The Application Book provides a deep, technical look at Windows applications and how they work under the covers for an IT Professional audience. I’ve always told people the reason I’m drawn to application deployment as a specialty is that each application is a puzzle to figure out, and I like these puzzles. What capabilities did the vendor provide for an automated deployment? What can be customized? If I’m repackaging, where are its settings stored and which defaults do I want to roll out (or even enforce)? Do dependencies exist and what is the best way to handle these? I established AppDeploy, ITNinja and then ultimately, this site to share answers to these puzzles and was pleased to find there were a lot of people out there solving these application puzzles!
When it comes to command line support for setups, the answers to these application puzzles are pretty easy to share. However, when it comes to repackaging and knowing what should and should not be included, or troubleshooting an installation when it does not work as expected, sharing is often much harder. For such situations, a deep understanding of the operating system, applications and how they work together is necessary. Such information typically comes by building experience over time through trial and error.
I’ve seen a couple of classes try to communicate these kinds of details to help accelerate building this kind of knowledge. It can however be a challenge to find such a class and then get budget for it. This is why I feel The Application Book is so very necessary. Being able to get a brain dump from an expert like Tim Mangan who has taught such classes for years is the perfect way to jumpstart your knowledge of how things work and it will make these application puzzles so much easier to solve!
The Application Book will help you understand many of the cryptic aspects of how Windows works under the covers so you can know what you are looking at when you pick an application apart (instead of guessing and crossing your fingers the decisions you make are correct). You’ll work faster and produce better results with an understanding of all the changes that do (and do not) make up the application you are working to deploy or troubleshoot. It can be leveraged either as a cover-to-cover read as though you are attending a class, or it can serve as a valuable reference in solving challenges as you encounter them. I recommend using the book both ways: first as an enlightening introduction, then as a unique reference. Many of these topics covered are traditionally written for developers who have a different perspective and speak a different language than administrators. Tim, being both, does an amazing job of conveying some daunting topics in a way easy to understand for an IT professional.
I highly encourage you to get your hands on this book!
Bob Kelly, AppDetails
PS: I had the pleasure of writing the forward for this book (pretty much verbatim what I’ve posted above) and had access to it early for review and editing so I’ve given it a closer than usual look. I sure wish I had this book in my possession ten or fifteen years ago, but am glad it is finally here!