Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Janakiram MSV, Yeshim Deniz, David H Deans, Andreas Grabner, Stackify Blog

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Making the Technical Sale
I came upon this book under very odd circumstances, to say the least. I am a developer first and foremost, so the suggestion by my employer that I sit through a half-day seminar on the art of making technical sales was greeted with less than enthusiasm.

Thankfully, the speaker turned out to be a fellow techie - none other than Rick Greenwald, author of several highly technical O'Reilly books about Oracle database technologies. Once I knew this, I was prepared to at least listen.

Rick shared with us numerous tips and tricks about making technical sales, and my attitude quickly changed to one of absolute fascination. For the first time, here was all of the genuinely important information about selling, which technical people - whether we are completely "behind-the-scenes" developers or sales consultants traveling to customers' sites - need to know in order to succeed in our careers. I read this book cover to cover during a train ride back from a conference.

The book primarily addresses sales consultants - but one of the most important lessons that I took away from it is that developers are involved in making technical sales virtually every day. For example, you might spend a great deal of time "selling" your proposed solution to a technical problem to fellow employees. You might also have to "sell" your supervisors on your plan and its resource requirements in order to implement your solutions.

One of this book's key points is that you must always strive to understand your buyers and their motivations. Buyers are divided into three main categories by this text: technical buyers (interested in features), economic buyers (interested in benefits versus costs), and end users (interested in seeing their specific problems solved).

Once you have correctly identified your type of customer, the book goes on to provide tons of great real-world tips about how to keep them happy and interested in buying what you are selling. These tips are organized into cardinal rules, maxims, and red flags. Cardinal rules give concrete suggestions for your actions in various circumstances. Maxims help you understand what is really going on in certain situations. And, finally, red flags provide you with warning signs that your sale may be in jeopardy.

My favorite cardinal rule, as just one example, says that you should always respond to customer requests in a timely fashion - even if only to say that you are still working on them. If you wait too long without giving any kind of response at all - you're in trouble, regardless of how wonderful your ultimate response may be!

Now how many of my fellow hard-core, leave-me-alone-until-I'm-finished-coding developers ever realized that?

Title: Making the Technical Sale
Authors: Rick Greenwald et al.
Publisher: Muska & Lipman Publishing
List Price: $34.95
Rating: *****
Reviewed by
Andrew Montgomery

Instant ASP.NET Applications (with CD)
If you want to get a good idea of how to develop simple ASP.NET applications using ADO.NET, then this is the book for you. Mr. Buczek creates some simple database models using SQL Server and Microsoft Access and shows you how to use them in conjunction with ASP.NET. He has included many good ideas at a very basic level. The user can get these applications up and running very quickly, hence the name Instant ASP.NET Applications. He states in his introduction that the examples provided are a stepping-stone to help you open your mind and consider how to mold these ideas to your own needs.

The book is divided into two parts. The first two chapters introduce the reader to some ASP.NET concepts. The author shows you how to create an ASP.NET Web application in IIS (Internet Information Server), as well as how to use the Global.asax file and application and session objects. He explains how certain aspects of the Request and Response objects, such as the response.redirect method and the request.querystring collection, that were so widely used in classic ASP still play a vital role in ASP.NET. He continues by introducing some database data retrieval concepts and some of the ASP.NET controls.

The other chapters in this book present one or two projects per chapter on a wide array of topics. In particular, I found that the sports site, room rental, e-mail blast tool, and chat room examples were quite good and solved some interesting challenges.

In order to work with these examples you can use any text editor or Microsoft's ASP.NET Web Matrix tool, which is available as a free download from Microsoft at www.ASP.NET.

I would describe this book as an advanced beginner's book because there is no discussion in the book about stored procedures, the SQL client classes, web.config, or classes in general. In addition, in many examples if there is a need to retrieve the ID of a newly created record, the author makes another call to the database using the MAX function to retrieve the ID. It seems to me that in a real-world situation, it would be better to introduce stored procedures and return the ID via @@identity, or SCOPE_IDENTITY() if you are using SQL Server 2000. Also, there is a lot of code on many pages to determine if an employee ID session variable (for instance) has been set. I think it would have been more useful to create a library method to accomplish this.

The book is easy to read and comprehend and offers well-thought-out charts, diagrams, and figures. If you are just starting out with ASP.NET and want to get up and running quickly, then this is the book for you.

Title: Instant ASP.NET Applications (with CD)
Author: Greg Buczek
List Price: $49.99
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
Rating: ****
Reviewed by
Steven Mandel

More Stories By Andrew Montgomery

Andrew Montgomery is a freelance technical writer based in the Chicago area.

More Stories By Steven Mandel

Steven Mandel has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years designing databases using Microsoft Access and SQL Server. He has developed Web and Windows applications using VB.NET and has written numerous articles and reviews about ASP.NET and VB.NET.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
There is huge complexity in implementing a successful digital business that requires efficient on-premise and cloud back-end infrastructure, IT and Internet of Things (IoT) data, analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Applications. In the data center alone, there are physical and virtual infrastructures, multiple operating systems, multiple applications and new and emerging business and technological paradigms such as cloud computing and XaaS. And then there are pe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
Real IoT production deployments running at scale are collecting sensor data from hundreds / thousands / millions of devices. The goal is to take business-critical actions on the real-time data and find insights from stored datasets. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Walicki, Watson IoT Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud, will provide a fast-paced developer journey that follows the IoT sensor data from generation, to edge gateway, to edge analytics, to encryption, to the IBM Bluemix cloud, to Wa...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Greg Gorman is the Director, IoT Developer Ecosystem, Watson IoT, will provide a short tutorial on Node-RED, a Node.js-based programming tool for wiring together hardware devices, APIs and online services in new and interesting ways. It provides a browser-based editor that makes it easy to wire together flows using a wide range of nodes in the palette that can be deployed to its runtime in a single-click. There is a large library of contributed nodes that help so...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a mu...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SourceForge has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SourceForge is the largest, most trusted destination for Open Source Software development, collaboration, discovery and download on the web serving over 32 million viewers, 150 million downloads and over 460,000 active development projects each and every month.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that WineSOFT will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based in Seoul and Irvine, WineSOFT is an innovative software house focusing on internet infrastructure solutions. The venture started as a bootstrap start-up in 2010 by focusing on making the internet faster and more powerful. WineSOFT’s knowledge is based on the expertise of TCP/IP, VPN, SS...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akvelon will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Akvelon is a business and technology consulting firm that specializes in applying cutting-edge technology to problems in fields as diverse as mobile technology, sports technology, finance, and healthcare.
SYS-CON Events announced today that TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets.