Book Review: Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce by Brian Noyes

It is true to say that I have waited for this book for literally years. Since Duncan Mackenzie was first going to write this book and then Duncan joined forces with Brian Noyes and then finally Brian took over the reins himself. It was worth the wait. The title Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce says exactly what the book is all about. Smart Clients (ignoring the pointless myriad definitions of "Smart Client") are Windows Forms applications and ClickOnce is the deployment technology introduced in the .NET Framework 2.0 and developed further in Orcas to be released later this year (?). I was especially pleased to learn that Brian was writing this book because I have enjoyed his articles, webcasts and live presentations and his clear no-nonsense style and in-depth knowledge of his subjects. This book is another great example of Brian’s style and knowledge. The 8 chapters (and 1 appendix) and 285 pages cover ClickOnce in depth and cover all of the subjects that I am looking for except one. Brian kindly gives a nod to my own .NET Development Series book, .NET Internationalization, where I cover the subject of ClickOnce for internationalized applications in a depth that is only relevant in a book dedicated to internationalization. Clearly you might feel that there is a conflict of interest in me recommending a book that recommends my own book but there is little I can do about this - Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce is a well written book that covers the subject in depth; it would be difficult not to recommend it. The chapters are:-

1. Introduction to ClickOnce
2. Initial Deployment with ClickOnce
3. Automatic Application Updates
4. On-Demand Updates
5. Application and Data File Management
6. ClickOnce Security
7. Prerequisite Deployment with the Bootstrapper
8. Advanced ClickOnce Topics
Appendix A. ClickOnce Deployment of WPF Applications

An obvious question now that there are two ClickOnce books (the other being Deploying .NET Applications: MSBuild and ClickOnce by Sayed Hashimi and Sayed Hashimi) is which one is best ? I bought the MSBuild/ClickOnce book in May 2006 and was pleased that the book existed because it covered two important subjects (MSBuild and ClickOnce) that had not been covered in a book until that point. However, I was disappointed by the lack of depth. Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce was released 8 months later and it covers a wider range of subjects in greater depth and subjectively I prefer the writing style. Both books have merit (particularly if you also have an interest in MSBuild) but for ClickOnce I clearly prefer Smart Client Deployment with ClickOnce.

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Posted by: Guy Smith-Ferrier
Posted on: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 9:27 PM
Categories: Miscellaneous - Technical
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