Showing posts with label ebook. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ebook. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Cool Preview eBook of the Day: "Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms" by Charles Petzold (Yes, that one)

Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition

Greetings! To help celebrate the Xamarin Evolve conference, we’re happy to release a free ebook today: Creating Mobile Apps with Xamarin.Forms, Preview Edition: Cross-platform C# programming for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, by Charles Petzold. This ebook was created jointly by Xamarin and Microsoft Press.


You can download PDF and Mobi formats at the Microsoft Virtual Academy.

This Preview Edition ebook is about writing applications for Xamarin.Forms, the new mobile development platform for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone unveiled by Xamarin in May 2014. Xamarin.Forms lets you write shared user-interface code in C# and XAML (the eXtensible Application Markup Language) that maps to native controls on these three platforms.

This ebook is a Preview Edition because it's not complete. It has only six chapters. We anticipate that the final version of the book will have at least half a dozen additional chapters and that the chapters in this Preview Edition might be fleshed out, enhanced, or completely reconceived. The final edition of the book will probably be published in the spring of 2015.

Here’s an excerpt from the ebook’s Introduction, with greater detail:

Who should read this book

This ebook is for C# programmers who want to write applications for the three most popular mobile platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone with a single code base. Xamarin.Forms also has applicability for those programmers who want eventually to use C# and the Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android libraries to target the native application programming interfaces (APIs) of these platforms. Xamarin.Forms can be a big help in getting started with these platforms or in constructing a prototype or proof-of-concept application.

This ebook assumes that you know C# and have some familiarity with the use of the .NET Framework. However, when discussing some C# and .NET features that might be somewhat new to recent C# programmers, the ebook adopts a somewhat slower pace....

Xamarin.Forms is one of the more exciting things to happen in the C# and XAML space in a long time (to much to say it's revitalized XAML? Given it a new life? Defib'd XAML? Maybe.. [but maybe not]). Why? Read this free ebook and you'll see...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Learning to Master Cross-Platform Mobile Development With Xamarin" Free (Name-Email-ware) eBook

Jesse Liberty - Free e-Book: Learning to Master Cross-Platform Mobile Development With Xamarin

The good folks at Falafel have put together all my posts (to date) on  Xamarin and Xamarin Forms into an e-book, which is available free at


Some snips from the PDF...


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Does your SQL Smell? The free "119 SQL Code Smells" eBook might help you sniff it out (and fix it)

simple talk - 119 SQL Code Smells

Written with advice, help or contributions from over 25 SQL professionals
Download the free PDF: from Red Gate

Once you've done a number of SQL code-reviews, you'll be able to identify signs in the code that indicate all might not be well. These 'code smells' are coding styles that, while not bugs, suggest design problems with the code. In this PDF, Phil's put together 119 of those code smells so you can see what to avoid and why.

Kent Beck and Massimo Arnoldi seem to have coined the term 'CodeSmell' in the 'Once And Only Once' page of, where Kent also said that code ‘wants to be simple’. Kent Beck and Martin Fowler expand on the issue of code challenges in their essay ‘Bad Smells in Code’, published as Chapter 3 of the book ‘Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code’ (ISBN 978-0201485677).

Although there are generic code smells, SQL has its own particular habits that will alert the programmer to the need to refactor code...




One can be a bit defensive about SQL code smells. I will cheerfully write very long stored procedures, even though they are frowned upon. I’ll even use dynamic SQL on occasion. You should use code smells only as an aid. It is fine to ‘sign them off’ as being inappropriate in certain circumstances. In fact, whole classes of code smells may be irrelevant for a particular database. The use of proprietary SQL, for example, is only a code smell if there is a chance that the database will be ported to another RDBMS. The use of dynamic SQL is a risk only with certain security models. Ultimately, you should rely on your own judgment. As the saying goes, a code smell is a hint of possible bad practice to a pragmatist, but a sure sign of bad practice to a purist.

In describing all these 119 code-smells in a booklet, I’ve been very constrained on space to describe each code smell. Some code smells would require a whole article to explain them properly. Fortunately, SQL Server Central and Simple-Talk have, between them, published material on almost all these code smells, so if you get interested, please explore these essential archives of information.


nuff said...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"Localization for .NET Succinctly"

Syncfusion - eBooks - Localization for .NET Succinctly

Learn to write applications that support different languages and cultures, with an emphasis on .NET development. With the help of author Jonas Gauffin, Localization for .NET Succinctly will help you become an effective developer in the global community.


NOTE: Ignore the Table of Contents on the above web page... They are already working to fix that. I know it confused me too

image Doh!

Here are some snips of the real ToC from the PDF;


This book will introduce you to the world of globalization and localization. The goal is to give you a deeper understanding of how to write applications that support different languages and cultures. I’ll guide you through the basics and then go into different implementations.

The book is primarily focused on .NET.

The book also contains strategies for web development. The examples for web development are written using ASP.NET MVC and JavaScript/Globalize. You can however apply the sample principles in any other type of application.

