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LINQ in Action [Paperback]

Fabrice Marguerie , Steve Eichert , Jim Wooley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 11 2008

LLINQ, Language INtegrated Query, is a new extension to the Visual Basic and C# programming languages designed to simplify data queries and database interaction. It addreses O/R mapping issues by making query operations like SQL statements part of the programming language. It also offers built-in support for querying in-memory collections like arrays or lists, XML, DataSets, and relational databases.

LINQ in Action is a fast-paced, comprehensive tutorial for professional developers. This book explores what can be done with LINQ, shows how it works in an application, and addresses the emerging best practices. It presents the general purpose query facilities offered by LINQ in the upcoming C# 3.0 and VB.NET 9.0 languages. A running example introduces basic LINQ concepts. You'll then learn to query unstructured data using LINQ to XML and relational data with LINQ to SQL. Finally, you'll see how to extend LINQ for custom applications.

LINQ in Action will guide you along as you explore this new world of lambda expressions, query operators, and expression trees. As well, you'll explore the new features of C# 3.0, VB.NET 9.0. The book is very practical, anchoring each new idea with running code. Whether you want to use LINQ to query objects, XML documents, or relational databases, you will find all the information you need to get started

But LINQ in Action does not stop at the basic code. This book also shows you how LINQ can be used for advanced processing of data, including coverage of LINQ's extensibility, which allows querying more data sources than those supported by default. All code samples are built on a concrete business case. The running example, LinqBooks, is a personal book cataloging system that shows you how to create LINQ applications with Visual Studio 2008.

Purchase of the print book comes with an offer of a free PDF, ePub, and Kindle eBook from Manning. Also available is all code from the book.


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Product Description

About the Author

Fabrice Marguerie is a software architect and developer based in Paris, France. Fabrice is a C# MVP has been working with LINQ from the first prototypes.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From basic to advance topics Aug. 3 2008
Format:Paperback
This book cover all aspects of LINQ from basic to advance topics. I really appreciate discussion in chapter 13 about LINQ in every layer. Do we need a separate data access layer or is LINQ to SQL enough?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Aug. 23 2010
Format:Paperback
Absolutely super. Everything is fantastic except the cover page that has obviously nothing to do with LINQ, but it sets apart from other publishers.

Not only it is really good, but also a fine read which I guess is hard to come by in technology books.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a pure pleasure to read... Feb. 9 2008
By T. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a pure pleasure to read. The presentation of content is awesome. They breakdown code in a new refreshing way that I have not seen before. Maybe it is done in all the Action Books from Manning, but this is the first I have read. They use code annotations to show what the code is doing at all the key points, highlighting important concepts. The beginner will benefit greatly from this, as will the experienced developer getting into the new C# language features.

The book presents both VB.NET and C# code examples. This is definitely cool. It is something that has been lost with many publishers. I guess the publishers know they can possibly sell 2 of the same book if they make one for each language. Yeah, yeah, I know... you should be able to easily bounce back and forth between languages with no effort. Well since I don't allow VB.NET on any of my projects, I rarely get to see it since books no longer present both languages. So this is a refreshing change. I still have to deal with inherited projects, so it is nice to have a book that contains my language of choice, but makes available the VB.NET syntax incase I need it.

The book has an awesome introduction covering the history of LINQ, which also presents all the problems that LINQ solves and the design goals of linq.

The book covers ever new feature in the .NET 3.5 languages (C# and VB.NET) that were needed in order to implement LINQ. They include Implicitly typed local variables, Object initializers, Lambda expressions, Extension methods, and Anonymous types.

The book covers LINQ to XML, LINQ to SQL, and LINQ to Objects in great detail. They also offer a bonus chapter from the Manning Site for LINQ to Datasets.

One of my favorite sections was Performance Considerations. They do a great job covering tradeoffs.

The book winds down with a chapter on extending LINQ and how link fits into an n-tier architecture.

The downloadable code is very well organized and is very usable. The authors have a great support site.

I highly recommend any developer moving into .NET 3.5 add this book to their library. It will arm you with everything you need to produce production level code.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why this book? Feb. 9 2008
By B. Hayat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Why should you get this book?
I started following the LINQ development while it was in beta stage and I was trying to find bits and pieces, here and there to make sense out of this technology. LINQ is something different than other technologies when it comes to learning it. It's like walking down a slope. If you don't follow the proper path, you can slip, in any moment. What do I mean by that? For MSFT to develop and build LINQ, they had to build and evolve a series of other technologies that will be used in LINQ. LINQ is developed on the top of a series of other technologies within .Net framework and the C# (VB also) language to be able to do what it does.
The sequence you learn these other technologies is as important as learning LINQ in the first place. By properly learning the foundation correctly, you will then see how sweet and powerful LINQ can and will be.

Now, why this book? Among all the materials and books I've read on this subject, this is the only book that truly follow this path. You follow the book, you learn LINQ. It's as simple as this!

