Entity Framework Programmer Beta Readers Needed

Next week I’ll begin work on my 91st book, “Entity Framework Development Step-by-Step.” This technology is really exciting. Microsoft keeps improving the Entity Framework support and Entity Framework 5 is no exception. Just in case you haven’t seen it, Microsoft recently released the Entity Framework 5 release candidate through NuGet. You can read about the updated technology on the ADO.NET blog.


The Entity Framework is an ADO.NET technology that maps a database and its underlying structures to objects that a developer can easily access within application code. Before the Entity Framework, a developer needed to write code that directly accessed to the database, which caused considerable problems every time the database received an update. The Entity Framework helps shield applications from underlying changes in a database. You can read about the Entity Framework in more detail in the Entity Framework Overview provided by Microsoft. Microsoft also provides a support center that offers some basic Entity Framework learning tools.

The Entity Framework is amazing technology because it greatly reduces the work you need to do and even automates many of the processes used to interact with databases. My book will make performing tasks even easier. As you go through the book, you’ll see how to perform many Entity Framework-related tasks using step-by-step procedures. There won’t be any guesswork on your part. As a beta reader, you’ll be able to provide me input on when these procedures work, and when I need to work on them some more to help prevent Errors in Writing.

You may have an Entity Framework book on your bookshelf already. However, if that book is on an older version of the Entity Framework, you really do need to know about the new features that the Entity Framework provides. In addition, my book will highlight these five essential topics:


  • Choosing the right workflow: The main reason this topic is important is that the Entity Framework actually supports several different workflows and they’re all useful in different ways and for different projects.

  • Using LINQ to interact with the Entity Framework: LINQ presents the fastest, most efficient, and least troublesome way to perform basic tasks with the Entity Framework. Of course, this book also discusses more complex methods, but making things simple is essential for the overburdened developer today.

  • Working with Table-Valued Functions: This is a new major feature in the Entity Framework 5 that developers have been requesting for years.

  • Complete application health checking: Because you likely work in an enterprise environment, simply discussing exception handling isn’t enough. You also need to know how to deal with other application health issues, such as what to do when an application has concurrency issues or how to address speed problems. An entire part of the book is devoted to the topic of application health because more organizations than ever are paying close attention to this topic now (as evidenced by the large number of books and articles being created on the topic of Application Performance Monitoring, or APM).

  • Entity customization: Yes, Entity Framework automation is quite good and gets better with every release, but as with any other form of automation, it has limits. Automation can only address those issues that the creator of the automation originally envisioned for it. Developers have a habit of coming up with situations that the automation can’t handle, so that’s why the last part of the book discusses this issue to some degree. I’m not going to delve into this topic so deeply that you feel overwhelmed, so my treatment of the topic is unique in that it gives you a useful set of skills without burdening you with topics so complex that the information becomes buried in jargon.

As I said, I’m really excited about this book and would love to have you read it as I write it. Your input is essential to me. Let me know if you’d like to be a beta reader for this book at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.


The Subtle Art of Communication

Communication is part science, part social experiment, and part art. The science comes from psychologists who have come up with ways to quantify and qualify various kinds of communication. The social experiment is the process we all go through learning to communicate because communication is not a skill any of us is born with. The art comes into play with the human mind that can master the intricacies of communication in its many forms. When taken together these views of communication create a picture of a complex issue that many people only partially grasp. It’s not any wonder that developers, like any other person, encounters problems communicating at times. Yet, developers must have superior communication skills in order to translate the real world requirements defined by users who don’t know how to write code, into the abstract environment that comprises an application.

The issue of communication becomes even more complex with each person involved with the communication. We’re talking a geometric progression here. When you have a two people, there are only two lines of communication to consider. Add another person and now you’re dealing with six lines. Add another and you’re dealing with 24 lines. Now imagine that you’re trying to get every element of a huge organization to communicate and you begin to appreciate the difficulty of the Application Performance Manager’s job. Application Performance Monitoring (APM) has become a critical technology for enterprises today because people can’t communicate well enough to define the precise nature of application performance issues and errors. APM seeks to aid communication by providing tools that help locate the sources of an application issue before the user even notices it.

It was with this whole issue of communication in mind that I wrote, “Breaking Down the Walls of the Siloed Application.” This article answers two important questions about enterprise communication. First, what happens when a group of perfectly reasonable people becomes entangled in an enterprise-level conversation about a problem application? Second, how does anyone resolve the issues that such communication creates? You’ll have to read the article to get the details. You can view this article that discusses unified communications for beginners.

This article could apply equally well to developers, manager, and users. In fact, it’s actually a view of what happens in any social setting where large numbers of humans are trying to communicate without much success. The artistic mind of the Application Performance Manager provides the creative solutions to the problem in this case. Of course, there are many other situations that this article doesn’t address (even though the advice I provide may very well work in these situations too). What sorts of communication issues have you encountered recently? Have you found a successful solution? Let me know at John@JohnMuellerBooks.com.