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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Programming .NET Web Services
Publisher: O'Reilly
Authors: Alex Ferrara, Matthew MacDonald
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
a good book for .net web service developers

I'm really a java Web Service developer, but picked this book up and read it over a weekend.
This book is a reasonably compact and readable introduction to doing web services in the .net framework, covering everything from the basics of exporting an asmx page to doing transactions as part of a request, debugging and authentication, and other advanced details. I liked the bits on configuring asp.net, as I was never going to go through all the msdn docs to find what I needed.
I'm not going to give it five stars for the following reasons, reasons which make me worry about how much real world web service dev the authors do
1. it presents UDDI unquestioningly. This is tough. We all know UDDI outside the internet is bogus, but it has a place behind the firewall. This book looks at UDDI beyond the firewall like its a good idea.
2. It doesn't worry enough about soap interop. It has a chapter on it, but doesn't go into some of the glaring interop issues you can do in .net like use unsigned datatypes (breaks java), or DataSets (breaks everything but .net). Developers need to know these things if they want us java coders to talk to their service

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Establishing a System of Policies and Procedures
Publisher: Project Management Institute
Authors: Stephen Page
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
High Quality Book on Policies and Procedures

I am disappointed, and in agreement with P J Leigh. This book contains some useful information for a beginner, or for someone whose career is not primarily in writing. But there is little of substance for the professional business writer. I was expecting to find specific guidelines for integrating our "procedures" with our "polices" as two separate but related concepts. Beyond a definition of the two terms, nothing of help. Also this little tome abounds with typographical errors, more than I have ever seen in a publicly distributed book. Looks like it was self-edited and very poorly proofed. Makes for very annoying reading. Also it is a typographical nightmare. Heading styles are not sensible and the reader can't tell what heading is subordinate to another. (Author could benefit from some of Robin Williams' work, such as "The PC is Not a Typwriter," which is basic but wonderful.) This book needs some professional help before it goes to another printing. Also, it should cearly state that it is geared to people who do not consider themselves writers.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: Digital Design: Principles and Practices and Xilinx 4.2i Student Package (3rd Edition)
Publisher: Prentice Hall
Authors: John F. Wakerly
Rating: 4/5
Customer opinion - 4 stars out of 5
A little silly at times, but good intro

I already own the Hardcover copy of Digital Design by John Wakerly and I'm enjoying this book in my EE course. But recently a friend of mine bought a copy of the book above and let me read it for a week. The two copies of the book seem to be very similar, the advantage of this one is the Price, of course. :) This book is full of examples, but it would help if there were more exercises in the book, I like Herbert Taub's book regarding good exercises. I would still recommend this book for anyone wishing to have an enjoyable introduction to the digital world.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Crystal Reports 8.5: The Complete Reference
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Authors: George Peck, George Peck
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
Who are you writing this book for?

I develop financial reporting applications for various companies using VB and VBA. Recently I have completed a financial reporting system completely within Access 2000 making extensive uses of Access's report objects.
Although the Access report object does its job well, it lacks a lot of power features, i.e., limited grouping capabilities, formula in text boxes is limited to a simply expression unless you make a call to UFD, then you would loss your object encapsulation, etc, The Data Report object is VB6 is still some what of a joke, but let not open this can of worms. Thus, I have chosen Crystals reports for my developing needs.
I find George Peck's Complete Reference series very helpful. The book has 800 pages to teach me every nuance of Crystal. This book does not teach me anything about VB coding nor does it contain a reference to the object model within the RDC or any of the other object models in Crystal. I didn't buy this book to learn how to code. The author noted in page 659 specifically that the book is not meant to teach you Visual Basic.
Overall, this book gets me up to speed quickly and it's a good reference source for my future needs. Personally, I don't find the crystal help files very helpful.