It's been close to 5 months since I last posted but I have a good excuse this time. Back in November, I was recovering from PDC 2008 and the launch of Windows Azure. One morning, I had this crazy idea. Like all new Microsoft platforms, Windows Azure was going to need a book. Why not write it? I sent out a few feeler mails and O'Reilly was quick to respond and talk to me. Of all the publishers I spoke to, they were definitely the easiest to work with and I wound up signing a deal with them to write a book on Windows Azure.
We're targeting the book for a release in January next year. Now, I'm a Microsoft employee and you know how good we are at meeting dates
We don't have a final title yet. I expect it would be called 'Programming Windows Azure' or something along those lines. Decisions on that and what is very important to me - the animal on the cover will be taken a lot later in the process
This will be a comprehensive look at Windows Azure - all the pieces and technologies that make up the platform along with tips on how to use it effectively, patterns, etc. If you're new to cloud computing, you should be able to pick up this book and come out of it with a good understanding of what in blazes Azure actually is. My personal goal is to do a book which doesn't get outdated very son.
How do you do that with a platform which ships features every month? Well, take a look at people like Jeffrey Richter or Mark Russinovich or Charles Petzold in the Microsoft world. Or look at the Camel book or the High Performance MySQL book or Cal Handerson's scaling book. Some books are just so darn good that they are relevant even when you look at them years later. If my book is even a quarter as good as those books, I'll be satisfied. In fact, I keep these and other classics around me when I write to remind myself of what makes a good book great
Well, right now, its very early going. I've just sent in two chapters for review and trust me, writing is very hard. I've a long , long way to go. Thankfully, I've an awesome team to help me out. The O'Reilly folks have been great and Brian Jepson, my editor, has been very tolerant with all my goof-ups to date (thanks Brian!). We also have a great team of reviewers set up. I'll keep this blog updated with progress on the book.
I would love to know what you guys expect in a book on Windows Azure. Feel free to leave a comment or mail me at email@example.com. I'm trying to make it as useful as possible. Examples? Have a lot of them. Sections on what design/architectural patterns to use? They're in there too. Sections on when NOT to use the cloud? Yes, I wrote a lot about that. Silly jokes and Battlestar Galactica references? Have them too.
As for when you can get the book, we plan on making it available over Safari (O'Reilly online book service) as a preview at some time but a lot of details need to be worked out (and frankly, I just need to write more). Of course, once the book is done, I'll be linking to the Amazon page.