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

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:

image

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 (SQLskills.com)

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)

image

Introduction

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.

...

Summary

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

image

  • 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

Preface
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.

image

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...

Windows 8.1 Update for your business users, four videos and a hand-out

Microsoft Downloads - Windows 8.1 Update how-to videos for business users

A series of short videos designed for business users to learn about basic Windows 8.1 features and capabilities via guided, step-by-step instruction. These videos can be used as self-learning tools for users and facilitate Windows 8.1 adoption.

Date Published: 4/2/2014

Windows 8.1 Update_How-to Videos for Business Users.zip, 256.9 MB

Windows 8.1 brings together devices, apps and services so that they work intelligently and are a beautiful fit for the way your live and work. Put what matters most right on your Start screen, and get instant access to your favorite apps, sites, and more, so you can spend less time searching and more time doing. Whether you’re collaborating on a large project, preparing for an upcoming conference, or traveling for work, you can use touch, mouse, and keyboard together–seamlessly–to do what you want, the way you want. This quick guide will show you how to get around, navigate, manage apps, work on desktop, and personalize your Windows 8.1.

Rob notes that the zip contains these four videos;

  1. Welcome To Windows
  2. The Charms
  3. The Familiar Desktop
  4. Customizing your Windows

(via The blog of Rob Margel - Windows Help - Download 4 Windows 8.1 Update how-to videos for business users)

Microsoft Downloads - Windows 8.1 Update Power User Guide for Business

This 20 pages brochure-type guide is designed for end-users who want to learn more about the advanced features of Windows 8.1, such as Taskbar customization, Task Manager, Internet Explorer 11, Mobility Center, Windows To Go, Miracast, OneDrive for Business, and File Explorer. Power users will enjoy learning about how they can get the most out of their Windows 8.1 devices

Date Published: 4/2/2014

Windows_8_1_Power User Guide.pdf, 876 KB

With the new Windows, you have everything you need to work efficiently. Your familiar desktop is better than ever with advanced functionalities, like the new Task Manager and streamlined file management. Internet Explorer 11 gives you instant and fluid access to the world. And best of all, you can do it all feeling confident that your important data is secure. With the advanced features of Windows 8.1, you can get the most out of your device.

image

image

Now that Windows 8.1 Update is rolling out everywhere and people see how it makes Windows 8.1 that much more mouse/keyboard friendly, there's going to be somewhat less friction in getting it into the enterprise. These videos and guide will help you easy your training burden.

These are also pretty great for friends and family too... :)

(via The blog of Rob Margel - Windows Help - Download the Windows 8.1 Update Power User Guide)

"Visual Studio 2013 Succinctly" free [reg-ware] now available from... you guessed it, Syncfusion

Syncfusion eBooks - Visual Studio 2013 Succinctly

image

Visual Studio 2013 brings many new improvements to the popular integrated development environment, including the long-awaited synchronized settings and notifications. With author Alessandro Del Sole as your guide, you will learn how to harness these features for increased productivity and efficiency. For novices and returning experts alike, Visual Studio 2013 Succinctly offers a point of entry into one of Microsoft’s most powerful tools.

Table of Contents

  1. Synchronized Settings and Notifications
  2. The Start Page Revisited
  3. Code Editor Improvements
  4. IntelliSense Improvements
  5. Visual Studio 2013 for the Web and Windows Azure
  6. New and Enhanced Tools for Debugging
  7. Visual Studio 2013 for Windows 8.1

125 pages of succinctly Visual Studio 2013 information.

image

BTW, if you like this, make sure you check out this Build 2014 sessionTips and Tricks in Visual Studio 2013. Like this eBook, this session is pretty "dense," fast paced and filled with a ton of great tips...

(via Tatworth - Free book from Syncfusion on Visual Studio 2013 Succinctly)

Monday, April 07, 2014

Free eBook of the Day: "Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014 - Technical Overview" [Keyword: "Overview"]

Microsoft Press - Free ebook: Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014

image

We’re pleased to announce our next free ebook – Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2014 – by Ross Mistry and Stacia Misner.