In the book I’ll be using .NET 4. There are some minor changes compared to earlier versions. You can for instance assign a neutral culture to CurrentCulture (see first chapter for more information). There are also some new features in .NET 4.5 that have not been included in this book.

Throughout this book I’ll skip the terms localization (i10n), internationalization (i18n) and globalization. If you look them up, you’ll find as many definitions as there are developers.


Another link for you the author's, Jonas Gauffin, blog and post on this book.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

[Cool Webook of the Day] "Eloquent JavaScript"

Eloquent JavaScript

This is a book about JavaScript, programming, and the wonders of the digital. You can read it online here, and a paper version is being worked on.


Written by Marijn Haverbeke.

Licensed under a Creative Commons attribution-noncommercial license. All code in this book may also be considered licensed under an MIT license.


A couple of my feeds mentioned this today, so I thought I'd take a look. Glad I did. This looks like an awesome book, while initially focused on the beginner dev, quickly it becomes something for the new, or returning, to JavaScript dev. And since js is the currently shiny...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Two days, "one milliiiioooonnnnn" downloads, the Largest Free Microsoft eBook Collection... ever

Microsoft Senior Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman - Over 1 Million FREE Microsoft eBooks Given Away in 2 days! (and soon to be 2 MILLION!)

When I put my first free eBook post on my blog a couple years ago, people thought I was crazy for wanting to give away one million total books. Sure enough, we did it. Then last year I issued the statement I wanted to give away one million more in ONE WEEK. People thought I had completely lost it then, but you showed them and we achieved our goal. Well, when I put up my “Largest Collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks Ever!” post here on my blog on Monday morning, I once again said “wouldn’t it be fun if we could surpass the 1,000,000 download mark within just one week again?” and sure enough, people questioned my ambition.

I am absolutely THRILLED to see the overwhelming response you have had to the FREE eBook giveaway again this year and I am happy to announce that not only did you hit the ONE MILLION free eBooks downloaded in a week, but you did it in just TWO DAYS! That’s right, you surpassed the ONE MILLION mark within 48 hours of my post first going live! (and what’s even more amazing is that looking at the current download trends, we’ll surpass TWO MILLION free eBooks given away so far this week during the day today!) So not only will you have achieved the original goal of ONE MILLION given away in a week, you’ll have doubled it to TWO MILLION, and there are still several days left in the week since the post first went live on Monday morning. So thank you to all of you for taking advantage of this offer and getting your free Microsoft eBooks! I hope you all find them of value and they are able to help you achieve your learning goals around these topics.

Now one question I get quite a bit is, “What are the most popular eBooks being downloaded?” For fun, I thought I’d pull the stats last night and see where we were....

If you want to see the full list of almost 300 FREE Microsoft eBooks, click here for my original post; otherwise, I give you the Top 60 eBooks being downloaded so far (as of last night):


Largest collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks ever, including: Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 2013, Office 365, Office 2010, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, SQL Server, and much more

FREE Microsoft eBooks! Who doesn’t love FREE Microsoft eBooks? Well, for the past few years, I’ve provided posts containing almost 150 FREE Microsoft eBooks and my readers, new and existing, have loved these posts so much that they downloaded over 3.5 Million free eBooks as of last June, including over 1,000,000 in a single week last year (and many, many more since then).

Given the amount my readers enjoy these posts and these free resources, I am sharing another post this year with over 130 more FREE eBooks, Step-By-Steps, Resource Guides, etc., for your enjoyment. Plus I’m also including links to the free eBooks I shared in the past so you have all of them here in one single post, making this my single largest collection EVER (Almost 300 total)! ...


I've highlighted Eric's posts a number of times in the past, he's been sharing ebooks for a while, but 1+ million downloads in 2 days is a major milestone. Sure every tech news blog has mentioned his post, still it's a pretty darn impressive stat...


Related Past Post XRef:
Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf
Eric Ligman's List of "Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses..."
Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy
Eric triple downs on his Free Microsoft eBook List... (Windows, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Office, Azure and More)
Eric's done it again... ANOTHER large collection of free eBooks and Resource Kits
A Microsoft eBook Bonanza - Office, SQL Server, Development, WinPhone, Career and more
Microsoft Technologies E-Book Gallery (TechNet Wiki)

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

eBook of the Day: "Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight" (aka Hadoop on Azure eBook @ 367 pages...)

Microsoft Downloads - Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight – eBook Download

This guide explores the use of HDInsight in a range of use cases and scenarios such as iterative exploration, as a data warehouse, for ETL processes, and integration into existing BI systems. The guide is divided into three sections:

  • “Understanding Microsoft big data solutions,” provides an overview of the principles and benefits of big data solutions.
  • “Designing big data solutions using HDInsight,” contains guidance for designing solutions to meet the typical batch processing use cases inherent in big data processing.
  • “Implementing big data solutions using HDInsight,” explores a range of topics such as the options and techniques for loading data into an HDInsight cluster, the tools you can use in HDInsight to process data in a cluster, and the ways you can transfer the results from HDInsight into analytical and visualization tools to generate reports and charts, or export the results into existing data stores such as databases, data warehouses, and enterprise BI systems.

Version: 1.0

File Name:

Developing big data solutions on Microsoft Azure HDInsight.pdf


Date Published: 7/8/2014



Only 346 pages from patterns and practices group on HDInsight (aka Hadoop)... :/

Monday, June 23, 2014

Microsoft Press [Older] eBook Shelf

Earlier this year, I blogged about how the Microsoft Press eBook shelf got a new home on the Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy (->

Well it seems that currently only some of the books are listed there, the newer ones. Where do you go for the older titles?

Microsoft Press - Free ebooks: A recap of our older titles

I was looking through our download numbers the other day and saw how many older titles are still popular. However, I noticed that there has been a drop in downloads of our older books that started when we began placing our new free ebooks on the Microsoft Virtual Academy site. We don’t list the older titles on the free ebooks page. Maybe we should.

Until then, I thought it might be helpful to compile a list of the older ebooks and their links.



Grr... Don't you hate when you think of a great post title AFTER you publish a post? I should have titled this, "A tale of two eBook Libraries...". Oh well. :)

(via Kurt Shintaku's Blog - INFO: Microsoft’s two free eBook libraries)

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Not your usual Succinctly book... "Neural Networks using C# Succinctly" (reg-ware)

James D. McCaffrey - Neural Networks using C# Succinctly

I wrote a new book titled “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly”. It was published this week. There are many existing books on neural networks but no good ones (in my opinion) that focus on how to create neural networks from a software developer’s point of view. My book is free and you can download a PDF version from here:


I’ve written books before but for “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly” the process was a bit different. I was sitting at my desk one day when I got an unsolicited phone call. Normally I never answer such calls but on this particular day, I did. The call was a young woman named Hilary Bowling who worked for a company called Syncfusion. Hilary asked me if I’d be interested in writing a book about neural networks.

Hilary told me that Syncfusion published relatively short (roughly 100 page) e-books and made them available for free. I was skeptical — I figured there’d have to be a catch of some sort. But in fact, Syncfusion does publish free e-books for software developers. The only minor catch is that you have to register and end up on Syncfusion’s mailing list, but Syncfusion doesn’t take advantage of this (I signed up to see what would happen).

Anyway, it took me a few months to write “Neural Networks using C# Succinctly” (writing a book is much more time-consuming than you might expect) and now it’s available from the Syncfusion Web site...

Syncfusion - Neural Networks using C# Succinctly


Neural networks are an exciting field of software development used to calculate outputs from input data. While the idea seems simple enough, the implications of such networks are staggering—think optical character recognition, speech recognition, and regression analysis. With Neural Networks Using C# Succinctly by James McCaffrey, you'll learn how to create your own neural network to solve classification problems, or problems where the outcomes can only be one of several values. Learn about encoding and normalizing data, activation functions and how to choose the right one, and ultimately how to train a neural network to find weights and bias values that provide accurate predictions.

Table of Contents

  1. Neural Networks
  2. Perceptrons
  3. Feed-Forward
  4. Back-Propagation
  5. Training

How can you go wrong with 128 free('ish) pages on C# Neural Networks!



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"Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Ricky Leeks and learning about leaks in this .NET Memory Management article collection [Contact Info-ware]

Red Gate - Ricky Leeks on Learning .NET Memory Management

To write the best .NET code, you need to know exactly how the .NET framework really manages memory.

In this free 6-part article series, Ricky Leeks gathers together the top tips and techniques for understanding memory management, garbage collection, interoperability, and more.

Then hunt down the memory leaks in your application with a free trial of ANTS Memory Profiler.

1. Free article: Learning .NET Memory Management

  • The Fundamentals of .NET Memory Management
  • Top 5 .NET Memory Management Gotchas
  • 5 Tips for Avoiding Automatic Garbage Collections

2. Track down memory leaks with ANTS Memory Profiler




(via Tatworth - Free article from Redgate - Learning .NET Memory Management)


Related Past Post XRef:
"Under the Hood of .NET Memory Management" free eBook
.Net Memory Management Explained - Red Gate Story Book Style...

The story of TFS - Pieter Gheysens' "The evolution of ALM/TFS" now in PDF form.

Into ALM with TFS - The evolution of ALM/TFS – pdf available for download

A few weeks ago, I started with publishing different parts of an article on the evolution of Application Lifecycle Management.

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Diving into the basics of ALM and how did Microsoft start with an ALM solution?

Part III: Heterogeneous Software Development

Part IV: A fully integrated testing experience with TFS 2010

Part V: TFS 2012 and Continuous Value Delivery

Part VI: TFS 2013 and Visual Studio Online

Part VII: Conclusion

You can now also download the full article in pdf-format [Click through for the PDF link] (25 pages in total – 2MB). [GD: Post leached in full]


Being a host of RadioTFS and long time TFS guy (yes, I've been installing and using it since v1, VSTS 2005) it amazes me just how far this product line has come and that the improvement pace isn't just not slowing down, but is going faster!

