# Tuesday, 13 September 2016

If you are into web development you know there are a bunch of tools out there to make your life easier while concentrating on the things you want or need to focus on. One of these tools is gulp.js. It is an easy one to start with though and it is supported in Visual Studio.If you like a good read and want to get up to speed with gulp fast or already have experience but just want interesting code samples you can download this free ebook at Syncfusion.com.


The name of the writer of this particular book should ring familiar: Kris van der Mast. Yes indeed, that’s me Smile.

I made up a contract to write another book about Azure Web Jobs and I hope to have it ready by end of this year.

Grz, Kris.

Books | Free | Gulp | Syncfusion
Tuesday, 13 September 2016 16:21:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Thanks to a colleague I got to know about this free eBook: http://read.humanjavascript.com/ch00-foreword.html.

It’s not the typical dry to read tech book and doesn’t get you started with javascript. On the contrary it reads in a nice way and talks about what the author was confronted with and how he dealt with it. Something extra to read while sitting outside in the evening sun (when there is any in Belgium).

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 08:14:38 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 19 March 2014

If you’re interested to update your knowledge of simply get started with Web API then there are a bunch of decent books already out there. I noticed however that Glenn Block and others at Microsoft released a book as well and, at the moment, provide for free over at http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001708.

To get a grasp of what’s in there:

Table of Contents

Grz, Kris.

Books | Free | Microsoft | Oreilly
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 08:17:43 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 15 February 2014

During the past years Microsoft press has put some very interesting and nice books on the market. It’s cool to see they are now offering some for free to the public through Microsoft Virtual Academy. Go check them out!

Grz, Kris.

Azure | Books | Free | Windows
Saturday, 15 February 2014 18:33:51 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 19 February 2013

SignalR went RTW last Monday which is awesome. Which is even more awesome is that at the MVP summit I got to know about a book being published by a fellow MVP about this great technology:


The current version of the book is still about the RC2 edition but they promise to update it really soon so be sure to grab the goods and start using SignalR.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013 17:11:48 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 09 July 2012

The cloud is everywhere and now also in book format. I just noticed that Microsoft has put a couple of free books available about:

Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance provides you with some of the best practices and recommendations for working with the Windows Azure platform. Categories cover planning, designing, developing, and managing a variety of different types of Windows Azure applications, including mobile, enterprise, and consumer-based applications. It also provides guidance for developers using non-.NET applications, libraries, and stacks with Windows Azure.

E-book publication date: May 2012
422 pages
EPUB| MOBI| PDF| Source content


The Windows Azure Service Bus provides a hosted, secure, and widely available infrastructure for widespread communication, large-scale event distribution, naming, and service publishing. The Service Bus provides connectivity options for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and other service endpoints – including REST endpoints -- that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. Endpoints can be located behind network address translation (NAT) boundaries, or bound to frequently-changing, dynamically-assigned IP addresses, or both.

E-book publication date: May 2012
260 pages
EPUB| MOBI| PDF| Source content

If you’re interested in more, lots more, of such free ebooks be sure to checkout: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/11608.e-book-gallery-for-microsoft-technologies.aspx.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 09 July 2012 12:11:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 13 January 2012

Today I found out about a freely available online book about Coffeescript.

If you don’t know what Coffeescript is all about then please take a look at this short introduction taken from Wikipedia:

“CoffeeScript is a programming language that transcompiles to JavaScript. The language adds syntactic sugar inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell to enhance JavaScript's brevity and readability, as well as adding more sophisticated features like array comprehension and pattern matching. CoffeeScript compiles predictably to JavaScript and programs can be written with less code (typically 1/3 fewer lines) with no effect on runtime performance.”


Of course besides being cool as a language, developers like to have cool editors to work with. One I found is the free Mindscape Web Workbench.

If you’re more into learning from video tutorials you can check out the Pluralsight training or Tekpub one.

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 13 January 2012 12:53:35 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I got a new book to read: Entity Framework Code First by Julie Lerman.