Introduction

Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is the next generation of Microsoft’s information platform, with new features that deliver faster performance, expand capabilities in the cloud, and provide powerful business insights. In this book, we explain how SQL Server 2014 incorporates in-memory technology to boost performance in online transactional processing (OLTP) and data-warehouse solutions. We also describe how it eases the transition from on-premises solutions to the cloud with added support for hybrid environments. SQL Server 2014 continues to include components that support analysis, although no major new features for business intelligence were included in this release. However, several advances of note have been made in related technologies such as Microsoft Excel 2013, Power BI for Office 365, HDInsight, and PolyBase, and we describe these advances in this book as well.

Who should read this book?

This book is for anyone who has an interest in SQL Server 2014 and wants to understand its capabilities. Many new improvements have been made to SQL Server 2014, but in a book of this size we cannot cover every improvement in its entirety—or cover every feature that distinguishes SQL Server from other databases or SQL Server 2014 from previous versions. Consequently, we assume that you have some familiarity with SQL Server already. You might be a database administrator (DBA), an application developer, a business intelligence solution architect, a power user, or a technical decision maker. Regardless of your role, we hope that you can use this book to discover the features in SQL Server 2014 that are most beneficial to you. [GD: Post Leached in Full]

You heard that SQL Server 2014 became available for download last week, April 1st (no fooling), right? And now that it's available, you're ready to really invest a little time and learn more about it? This free ebook is for you then...

Get it from the Microsoft Virtual Academy eBook Shelf

image

I'm cheating a little, but here are the direct download links...

Here are some snaps from the PDF;

image

imageimageimageimage

Who should read this book?
This book is for anyone who has an interest in SQL Server 2014 and wants to understand its capabilities. Many new improvements have been made to SQL Server 2014, but in a book of this size we cannot cover every improvement in its entirety—or cover every feature that distinguishes SQL Server from other databases or SQL Server 2014 from previous versions. Consequently, we assume that you have some familiarity with SQL Server already. You might be a database administrator (DBA), an application developer, a business intelligence solution architect, a power user, or a technical decision maker. Regardless of your role, we hope that you can use this book to discover the features in SQL Server 2014 that are most beneficial to you.

Assumptions
We assume that you have at least a minimal understanding of SQL Server from both a database administrator’s perspective and a business-intelligence perspective, including a general understanding of Microsoft Excel, which is often used with SQL Server. In addition, having a basic understanding of Windows Azure is helpful for getting the most from the topics associated with private, public, and hybrid-cloud solutions.

Who should not read this book
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of this book is to provide readers with a high-level preview of the capabilities and features of SQL Server 2014. This book is not intended to be a step-by-step, comprehensive guide.

Related Past Post XRef:
Six videos toward helping you upgrade your inner DBA to SQL Server 2014'ness
SQL Server 2014 RTM's, available for download on the worse possible day (no fooling)?
"SQL Server 2014 Developer Training Kit"
"Microsoft SQL Server 2014 CTP1 Product Guide" - One new SQL Server, 12 PDF's...
"How the heck is Hekaton part of SQL Server 2014..." More on SQL Server 2014's In-Memory Tech
Can you Hekaton? Intro to the SQL Server 2014 Analysis, Migration and Reporting tool...
Playing with SQL Server 2014 (and VS2013) the Azure VM way
Dev:"But it's new and shinny! Let's upgrade!" DBA:"Over my..." - Preparing to upgrade your SQL Server
TechEd NA 2013 Day 1 Announcement Round-up - VS 2013, TFS 2013, InRelease, SQL 2014, Server 2012 R2, BizTalk Services, Azure-in-a-box and even more Azure...

Friday, March 28, 2014

"Explore SharePoint 2013" eBook (Not a market-book, but complication of TechNet articles)

Microsoft Downloads - Downloadable eBook: Explore SharePoint 2013

Download this free eBook to learn more about what's new in SharePoint 2013.

Version: Mar2014

Date Published: 3/28/2014

Explore-SharePoint-2013.doc, 4.2 MB

Explore-SharePoint-2013.epub, 247 KB

Explore-SharePoint-2013.mobi, 354 KB

Explore-SharePoint-2013.pdf, 1,018 KB

...

image"

Abstract
This book provides information about what's new in SharePoint 2013. The audiences for this book include application specialists, line-of-business application specialists, and IT administrators who want to know more about SharePoint 2013.

The content in this book is a copy of selected content in the SharePoint 2013 technical library as of the publication date. For the most current content, see the technical library on the web.

 

image

imageimageimageimageimage

If you're trying to sell an internal upgrade, this free eBook might come in handy.

