Book Writing

An Awesome Year 2015

It’s going to be an awesome year 2015.



Windows 10

On January 21st we’ll see an awesome Windows 10. At least the build is named FBL_AWESOME, but I think it’ll be really awesome.

The next chapter on Windows 10 is about the consumer experience.

Professional C# 6

I’m working on the 10th edition of Professional C#. The 10th edition – can you imagine? The first edition I’ve done was using Beta 2 of .NET 1.0. Since the first edition many things happened, and now big changes for .NET coming.

The new edition will be a major update of this book with a reduced page count. A reduced page count! One option of this book would be to increase it to 2500 pages, but I finally decided to decrease the page count and get rid of all the legacy stuff. You’ll only find new things in the book, e.g. ASP.NET 5 but not the old version of ASP.NET MVC, Web API… So keep Professional C# 5 around for all the old stuff. For Windows Forms you even need an older edition of this book. When did I remove this part?

The new edition of the book covers the new language features of C#, the new core runtime, ASP.NET 5, Windows Universal Runtime Apps (or what it may be called) for Windows 10…

Many samples of the book will not only run on Windows but also Linux and Mac – of course not the part covering Universal apps.

Windows Azure

Week by week, more and more features are coming to Windows Azure.

All my websites are running on Windows Azure Websites, using storage options offered by SQL Database and blob storage. My productive apps make use of Windows Azure Mobile Services as well as the Bing Search API from the Azure Marketplace.

My source code is stored within Visual Studio Online (using Git), and the Office suite I’m using of course Office 365.

Updated versions  of my apps (coming soon, but I don’t make a date promise) are making use of DocumentDB and Azure Search.

Some important dates:

For a Windows Azure event in Vienna, reserve the date: 12-February! More information coming soon!

At Basta! in Darmstadt (24-February) ‘m talking about different storage options with Windows Azure.


A new version of Picture Search is in progress. The new version will not only be available for Windows, but also for Windows Phone, iPhone and Android – and it will have higher limits for free image searches. I’m doing this with Xamarin.

Menu Card and Kantine are other apps coming for multiple platforms. Menu Card will have a major redesign on the server and many new features on the client.

Courses, Workshops

As in previous years I’m teaching courses and workshops, just new technologies are offered. Of course C# 6, .NET Core, ASP.NET 5, and Windows 10 apps will have a big focus. You can also learn Xamarin.Forms.

What’s new is that I’m not only offering company workshops, you can also register to open courses directly at my Website. Starting with Windows Store Apps with XAML and C# and Advanced Windows Store Apps using C# and JavaScript in January!

Hope to see many of you this year!


A Happy New Year to all of you!


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Image © Ivelinr | - Awesome Evaluation Form Photo

Bye, bye 2013

2013 was a interesting year. I'm just doing the last corretions for an update of my most important Wrox book: Professional C# 5 and .NET 4.5.1. This edition includes updates for the Windows Runtime 2 (Windows Store apps with Windows 8.1), Entity Framework 6, ASP.NET Web API 2, and more.

What have been my other important activities in 2013? This blog post is about conferences, workshops, Windows Store apps, and more :-)

Conferences: after several years I had a talk again at TechEd - in New Orleans and in Madrid - speaking about Tiles, Toasts, and Notifications with Windows Store apps. Other conferences I've been engaged with: Basta! in Darmstadt and Mainz, and Microsoft Big Day and Advanced Developers Conference in Vienna talking about C# Async, Windows Store Apps, WPF 4.5, Entity Framework 6...

Customer workshops and coaching mainly have been about C#, WPF, ASP.NET MVC, Entity Framework, Parallel Programming, HTML5, Web API, Windows Azure, and Windows Store Apps.

I've some new apps in the Windows Store. My first Windows Store app was already released in 2012: Kantine. This app shows the menus and information about the restaurant in Vienna. It's only available in Austria, but in 2014 it will be available in other markets as well. Tourists might be interested in information about the restaurant as well.

A complete new app is the Menu Card app. This app - currently available in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, helps restaurants to create their menu cards, and use a JSON service to directly integrate them with a Website. The Kantine app will use a JSON feed created from the Menu Card app in the next version.


