Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book Review - Getting Started with SQL Server 2012 Cube Development

With Self Service BI picking up pace or in other words gaining attraction, choosing a good data platform to deliver that matters a great deal; SQL Server and Suite SSAS, SSIS, SSRS gets your job done.

Getting Started with SQL Server 2012 Cube Development is very good place start. This books covers the all you need to see what is beneath your data. For many beginners the terms like Cube, OLAP, Dimensions, MDX might be off putting but have interest to take up the Analysis framework; if you are like one as states in above, this book can land you and make the SSAS your comfort-zone.

The first tipping point being the installation, configuration, author has provided a very clear explanation of all steps, dependencies, in a point by point style.

Even the minute details like project view & layouts, cube configuration, data sources, Relationships, etc. hasn't been ignored and covered to the great extent.

The same has been followed for the deployment. There is sufficient theory being provided to have a complete understanding of Technic and scenario rather merely tool usage and development.

Enough light has been lit over the querying aspects of the Analysis cube, various modes, methods pros and cons of the each, using Excel ( 2013 in this books ) to have a 360 degree view of your data in your own way / style in ease. Controlling the access to several users, the schemes of securing and granular control of the assets are clearly explained as well. Performance tuning the need of the hour topic has been explained considering the data, types of analysis been used and methodologies of doing so.

I strongly recommend this book who has already knowledge about SQL, SQL Server and would like to cover the next milestone of SSAS - Cubes and Analysis framework. This book provides good theory of what / when / how and explains the implementation of the same in point by point style.

Book Review - Building UIs with Wijmo

With web application covering several of the form factors of devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, mobiles, phablets etc. the variation in the browers, operating systems and their versions brings up a very big combinations of possibilities which web developers and web designers have to consider, which can make a very simple "Hello world"; hard and mundane to develop. This is precisely reason one uses JavaScript framework and on UI framework. Speaking of the UI framework for web, Wijimo is good pick.

I just had a good read with the PacktPub's Building UIs with Wijmo. This books covers all the bells and whistles of the UI widgets which come from the Wijimo Package. The structure of the book is clear to the core even for a complete beginner, having a basic knowledge of js, css and html will be enough to do build very attractive and user friendly web applications.

Each of the Wijmo UI components like Dialog, Forms Components ( almost all ), Image carousel, gallery, tooltips are the chosen few and also most commonly used ones in any general web application, the books has removed the mist to get started and keep running with the widgets.

Enormous amount of effort has been taken to develop Mobile web application and enough details are provided where things might go wrong and how to fix that or avoid that. Extending the Wijimo widgets and making use of theme roller has left me to explore the Wijimo even more.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Book Review - Instant GSON

I love Packt's Instant book, based on my experience so far with Instant series books, I see the name perfect. When the web shows in the picture. Instant GSON is yet another example.

When we write apps which involves Web Service Call, there comes json. There is great amount of work which needs to be concentrated in parsing the JSON to POJO when we don't use any JSON Parsing libraries. Thanks to Google for contributing to GSON - is simple awesome library JSON to Java Objects conversion library.

The Instant GSON by Sandeep Kumar Patel is more than a documentation which provides you sufficient knowledge about handling JSON in Java. All the major scenarios like converting to-JSON, from-JSON, NULL, Data Types, places where excess care is required, nested classes, user defined naming field support is all been explained to core.

I would recommend this book for people who are having difficult handling JSON and following ad-hoc ways of parsing JSON, or people with basic GSON and would like to explore additional detailed API and options.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Columbus Day offer by Packt Publishing

Packt Publishing is giving everyone the chance to explore its full range of over 1600 DRM-free eBooks this Columbus Day at a massive 50% off at, for 4 whole days. Customers simply use the code COL50 in their cart – as many times as they like until Thursday October 17th. The offer even extends to Packt’s bestselling pre-order of 2013 as well.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Explore something new this Columbus Day with Packt’s biggest ever sale

Packt Publishing is giving everyone the chance to explore its full range of over 1600 DRM-free eBooks this Columbus Day at a massive 50% off at, for 4 whole days. Customers simply use the code COL50 in their cart – as many times as they like until Thursday October 17th. The offer even extends to Packt’s bestselling pre-order of 2013, the highly acclaimed Mastering Web Application Development with AngularJS.

But that’s not all – to mark the transition out of beta stage, the publisher will also be including its Packt Video product range in this limited offer. These practical screencast tutorials give users the working knowledge they need to get the job done, and all videos will be featured in the Columbus Day sale at 50% off – that includes the hugely popular Kali Linux - Backtrack Evolved: A Penetration Tester’s Guide.

The exclusive 50% discount code COL50 will be active on all eBooks and Videos until Thursday October 17th.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review - TestNG Beginner's Guide

Testing is one thing where developers take a lighter priority. For many, unit testing / single try out and obtaining an output during development is the defination of testing. However many are daunted by the additional bells and whistles which need to be taken care of while the development. While with all the things said about testing, many dev feel the "not my job ...!"

One simple single word answer for all the developers working whatever platform, language, domain is Automated Testing. In the wide adopted programming language  - Java, the TestNG framework is indeed wide adopted for testing activity.

Divide and Conquer being the de-facto game strategy in many of the software strategies, it does workout for testing and learning the mastery of the testing framework. The author has modularized the learning curve to be not that steep. The topics and depth in the core subject is gradual. This book is perfect for Java developer who is absolutely new for the testing activity / test frameworks. If you haven't picked up the test framework yet, pick this book and pick TestNG.

Even if you are an absolute beginner to TestNG, this book can drive your testing / test automation tools like a pro. There is enough level of background material, introduction, clarification of basic terminologies provided to get started with the advance topics.

The author has succeeded in illustrating the key features of the TestNG framework and dedicated a separate chapter for those like Factory Annotations, Parallelism, Reporting, Build Tools, Logging. The above topics chapters 6,7,8,9  respectively and the first 5 chapter will ensure you are safely seated with seat belt to go blazing fast.

The chapter about the Migration from JUnit is classy and at same it isn't abrupt about needing to jump from JUnit to TestNG. There was a content to explain the limitations of JUnit and why did TestNG come into the picture. Doing functional testing and idea of the mockup and linking with framework / tools like Selenium, Jmock paints the picture about how do you go about the functional testing.

The book assumes you have at least little bit of prior knowledge of Java coding, the need for testing and other Software development life-cycle. The explanation revolves around the Eclipse IDE but at the same time care has been taken to explain about doing the same activity in the console.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review - Learning SQL Server Reporting Services 2012

To give an opening line about the book - All about Reports and Reporting life cycle from creation to deployment on On-Premises, With SharePoint and on Cloud. Really Comprehensive content on the installation. When I was explaining about the Azure SQL Databases (then SQL Azure) to my friend, his comment was this is far better than on-premises SQL Server; when I asked for the reason, he replied back saying we don’t need to traverse the 50 odd installation steps and configurations. This book steps in and solves the mystery of the SQL Server & Reporting Components about the installation and the background for the installation steps.

The things which I liked in the book are the depth in the illustration of the component and necessity in the installation steps; overview of the features around the reporting tools. The aim of the author to make this book ready for Reporting Developers to start from ZERO and take off to a real-time production environment, the several ways to create / develop reports - the pros and cons of taking either of the approaches, the emphasis of the role management with AD and the ways to architect a role / custom role to restrict the access at the report level.
The good things is the involvement of the SharePoint into the reporting scenario. There are several new things around Data BI which picked up lot of attention like Power View, Report Manager / Builder, Alerts, Extending / Programming the reports, PowerShell for automation & Management, you get to read about all the above stated in this books.

With Cloud, Data gearing up a great way, Microsoft's Azure SQL Reporting Services is something really cool, powerful, and self-service. With Azure SQL Databases and Azure SQL Reporting it changes the game of Data & Reporting for an Organization. Thanks to the author, Azure SQL Reporting was brought under the scope and I can say, the chapter sufficient to handle the Azure SQL Reporting, right from provisioning, deployment, users / role creation, logs, Access Management at enterprise level.

Although all of the example are explained on Windows 7 environment which is a client Operating System, the real-time production loads pretty much happen over the Server Operating System like Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012. The thing to note is that, the background, configuration about the Reporting tools are transferable. One doesn’t need to worry a great deal about examples and exercises which are illustrated over the Windows 7.