Publisher: Microsoft Press, 2007
Aimed at: .NET developers new to WCF
Pros: Hands on, practical introduction to WCF
Cons: Minor technical issues; not a "keeper"
Reviewed by: Dave Wheeler
This book containing a series of hands-on exercises that will help you to quickly learn how to use WCF in your applications. Note that it relates to .NET 3.0 - but we haven't all upgraded yet.
Sharp writes well; the exercises work and highlight the points that they were intending to; in other words the book does what it says on the tin, and does it well.
I had some teething troubles installing the required software on Windows Vista, as the book uses the Microsoft P&P Enterprise Library, but beyond that and a few minor niggles everything went smoothly.
It's hard to get excited about the Step by Step books, but if you need to get up to speed with WCF, you're pressed for time and learn best by typing then this book is not a bad option. As with all Step by Step books, though, the emphasis is on the "how" of the technology being presented, not the "why".
Sharp's writing is concise and informative, but clearly constrained within the format of this book. Given the likely audience of senior developers/architects for this technology area, this lack of depth – and the requirement to complete the exercises to gain much benefit from the book – might dissuade many from opting for this book.
In conclusion, this book provides a good, introductory set of hands-on exercises to help you pick up WCF. However, with other richer and more detailed books now available on WCF and relating to more recent versions of .NET, unless you specifically like the Step by Step format then you would be advised to check out one of the other books that cover this technology.