Picture Search that not only allows searching for pictures but also showing them endlessly full-screen (also with PlayTo to the X-Box), got a major update for Windows 8.1. This app is available worldwide. As searches with this app increase, I'm hoping to have the costs for Bing searches covered by the ads, or by users switching to the paid version of this app. Let's see... Having the ads in the app at least helped understanding users still don't find the appbar. This influenced the UI of the latest update that is just available in the store.

  Picture Search 1

Hardware: I'm happy with my Surface 2 and Surface Pro. The Surface 2 replaced my Surface RT. I'm usually using this device without a keyboard (although a touch cover is attached, but this is mainly used instead of a sleeve). The Surface Pro usually is connected to multiple monitors, external keyboards and mouse. When I'm in the hotel, multiple monitors are connected as well. In the hotel just the size of the external monitor is smaller. I'm running Visual Studio 2013 on the Surface Pro to develop all kind of different apps. I still need to get a new Surface Pro 2 in 2014. I'm waiting for the edition with 8 GB memory that is not yet available in Austria.

The next blog article will be about 2014. See you there :-)



Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight

It took some time until I received my newest book, but now it’s here - Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight – Indispensable Experiences from 15 MVPs:

Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight: Indispensible Experiences from 15 MVPs (1118021967) cover image

With this book I’ve written just one chapter – as all the other authors did. Great content fairly partitioned across different topics from 15 MVPs. I’m giving you my summary what I’ve seen covered in this book.

ASP.NET and jQuery gives from David Giard gives some Information on new features from ASP.NET Web Forms 4.0, an introduction to ASP.NET MVC, and a glimpse into jQuery.

ASP.NET Performance from Bill Evjen is about state management, caching, performance counters, content delivery networks, compressions to get performance out of ASP.NET Web Form applications.

Ethical Hacking of ASP.NET from György Balássy is a chapter you should read to secure your Web site. With this chapter you get Information about tools such as Fiddler, Firebug, IE9 Developer Toolbar, Lens, how session management works, attacking ASP.NET authentication, CSRF attacks, attacking the ASP.NET session, view state hacking… and what you need to protect against attacks.

How to Build a Real World Silverlight 5 Application from Gill Cleeren gives a good introduction to SketchFlow before showing data binding features of Silverlight, using WCF RIA services, applying MVVM, and customizing of controls.

Silverlight – The Silver Lining for Line-of-Business Applications - Jeremy Likeness takes a different route to Silverlight.  He starts by giving an overview of the different Silverlight project types and explains the Interfaces  IApplicationService and IApplicationLifetimeAware to hook into startup, shutdown, and exception handling events. Next he compares MVC, MVP, and MVVM patterns, explains dependency injection and demonstrates how MEF can be used. In this chapter you can also read a comparision of MVVM Frameworks such as Prism, MVVM Light, nRoute, Calburn.Micro, and Jounce.

Tips and Tricks for Designers and Developers is a very short chapter from Daron Yöndem just covering 9 pages. This chapter mentions “importing assets from Photoshop”, “Using sample data for a better design experience”, “using behaviors to make things easier”. I just would hope to read more Information about importing from Photoshop, what are the issues, how can it be solved; sample data not only created from code with DesignerProperties.GetIsInDesignMode, but also Information about designer specifications in XAML, and much more Information on behaviors and not only two pages.

MVVM Patterns in Silverlight by Kevin Grossnicklaus is a big chapter again. It comes back to MVVM and explains how an MVVM Framework can be created. This chapter goes that far to build composite screens, displaying dialogs, and communication between views. In the last part of the chapter exisiting MVVM Frameworks Prism, MVVM Light, and Caliburn Micro are compared to each other.

Windows Phone “Mango” for Silverlight Developers from Alex Golesh goes into specific Windows Phone 7.5 issues and covers the Camera API, Sensors API, Silverlight/XNA Hybrid applications, using a local database, fast application switching (FAS), Background agents, notifications, contacts/appointments data access – things a Siverlight developer needs to now creating apps for the phone.

Pragmatic Services Communication with WCF is from Christian Weyer, a thinktecture colleague. As expected from Christian, this is a chapter of 63 pages (and this without security – this is in the next chapter). At the first page of this chapter Christian explains that this is not a beginner’s introduction – and not a full reference as well. It still starts with basics of WCF (ABC), but already adds some real world experience to the introduction (e.g barely using message contracts nowadays). Soon Christian steps into several topics such as validation, mapping, tracing, hosting services, sharing contracts, async calls, the Web programming model, and much more.

