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Silverlight: Book Review

Book Review: Developer's Guide to Microsoft Prism 4

Building Modular MVVM Applications with WPF and Silverlight

This is a nice concise overview of all the topics related to development with Microsoft PRISM 4.0.

It is not exactly the same content that is available for download.  It is a trimmed down version of it.  For example it does not cover upgrading from a previous version or go into the implementation details of the examples.  It gives an overview and points you to the topic in the online MSDN documentation.  Personally I would have preferred the content to have been included.

The book starts out with an overview of PRISM terminology and the reasons for using PRISM (as well as the reasons not to).  It then offers a chapter on each of the following topics- Initializing Prism Applications, Managing Dependencies Between Components, Modular Application Development, Implementing the MVVM Pattern, Advanced MVVM Scenarios, Composing the User Interface, Navigation, Communication Between Loosely Coupled Components, Sharing Code Between Silverlight and WPF, and Deploying Prism Applications.

I think the book is organized well and is written in an easy to read format.  It contains a lot of diagrams that help you understand the topic.  It works well as a reference because it has a very nice index.  The book also contains a ton of links to more information about the topics it covers.

PRISM is a big topic.  This book is a great place to start learning it.  Actually the best place to start.  Learning the architectural and design techniques the team used when putting PRISM together will help any architect or developer increase their skillset.  This book contains a nice overview of MVVM, MEF, UNITY (Inversion of Control/Dependency Injection),  and many popular design patterns (Command, Adapter, Application Controller, Event Aggregator, Facade, Observer, Service Locator, etc.) which makes it worth reading, even if you are not planning on using PRISM anytime soon.  Learning how PRISM works is worth the time.

All in all, if you are a .NET Architect or Developer I highly recommend reading this book.

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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