Monday, March 24, 2014

[Book Review Preview] 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. At 332 pages it's going to take a few days, but in the mean time, here's a preview of the book...

Visual Studio 2013 Cookbook

image

  • 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

Preface
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

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:
[Limited Time Offer] Packt celebrates their 2000th with a Two-for-One sale (Only a few days left...). [Updated Link]

Thursday, March 20, 2014

[Limited Time Offer] Packt celebrates their 2000th with a Two-for-One sale (Only a few days left...). [Updated Link]

[Update] Here's the official link for the campaign, bit.ly/1j26nPN...

Vinz' Blog (ProudMonkey) - Want some interesting books? Check out Packt’s amazing Buy One, Get One Free offer

Wanted to buy interesting books about web development and other related technologies in good deals? Well you must hurry because Packt Publishing are launching an exciting campaign to coincide with the release of our 2000th title. During this offer Packt is giving its reader a chance to dive into their comprehensive catalog and Buy One, Get One Free across their entire range of eBooks.

The campaign begins on 18th-Mar-2014 and will continue up until 26th-Mar-2014. Following are the benefits readers can avail during this campaign.
·         Unlimited purchases during the offer period
·         Offer is automatically applied at checkout

Packt Publishing celebrate their 2000th title with an exclusive offer - We've got IT covered! (bit.ly/1j26nPN)

image

Known for their extensive range of pragmatic IT ebooks, Packt Publishing are celebrating their 2000th book title `Learning Dart’– they want their customers to celebrate too.

To mark this milestone Packt Publishing will launch a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ offer across all eBooks on March 18th – for a limited period only.

...

Their books focus on practicality, recognising that readers are ultimately concerned with getting the job done. Packt’s digitally-focused business model allows them to quickly publish up-to-date books in very specific areas across a range of key categories – web development, game development, big data, application development, and more. Their commitment to providing a comprehensive range of titles has seen Packt publish 1054% more titles in 2013 than in 2006.

Erol Staveley, Publisher, says `Recent research shows that 88% of our customers are very satisfied with the service knowing that we offer a wide breadth of titles in a timely manner, and owing to the quality of service that they receive 94% of customers are willing to recommend Packt to friends and family. It’s great that we’ve hit such a significant milestone, and we want to continue delivering this fantastic content to our customers.’

Here are some of the best titles across Packt's main categories - but Buy One, Get One Free will apply across all 2000 titles:

Web Development

Big Data & Cloud

Game Development

App Development

With this and the O'Reilly MS Press sale,  [Very Limited Time Offer] O'Reilly offering 60% off on ALL ebooks from Microsoft Press (one week only!), you should be able to get just about every MS Dev eBook in the known universe (or so). At least enough to fill your read queue for a bit... like a decade or two... :)

[Very Limited Time Offer] O'Reilly offering 60% off on ALL ebooks from Microsoft Press (one week only!)

Tatworth - Microsoft Press 60% E-book deal

From now until 26th March 2014 05:00 PT, O'Reilly are offering 60% off all Microsoft Press E-books at ...

image

Farewell Microsoft Press!

For one week only, Save 60% on *all* ebooks from Microsoft Press

Microsoft Press is leaving oreilly.com, and we want to send them off in style by celebrating with a 60% off ebook Farewell Special.

This is your last chance to purchase DRM-Free Microsoft Press ebooks via oreilly.com. Get lifetime access to your books, read them on all your devices, and sync them with your Dropbox, Kindle, and Google Drive accounts. All of your Microsoft Press ebooks will continue to be available in your oreilly.com account.

oreilly.com will continue to be your best source of authoritative ebooks and video training on Microsoft technologies from O’Reilly, Wiley, Wrox, Packt, Infinite Skills,
and more.

Use discount code WKFAREW - Deal expires March 26, 2014 at 5:00am PT, and cannot be combined with other offers. Offer does not apply to Print, or "Print & Ebook" bundle pricing

image

60% off is an awesome offer. If there's an MS Press ebook you've had your eye on, now is the time to grab it at a great price...

"Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET" [Currently] free webook (web ebook)

Kris' blog - Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET now as a free ebook

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:

...

