If you are writing anything more than a basic web service that is hosted on IIS, I highly recommend gaining a firm understanding of Windows Server AppFabric. The recently released Microsoft Windows Server AppFabric Cookbook is the perfect resource to kick-start the learning process for the uninitiated and act as the go-to reference guide for the experienced architect. The cookbook series of books from Packt Publishing are authored to provide “quick answers to common problems” and the AppFabric cookbook delivers on that promise. While I had some experience with AppFabric before I purchased the book, I discovered a number of scenarios and solutions that I have not encountered in my role as a consultant. All-in-all the book presents 60 scenarios that cover a wide range of topics including installation, configuration, monitoring and utilizing the many features of AppFabric.
While the installation guides and MSDN documentation do a fairly good job of covering the basic functions, I am most impressed with the code samples from the book. One of the reasons I will refer back to this book often is the emphasis that is placed on using PowerShell to manage an AppFabric environment. This is important for anyone working in a production environment as many system administrators will want installation, configuration and monitoring to be completely scripted. PowerShell scripting is an important technique when utilizing AppFabric in a Web Farm where multiple servers need to stay in sync. No one wants to log in to each individual server in a cluster and make the same change over and over again just hoping not to fat-finger the one setting that will bring the environment to a halt. Also, the book also makes judicious use of screen shots and code samples that complement the step by step instructions.
All-in-all, I think the authors did a great job covering such a broad topic and I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in Windows Server AppFabric.