I just bought this book and have breezed through most of it. So far, AFAIK, I've picked up each WCF book out there and while all of them are quite good, I was very glad I got this one. Very glad indeed.
If there's one thing this book really brings to the table it's that it really explains architectural 'big picture' aspects of WCF. Reminiscent of how Rocky Lhotka used his Business Objects books to walk through the CSLA, Juval has a series of utilities wrapped into a framework and he walks through 'why' he made them like he did.
This approach is excellent.
AFAIK, this is the biggest of the WCF books I've read running around 600 Pages including the appendices.
The first three chapters discuss the basics of WCF. It covers Data Contracts, SErvice Contracts and WCF Essentials. He dedicates a whole chapter to the subject of Data Contracts and it's ostensibly the most detailed discusson of Data Contracts I've read.
He moves on to Instance Management (spends about 30 pages doing it) and it was insightful to say the least.
Next was Operations. I thought this was one of the weaker chapters of the book, but it's also comparitively short (and realize that I'm rating the book a 5 - so 'weak' is relative - it's still a great discussion)
THe discussion of Faults comes next. It's concise and to the point without getting tangential.
Next comes Transactions. It goes about 70 pages and leaves you wanting for nothing. Stated simply, it's excellent.
Concurrency Management comes next and again, it's power lies in the fact it's direct and to the point while covering the subject matter thoroughly.
Queued Services comes next. To be honest, I haven't given this chapter more than a cursory read so I won't comment on it. What I read I liked thought.
It concludes with Security and he dedicates roughly 100 pages to the subject. Superb!
He goes on to the appendices where he discusses "Service Orientation" . I suspect most people that read his book already understand this, but it's insightful and is still worth reading even if you are already thoroughly conversant in SO.
THe next piece is the Publish-Subscribe Service discussion. Pretty good overall
Finally it's WCF Coding Standards. Ok, let me start by saying that this is VERY useful. It's a great summary and serves as a very helpful reference. However, I wish he explained some of the points a little more b/c In a few cases, I don't remember seeing the points emphasized much and it's a little hard to fully grasp the "WHy"
For instance, under the Essentials section, #10 states "Do not use SvcUtil or Visual Studio 2005 to generate a config file." In the text, the only thing I saw mentioned on this note was that he's conflicted about the COnfigEditor b/c while it's helpful, it can serve as a crutch. This danger in his opinion offsets any convenience benefit. Ok, if that's why this rule is here, then great. But I really don't know for sure. Most of the other items he mentions are well documented in the text (and maybe this was too and I just missed it, but honestly, I've looked).
There aren't many items I was unsure of, but there were a few. Page references would fix this issue (b/c spelling out why would probably be overkill).
Ok, so my one gripe is that in a supplemental section, he could have done one thing better. By any standard, that qualifies a book for a 5 Rating ;-)