I was involve with the "Early Access" program on this book and I saw how these three authors worked to make it better and better. They listened to readers and made it better. I wish other authors would take the time to write their book as well as this book. I give it Five stars!!!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent in-depth tour through LINQ March 2 2008
By Patrick Smacchia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The book is very well-written and very comprehensive. The authors made a great job at writing a book that can be read from cover to cover. The book begins with some reminders on LINQ history to understand where LINQ is coming from and why it is making life as a .NET developers more easier. Then come the language explanations, the part where you will see how C# and VB.NET have been tweaked to support LINQ syntax (btw, the book covers both C# and VB.NET LINQ and it is great to compare the different choices made). This part is really essential if you are considering using LINQ. Indeed, LINQ is coming from functional languages, something that most of us are not acquainted with, and it is disturbing at the beginning to understand things such as deferred execution. I found that a lot of energy has been put in pedagogy for readers that come with a classical OOP background.

Then comes the Part 2 on LINQ to object. This part is also vital because you will quickly realize that LINQ is about to definitely change the way your C# or VB.NET code looks like. Most of the algorithms we code rely intensively on collections and LINQ to object represents an incredibly powerful syntax to work with collections. Here also the authors worked really hard to explain properly the 'why/when/how to' things and to anticipate just in time the questions you might have.

Then comes part 3 and 4, on the 2 major LINQ flavors: LINQ to SQL and LINQ to XML. They represent a great opportunity to see some real-world use of what you've learnt in the 2 first parts. What I really liked here is that the authors anticipate the various scenarios (both common and advanced) you will face by using these 2 implementations of LINQ.

Then comes the great final, the part 5 that focus on how to extend LINQ to your own needs. LINQ is coming with several different extension points, from the single operator rewriting that will take you 2 minutes to write to the complete query framework that will take months to be written. This part explains and compares all these possibilities and can, alone, motivate you to buy the book if you plan to extend LINQ. LINQ extensibility is followed by another great chapter named 'LINQ in every layer' that put up together all knowledge presented until there to see how real-world applications are impacted by LINQ.

Something I would like to underline is that authors kept an objective eyes on LINQ. They warn you about the temptation to use LINQ for everything. What is awesome is that in a wide range of cases, LINQ represents both a new powerful syntax and also offers optimal performance. But for some other cases LINQ will execute much more slowly than a good old foreach style programming.

I highly recommend learning and using LINQ now because a lot of things is going to happen soon with LINQ, with things such as Parallel LINQ (PLINQ, to write queries that will execute on several threads at a time) , LINQ to Xsd (to write strongly typed XML queries), the ADO.NET Entities Framework (the Microsoft answer to O/R mapping) and more...
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best way to learn and use LINQ every day. Feb. 20 2008
By Bruno Boucard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After a very good introduction about "what" and "why" LINQ, you will discover how and why C# 3.0 and VB 9.0 languages have been enhanced in Visual Studio 2008.

The rest is dedicated on all implementations provides by LINQ with Visual Studio 2008 (Notice the chapter about DataSet is available only on the web). But the "desert" is in chapter 12, where you discover how to design and build a new provider for LINQ: LINQ to Amazon !!!

Fabrice Marguerie, Steve Eichert and Jim Wooley have succeeded a excellent book that everybody must have when LINQ technologies are involved.

This book which is without doubt the best way to learn and use LINQ every day.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Linq Book Available March 12 2008
By Paul Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"LINQ in Action", published by Manning, is by far the best book available on Linq, both for those new to Linq and those already following it. The authors, Fabrice Marguerie, Steve Eichert, and Jim Wooley, have done a fabulous job of explaining Linq from the basics to the advanced. They even made it enjoyable to read, which makes it one of the best .Net books ever!

The authors' introductory chapter shows us right away that this book is different by presenting a perfect balance of the problem, the history, and the solution. Linq is a huge subject, but the authors are up to it, and they quickly whet the readers appetite for all of Linq -- Objects, Sql, and Xml. We then get a very thorough explanation of the new language enhancements that Linq relies on, but which the authors clearly show to have uses of their own. The chapter on Linq's building blocks, covering sequences, query operators, query expressions, and expression trees, was especially instructive to me, even though I've followed Linq from the alpha days, so again I'm sure this book has something for everyone. The book then covers Linq to Objects very thoroughly, including common scenarios and performance considerations that other books never consider.

The book then progresses to three chapters on Linq to Sql, which are of course my favorite since I'm really into O/R Mapping. The authors cover not just the basics to get beginners up to speed, but they also cover far more advanced content than I was expecting. For instance, they discuss not just the designer to setup mappings, but also the SqlMetal tool, and manual mappings using either attributes or xml. They also discuss the various concurrency options, the entity life cycle, inheritance, and more. The authors then give us three chapters on Linq to Xml, which again have something for everyone -- I especially like the chapter on common scenarios. The book finishes with a very thorough chapter on extending Linq, with a Linq to Amazon example, and a chapter that ties it all together with a real-world example that was gradually put together during the course of the entire book.

The authors also provide additional support and material online, including a bonus chapter on Linq to Datasets. There is also downloadable code in both C# and VB, although the book actually shows both languages in most cases, and always points out the differences when there are differences between them.

Disclaimer: I personally know Jim and have seen him present on Linq multiple times, Steve was a user of my WilsonORMapper, even contributing to it, and I've known Fabrice in the online world for quite some time too -- but I did very much enjoy and learn even more from their most excellent book on Linq.
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