It’s a rather small book but I know what I’ll be doing during the holidays soon. There are 8 chapters covered in this book:

  1. Welcome to code first: a high level and end to end overview
  2. First look at code first
  3. Using conventions for property attributes
  4. Using conventions for relationships
  5. Using conventions for database mappings
  6. Controlling database location, creation process and seed data
  7. Advanced concepts
  8. What’s coming next for code first


Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011 17:40:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Sunday, 06 March 2011

A couple of weeks ago I found a new shiny book in my mailbox: ASP.NET MVC2 Cookbook by Andrew Siemer and Richard Kimber. Due to a very busy schedule at work and the 2011 MVP summit in Seattle it took me a bit of time to go through it completely.



First of all, I like the cookbook approach that Packt’s been using for some time now. These books show off small examples that are reusable in most occasions of day to day development. This book is for sure no exclusion on that part so I liked it. The benefit of having short, spread over several pages, recipes is that you can simply read it when needed or go through them if you don’t have much time in a one by one fashion.

The book itself is clearly written and divided in several chapters which not only covers MVC but also topics like data storage. What I found to be great is that it also introduces tools like Automapper, NBuilder, MvcContrib, MvcSitemap, … and also makes the reader used to things like Dependency injection (by making use of Structuremap) and for example the PRG pattern (Post/Redirect/Get), Hijaxing (also called progressive enhancement or graceful degradation).

Are there downsides on this book? Well, yes. First of all it’s not for people who just want to start with ASP.NET MVC. Some being used to the technology basics will surely help to grasp this book. I would suggest making Nerddinner or MVC Music Store, both free tutorials with guiding eBook, is a must. Second is the fact that it was published a month too soon. Why? Just before this book got released Microsoft unleashed ASP.NET MVC 3 to the world. It would’ve been great if some recipes would’ve included some MVC 3 juice too. Not everyone’s using MVC 3 yet so it is great to have all things working in MVC 2 too but for the future readiness of the book it would’ve been just on spot.

Grz, Kris.

Books | MVC | Review
Sunday, 06 March 2011 14:27:55 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 22 May 2010

This week the long awaited Silverlight 4 tools for Visual Studio 2010 got released. With it ships version 1 of WCF RIA Services.

Of course new technology needs some guidance and there’s a great training kit made available.

If you like to read books then I suggest you take a look at Microsoft Silverlight 4 Data and Services Cookbook, of which I’m a reviewer, and the book I’m currently reading: Microsoft Silverlight 4 Business Application Development: Beginner’s Guide.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 22 May 2010 10:11:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 13 April 2010

I just found out about this free eBook which can be found for download here.

The book is not a language primer, a language reference, or a single technology book. It's a book that will help professional developers move from previous versions of Visual Studio (starting with 2003 and on up). It will cover the features of Visual Studio 2010 through an application. It will go through a lot of the exciting new language features and new versions of the most popular technologies without putting the emphasis on the technologies themselves. It will instead put the emphasis on how you would get to those new tools and features from Visual Studio 2010.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 09:52:12 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Only yesterday I was viewing the MIX10 keynote at Microsoft Brussels via live stream and today I noticed on twitter that Charles Petzold has already put a preview content online of his upcoming book about the topic. Take a look here for a pdf or xps excerpt.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 14:01:41 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 01 December 2009

Recently I got this book for a review. The book itself is ASP.NET 3.5 Content Management System Development by Packt publishing.


The book’s right for the right kind of people: people who started with ASP.NET, played around with it and now want to learn more of some of the concepts of ASP.NET. This is definitely not a book for developers who’ve been doing some hardcore web development with ASP.NET themselves.

What I liked is the order in which the book’s written. All chapters follow nicely one after another and it shows in each chapter steps to either build on the former or how to refactor the previous code and for what reason.

Chapter 1: a quick and dirty file based CMS system with only one page gets created after how it’s shown how to set up and configuring IIS and ASP.NET.

