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Microsoft Cloud: Book Review

Programming Reactive Extensions and LINQ

Rx Made Easy

This book ended up being half the size it was advertised at when I pre-ordered it back in September. Amazon was kind enough to make up for it. I thank them. The author and the publisher also apologized for the miscalculation.

Although it is small this book gets 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn Reactive Extensions. The book does a great job of introducing a potentially confusing topic.

I have already spent a lot of time digging through Rx. If I had not already delved heavily into Rx, this book would have been perfect for me. I actually wish I had been introduced through this book instead of having to hunt down fragments of information all over the web. As I started reading the book I liked it so much I revisited all the topics I already knew and was happy the book provided me with some new information I had not seen before.

The book starts out with an introduction to Rx and LINQ and also introduces Enumerable and Observable collections. The book continues with two chapters titled Core LINQ and Core RX where it digs deep into each topic's syntax, most useful operators, IEnumerable and IObservable. The next chapter Practical Rx provides some examples of real world use and digs deeper into some of the more advanced features.

Chapter 5, Inside Rx, continues introducing more of the advance operators like Window, Buffer, When, And, Then, OnCompleted, and OnError. Chapter 6 in a chapter on using LINQ to SQL that includes a small Windows Phone 7.1 SDK sample that is pretty cool. The next chapter is Rx for JavaScript followed by one tilted ReactiveUI and then a small one tilted Testing with Rx.

The ReactiveUI chapter could be confusing. It is not very clear without all the downloadable code and although the chapter discusses the ReactiveUI Library, the book never really elaborates on the fact that it is available for download on github. ReactiveUI is pretty sweet and you should spend the time to get your head around it.

One of the things I like about he book is the authors make use of LINQPad. I find myself using LINQPad as much as I do Visual Studio. I use it for data analysis instead of SQL Server Management Studio. If you find you like LINQPad, get the subscription to enable IntelliSense. It is well worth it.

The bad news about the code is all the code from the book is currently not available. The good news about the code is some of it is on github and the authors plan on making it all available. The great news about the code is that they are enabling it for LINQPad.

I really found this book to be an enjoyable read. The authors did a great job of shortening the Rx learning curve. The way they explain things make the complex things easy to understand.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning how to use Rx. By the way, that should be every .NET developer out there.

Programming Reactive Extensions and LINQ

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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