Author: Mike Snell and Lars Powers
Publisher: Sams, 2010
Aimed at: Visual Studio users
Pros: Covers a lot of topics
Cons: Much of the book is off-topic
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot
What do you expect a book on Visual Studio 2010 to be about?
Presumably with a title like that it should concentrate on the main subject and tell us things about Visual Studio that you wouldn't find in a book on say Visual Basic or C#.
Equally you probably don't want chapters on topics that you would find on a book on Visual Basic or C#. If you strip out of this book all of the chapters that are about other connected but peripheral topics then there isn't much of the book left.
The book is divided into five large sections. The first is an introduction to Visual Studio - very basic. The second is an in depth look at the IDE - which despite being "in depth" is still very basic.
Part III is about writing and working with code - productivity aids, testing code, refactoring, debugging and deploying. This part is beginning to become more interesting with details of how things can be done that you might otherwise miss. Part IV is about Extending Visual Studio - the object model, macros, addins and Wizards and the most up-to-date approach and the .NET way to extend Visual Studio - the MEF.
Finally we have a long (400 page) section on creating enterprise applications. This is about ASP .NET, forms, databases, services and so on .. what it isn't about is Visual Studio. You could try to justify its inclusion on the grounds that it shows you how to use the specific explorers, e.g. in database there is the server explorer - but these are topics that would be well covered in a book on .NET SQL development. Given that they are in a book about Visual Studio the subjects aren't covered in much depth.
Of course you might disagree and regard this final very large section as just what you were looking for. Without this section the book is one third of the size.
As for me, the most interesting part of the book are the chapters on extending Visual Studio, but even here it doesn't really get to grips with its subject. There are far too many tables of standard information and other space fillers. When we do get to an example the listings are long and largely unexplained.
You might find this book useful - I didn't. To sum up - too much of the book is off-topic and what is on topic isn't particularly deep or explained.
I'd give this one a miss.