Chapter 2 is a great refrehser, or introduction, of SQL statements and installing SQL Server Express 2005 as a database. What I really liked about this chapter’s something that mostly gets overseen: SQL injection. What its is and what .NET does to prevent it

Chapter 3 takes you through a basic multilayered architecture which will be implemented in the small, now database using, application. What I found a bit of a pity was the usage of typed datasets. In a world where one sees Microsoft moving more and more to Linq and Entity Framework this is a bit of a missed chance. On the other hand typed datasets is still used a lot in the industry. And as told before, this is a book for people having gone through beginner tutorials first. Also a good basis for further chapters is made with the new architecture which goes beyond a simple: here’s a page and some controls which connect directly to the database.

Chapter 4 introduces the reader to an important concept: security. How to configure sqlmembershipprovider, creating the database, making use of the aspnet_regsqltool, roles and making use of the login controls.

The next chapter shows how to create an articles module. An introduction to user controls, and making use of roles.

Chapter 6 leads the reader into the world of themes, master pages, skins and menus. First it’s shown how to add items directly with a wizard to the menu and then a more common approach’s used with sitemaps.

Chapter 7 is all about the fileupload control, working with files (image gallery) and creating RSS for your content management system. 

The fore last chapter’s more about finishing touches and adding reporting to the application, nice little additions. Also a couple of tips about SEO are highlighted (using the title and meta tags).

The last chapter goes into further possibilities: upgrading to a real full blown SQL Server edition, how to use base pages in the application and error handling.


What I liked about the book is the way the authors write, it’s technical content but with humor added on top. It’s a kind of book you’ll like to read when you want to get to know as an aspiring developer. The topic about SQL injection was a big plus for this book just to get people more aware about the problems that can arise with it.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 01 December 2009 20:32:06 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 01 June 2009

I recently read the book ASP.NET MVC Quickly from Maarten Balliauw, published by PACKT Publishing. It’s been one of those few books that I read from cover to cover. Not only because the subject interested me but also because it shows in about 190+ pages an introduction to this new technology from Microsoft. It was clear that the person who wrote it knows quite a lot about the subject and that shows in the book. I really appreciated Appendix A and C where Maarten discusses a sample application he created: CarTrackr.



Chapters 1 & 2 provide some quick introductions as to how the architecture looks like and why you would use it over normal ASP.NET webforms. Provided is a “litmus” test to see whether to go for MVC or Webforms and discusses the advantages of both. Chapter 2 explains what’s in the box when you create a new ASP.NET MVC application with Visual Studio. Also a first small application’s being built with ViewData and strong typed ViewData.

Chapter 3 introduces you to a simple application, shows how to deal with fileuploads in MVC, simple validation and the creation of a custom ModelBinder attribute.

Chapter 4 covers the ASP.NET MVC request life cycle. Yes there’s a life cycle but not similar to the ASP.NET Page Life Cycle most people got to know during the last years. After that it proceeds with a more in depth look at the model and validation on such a model. After that an in depth look at controllers, actionresult types and how to handle unknown controller actions. Master pages and Partial views (.ascx) are covered. Those last are only briefly touched and I found that a bit of a pity as these are important concepts. Especially the lack of nester master pages in this story was something I missed.

Chapter 5 is totally dedicated to routing. A very important concept in the whole ASP.NET MVC technology stack (and ASP.NET Dynamic Data and also possible to use with normal webforms). Also a quick explanation on how to integrate both ASP.NET and ASP.NET MVC together in the same project routing wise.

Chapter 6 shows you an overview on how to customize the framework and to even build a small custom viewengine. Also the making of a custom ActionFilter gets discussed.

Chapter 7 shows how to use the standard membership, session state, … that we all know from webforms in ASP.NET MVC. After all, it’s built on top of normal ASP.NET so they can share a great deal of the standard technology. Also is shown how to integrate both technology stacks in the same project. This can be interesting food for thought when people want to gradually upgrade to MVC. Also a nice trick to build views at compile time. Slowing the process down but can safe time in finding out the hard way that you forgot a ) or something and the whole thing explodes in your face.

The next chapter tells us more about AJAX. I had hoped to see this chapter to be longer but it just gives a quick overview. The fact that both ASP.NET AJAX and jQuery (even some of the ui components) are discussed is a plus. I’m a big fan of the latter myself.

