Review of MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-502): Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Presentation Foundation

Written by Matthew A. Stoecker
This book has 524 pages

The reason I read exam preparation books is to learn things about the product which you would otherwise learn the hard way, you might have introduced bugs because you didn’t know why certain things worked the way they did. Taking the preparation exams in the book is also another good way to see if you have actually mastered the material inside the book. This book is organized in 10 chapters. If you have done Windows Forms programming then you will have no problem following the material in the book, it is written in a clear and concise matter and source code is in C# and VB.

Here is what is covered in each chapter.

Chapter one explains the different kinds of WPF apps that you can develop and when you should chose one over the other.
Chapter two is about Evens, Event Handling, Commands and Application Settings.
Chapter three is all about building the user interface.
Chapter four is about content, this includes images and binary resources.
Chapter five is about data binding including ADO.NET and XML.
Chapter six is about data validation and conversion, this includes implementing IValueConverter.
Chapter seven is all about Styles and Animation. This chapter is where the fun of WPF programming is. You will learn about using triggers, animations, styles and understanding Property Value Precedence.
Chapter eighth is all about customizing the User Interface.
Chapter nine deals with Resources, Localization and Documents.
Chapter ten will teach you how to deploy and application including using a windows installer or ClickOnce

After you are done with this book you will be able to create a Windows Presentation Foundation application from start to finish including deployment. You will also learn that you can do things in code or in XAML and that the end result is the same. I highly recommend this book for any person who has done at least 6 months of Windows Forms. Windows Presentation Foundation is the natural evolution of Windows Forms and this book will help you master the cool stuff and let you know about pitfalls. You will learn that all your Windows Forms knowledge is still relevant, you will also learn that WPF is so much more than Windows Forms. The graphics features and multimedia integration alone will make you stay up until the early morning to create that cool app to show to your boss.

One thing I would recommend is to read this book twice, reading things the second time around will make it very clear why things are done a certain way

This book is a must if you want to pass the 70-502 exam or if you want to learn about Windows Presentation Foundation