Book preview: Silverlight 4 User Interface Cookbook

Check out the new book “Silverlight 4 User Interface Cookbook” by Vibor Cipan:

This is the overview taken from the publisher site:

  • The first and only book to focus exclusively on Silverlight UI development.
  • Have your applications stand out from the crowd with leading, innovative, and friendly user interfaces.
  • Detailed instructions on how to implement specific user interface patterns together with XAML and C# (where needed) code, and explainations that are easy-to-understand and follow.
  • Real world projects which you can explore in detail and make modifications as you go.
  • Written by Vibor Cipan – Microsoft MVP for Expression Blend and WPF, and Silverlight UX specialist.

I’ve just received my copy and I’m looking forward to read it in the next days!

Book preview: Microsoft Silverlight 4 and SharePoint 2010 Integration

Check out the new book “Microsoft Silverlight 4 and SharePoint 2010 Integration” by Gastón C. Hillar:

This is the overview taken from the publisher site:

  • Develop Silverlight RIAs that interact with SharePoint 2010 data and services
  • Explore the diverse alternatives for hosting a Silverlight RIA in a SharePoint 2010 Page
  • Work with the new SharePoint Silverlight Client Object Model to interact with elements in a SharePoint Site
  • Use Visual Studio 2010’s new features to debug Silverlight RIAs that interact with SharePoint 2010
  • Learn to perform CRUD (Create, Read, Update, and Delete) operations on SharePoint 2010 lists from Silverlight
  • Access and interact with external data sources and WCF Data Services
  • Use themes and work with multiple interactive animations and effects to create distinct User eXperiences (UX) in a SharePoint environment
  • Develop Silverlight RIAs that interact with SharePoint Visual Web Parts
  • A step-by-step, fast-paced book that guides you in implementing Silverlight 4 applications in SharePoint 2010 environments

A sample chapter is available for download here: Chapter No. 1 – Integrating Silverlight 4 with Share Point 2010

I’ve just received my copy and I’m looking forward to read it in the next days!

Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Services Cookbook

The new book “Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Services Cookbook” by Gill Cleeren and Kevin Dockx is now available:

This is the overview taken from the publisher site:

  • Design and develop rich data-driven business applications in Silverlight;
  • Rapidly interact with and handle multiple sources of data and services within Silverlight business applications;
  • Understand sophisticated data access techniques in your Silverlight business applications by binding data to Silverlight controls, validating data in Silverlight, getting data from services into Silverlight applications and much more!
  • Packed with practical, hands-on cookbook recipes, illustrating the techniques to solve particular data problems effectively within your Silverlight business applications.

I’ve just received my copy and I’m looking forward to read it in the next days!

A sample chapter is available for download here.

Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginners Guide

The new book “Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginners Guide” by Cameron Albert and Frank LaVigne is now available:

This is the overview taken from the publisher site:

  • An introduction to building enterprise-ready business applications with Silverlight quickly.
  • Get hold of the basic tools and skills needed to get started in Silverlight application development.
  • Integrate different media types, taking the RIA experience further with Silverlight, and much more!
  • Rapidly manage business focused controls, data, and business logic connectivity.
  • A suite of business applications will be built over the course of the book and all examples will be geared around real-world useful application developments, enabling .NET developers to focus on getting started in business application development using Silverlight.

I’ve just received my copy and I’m looking forward to read it in the next days!

Update: review on Amazon

I’ve just inserted a review on Amazon, you can read it here:

A different approach for learning Silverlight

The writing style is clear. The authors guide the reader in learning many topics about Silverlight by using practical examples, starting from the basics and arriving to Rich-Media, Deep Zoom, WCF RIA Services and an introduction to the Expression suite.
The included source code for the WCF RIA examples is not updated for the latest version of the framework, however it can be easily upgraded to work with Silverlight 4 RTW.
It’s not a complete reference to Silverlight 4 but it contains useful samples for real scenarios.”

Book review – “Beginning Silverlight 2: From Novice to Professional” by Robert Lair

 beginning-silverlight-21

I’ve just finished to read this book by Robert Lair and, as an educator, I have liked very much the writing style and the example-driven approach used by the author.
When you have to learn a new technology, It’s fundamental to have the possibility to find, explore and run practical applications explaining the concepts, in order to rapidly become productive. And this is the case of “Beginning Silverlight 2: From Novice to Professional“: every chapter, after a brief but exhaustive introduction of the subject, contains one or more dedicated examples which illustrate, step by step, how to accomplish a determined task. The instructions are clear and accurate, becoming a valuable resource for a beginner who has never used the technology.

Of course you can find similar examples on the web, but for a novice it’s important to find the right material in the right place to avoid confusion.

However, if you are looking for a book to use as reference for more complex scenarios and applications, you should look at others titles which contain more material but, at the same time, are more difficult to read.

Chapter 1 – Welcome to Silverlight 2
A brief but complete introduction to the evolution of user interfaces, Silverlight, its benefits and the development environment.

Chapter 2 – Introduction to Visual Studio 2008
In this chapter the author presents a brief introduction of some of the new features available in the Visual Studio 2008 IDE like JavaScript IntelliSense and Multi-Targeting support.

Chapter 3 – Layout Management in Silverlight
A description for using layout controls including useful examples for the Canvas Panel, StackPanel and the Grid control. The source code covers the usage scenarios of the different controls for obtaining custom layouts.

Chapter 4 – Silverlight Form Controls
This chapter contains essential information for handling events and using the basic form controls like Border, TextBox, RadioButton, CheckBox and GridSplitter.

Chapter 5 – Data Binding and Silverlight List Controls
This chapter is very well written, data binding is one of the features you have to master if you want to professionally use Silverlight, the author has been able to illustrate a complex subject in a simple manner.

Chapter 6 – Data Access and Networking
The subject is complex, the choice of describing interoperability between Silverlight and WCF services is the more appropriate for a book of this level, the examples guide you through the steps for building an application composed by a client interface which communicates with WCF services. Well explained the instructions to avoid cross-domain issues.

Chapter 7 – Local Storage in Silverlight
Very well written, the example contains a complete File Explorer for the Isolated Storage, plus other instructions on how to view and clear it.

Chapter 8 – Introduction to Expression Blend
Expression Blend is a fundamental tool to build advanced user interfaces, in this chapter you will found basic information about its usage.

Chapter 9 – Styling in Silverlight
Working with styles is one of the topic you have to master to build reusable user-interfaces, the subject is well explained and makes simple a complex topic. Five stars.

Chapter 10 – Transformations and Animation
The examples are clear and complete and their description is accurate.

Chapter 11 – Custom Controls
This chapter guides the reader in building reusable custom controls to be used in Silverlight applications. This is a complex subject for a beginner, but the author has done a good work in describing it with a simple example.

Summary
If you are a beginner who want to learn Silverlight using a “by example” approach, this is the book you have to read. It can also be a valuable resource if you want to quickly explore the powerful capabilities offered by this technology.