I wonder if a new chapter is going to be written (announced, whatever) next week at TechEd North America 2014? We got the 2013 surprise last year, wonder about this year? Guess we'll see soon enough...

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Crypto101 - Programmer focused introduction to cryptography

404 Tech Support - Crypto 101, a free intro to encryption for developers

Crypto 101 is an introductory course on cryptography intended to help programmers understand encryption in order to write better code. It is currently available in a DRM-free PDF with EPUB and Mobi also listed on the website. Crypto 101 uses Python for exercises which can run on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

The book is available now in its pre-release form with a Creative Commons – Attribution-Noncommercial license. It is being written as an open-source project using github. The 252 page book, written by Laurens Van Houtven, is almost entirely complete at this point. It stems from an extension of a presentation given at PyCon 2013.



Crypto 101 is an introductory course on cryptography, freely available for programmers of all ages and skill levels.

Start to finish.

Comes with everything you need to understand complete systems such as SSL/TLS: block ciphers, stream ciphers, hash functions, message authentication codes, public key encryption, key agreement protocols, and signature algorithms.

Learn by doing.

Learn how to exploit common cryptographic flaws, armed with nothing but a little time and your favorite programming language.

Forge administrator cookies, recover passwords, and even backdoor your own random number generator.

Works everywhere.

DRM-free and available in all common formats:

Exercises run on OS X, Windows, Linux and BSDs.


Crypto 101 is available for everyone, for free, forever. Development is hosted on Github, funded by free time and your donations. You are free to donate any amount you want, and all donations are of course entirely voluntary. Learn more about contributing. ...



This book is intended as an introduction to cryptography for programmers of any skill level. It’s a continuation of a talk of the same name, which was given by the author at PyCon 2013.

The structure of this book is very similar: it starts with very simple primitives, and gradually introduces new ones, demonstrating why they’re necessary. Eventually, all of this is put together into complete, practical cryptosystems, such as TLS, GPG and OTR. T

he goal of this book is not to make anyone a cryptographer or a security researcher. The goal of this book is to understand how complete cryptosystems work from a bird’s eye view, and how to apply them in real software.

The exercises accompanying this book focus on teaching cryptography by breaking inferior systems. That way, you won’t just “know” that some particular thing is broken; you’ll know exactly how it’s broken, and that you, yourself, armed with little more than some spare time and your favorite programming language, can break them. By seeing how these ostensibly secure systems are actually completely broken, you will understand why all these primitives and constructions are necessary for complete cryptosystems. Hopefully, these exercises will also leave you with healthy distrust of DIY cryptography in all its forms

This book hopes to be a bridge: to teach everyday programmers from any field or specialization to understand just enough cryptography to do their jobs, or maybe just satisfy their appetite.


With all that's been happening in the past weeks, months, years, I thought you might find interesting...

Monday, May 05, 2014

[24 hours only] On the Day Against DRM (May 6th, 2014) all Packt eBooks for $10 for 24 hours only

Packt Press Release - Day Against DRM Sale (


Packt celebrates International Day Against DRM, May 6th 2014

Packt Publishing firmly believes that you should be able to read and interact with your content when you want, where you want, and how you want – to that end they have been advocates of DRM-free content since their very first eBook was published back in 2004.

To show their continuing support for Day Against DRM, Packt Publishing is offering all its DRM-free content at $10 for 24 hours only on May 6th – that’s all 2000+ eBooks and Videos at

“Our top priority at Packt has always been to meet the evolving needs of developers in the most practical way possible, while at the same time protecting the hard work of our authors. DRM-free content continues to be instrumental in making that happen, providing the flexibility and freedom that is essential for an efficient and enhanced learning experience. That’s why we’ve been DRM-free from the beginning – we’ll never put limits on the innovation of our users.”

– Dave Maclean, Managing Director

Advocates of Day Against DRM are invited to spread the word and celebrate on May 6th by exploring the full range of DRM-free content at, where all eBooks and Videos will be $10 for 24 hours.

$10 is a great deal for the books in the Packt catalog. And you've got to love you can view them on any device you own. Check out their latest releases here...


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Prism 5.0 for WPF eBook (epub, mobi, pdf)

Microsoft Downloads - Prism 5.0 for WPF - Book Download


Date Published: 4/29/2014



Prism provides guidance designed to help you more easily design and build rich, flexible, and easy to maintain Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) desktop applications. Using design patterns that embody important architectural design principles, such as separation of concerns and loose coupling, Prism helps you to design and build applications using loosely coupled components that can evolve independently but which can be easily and seamlessly integrated into the overall application. Such applications are often referred to as composite applications.


This lets you take the online doc's offline and read them in your reader of choice...


Related Past Post XRef:
Prism continues its Windows Desktop/WPF/MVVM Love with v5

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Nine to Mine - Nine free Data Mining/Analysis eBooks

CodeCondo - 9 Free Books for Learning Data Mining & Data Analysis

Data mining, data analysis, these are the two terms that very often make the impressions of being very hard to understand – complex – and that you’re required to have the highest grade education in order to understand them.