Designing Evolvable Web APIs with ASP.NET

by Glenn Block, Pablo Cibraro, Pedro Felix, Howard Dierking, and Darrel Miller

With this digital Early Release edition of Programming JavaScript Applications, you get the entire book bundle in its earliest form—the author's raw and unedited content—so you can take advantage of this content long before the book's official release. You'll also receive updates when significant changes are made, as well as the final ebook version.

Build HTTP services that reach a broad range of clients—including browsers and mobile devices—with ASP.NET Web API. This practical guide shows you how to build evolvable HTTP services using Microsoft's new Web API framework. It included both real world design and technical guidance from members of the ASP.NET Web API team and it's early adopters. It will cover fundamentals of Web API design and how to apply them properly using the technology. You'll learn fundamentals like how to design and select a media type, how to build out your API, and then move on to more advanced topics like how to use content negotiation, leveraging hypermedia, securing and testing your API, and much much more.

image

While I really don't dig webooks (I love my kindle entirely too much... even Firing, as in Kindle Firing, my dev book reading...) free is a hard deal to beat.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Eric Ligman's List of "Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses..."

Microsoft Sales Excellence Manager - Eric Ligman - How To Get Free Microsoft Office 365 Resources, Training, Virtual Courses, and More

Microsoft Office 365 provides a cloud-based service that enables individuals and businesses to accomplish the tasks they want to, where they want to, when they want to, all with the familiar Microsoft Office platform they’ve been using for years. By enabling this experience across devices, both in the cloud and offline, it lets people accomplish more, easier, in a much more efficient way. Whether you are new to Microsoft Office 365 or have been using it for awhile, I thought I would let you know about many free resources we have available to you from Microsoft to help you get the most out of your Microsoft Office 365 subscription.

What’s New – Find out what’s New for each of the Microsoft Office 2013 applications you get with Microsoft Office 365:

Quick Start Guides

Microsoft Virtual Academy Sessions

Free eBooks

Video Sessions

Are you a U.S. Microsoft Partner?

Support -

image

You've been hearing allot about Office 365 recently. If you're new to it, here's a bunch of great resources to help get you up to speed quickly... and cheaply... :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Now that's deep... Deep Learning! "Deep Learning Methods and Applications" free eBook from MSR

inside Big Data  - Data Science 101: Deep Learning Methods and Applications

Microsoft Research... A recent publication is available for download (PDF): “Deep Learning: Methods and Applications” by Li Deng and Dong Yu, two prominent researchers in the field.

The 134 page book is aimed to provide an overview of general deep learning methodology and its applications to a variety of signal and information processing tasks. The application areas are chosen with the following three criteria: ...

image

 Microsoft Research - DEEP LEARNING: Methods and Applications

image

Some snaps of the PDF;

imageimage

Abstract
This book is aimed to provide an overview of general deep learning methodology and its applications to a variety of signal and information processing tasks. The application areas are chosen with the following three criteria: 1) expertise or knowledge of the authors; 2) the application areas that have already been transformed by the successful use of deep learning technology, such as speech recognition and computer vision; and 3) the application areas that have the potential to be impacted significantly by deep learning and that have gained concentrated research efforts, including natural language and text processing, information retrieval, and multimodal information processing empowered by multi-task deep learning.

...

Light reading for the coming weekend... :/

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Windows Phone 8 Succinctly - The practical approach to Windows Phone 8 development" eBook (Reg-ware)

Syncfusion - Windows Phone 8 Succinctly

image

The Windows Phone 8 operating system is closely tied to the hardware of Windows Phones, enabling the development of high-performance apps that provide excellent user experiences. With Windows Phone 8 Development Succinctly by Matteo Pagani, you’ll go from creating a “Hello World” app to managing network data usage, enabling users to talk to your application through speech APIs, and earning money through in-app purchases. Dozens of additional features are covered in the book, including launchers, choosers, and geolocation services, so you’ll have a place to start no matter what you want your app to do.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The User Interface: Basic XAML Concepts
  3. Core Concepts
  4. Data Access: Storage
  5. Data Access: Network
  6. Integrating with the Hardware
  7. Integrating with the Operating System
  8. Multimedia Applications
  9. Live Apps: Tiles, Notifications, and Multitasking
  10. Distributing the Application: Localization, the Windows Phone Store, and In-App Purchases

Speaking of eBooks and Windows Phone 8 development...  :)

(via expression{web.blog} - Windows Phone 8 Development Succinctly)

