Programming Microsoft Composite UI Application Block and Smart Client Software Factory

Author: David S. Platt
Publisher: Microsoft Press, 2007
ISBN: 978-0735624146
Aimed at: Beginners using Smart Client Software Factory
Rating: 2.5
Pros: Essential documentation
Cons: Lacking in depth and breadth
Reviewed by: Mike James
The Composite UI Application blocks are built on top of the .NET Framework by the Microsoft patterns and practices team to provide an architecturally sound way of implementing loosely coupled user interfaces. It is part of the Smart Client Software Factory and both are free to download and use. The big problem is that most programmers aren’t even aware that these libraries exist and the documentation is terrible – mainly because it’s non-existent. As a consequence this book, the only book on the topic is essential and if you want to use the blocks you need it. However it may be essential but it isn’t a good book. It’s short and contains a great deal of white space. It fails to describe any of the deeper concepts or the patterns, such as dependency inversion, that the architecture is based on. It isn’t detailed enough and its selection of exactly what it covers is idiosyncratic. Before you  buy a copy of this book you need to master the concepts because it focuses on the code. It is suitable for the beginner as it describes how to install the system and how to create a simple example. There is still another book to be written on the topic.
<Reviewed in VSJ>

Last Updated ( Saturday, 10 January 2009 )