Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The Collectible Edition of Our Book

Occasionally, I will check online to see the reviews for our book.  It is now almost 4 years old and a bit outdated with respect to the changes that came with .NET 3.5.  The website and forums however has been trucking along (thanks Joe!) these years.  We never sold a ton of books about this particular niche topic, but for the audience size, it wasn't too shabby.  Joe and I are not about to retire on our royalties, however.

I was a bit surprised to see this online however at Amazon:

image

Now, it is a bit silly for two reasons, a.) our book as a collectible, really?  Who would actually collect it?  and b.) It says it was signed by both authors.  Now, there is a slight chance it is authentic as I think Joe and I signed maybe 2 books together ever.  However, the odds of it being authentic are exceedingly slim.  Who knows. it's funny regardless.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Directory Services Samples Milestone

I was checking on the book's website the other day and noticed that we broke the 54,000 mark for downloads of our sample code.  That really surprised me.  I just didn't think that there were that many people in the world working on these types of scenarios.

 Now, I happen to know that we did not sell that many copies of the book, so this means a lot of people are downloading just the samples.  For the record, that is perfectly fine and we encourage people to look at the samples.  Admittedly, some of the samples might be head-scratchers without the book for context, but hey, its free and so is our time on the forums.

Joe and I log a lot of time here and in other forums helping people and we love to hear your feedback on what works and what doesn't.  Give us a shout when samples don't make sense, or when a scenario seems to be overly painful.  Some people have asked how they can repay us for our time (I have had offers for beer, wine, and lodging so far).  A simple thanks is enough for both of us, however, and a perhaps a recommendation to others.  If you really feel the need to contribute beyond nice words - simple, just buy the book!

Friday, 04 August 2006

Fast Concurrent Binding in SDS.P

So, this is really a lesson learned about putting together a book and code samples.  Namely, refactoring your code just before the final cut is generally not a good idea.  Or perhaps I should say, refactoring your code and not thoroughly testing it is not a good idea.

In Chapter 12 of the book, we had a number of examples for how to perform authentication.  One of them was using System.DirectoryServices.Protocols (SDS.P).  The sample tried a number of techniques – first a secure SSL bind using Fast Concurrent Binding (FCB), then it tried either a secure SPNEGO bind or a Digest bind (if ADAM).  Well, initially these were all different samples.  I thought it might be nice to tie them all together a bit more comprehensively – hence the refactoring.  I figured that a bigger sample that did more in a practical manner was more useful than a few line snippets that showed each one.

Anyhow, what ended up happening is that I broke the FCB authentication during the refactoring.  Because of unforseen testing environment meltdown a week earlier I did not have the proper Win2k3 clients to test again (it used to work, really!).  So… I borked it because the FCB code never got tested again.

One of my Avanade co-workers was actually implementing something like this and asked why it was not working.  At first I chalked it up to an environment thing, but after a closer inspection I noticed what the issue was.  Namely, in my attempt to bring all the samples together I had attempted to reuse the same connection for authentication as the bootstrapping.  Well, you can’t do that with FCB – you have to enable it before you bind and cannot turn it off until you close the connection.

The good news is that it is a fairly simple fix and I have already refactored (yet again) to support it.  I will be posting that code in another week or so when I get back from vacation.  Then poor Joe gets to convert it yet again to VB.NET.  Mea Culpa…

More SDS Bloggers

My co-author Joe Kaplan is finally online and blogging now.  I have asked him for more Wix content since he knows a bunch more than me on it.  More LDAP blogging goodness to come I am sure…

Thursday, 11 May 2006

DotNetDevGuide to Directory Services Companion Site Launched

With very little fanfare, I am announcing that the companion site for ‘The .NET Developer’s Guide to Directory Services Programming’ is available now.  We have managed to snag a fairly relevant domain name for it and rushed to put out a Community Server based site (a review on this tool later perhaps).  You can find it here:

Directory Programming .NET

Our first order of business is to get the code samples out there.  Right now, we have released what I term the ‘raw’ samples as they are verbatim from the book (available here).  The samples are still a great start even though they are slightly truncated in some cases.  The truncation will only affect the more sophisticated examples we have in the book that would have taken pages of code to print in entirety.

My next order of business is to finish converting all the book samples into a more easy to consume test harness release.  I say ‘test-harness’ in a loose manner as TDD guys will probably not be satisfied.  I have put together ad-hoc test cases for each of the non-trivial samples in the book and modified them to work with configuration (so you don’t have to hardcode your domain over and over again, for instance).  This is taking some time, but should be done shortly.  Once this is done, you can use TestDriven.NET or NUnit to run these guys pretty easily.

Future plans for the site include more and more samples (not from the book necessarily) as well as a place for us to publish errata and updates as we find them.  We have enabled the forums feature as of now and will gauge its usefulness as we go.

My co-author Joe is on the hook to convert all the samples to VB.NET.  I don’t particularly envy him – we didn’t realize how many frickin samples we had until we tried to put them all together.  He has his work cut out for him.

As for when you can get your hands on a copy of the book.  The answer is… now.  It is in stock at Addison-Wesley and Amazon and other retailers should have it stocked any time now.  Brick and mortar stores will be last, but should be in the next week or so.  Of course, purchasing it through my Amazon link on this site or the companion site would be appreciated since we are running this companion site out of our own pockets.

Monday, 13 February 2006

Copyedit Complete!

A major milestone was reached today.  My co-author, Joe Kaplan, and I have finally finished the copyedit process for our book.  This has been a very long book in the making and we are both pretty excited that the end is near.  We still have a few more rounds to go with proofs and what not, but for the most part, it is all done.  The next big focus for us will be to get the companion web site in order.  I won’t share the URL for it yet, but it should have some great code that we developed for this book to share.

If anyone was wondering why I have not been in the forums as much as normal these last few weeks, its because we have been heads down trying to get this all wrapped up.