 

Related Past Post XRef:
PDF's on PDF's... The complete Acrobat PDF Reference Library
Need some help up the WPF learning curve? "WPF Succinctly" from Syncfusion is now available (and free :)
TypeScript Succinctly - Free [Name/email-ware] eBook
Getting sharp with F# with the free "F# Succinctly" eBook [reg-ware]
Syncfusion helps shed a little succinct light on LightSwitch with "LightSwitch Succinctly" (Reg-ware)
"JavaScript Succinctly" - Another free (reg-ware) eBook from Syncfusion
Get into sync with HTTP with the new free (reg-ware) Syncfusion Succinctly eBook, "HTTP Succinctly"
Spelunk the technical details of the PDF format with "PDF Succinctly" from Syncfusion (Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
"Git Succinctly" Free/reg-ware PDF/Mobi ebook)
jQuery Succinctly - Free eBook (reg-ware, PDF and/or Mobi)

"Introduction to Barcodes" (There's more to them than you might expect... or not) free eBook

ByteScout Blog - NEW! "Introduction Into Barcodes" e-book is now available from ByteScout for free download

We are proud to announce our new (new and the first) free e-book called "Introduction Into Barcodes".

This free book will (we hope) help business users and software developers to quickly get introduced into different types of barcodes to make the best choice.

Download the book from this page (no sign-up or registration required!): http://bytescout.com/books/introduction-into-barcodes-book.html

The book is available in PDF, ePUB and MOBI (Kindle) formats for free, contains 48 pages:

The Table of Contents preview:

Preface  - iii

          1.  Introduction -    1

            1.1   What are barcodes? -   1

            1.2   Why use barcodes?   -   1

            1.3   What are applications of barcodes?  -   2

          2.  Categories of barcodes -    2

            2.1   One Dimensional Barcodes  -   3

            2.2   Two Dimensional Barcodes  -   3

          3.  One Dimensional/ Linear Barcodes  -    4

            3.1   Code 39 -   4

            3.2   Code 93 -   5

            3.3   Code 128 -   6

            3.4   EAN 13-  7

            3.5   EAN 14-  9

            3.6   EAN2 EAN5 and Their Usage with EAN13   10

            3.7   Codabar Barcode -   12

            3.8   Interleaved 2 of 5 Barcode -   13

            3.9   Numly Barcode -   14

           3.10  Optical Product Code  -   15

           3.11  PZN (Pharma-Zentral-Barcode)  -   16

           3.12  Telepen barcode -   17

           3.13  UPC-A and UPC-E -   18

           3.14  Patch Code -   19

          4.  Two Dimensional Barcodes   -    21

            4.1   Data Matrix-   21

            4.2   Maxi Code -   23

            4.3   Aztec Barcode -   24

            4.4   GS1 Datamatrix Barcode

            4.5   MICR E-13B -   27

            4.6   QR Code -   28

            4.7   PDF417 -   29

            4.8   Codablock F Barcode -   30

            4.9   Code 16k -   32

          5.  4   State & Postal Barcodes -    33

            5.1   Deutsche Post Leitcode -   33

            5.2   Deutsche Identcode Barcode -   35

            5.3   KIX Barcode -   36

            5.4   PostNET Barcode   -   37

            5.5   Royal Mail Barcode -   39

            5.6   Singapore 4 State Postal Barcode  -   40

            5.7   Swiss Post Parcel Barcodes   -   41

          6.  Conclusion -    42

          7.  About ByteScout -    43

            7.1   Barcode Generator SDK  -   43

            7.2   Barcode Reader SDK-   43

            7.3   Other ByteScout's tools for developers -   44

FREE E-BOOK - Introduction Into Barcodes by ByteScout - learn how to use barcodes, why they were invented and how they are used in real life

Editorial Review

Barcode encoding and decoding is extremely fast, effective and cheap process so it can't be separate from modern business and life at all. The book Introduction Into Barcodes by ByteScout contains base knowledge about types, structurе and categories of barcodes wide-using in business area from postal and transport services to medical and surgical industry.

Introduction Into Barcodes describes characteristics of different barcodes, some interesting facts of their history and using.  For example, which barcode looks at us with a bull's eye and where quick response code was invented.

This book will help as business owners to choose barcode suits their business needs so IT managers and software developers to integrate barcode into point of sale system, medical image system or any departmental store application.

