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August 30, 2011

Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook Review

Recently I got my hands on the Microsoft Windows Azure Development Cookbook book written by Neil Mackenzie (@mknz), and honestly I was impress with the quality of the examples he gives into it. As a disclaimer I have to say that the book was sent to me by the publisher however there are no incentives for me to write this review. Once again I think the book provides very good hands on examples for the complete set of services that Windows Azure offers – starting with Windows Azure Storage, going through the Hosted Services and ending with SQL Azure and AppFabric.

The value I saw in the book is that 1.) it explains each of the services with real examples, and walks you step by step through what is happening, and 2.) is written from the customer point of view (Neil is a MVP, who is dealing with Windows Azure since it was announced at PDC08). I personally found the following three chapters very valuable even for me:

  • Using the Shared Access  Signature for a container blob
  • Using the retry policies with blob operations
  • Autoscaling with the Windows Azure Service Management REST API

I am sure that I will refer to those three chapters very often for my own work on Windows Azure.

As a suggestion I would like to say to Neil that in the next edition I would be happy to see a section dedicated to the troubleshooting, debugging and profiling services on Windows Azure. From my own experience I can say that the majority of question I’ve seen have been in this area, and his experience with the platform as well as his independent view will allow him to provide really good troubleshooting tips and helpful workarounds.

I know Neil remotely, and we have interacted couple of time on MSDN forums or via Twitter. I can say that he is very knowledgeable about the topic, and you can learn a lot from the book and his personal blog.


I hope you will find the book a good resource, and kudos to Neil for writing it!


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Neil Mackenzie

Thanks for the kind words about my book.

Your blog has always been one of my principal sources of information about Windows Azure.

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