My two favorite .Net programming books just happen to be by the same author - Juval Lowy. The first book, “Programming .NET Components”, is a well worn companion that often is not on my desk because I loan it out so often. And now, “Programming WCF Services” occupies the #2 slot of .Net book favorites.
Lowy’s writing style is terse, concise and yet somehow compelling. I find myself often rereading chapters after working through some programming issue related to the subject matter. It’s always interesting to me how I can reread a chapter a few weeks or months later and find fresh insights. There’s a certain layering of knowledge that reveals itself in subsequent readings that’s hard to explain.
Lowy’s treatment of the subject matter is encyclopedic with numerous examples and countless insights. Lowy does an excellent job of describing the motivation behind each and every example giving the reader ample information to understand exactly what problem is being solved. There’s a certain “economy of motion” in the text that is both refreshing and inspiring at the same time.
If there’s one flaw in the book it’s that the excellent, “Introduction to Service-Orientation” is in the wrong place. It’s in Appendix A, at the back of the book. If anything, this must read chapter should be the introduction to the book. It provides the key motivation for using and designing around WCF Services.
Judging from the comments on Amazon.com, I’m not alone in my praise for this book. Of the 47 reviews, 40 are 5 star ratings. This is not a book for beginners and I suspect even moderately skilled programmers will find sections of this book challenging, but if you’re serious about your craft, then this is a must have reference.