The book introduces you into barcodes, their usage, their types and their application in real life. Available for free in PDF, MOBI, EPUB formats

image

[Click through for the download links...]

While this is a vendor sponsored ebook, it's good to see that only a couple pages are dedicated to their marketing...

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

"Location Intelligence for Windows Store" the free eBook...

Ricky's Bing Maps Blog - Free eBook: Location Intelligence for Windows Store

image

I am happy to announce the release of my  book “Location Intelligence for Windows Store Apps”. This is available as a free eBook. Yes I said “free”, as in “Free beer”.

Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create Windows Store apps.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8.1. The first half of the book focuses on the inner workings of Window Store Apps and the various location related tools available such as sensors and the Bing Maps SDK. The second half of the book focuses on creating several useful location intelligent apps. All code samples are provided in JavaScript, C# and Visual Basic.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Getting Started
  • Chapter 2: The Sensor and Location Platform
  • Chapter 3: Bing Maps JavaScript API
  • Chapter 4: Bing Maps Native API
  • Chapter 5: Bing Maps REST Services
  • Chapter 6: Bing Spatial Data Services
  • Chapter 7: Working with Spatial Data
  • Chapter 8: Drawing on the Map
  • Chapter 9: Creating an Augmented Reality App
  • Chapter 10: Creating a Templatable Compass Control
  • Chapter 11: Cross Platform Development

... [Click through for the download links]

At 421 pages this is not your slim eBook... :)

image

From the PDF;

"Introduction
Location Intelligence has been one of the fastest growing industries in recent years and continues to grow at an exponential rate. Seventy to eighty percent of all business data has some sort of geospatial context. Many companies want to make use of this data however most of them do not know where to start. Many of these same companies are planning to create applications targeting Windows 8. You may well be reading this book for this very reason.

With Windows 8 you have the ability to create applications that reach across many platforms such as desktops, laptops and tablet devices. A Windows Store app is a new type of application that runs on Windows 8 devices. Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Windows Store app has a single, chrome-less window that fills the entire screen by default, so there are no distractions. In addition to this, these apps can support different layouts and views to create a fluid experience across different screen sizes and orientations. Several different types of input sources are supported, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard input. It’s also possible for apps to communicate with each other by sharing content in a standard way. Instead of icons, Window Store apps uses live tiles which can be used to display useful, at-a-glance data to the user, without the need for the user to open up the app. Windows Store apps can be written in several different languages including JavaScript, C#, Visual Basic, C++ and C. Apps are distributed through the Windows Store in Windows 8 and gives you the ability to make your app available to millions of people around the world.

In this book we will dive into the world of location intelligence and the different options for creating location aware applications in Windows 8. The first half of the book focuses on learning what tools are available for creating location aware Window Store applications. The second half of the book uses a more hands on approach by demonstrating how to develop complete end-to-end location aware solutions.

Who this book is for?
This book is aimed at developers who are being introduced to creating location based Windows Store apps using both Web (HTML, CSS3, JavaScript) and Managed (C#, Visual Basic) programming languages. Previous knowledge on creating location based application is not required or needed and all topics are explained from the ground up. This will including the use of Bing Maps and sensors such as the accelerometer, compass, gyro, and location services. It will be assumed that you have a working knowledge of one of these programming languages; JavaScript, C# or Visual Basic. Experience creating Windows Store applications will help but is not required.

Chapter Overview
In the first half of this book each chapter builds on top of the previous such that by the time you reach the end chapter 7 you will have gained a good working knowledge on how to use all the tools available for creating location aware Windows Store app. The chapters in the second half of the book are independent of each other. Each of these chapters show how to create a complete end to end application. If you wish to skip between these chapters, you can do so without missing out on any content that might be required

..."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

24 cloud design patterns and 10 related guidance topics, one eBook - "Cloud Design Patterns" (PDF, ePub)

Microsoft Downloads - Cloud Design Patterns – Book Download

This guide contains twenty-four design patterns and ten related guidance topics that articulate the benefits of applying patterns by showing how each piece can fit into the big picture of cloud application architectures. It includes code samples and general advice on using each pattern. 