By learning from these books, you will quickly uncover the ‘secrets’ of data mining and data analysis, and hopefully be able to make better judgement of what they do, and how they can help you in your working projects, both now and in the future.

I just want to say that, in order to learn these complex subjects, you need to have a completely open mind, be open to every possibility, because that is usually where all the learning happens, and no doubt your brain is going to set itself on fire; multiple times.


image image image image image image imageimageimage

Learn Data Science from Free Books

There is no better way to learn than from books, and then going out in the world and putting that newly found knowledge to the test, or otherwise we’re bound to forget what we actually had learned. This is a beautiful list of books that every aspiring data scientist should take note of, and add to his list of learning materials.

What books have you read in order to help you begin your own journey in data mining and analysis? I’m sure that the community would love to hear more, and I’m eager to see what I potentially let slip through my fingers myself.

Some light reading for the week...

(via KDNuggets - 9 Free Books for Learning Data Mining and Data Analysis)


Related Past Post XRef:
"Theory and Applications for Advanced Text Mining" Open eBook...
Free Big Data eBook of the Day, "Mining of Massive Datasets"

Monday, April 28, 2014

PowerShell 4.0 and more Quick Refs from PowerShell Magazine and Microsoft

Microsoft Downloads - Windows PowerShell 4.0 and Other Quick Reference Guides

Quickly learn tips, shortcuts, and common operations in Windows Powershell 4.0, Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration, Windows PowerShell Workflow, Windows PowerShell ISE, Windows PowerShell Web Access, Server Manager for Windows Server 2012 R2, WinRM, WMI, and WS-Man.

Version: 1

Date Published: 4/23/2014









The PDF files in this download are short-form Quick Reference (also called "cheat sheet") guides for IT professionals, developers, and scripting enthusiasts who want to learn tips, shortcuts, common operations, limitations, and proper syntax for using Windows PowerShell 4.0, Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC), Windows PowerShell ISE, Windows PowerShell Web Access, Server Manager, WMI, and WS-Man in Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1.
The following files are contained in this download.
  • PowerShell_LangRef_v4.pdf - This four-page reference describes operators, arrays, useful commands, methods, and other tips for using Windows PowerShell 4.0. Also included is a Windows PowerShell reading and tutorial resource list. This quick reference is provided by PowerShell Magazine.
  • PowerShell_ISE_v4.pdf - This two-page reference describes keyboard shortcuts and hotkeys that you can use to navigate Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) more quickly, and describes the updated ISE object model. Also included are tips for configuring $ps.ISE options, profiles, and properties. This quick reference is provided by PowerShell Magazine.
  • PowerShell_Examples_v4.pdf - This two-page reference describes how to perform popular IT management and scripting tasks by using Windows PowerShell 4.0, including how to fetch data by using Management OData IIS Services, how to schedule jobs, how to add a #Requires statement to a script, and how to save Help for a module that is not necessarily installed on the local computer. This quick reference is provided by PowerShell Magazine.
  • PowerShell_DSC_v4.pdf - Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) is new for Windows PowerShell 4.0. This two-page reference provides an overview of how DSC works, and describes the DSC cmdlets, available resources, Local Configuration Manager, and advanced resource properties.
  • Quick_Reference_SM_WS12.pdf - This two-page reference describes common tasks that you can perform in the Server Manager console in Windows Server 2012 R2. Quickly learn how to manage remote servers that are running older versions of Windows Server by using Server Manager; how to run Server Manager deployment cmdlets for Windows PowerShell; how to save and export Server Manager settings, such as the servers you have added to the server pool, and custom server groups that you have created; where to find Server Manager log files; how to run popular WinRM commands such as creating a new listener; how to install roles and features on offline VHDs; and where to find documentation to help you manage multiple, remote servers by using Server Manager and Windows PowerShell.
  • Quick_Reference_WMI_ITPro_WS12R2.pdf - This two-page reference describes features that were introduced to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) starting in Windows PowerShell 3.0. Included are examples of how to find namespaces and classes in WMI, and detailed information about CimSession, CimInstance, CIM operations, and invoking a CIM method. The quick reference describes how to get a list of new CIM cmdlets, and defines associations, WQL, WS-Man, WinRM, and CIM indications.
  • Quick_Reference_WMI_Devs_WS12R2.pdf - This two-page reference describes features that were introduced to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) starting in Windows PowerShell 3.0 for developers. Included are examples of APIs and tools in WMI, and information about Convert-MofToProvider.



    If you don't PowerShell often (like me) these guides will be very nice to have...

    (via The Windows Club - Windows PowerShell 4.0 Guides from Microsoft)


    Related Past Post XRef:
    Windows Management Framework 4.0 (PowerShell 4, PowerShell ISE, Management OData, WMI, etc.) now available

    Free (Email Address-ware) "Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views" eBook from Red Gate

    Red Gate - Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views

    "Dynamic Management Views (DMVs) reveal the hidden activity of your database sessions and transactions – and this book is packed full of practical advice on getting to grips with them.

    Download your free copy of Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views by Tim Ford and Louis Davidson to demystify DMVs. The eBook provides you with the core techniques and scripts to monitor your query execution, index usage, session and transaction activity, disk IO, and more.

    You can track down and fix even more SQL Server problems with the SQL DBA Bundle. You’ll get web-based monitoring and six more tools to support your core SQL Server administration tasks, so pick up a free trial and put your new knowledge into practice.

    1. Free eBook: Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views

    • Root out the queries that are causing memory or CPU pressure on your system
    • Investigate caching, and query plan reuse
    • Identify index usage patterns
    • Track fragmentation in clustered indexes and heaps

    2. Free trial of the SQL DBA Bundle

    • Real-time performance data and alerts
    • Built with advice from SQL Server experts and MVPs
    • Compress SQL Backups by up to 95%
    • The industry-standard schema and data
      comparison tools



    With the advent of the Dynamic Management Objects (DMOs) in SQL Server 2005, Microsoft vastly expanded the range and depth of metadata that could be exposed regarding the connections, sessions, transactions, statements, and processes that are, or have been, executing against a database instance. These DMOs provide insight into the resultant workload generated on the server, how it is distributed, where the pressure points are, and so on, and are a significant and valuable addition to the DBA's troubleshooting armory.


    In short, if you look hard enough, you will find an almost overwhelming amount of data regarding user activity on your SQL Server instances, and the CPU, I/O, and memory use and abuse that results. The focus of this book is squarely on core engine activity, and troubleshooting. We'll describe the most important columns that these DMOs return, and provide a core set of scripts that can be saved and adapted for your own environment, to shine some light on previously dark corners of SQL Server performance optimization. In the process, we'll cover about a third of the total number of available DMOs, spanning 6 of the available 19 categories of DMO, outlined below.


    Full time DBA, or accidental, this free 337 eBook is one that's going to be hard to beat. Normally these run 60+ bucks, so get it... get it now (or later, it should be around for a while... ;)

    (via Tatworth - Free eBook: Performance Tuning with SQL Server Dynamic Management Views)


    Related Past Post XRef:
    “The SQL Server DMV Start Pack” (eBook and T-SQL) from Red Gate and more Dynamic Management Views (DMV) stuff

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    SQL Server 2014 Secret Killer New Feature, Cardinality Estimator (okay, it's not Secret, but it seems pretty killer...)

    Jimmy May's Blog - MSDN Whitepaper: More Cowbell—Optimizing Your Query Plans with the SQL Server 2014 Cardinality Estimator

    Hot off the presses is this new MSDN white paper:

    Optimizing Your Query Plans with the SQL Server 2014 Cardinality Estimator

    One of the gems introduced in SQL Server 2014 is the Cardinality Estimator (CE)—new! improved! & now with more cowbell.  I'm thrilled to be a Technical Reviewer for a superb MSDN white paper authored by my friend, buddy, & pal Joe Sack (b|t). It's exciting & humbling to see my name among such an array of Contributors & Reviewers—including several former colleagues from Azure CAT (formerly SQL CAT b|t).

    What’s a CE?

    As described on the Cardinality Estimation (SQL Server) page:

    Cardinality estimates are a prediction of the number of rows in the query result. The query optimizer uses these estimates to choose a plan for executing the query. The quality of the query plan has a direct impact on improving query performance.

    Why a New CE?

    The pre-existing CE is more than a decade old.  Both OLTP & DW workloads have changed—& databases are bigger by far than they used to be.  Often, cardinality changes spawned disparate plans (in one prototype, over 78 different plans were generated by the former CE).  Plainly & simply—the CE needed more cowbell.

    What’s New?

    During SQL14 TAP, SQL Engineer Kate Smith provided a heads up.  Highlights included:


    Optimizing Your Query Plans with the SQL Server 2014 Cardinality Estimator

    Summary: SQL Server 2014 introduces the first major redesign of the SQL Server Query Optimizer cardinality estimation process since version 7.0.  The goal for the redesign was to improve accuracy, consistency and supportability of key areas within the cardinality estimation process, ultimately affecting average query execution plan quality and associated workload performance.  This paper provides an overview of the primary changes made to the cardinality estimator functionality by the Microsoft query processor team, covering how to enable and disable the new cardinality estimator behavior, and showing how to troubleshoot plan-quality regressions if and when they occur.