The next chapter is from another colleague at thinktecture: Dominick Baier – Securing WCF Services Using the Windows Identity Foundation (WIF). Dominick is the security specialist from thinktecture and gives a whirlwind tour through WCF security, claims-based identity, and federation. If you are knowledgeable of traditional security models like principals, identities, and roles, you should read this chapter to get the idea of security Tokens and claims. Dominick goes into the Windows Identity Foundation and explains the WCF security stack.

Chapter 11 from Jeffrey Juday is about Applied .NET Task Parallel Library. Jeffrey covers the .NET 4 library within 38 pages, both data parallelism as well as task parallelism using the Task class, showing exceptions, cancellation, and concurrent collection classes of .NET 4.

Vishwas Lele goes into Windows Workflow Foundation with the chapter The WF Programming Language. This chapter starts with a simple workflow, explains XAML in the focus of WF, explains several activities for control flow, exception handling, Transactions and compensation, parallel execution, and also explains how custom activities can be implemented. Hosting workflows and using persistence is explained as well.

My chapter has number 13 and is about Practical WPF Data Binding. Back to MVVM from previous chapters, but here I’m just using MVVM with a lot of data binding aspects. This chapter goes into various data binding concepts, showing multibinding, using the CollectionViewSource, implementing data templates, grouping, hierarchical data binding, virtualization, editing data, validation, error display…

Chapter 14 is the longest chapter over 79 pages. Driving Development with User Stories and BDD by Scott Millett. Scott gives a short introduction to user stories, explains the shortcomings of Test-Driven Development (TDD), and gets into the advantages of Behavior-Driven Development (BDD). Next, Scott introduces some BDD Frameworks before going into an application that is done with BDD in mind. User Stories are captured for the Tic-Tac-Toe game, and then BDD is used to until all behaviors of the application are implemented. Showing all the BDD aspects within a full application should be the best Approach to learn BDD.

The last chapter of the book is from Caleb Jenkins about Automated Unit Testing. Caleb introduces unit testing with the three A’s Assign, Act, Assert, covers various testing frameworks, explains Continuation Integration (CI) servers, talks about fakes and mocks, covers testing on using MVC, MVP, and MVVM…

As you can see, there is a lot what’s covered by this book. Silverlight, WPF, parallel programming, BDD, unit testing, security, WCF, WF, ASP.NET, hacking… Of course this is not a beginner’s book. However, I think nearly every .NET developer will find interesting Topics within this book – this is a must-read.


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Real World .NET, C#, and Silverlight from

Real World .NET, C#, and Silvelright von

Hello, 2012

Early 2011 I blogged about my predictions on 2011. What were the things I blogged about the last year, was it becoming true? How does 2012 look like? The main topics my blog was about Silverlight 5, Windows Azure, Windows Phone 7, Windows 8, and HTML 5. Let’s have a look how my thoughts from early 2011 look like today, and what I think are the most important topics for 2012.

Silverlight 5

2011 (and earlier 2010) I blogged about the features of the upcoming coming Silverlight 5. In December 2011 it was finally released as is described here.

Now Silverlight 5 might not look as important as it was in the beginning of 2011. It’s not the tool of choice for writing platform-independent applications which is HTML 5 now. Silverlight applications cannot be used for Metro style apps with Windows 8. However, the traditional desktop of Windows 8 still is an important part to write applications for it for the next years to come. Looking into version 5, Silverlight received a lot of features important and helpful writing full desktop applications.

Silverlight 5 is supported by Microsoft until 10/12/2021, or through the support lifecycle of the underlying browsers, whichever is shorter. This should give enough time to give Silverlight the emphasis it needs to write new applications now. And the knowledge of XAML and C# can still be used with Metro apps in Windows 8.

Windows Azure

In 2011 I also blogged about new things coming with Windows Azure. Windows Azure still keeps growing, new features are added in a continuously basis. The cloud is becoming more and more important as the same data should be accessible from anywhere, no matter what device is used, and in some scenarios scalability can be solved by adding Windows Azure instances and just paying the instances needed.

New features recently added are support for Node.js, Hadoop-based Services, Federations, queues, topics, and relay services… More to come in 2012

Windows Phone

I also mentioned Windows Phone 7 with the Mango update to support copy and paste. The 7.5 update delivered a lot more great features as described in What’s new in Windows Phone 7.5. I really like this update and use the integration of Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn… a lot.