Version: 1.0

Date Published: 2/27/2014

CloudDesignPatternsBook-PDF.pdf, 5.8 MB
CloudDesignPatternsEPUBebook.epub, 3.4 MB

Containing twenty-four design patterns and ten related guidance topics, this guide articulates the benefit of applying patterns by showing how each piece can fit into the big picture of cloud application architectures. It also discusses the benefits and considerations for each pattern. Most of the patterns have code samples or snippets that show how to implement the patterns using the features of Windows Azure. However the majority of topics described in this guide are equally relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether hosted on Windows Azure or on other cloud platforms.

...

Related Resources

..."

Some snaps from the PDF;

[sigh... snaps removed because it seems Blogger doesn't like my posts with images today (getting a real helpful 500 error when an post has any image in it)... sigh]

Preface

This guide from the Microsoft patterns & practices group, produced with the help of many people within the developer community, provides solutions for common problems encountered when developing cloud-hosted applications.

The guide:
• Articulates the benefit of applying patterns when implementing cloud applications, especially when they will be hosted in Windows Azure.
• Discusses the problems that the patterns address, and how these relate to Windows Azure applications.
• Shows how to implement the patterns using the features of Windows Azure, emphasizing benefits and considerations.
• Depicts the big picture by showing how these patterns fit into cloud application architectures, and how they relate to other patterns.

The majority of topics described in the guide are equally relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether hosted on Windows Azure or on other cloud platforms.

Our intention is not to provide a comprehensive collection of patterns. Instead, we chose what we think are useful patterns for cloud applications—taking into account the popularity of each one amongst users. Neither is this a detailed guide to the features of Windows Azure. To learn about Windows Azure see http://windowsazure.com.

[Insert my usual, "Don't reinvent the wheel if you don't have to" blurb here...especially when there's free resources available ]

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Cloud Design Patterns (24 design patterns, two primers, eight guidance topics and 10 sample applications)
Windows Azure Guidance - Cloud Design Patterns Alpha drop...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Visit the MIT OpenCourseWare eBook Shelf (Computer, Nanoelectronics, Languages and much more)

Beyond Search - Free MIT Textbooks

More free books! On its blog, Open Matters, MIT OpenCourseWare shares a long list of materials on its OCW Bookshelf. This would be one to both explore now and note for future reference. The page’s introduction tells us:

...

The resources touch on a wide range of subjects taught at MIT. ...

Open Matters - OCW Bookshelf

MIT OpenCourseWare shares the course materials from classes taught on the MIT campus. In most cases, this takes the form of course documents such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams.

Occasionally, however, we come across textbooks we can share openly. This page provides an index of textbooks (and textbook-like course notes) that can be found throughout the OCW site.  (Note that in most cases, resources are listed below by the course they are associated with.)

SNAGHTML6962d60

SNAGHTML6969ded

SNAGHTML696f052

SNAGHTML6977afe

image

This site alone should keep your brain busy for months, if not years...

 

Related Past Post XRef:
Five Online Education Resources (from colleges you may recognize)

Academic Earth - Free and easy access to full video courses and lectures (from Yale, UCLA, Harvard, Berkley, MIT, Stanford and more)
Stanford Web Application class available online free (and more in their OpenClassroom too)
Free online class, "Introduction to Databases," coming this fall from Stanford University
Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Microsoft Press Free eBooks now have a home in the Microsoft Virtual Academy

Microsoft Press - Free ebooks: Now on the Microsoft Virtual Academy site

No doubt, our blog is a great site for announcing new books and other quick bits of news; however, we really needed a great landing page to host our free ebooks in an elegant, easy-to-browse way. Our coworkers at the Microsoft Virtual Academy provided the solution. It’s a perfect place to land, since many of you already consume the Jump Start sessions, live events and archived courses from MVA.

So, check it out here. As each new book is released, we’ll add it to the page.

Microsoft Virtual Academy - eBooks Landing Page

image

image

While I like community driven lists, it's nice to now have an official site for these great eBooks.

Now if there was only a RSS feed for the page so I could easily see new additions... (sigh)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Game Programming, the 28 free eBook round-up

EFYTimes News - 28 Free eBooks On Game Programming!

Ever wanted to create all those super awesome games? Here are 28 free ebooks on Game programming!

SNAGHTMLefe9f8

image

The article is a few months old, and these kinds of collections usual concern me, but these all look legit. Plus I like how they are from areas outside my usual feed stream....