Then chapter 9’s all about testing. Also mocking’s discussed. Since ASP.NET MVC is also considered to be way better than webforms to be tested (TDD and such) this is an interesting chapter.

The last chapter is all about deployment; A lot of resources seem to be forgetting about this but I liked the fact that this book covers it. Also on older versions of IIS than 7.

As already stated above, I liked appendix A and C. They cover an application built with the technology which is downloadable on codeplex. Appendix C provides an overview of very interesting resources about the topic.

Conclusion: it’s a nice book that quickly gets a developer into the terms of ASP.NET MVC, covers quite a lot of ground and touches the interesting parts of the technology. Some parts I would’ve loved to see a bit deepened out, especially the parts about the master pages and partial views as well ajax. On the other hand I read it from cover to cover and that certainly means something.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 01 June 2009 21:06:19 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Grab your copy here.


Grz, Kris.

Books | Downloads | Free
Wednesday, 15 April 2009 13:36:28 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [2]  | 
# Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Noticed it a couple of hours ago on the forums that someone was able to download the bits and just noticed that the download link itself was available: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=53289097-73ce-43bf-b6a6-35e00103cb4b&displaylang=en.

ASP.NET MVC 1.0 provides a new Model-View-Controller (MVC) framework on top of the existing ASP.NET 3.5 runtime. This means that developers can take advantage of the MVC design patterns to create their Web Applications which includes the ability to achieve and maintain a clear separation of concerns (the UI or view from the business and application logic and backend data), as well as facilitate test driven development (TDD). The ASP.NET MVC framework defines a specific pattern to the Web Application folder structure and provides a controller base-class to handle and process requests for “actions”. Developers can take advantage of the specific Visual Studio 2008 MVC templates within this release to create their Web applications, which includes the ability to select a specific Unit Test structure to accompany their Web Application development.
The MVC framework is fully extensible at all points, allowing developers to create sophisticated structures that meet their needs, including for example Dependency Injection (DI) techniques, new view rendering engines or specialized controllers.
As the ASP.NET MVC framework is built on ASP.NET 3.5, developers can take advantage of many existing ASP.NET 3.5 features, such as localization, authorization, Profile etc.n

Time to read the free eBook from Scottgu: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2009/03/10/free-asp-net-mvc-ebook-tutorial.aspx.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009 12:02:18 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 05 August 2008

Some time ago I received this book for reviewing and now I finally got the time to completely finish reading it. The nice thing about the book is that it covers the data presentation controls from all .NET frameworks (1.x, 2.0 and 3.5). The repeater, datalist, datagrid, gridview and listview are covered. The book itself is less than 250 pages so a quick read when you dedicate the time to it.

The thing I didn't like however was the chapter about list controls. This shouldn't be in a book about data presentation controls. I would've loved to see more about the listview control instead. That particular chapter could also use an update since it still talks about Orcas (the codename of Visual Studio 2008). It would be a great thing if this book would get an upgrade on that chapter and even an extra chapter instead of the list item controls chapter which should never have made it to the book in the first place.

Since I started with ASP.NET in 2002 I've been around for some time with the data presentation controls myself so I didn't really learn much from the book but for people that want to learn more about these controls or are just beginning. The controls from that were introduced during the .NET 2.0 era have quite some coverage so that's good material.

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 05 August 2008 20:50:50 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 25 July 2008

The most complicated aspect of large software projects is not the implementation, it is the real world domain that the software serves. Domain Driven Design is a vision and approach for dealing with highly complex domains that is based on making the domain itself the main focus of the project, and maintaining a software model that reflects a deep understanding of the domain.

Domain Driven Design Quickly is a short, quick-readable summary and introduction to the fundamentals of DDD.

Grz, Kris.

Books | DDD | InfoQ
Friday, 25 July 2008 21:26:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 09 November 2007

A couple of weeks ago I decided to buy these 2 books at Amazon. They arrived today by mail though the initial mail from Amazon stated that the expected date of arrival would probably be December 4th. Luckily for me they came sooner.