Currently Microsoft’s phone does not have the market presence it should have. I think this will change – and Nokia still has a lot of announcements to do to make Windows Phone more successful. It’s not the first time that Microsoft was a little late in the game but finally succeeded.

Windows 8

Early 2011 I already blogged about Windows 8 and expected a PDC for 2011 that should be a lot bigger than the 2010 PDC. This conference was a lot bigger, and still outsold just with the early bird bookings – and all this without posting an abstract of a single session before the conference. Just the name of the conference changed: Build Windows.

Although I was expecting a lot that was announced at this conference I was still surprised how well this all worked out and really like the new UI of the upcoming operating system. Applications to use the Metro UI can use XAML/C# or HTML5/JavaScript or XAML/C++. The choices are here. The application UI design must be done differently to be successful. Writing applications for Windows 8 I’m thinking a lot more about usability and how to change the workflow to be both easy to use and effective for the user.

Early 2012 (February?) I’m expecting the Beta version of Windows 8 and I’m already working now on several apps.

HTML 5 and JavaScript

Early 2011 I already mentioned HTML5 and already had several customers in 2011 to support them with HTML and JavaScript. HTML and JavaScript is making a comeback. jQuery helped a lot to make JavaScript programming more efficient.

I’m not only giving HTML5 and JavaScript an important place to create platform-independent applications to run on different mobiles and desktops but also think it’s a great option to write Metro style apps for Windows 8. For platform-independent HTML I'm using ASP.NET MVC that allows for great control of HTML and JavaScript.


For 2012 I’m also seeing a comeback for C++. C++11 gets cool improvements, and the support from Microsoft with Metro and XAML/C++ is here again. There are some applications that didn’t change the C++ code to .NET, and such libraries can now be really easy to use with new Metro style apps.

Of course C# gets cool improvements for async programming in 2012 that’s not less important. I’m working with C#, C++, and JavaScript in 2012.

I’m expecting 2012 to be an exciting year, expecting some new tablets that let Windows 8 shine, and put my big focus for the year on Windows 8 Metro, Windows Azure, HTML5, ASP.NET MVC, C++, C#, and JavaScript. Of course I’m also still doing WPF, Silverlight, and WCF, and writing about improvements on .NET 4.5. Already working on the next edition of Professional C# for several months now…


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Real World .NET 4 and C#

While I’m already working on the next edition of Professional C#, my next book will be released in November: Real World .NET 4 and C# – Indispensable Experiences from 15 .NET and C# MVPs:


This book contains great information from 15 MVP’s. A lot of stuff is covered: ASP.NET, Silverlight, WPF, WCF, WF, User Stories, and Unit Testing.

On ASP.NET you can read about ethical hacking, getting the best performance out, and integration with JQuery. Silverligjht is shown in the light of writing real-world applications, MVVM patterns, and using Silverlight with the Windows Phone. Development driven by User Stories and Unit Testing is covered as well.

From the 15 MVPs, three of the book-MVPs are from thinktecture consultants. Christian Weyer covers pragmatic WCF, Dominick Baier gets into securing WCF services by using the Windows Identity Foundation (claims! claims! claims!), and I’m doing all aspects of WPF data binding.

I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book! Links to Amazon can be found on my new Webpage:

Real World .NET 4 and C#, get it from

Real World .NET 4 and C#, get it from


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Thoughts about 2009

It's nearly February, I'm a little late for my thoughts about the year 2009. Still I'm writing down what I'm expecting, my thoughts about important things to come.

In the first month of the New Year I've already covered a lot of different technologies in the first workshops: Team Foundation Server, WPF, ASP.NET AJAX, and C++.

