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Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Professional ADO.NET with VB.NET
Publisher: Peer Information
Authors: Paul Dickinson, Fabio Claudio Ferracchiati, Kevin. Hoffman, Bipin Joshi, Donny Mack, John McTainsh, Matthew Milner, Jan Narkiewicz, Doug Seven
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Comprehensive Coverage

This book is typical Wrox: it offers a comprehensive coverage of the subject in a very easy to follow fashion. It starts with several chapters covering the core ADO.NET classes - DataReaders, DataAdapters, DataSets. As the ADO.NET DataSet is a class with very rich features, this book discusses each facet of it - from the ADO Recordset-like generic disconnected in-memory data presentation with constraints, relationships to strongly typed DataSet, and finally to the built-in support of XML. The later chapters then introduces advanced features such as web services, SQL Server XML support, Performance, Security, etc.
A minor inconsistency is that some examples in the book use Console Application interface, while most others use Windows Application, perhaps reflecting the fact of this being a multi-author book. But as far as learning ADO.NET is concerned, this is really not a issue.
Oh, if you already owns its predecessor - Professional ADO.NET, which is written with C#, you might want to keep it and skip this one because it's mostly the same contents in different language (VB.NET). But if you haven't got either, it's definitely worth a very close look at this title.

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: Building Web Services with Java : Making Sense of XML, SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI (2nd Edition) (Developer's Library)
Publisher: Sams
Authors: Steve Graham, Doug Davis, Simeon Simeonov, Glen Daniels, Peter Brittenham, Yuichi Nakamura, Paul Fremantle, Dieter Koenig, Claudia Zentner
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5

There is an important thing missing in this book: complete samples. It is hard sometimes to understand what they are explaning since you just see a fragment of a WSDD, but not the classes or vice-versa. Since the book is already too long, the authors should have samples in the Internet. They even don't need to explain too much about these complete samples. Leave the developers to comment and validate them in Internet forums. In my view, samples will transform what now is just a so-so book in an excellent one.

Product: Book - Hardcover
Title: The C++ Programming Language (Special 3rd Edition)
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Authors: Bjarne Stroustrup
Rating: 2/5
Customer opinion - 2 stars out of 5
It's too long, no focus, and no structure

I took a C++ course a while ago, where this book was used as the reference in addition to lecture notes. I appreciate it very much and have returned to it over and over again.
As others have stated, this is not a good text-book for beginners - they will be much better off with a kick-start introduction which also relies on a particular development environment (e.g. Borland C++ Builder). And if you want a quick reference, then this is probably not the best either. But it gives an in-depth understanding of the language, as probably only its creator can provide. I use it as a reference when there is a detail I don't quite understand (as opposed to "can't get to work"), and then occasionly I read (or re-read) entire chapters which often changes the way I think of C++. It has definitely improved my programming!

Product: Book - Paperback
Title: MCAD/MCSD Training Guide (70-320): Developing XML Web Services and Server Components with Visual C# .NET and the .NET Framework
Publisher: Que
Authors: Amit Kalani, Priti Kalani
Rating: 5/5
Customer opinion - 5 stars out of 5
Great book, easy to read, very relevent, to the point

This book, for just being released, was very well put together. It was divided into the various sections of the 70-320 test, giving you enough information about the current topic. It didn't go more in-depth as if I had hoped it would, but it does prepare you for the exam. I only found a few grammatical & code errors, but overall, it was a well edited book.