Pro Silverlight for the Enterprise

Author: Ashish Ghoda
Publisher: Apress, 2009
Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-1430218678
Aimed at: Advanced Silverlight developers/enterprise architects
Rating: 3
Pros: Overview coverage of some of the more advanced issues
Cons: Out-dated by the release of Silverlight 3
Reviewed by: Dave Wheeler

The idea behind this book is simple: explain why and how to build and deploy Silverlight applications for the enterprise. This is a laudable goal. However, the book fails to achieve it.

To start with, the book spends a quarter of its content on a basic “Hello World” introduction to Silverlight and a simple Silverlight application. If you’re not skipping this section, then the rest of the book is not for you.

Similarly, there’s a whole chapter on Silverlight for the Mobile, even though the author (correctly) states that there is no Silverlight implementation for the Mobile to date. This chapter is therefore pure fire lighting material.

There are some useful sections, relating to defining enterprise applications, and in talking about issues to consider before adopting Silverlight. However, these are thinly camouflaged generalised discussions, and could equally apply to any enterprise technology.

Asserting that Silverlight is a truly cross-platform, cross-browser technology without discussing such issues as processor technology – Silverlight has very specific dependencies on this – is ultimately disappointing.

Failing to discuss aspects such as Prism, ADO.NET Data Services or even the .NET RIA Services is sad, but not surprising in a book that was obviously written back in 2008 around Silverlight 2, with little view of the future.

This book has some merit, in terms of defining questions that you should address before you choose Silverlight for your applications, but you will find little practical guidance on actually building an enterprise application yourself.

As an 80-page white paper, this might have been a great read. As a $40 book, it’s not worth the money.

Last Updated ( Monday, 02 November 2009 )