I'm very pleased to announce the release of my new book "Windows Server AppFabric Cookbook" which hit distribution today, July 26, 2012.
Before I get into the details of the book, I want to start by thanking my co-author and friend Hammad Rajjoub for inviting me to participate in this project and trusting me to help carry out his vision for this book. Hammad and I both share a labor of love as it applies to the Microsoft distributed technology stack affectionately (and somewhat nostalgically) known as "Connected Systems" and this project represents nearly a year of work in bringing our collective experience to bear in this book.
I would also like to express my appreciation to Adnan Masood and Zubair Ahmed who volunteered their time despite extremely busy schedules reviewing the book as it progressed and providing very valuable technical feedback along the way. Their time and dedication has contributed immensely to the quality of the book and any errors or things we've overlooked are our fault alone.
Last but not least, I'd like to thank Ron Jacobs at Microsoft for writing the foreword to the book and providing his support and encouragement along the way.
Why this book and why now?
It's hard to believe that Dublin has been in the wild for just over 2 years. The first release of Windows Server AppFabric went to GA in June, 2010 at TechEd in New Orleans (I remember how much fun I had demoing the features at the Microsoft booth during my shifts that seemed to fly by) and signaled an exciting shift in Microsoft's middleware strategy that continues today. Late last year, Microsoft added new caching features and made some branding changes to "AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server" to align with the the next wave of on-premise capabilities which further extend and build upon the Windows Server platform. Just last week, two new capabilities have shipped in beta which compliment AppFabric on premise: Service Bus 1.0 Beta for Windows Server and Workflow 1.0 Beta for Windows Server.
Hammad and I are fortunate to have both worked very closely with Microsoft during the development of "Dublin", participating in software design reviews and early incubation initiatives. Since its release just over two years ago, we've advised customers of all shapes and sizes and fielded these capabilities in countless projects across various verticals. And herein lies the mission of this book:
To provide practical, real-world guidance for making the most of the capabilities offered by Windows Server AppFabric and AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server based on our collective experiences in the field over the last two years since it's release.
The result (we hope) is not just a book, but a field manual chock-full of practical step-by-step, real-world guidance, tips and techniques that will help you build more maintainable, scalable, reliable, and secure service-oriented applications on the Windows Server Platform today.
What is Windows Server AppFabric/AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server?
Windows Server AppFabric is an extension of the Application Server Role on the Windows Server Platform. In a nutshell, Windows Server AppFabric frees Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF) Service developers from common infrastructure plumbing by providing a robust, secure, composable, and reliable platform which provides caching, hosting, and monitoring capabilities, including support for long running workflow services, all on the Windows Platform. As such, Windows Server AppFabric is an evolution of the Windows Server platform, providing essential building blocks for first-classing WCF (for code-based services) and WF (for declarative workflow services) that are built using the .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010.
As an extension to IIS and WAS, Windows Server AppFabric relies on IIS's proven capabilities for hosting and lifecycle management, adding additional useful capabilities for working with WCF and WF services. In addition, Windows Server AppFabric takes advantage of Windows Server's robust event tracing mechanism (also known as ETW). ETW provides optimized
and high-performing kernel-level instrumentation which greatly minimizes impact on the performance of WCF and WF services hosted in IIS with Windows Server AppFabric.
Best of all, this key extension to the Windows Server Platform remains available free of charge.
Below are some helpful resources if you are interested in learning more:
Is this book for you?
If you are a developer who wants to avoid the same repetitive tasks when preparing your WCF and/or WF services for deployment, or an IT Pro who wants to avoid complex XML for configuring hosting and monitoring options for the services you manage, you will instantly benefit from Windows Server AppFabric.
The book is over 400 pages long and includes over 60 recipes within 9 cohesive chapters:
- Chapter 1, Installing Windows Server AppFabric, covers setting up your development environment to use Windows Server AppFabric. You'll learn how to install hosting, persistence and monitoring capabilities, including provisioning repositories, choosing the appropriate storage options, making changes to configuration after installation, and troubleshooting common (and not so common) installation issues you might encounter along the way.
- Chapter 2, Getting Started with AppFabric Caching, introduces Caching in Windows Server AppFabric, covering everything you need to get started with introducing this important capability to your composite applications and services. You will learn how to set up and use Caching using code and configuration options, as well as working with Caching within your applications. In addition, you'll learn how easily an existing application that relies on ASP.NET session state can immediately benefit from Windows Server AppFabric Cache, handling common error conditions, using PowerShell commandlets, and building a custom provider model.
- Chapter 3, Windows Server AppFabric Caching – Advanced Use Cases, builds on the concepts in the previous chapter, covering the use of Regions and Tags as well as choosing the right concurrency mode and establishing expiration, eviction, and notification policies. You will also learn advanced monitoring concepts including the use of performance counters, configuring high availability, and common troubleshooting techniques for getting the most out of Windows Server AppFabric Cache.
- Chapter 4, Windows Server AppFabric Hosting Fundamentals, introduces Windows Server AppFabric's hosting capabilities, covering common deployment, management, and hosting scenarios. You'll learn how to host WCF SOAP and REST services as well as simple WF services along with a number of tips and tricks for moving beyond the service template defaults.
- Chapter 5, More Windows Server AppFabric Hosting Features, covers additional hosting topics, including supporting long-running WF services, how your services can benefit from the Auto-Start feature, properly hosting WCF services that take advantage of Windows Azure Service Bus Relay bindings for enabling modern, hybrid scenarios as well as common PowerShell commandlets for scripting many of the tasks covered in this and the previous chapter.
- Chapter 6, Utilizing AppFabric Persistence, provides ample coverage of Windows Server AppFabric persistence capabilities, including configuring persistence for WF services, working with multiple persistence stores, and developing instance store, control, and query providers. This chapter also provides an in-depth walkthrough of development and configuration of custom instance, control, and query providers.
- Chapter 7, Monitoring Windows Server AppFabric Deployment, provides an introduction to
the monitoring capabilities provided by Windows Server AppFabric. Topics include collecting and viewing events from WCF and WF services, enabling tracing and configuring tracking profiles, and leveraging PowerShell cmdlets for monitoring WCF and WF services as well as the Caching service. In addition, you'll learn how to surface monitoring information to any user experience by following the sample recipe for building a custom monitoring dashboard using ASP.NET MVC and OData.
- Chapter 8, Scaling AppFabric Hosting, Monitoring, and Persistence, covers a common scenario for scaling Windows Server AppFabric across multiple IIS hosts. You will learn how to prepare two hosts for clustering using Microsoft NLB as well as understand deployment, management, and administration of a multi-host Windows Server AppFabric deployment that shares a common, centralized persistence store.
- Chapter 9, Configuring Windows Server AppFabric Security, covers what you need to know about planning and implementing a security model with Windows Server AppFabric. You will learn how to secure the caching, persistence, monitoring, and eventing (via ETW) subsystems of Windows Server AppFabric.
If you've gotten this far, I sincerely appreciate your interest and hope you’ll consider purchasing our book ;-)
The book is available in print and across most digital formats including Kindle, Nook, etc.:
Packt is running some specials on the book which you can learn more about here: http://www.packtpub.com/microsoft-windows-server-appfabric-cookbook/book
The book is also available on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes and Noble (if the book is not immediately available, I’m told by the publisher that all shipments are en-route so any shipping delays should be minimal).
If you purchase the book, I'd love to hear from you. Please drop me a line or connect with me @rickggaribay and let me know what you think.