What are the most important products I'm working on in the New Year? The first on my list of course is Windows 7, the successor of Windows Vista. I'm running the Beta already on several of my systems. Depending on the hardware used there are some small issues (e.g. on an old HP Compaq NX7000 with the graphics driver, some issues on a Fujitsu Siemens Tablet T4220 in regard to the graphics card as well), but of course that's usual with a Beta product. In summary I'm really happy with Windows 7.
Primarily it's based on the code from Windows Vista with some good enhancements. Because the code is based primarily on Windows Vista and not a complete rewrite we can expect that it’s really running stable this is already the experience from many Beta testers. I expect shorter Beta cycles which I’m also reading out from Our Next Engineering Milestone. RC will be the next version for download. Windows 7 has a great new calculator (hey, is there a problem the calculator is included with the operating system?). WordPad has the ribbon controls! Even more important – WordPad can save OOXML and ODT. The new toolbar is really cool. There are many more great features... I’m already running Windows Vista from the early beginnings (of course Beta editions). Now I’m expecting many companies to move from Windows XP to Windows 7. Do you wait until SP1 or do the move earlier? Now is the time to not only find out if your applications run on Windows Vista (which was already done by most companies) because of the UAC, but also what advantages the application can get by running on Windows Vista and Windows 7. I offer a Workshop on this :-)

Another product I’m spending a lot of time with is Windows Azure. Paying just for the resources that are needed can be a big improvement for startup companies. How many systems should we add to the Web server so the users get acceptable performance? Twitter, why don’t you just increment this configuration value instead of returning errors? I don’t think Windows Azure is just for startup companies. I would like to access my data from everywhere; I would like to use some CPU and disk resources just for specified time frames (e.g. the registration process for a conference). In current different economy times it might be a good decision to outsource some IT management and just pay for what’s needed.

Since the end of last year I’m running Windows Home Server. Every home should have one. It’s really easy to configure that and all your PC’s are backed up, data on network shares is duplicated on different hard disks, and the data is even accessible from the road. Easy to use systems and applications are important! I remember the days where I had to change some switches and jumpers before I could put a module inside a system. The Micro PDP 11 made things a lot easier – a lot easier to configure than PCs at that time. Now I’m adding hardware to systems by connecting them to the USB. No more configurations necessary, no search for drivers… Windows Media Center is – in my opinion – a lot easier to use than getting to know how to use several different remote controls to turn on and switch to the correct mode with Receiver, TV, and a DVD/hard disk recorder. Many users are lost to find the correct settings with that many remote controls. It’s still getting easier. Silverlight brings completely new user interfaces to Web applications. Rich client experience that can be completely different to the experience we had with Web applications that have been used before - Silverlight for Web applications; WPF for Windows applications. The user can be knowledgeable of its problem domain but no longer need to know how to use a Windows application. Not every person is a Word and Excel user.

Of course I’m not forgetting Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0. These are the products I’m using on my main system during this year so my customers can use my experience with this technology as soon as they need it. I’m already working for some time on the next edition of the Professional C# book: Professional C# 4.0 and .NET 4.0. .NET 4.0 gives a lot to cover with the next edition! I just received the Chinese version of Professional C# 2008. You can start the next translation early next year :-)

Windows 7, Windows Azure, Visual Studio 2010, .NET 4.0, Silverlight 3.0... I still didn’t mention my most important... I can give you the expected arrival date: 3-June-2009. It can arrive a little earlier or later. Around that time I don’t do any travel, expecting a baby girl with my girlfriend Angela. This is going to be a really great year :-D


Professional C# 2008

Professional C# 2008 is here! It contains 1800 pages although some chapters like .NET Remoting have been removed.
The sixth edition was changed to include C# 3.0 and .NET 3.5!
All the chapters of the book were changed to the new C# 3.0 syntax. Lambda expressions can be useful in many different cases.
A big focus of the book is into .NET 3.0 and 3.5. While the previous edition had one chapter about WPF, this edition gives you a lot more information. The same is true for WCF and WF. Beside having changes in all chapters to the new C# 3.0 syntax, LINQ has some dedicated chapters: 11 - Language Integrated Query; 27 - LINQ to SQL; 29 - LINQ to XML. You can also find a preview on the ADO.NET Entity Framework in appendix A. For ASP.NET 3.5, ASP.NET AJAX can be found in chapter 39. And much more! All you need for C# 3.0 and core information about the complete .NET Framework 3.5.

200 Years Wiley

This year, Wiley celebrates 200 years. Wiley is the publisher of my books Professional C# 2005 with .NET 3.0 and Beginning Visual C# 2005.
With some books it's still interesting to read them after 200 years. The earliest surviving book from Wiley is from the year 1812, from William Ballantine. The books I've written have a sligthtly shorter shelf life given the rapid pace of technology! That's why I'm already working on the next editions:
  • Professional C# 2008
  • Beginning Visual C# 2008