    Authors: Joseph Sack (

    Contributers: Yi Fang (Microsoft), Vassilis Papadimos (Microsoft)

    Technical Reviewers: Barbara Kess (Microsoft), Jack Li (Microsoft), Jimmy May (Microsoft), Sanjay Mishra (Microsoft), Shep Sheppard (Microsoft), Mike Weiner (Microsoft), Paul White (SQL Kiwi Limited)



    The SQL Server Query Optimizer’s purpose is to find an efficient physical execution plan that fulfills a query request. It attempts this by assigning estimated costs to various query execution plan alternatives and then choosing the plan alternative with the lowest estimated cost. One key factor for determining operator cost is the estimation of rows that will be processed for each operator within a query execution plan. This row estimation process is commonly referred to as cardinality estimation. SQL Server 2014 marks the first, significant redesign of the SQL Server Query Optimizer cardinality estimation component since version SQL Server 7.0.

    The SQL Server query optimization process seeks the most efficient processing strategy for executing queries across a wide variety of workloads. Achieving predictable query performance across online transaction processing (OLTP), relational data warehousing, and hybrid database schemas is inherently difficult. While many workloads will benefit from the new cardinality estimator changes, in some cases, workload performance may degrade without a specific tuning effort.

    In this paper, we will discuss the fundamentals of the SQL Server 2014 cardinality estimator changes. We will provide details on activating and deactivating the new cardinality estimator. We will also provide troubleshooting guidance for scenarios where query performance degrades as a direct result of cardinality estimate issues.



    SQL Server 2014 marks the first significant redesign of the SQL Server Query Optimizer cardinality estimation process since version 7.0. Use of the new CE can result in an overall improvement in average query performance for a wide range of application workloads. The new CE also provides diagnostic output for use in troubleshooting cardinality estimate issues. As described in this paper, some workloads may encounter degraded performance with the new CE. We recommend that you thoroughly test existing applications before migrating. When using the new CE, users can leverage trace flags to use the legacy model for queries that regress. This allows you to still benefit from queries that improved under the new model.

    I've been hearing a number of good things about SQL Server 2014's new Cardinality Estimator, for example, The SQL 2014 Cardinality Estimator Eats Bad TSQL for Breakfast. If you've been hearing the same thing, or are just interested, you should check out this 43 page doc.

    Saturday, April 12, 2014

    [Book Review] Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook

    The team at Packt have given me another opportunity to review one of their just released titles, Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook. As I usually do, I'm not going to give you a chapter-by-chapter review or rundown. Instead I'm going to give you my overall feelings and impressions about the book, what I liked and didn't and why you might want to check it out yourself.

    Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook


    • Provides you with coverage of all the new Visual Studio 2013 features regardless of your programming language preference
    • Recipes describe how to apply Visual Studio to all areas of development: writing, debugging, and application lifecycle maintenance
    • Straightforward examples of building apps for Windows 8.1

    Chapter 1: Discovering Visual Studio 2013
    Chapter 2: Getting Started with Windows Store Applications
    Chapter 3: Web Development – ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript
    Chapter 4: .NET Framework 4.5.1 Development
    Chapter 5: Debugging Your .NET Application
    Chapter 6: Asynchrony in .NET
    Chapter 7: Unwrapping C++ Development
    Chapter 8: Working with Team Foundation Server 2013
    Chapter 9: Languages
    Appendix: Visual Studio Medley

    Let's start with the bad...

    I usually don't write "bad" reviews ("If you can say something nice..." and all that) and I'm not this time either. BUT you have to understand the intent of the book before you get it. Based on the title and chapter headers, I got something different than I expected and that colored my initial feelings.

    Frist off, I think the book is good and has a great information, but the description and information on its page might led to confusion about its actual content.

    I thought I was going to be reading a book about Visual Studio 2013, the IDE. Recipes on using it, tips and tricks for getting the most out of VS itself.

    It's not that.

    It's more a book about learning to cook with the new technologies available in VS 2013 than about VS 2013 itself. Does that make sense? It's more about what you can make with a stove, not really about the stove itself.

    For example, here's a snip from the book's description page;

    What you will learn from this book

    • Customize the editor’s new abilities to fit your development style
    • Create apps for Windows 8.1
    • Use Visual Studio to debug parallel and concurrent programs
    • Integrate .NET Framework 4.5.1 effectively
    • Learn about both the Express and premium editions of Visual Studio
    • Maximize Visual Studio's C++ tools to make development easier
    • Put TypeScript to work in your web applications
    • Protect and manage your source code with Team Foundation Server
    • Learn about Visual Studio Online

    This might lead you to believe that the book is indeed about VS itself. I know I thought so. But then see the lines, "Create apps for Windows 8.1 " and "Put TypeScript to work in your web applications." THAT is what I talking about as being what you can make with VS 2013, not being about VS 2013 itself. And a many of the chapters are like this. Using VS 2013 to build WinStore App's from a template, creating a WCF Service, Adding a Ribbon to a WPF App, etc, etc.

    Don't get me wrong, there are many parts that help you learn to use VS 2013, but my impression is it's 50/50, VS verses Cooking with VS...

    My suggestion to you is too really read the FULL chapter descriptions and check out the preview before purchase, so you understand what you are jumping into. DON'T be like me and stop at the chapter headers, but continue on down the page and look at the chapter contents.

    Enough whining, now the Good...

    If taken as a "What can I Cook with VS 2013," this book provides a great survey of many of the new capabilities and features now available. The cookbook format is used well and provides nice bite sized chunks of digestible information.

    The book is also very current and up to date. For example, the name change of SkyDrive to OneDrive is noted in the book. Also VS 2013 Update 2 Beta is  mentioned (not VS 2013 Update RC of course, as that was just announced last week)

    The breadth of covered technology is also nice. WPF, WCF, WinStore, TFS, etc is all covered. It's a great survey of what you can do with VS 2013.

    Should you get it?

    If you have VS 2012 and are wondering what you can do once you VS 2013, looking for reasons why to upgrade, this looks like a great book. Again, make sure you look at the chapter details, but if you are using VS 2012 and are trying to convince someone, yourself, co-workers, boss, etc on why you might want to upgrade, what you'll be able to build and do once you get it, yeah, you should look a long close look at picking this book up.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe my readers will enjoy. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

    Related Past Post XRef:
    [Book Review Preview] Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook

    Tuesday, April 08, 2014

    Here comes the Sun? The Cloud is becoming less scary for businesses, according to this survey at least...

    eDiscovery Daily Blog - Cloud Security Fears Diminish With Experience - eDiscovery Trends

    One of the more common trends identified by thought leaders in our recently concluded thought leader series was the continued emergence of the cloud as a viable solution to manage corporate big data.  One reason for that appears to be greater acceptance of cloud security.  Now, there’s a survey that seems to confirm that trend.


    Forbes - Cloud Security Fears Diminish With Experience, Survey Shows

    Security is always the leading fear among companies just starting to dip their toes into the cloud computing realm. However, as time passes and they gain experience, their security worries vanish.

    That’s one of the takeaways from a recent survey of 1,068 companies conducted by RightScale, Inc. The survey’s authors report that while the benefits of the cloud increase with experience, the challenges of cloud show a sharp decrease as organizations gain expertise with cloud. Close to one-third of executives and professionals who have not yet implemented cloud say security is their top concern, a number that diminishes to 13 percent of seasoned, heavy users of cloud services (and is only the fifth-ranked concern on their list).

    One-fourth of respondents did not have clouds in place, while another 22 percent were seasoned cloud veterans, the survey finds. The reduced concern about security reflects a comfort level that increases as the time spent with cloud engagements increases. That doesn’t mean slacking off on security, of course — ultimately, security is the responsibility of the end-user company.


    Rightscale - 2014 State of the Cloud Report: See the Latest Trends on Cloud Adoption

    The RightScale 2014 State of the Cloud Report includes data and analysis on cloud adoption by enterprises and SMEs in a dozen industries.

    Download the report to find out:

    • How you compare in cloud adoption relative to other companies
    • What progress enterprises are making in the journey to hybrid cloud.
    • Key challenges in enterprise cloud strategy and governance.
    • How DevOps and Self-Service IT align with cloud initiatives.
    • Why competition among cloud providers is heating up and how you can benefit.


    Executive Summary

    In February 2014, RightScale surveyed 1068 technical professionals across a broad cross-section of organizations about their adoption of cloud computing.

    The 2014 State of the Cloud Survey identified several key findings:

    Cloud adoption reaches ubiquity.
    • 94 percent of organizations surveyed are running applications or experimenting with infrastructure-as-a-service.
    • 87 percent of organizations are using public cloud.

    Hybrid cloud is the approach of choice.
    • 74 percent of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy and more than half of those are already using both public and private cloud.

    Enterprise cloud governance lags adoption.
    • Less than a third of organizations have defined such critical aspects of governance as which clouds can be used, disaster recovery approaches, and cost management.

    The challenge of cloud security is abating.
    • The number of respondents who regard cloud security as a significant challenge has decreased among both cloud beginners and cloud pros.

    Next-generation IT shapes up as Cloud + DevOps + Self-Service IT.
    • Cloud-focused companies embrace DevOps (71 percent) and Self-Service IT (68 percent).

    Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to dominate public cloud adoption, while other vendors battle for second place. Key findings include:
    • AWS adoption is 54 percent – 4x the nearest competitor.
    • Rackspace Public Cloud is second within the SMB segment.
    • IaaS offerings from Google and Microsoft are gaining the interest of cloud users, with Azure leading among enterprises and Google Cloud Platform among small and midsize organizations.

    The battle among private cloud technologies is shaping up as a clash of cultures between the open-source OpenStack and proprietary solutions from VMware. Findings include:
    • Thirty-one percent of enterprise respondents view their VMware vSphere/vCenter environments as a private cloud.
    • OpenStack is well positioned to unseat vSphere in private cloud – coming in first in interest and second in current usage.
    • Microsoft System Center is waiting in the wings with a strong third position among enterprise users.


    Key for this post, "The challenge of cloud security is abating." Interesting thing is that I got the same feeling in talking with my co- attendees at Build, that there's a growth in acceptance, usage and interest. interest was VERY high at the individual level, with many talking about how they are going to use their MSDN Azure allowance to at least play with it...