure Traffic Manager with PowerShell

Azure Traffic Manager is Azure’s load-balancing mechanism. It explains how to configure websites for using the different load balancing techniques and load balancing profiles.

Chapter 8: Managing Azure Cloud Services with PowerShell

Cloud Services is another way to host VMs. The chapter explains how to create and manage cloud services, roles and endpoints and how retrieve Remote Desktop connection files.

Chapter 9: Managing Azure Active Directory with PowerShell

This chapter explains the basics of the Azure Active Directory (AD), the main authoritative source of identities in an Azure virtual network. We learn how to create and configure the basic options of an AD, managing users, groups and password policies. The example at the end of the chapter is about bulk creating users in the AD.

Chapter 10: Automating Azure with PowerShell

The final chapter talks about one of the automation mechanisms in Azure. We learn how to create an automation account and how to add runbooks to it.

Conclusion

The book is very succinct, and some topics would require substantially more coverage. It does provide some information enough to cover the basic usage of the covered Azure services.

Packt Publishing Free Learning Library

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From 30th April, 2015 Packt Publishing has thrown open the
virtual doors of its new Free Learning Library and offering its customers a daily chance to grab a fresh free
eBook from its website. The Free Learning Library will be open all year-round but each title will only
be up for 24 hours, so make sure you keep checking back to get your hands on
the latest book! All you’ll have to do is simply click on the day’s free eBook and it will
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See more information here: http://bit.ly/1EXeiCu.