Recommended Book: NHibernate 3.0 Cookbook
The people from Packt Publishing asked me to review one of their new books, the NHibernate 3.0 Cookbook. I was a little hesitant at first to do yet another book review (don't worry, I'm gonna cut back on the reviews) but the NHibernate community needs a good, up to date NHibernate book and I was curious to see if this one could fill that void.
As the title says, it's a cookbook. It consists of a bunch of recipes for a very large variety of NHibernate-related tasks. These kind of books are usually pretty low on theory, but this one does a good job of backing up most of the recipes' practical steps with just enough of the background theory that you do need to use NHibernate effectively. I still prefer the approach used in NHibernate In Action, which is more heavy on theory, but that book unfortunately targets NHibernate 1.2. This one covers a lot of the new things that have been introduced in NHibernate 2, 2.1 and the upcoming 3.0 version and as such, is the most suitable NHibernate book available right now.
I'm not gonna go over each chapter like I usually do, so if you want to get a a glimpse of what the book covers, just click here. And as you can see, it covers quite a lot. As usual with NHibernate books, I'd like to see a bit more pages being spent on querying, but this task only becomes harder as NHibernate keeps adding more querying API's. Yes, both QueryOver and the LINQ Provider are covered. Unfortunately, the whole chapter that deals with querying covers HQL, Criteria, QueryOver and LINQ in a mere 44 pages. And while there are some examples of each, none of them are really covered in depth. That's probably not the goal of this book, and it would indeed be hard for any book to cover all of those querying API's in depth while not boring the hell out of your readers, but it is something that a lot of readers are going to need to look into a bit more if they're going to use NHibernate in real applications.
But don't let my nitpicking on the querying chapter fool you. This book is very useful to people who are new to NHibernate, and a lot of people who already have experience with it will learn a few new useful tricks or learn some things they didn't know yet. And while it contains a lot of useful information, it also manages to be a pretty quick read. And if you need any more convincing, just take a look at the price of the electronic version of this book ;)
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