I didn't had much time to read in them and since it's the first time that I bought a book from Manning or Sitepoint I'll get to get used to their style I guess. Now I have something new to read on the train after finishing the 5th book in the increasingly inaccurately named trilogy of five of The Hitch Hiker's guide to galaxy. Talking about the train: I spend nowadays more than 3 hours per day for getting to my work and back. I hope my next project's nearer and has something to do with ASP.NET 3.5, AJAX, Silverlight, ...

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 09 November 2007 16:11:30 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Yep, a free eBook to download. I have yet to read it myself but already took a quick glance at it. You can download it here.

Also it's been a while since I blogged or been active on the ASP.NET forums. The main reason for this is that I got another project which requires me to travel about 3.5 hours a day minimum. It's an interesting project that uses SCRUM methodology but this means that there are also very tight deadlines to reckon with (and weekend work) and this weighs on my availability to do some digging and providing valuable content to my blog.

If someone knows a decent tutorial about NHibernate and the Validation Application Block that ships with Enterprise Library please leave a comment.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007 08:48:25 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 19 May 2007

I didn't had much time to play around with PowerShell myself but I noticed yesterday evening that Gill posted about a free eBook on the topic.

It's a small download but is a nice to have if the technology interests you.

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 19 May 2007 13:40:27 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 24 October 2006

You can listen to the podcast from Hanselminutes.com. Podcast 37 is an interview with Scott Guthrie.

Also Dino Esposito was busy writing about/teaching ASP.NET AJAX. This resulted in an upcoming book called Introducing ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions. Best of all, you can download a free chapter of it here.

The TOC of the upcoming book:

  • Building Blocks of Ajax-style Web Applications
  • Building Blocks of the Atlas Application Framework
  • Updatable Page Fragments
  • Atlas Control Toolbox & Behaviors
  • The Atlas Client Library
  • Web Services
  • Client-side Data Binding
  • Atlas Gadgets
  • I can only hope that the final book will cover the updated Microsoft AJAX bits since last week the Beta 1 was released and I already saw on the ASP.NET forums, where I'm a moderator and top 10 poster, that a lot of threads are added with questions/problems about the new bits as there seems to be a lot of changes since the CTP releases.

    Grz, Kris.

    Tuesday, 24 October 2006 13:56:18 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [3]  | 

    While I was reading through all the subscribed blog feeds that I keep track of (indeed too much to read, too little time available) I found out that Charles provides a link to a chapter about 3D in XAML that didn't make it in the final book. You can download it here as a word document: Chapter 32. Entering the Third Dimension.

    Grz, Kris.

    Tuesday, 24 October 2006 09:01:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
    # Friday, 30 June 2006

    Today, in the afternoon, I went to the first part, the next one's tomorrow, about Visual Team System 2005 an event by VISUG of which I'm a member. Thanks to the people from Microsoft we also got a new book to read for free: Wrox' Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System.

    Wrox Professional Visual Studio 2005 Team System

    The presentation is given by Steven Wilsens, whom is a Team System MVP and will be joining Microsoft in a while.

    I'm looking forward to the next part of the event.

    Grz, Kris.

    Books | Tools | VS.NET
    Friday, 30 June 2006 21:23:17 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
    # Wednesday, 21 June 2006


    I found out, via Jan Tielens' blog, whom found out via Eli Robillard's blog, that you can download a 236 pages free eBook in pdf format about 7 Development Projects with the 2007 Microsoft Office System and Windows SharePoint Services 2007.

    So for all you guys and girls interested: get your copy here.

    Grz, Kris.

    Wednesday, 21 June 2006 15:51:36 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
    # Wednesday, 07 June 2006

    Thanks to the newly added service by Microsoft in Belgium, I was told that this service was already longer available for other countries, called MSDN Connection one can purchase every month a book of the month at a 40% discount. Today I bought those of May and June:


    $blank(www.microsoft.com/mspress/books/6522.asp,CLR via C# Second Edition)


    $blank(www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/8377.asp,Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Applications: Advanced Topics)

    The weather's finally getting better in Belgium so I can relax and read some interesting stuff the next couple of weeks.

    Grz, Kris.

    Wednesday, 07 June 2006 18:11:02 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |