Feedback Wanted: Links to C# Tech Info

A couple of us are working on finding a way to surface key links to information in the MSDN library. Perhaps later we will also link to information found throughout the community websites. If we can find the right approach, we might canonize these categorize and links on the Learn page of the C# Dev Center.

Below you will see a work in progress outlining one possible way to start to surface this information, along with a proposed set of initial links to information about that the various proposed categorize. Hopefully you will find this information interesting in and of itself. However, I would before I work too hard on it, I would like to get feedback from you on the structure of this data and the tentative links included here. If you have any comments on what you see here, please take a moment to reply to this post with your thoughts.

I think the categories laid out here are fairly self explanatory. I would only point out that the work shown below merges two different approaches to categorizing the information on MSDN:

  • The first five big bullets categorize data by scenario. For instance, the work with scenarios such as: I want to “Work with data,” “Get Started,”  “Learn about C#,” “Learn the Tools”, “Learn about Web Development.”
  • The final category drops the scenario approach and simply lists the technologies that Microsoft spends so much time publicizing.

It is my thought that some developers will think in scenarios, and some in technologies, and some will think in one way or the other depending on the circumstances. The categorization shown below is to designed to accommodate developers from both schools of thought. But I don’t mean to prejudice you by talking about what I’ve tried to do here. Just tell me what you think, if you have any impulse at all to provide feedback. At this stage, I’m not wedded to any of this, I’m just interested in hearing what you think. Thanks for whatever thoughts you might have on this subject.




The Links


Working with Data

Microsoft White Papers.url
MSDN SQL Server Dev Center.url
SQL Server Books Online.url
TechNet SQL Server Dev Center.url
What's New (SQL Server 2008).url


.NET Framework Data Providers (ADO.NET).url
ADO.NET Code Examples.url
ADO.NET DataSets.url
ADO.NET Overview.url
LINQ and ADO.NET.url

Entity Framework

ADO.NET Entity Framework.url
Quickstart (Entity Framework).url
Working with Entity Data.url

Getting Started with Data

Creating Data Applications by Using Visual Studio.url
How to Create a Data Connection to the Northwind Database.url
Northwind Sample Database.url
Recommendations for Data Access Strategies.url
Table Basics.url
Walkthrough Creating a Simple Data Application.url


Frequently Asked Questions (LINQ to SQL).url
LINQ to SQL.url
SqlMetal.exe (Code Generation Tool).url


Installing SQL Server CE.url
SQL Reference for SQL Server CE.url
SQL Server CE Overview.url

SQL Server

SQL Server Books Online.url

Transact SQL

Transact-SQL Reference.url


Working with XML Data.url
XML Tools in Visual Studio.url

Getting Started

New to C#

Creating Your First C# Application.URL
Getting Started with Visual C#.URL
How Do I in C#.URL
Introduction to the C# Programming Language.URL

New To Development

Development for Beginners Tools, Lessons, Resources on MSDN.url
Kid's Corner Learning Computers and Development on MSDN.url
Windows Development for Beginners.url

The C# Language

How Do I in C#

Language Basics and Specification

C# Keywords.url
C# Language Features (C#).url
C# Operators.url
C# Preprocessor Directives (C#).url
The C# Language Specification.url

Samples and Walkthroughs

C# Tutorials (C#).url
Visual C# Sample Applications.url
Visual C# Walkthroughs.url
Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 Walkthroughs.url

Microsoft Technologies


ClickOnce Deployment for Windows Forms Applications.url
ClickOnce Deployment Overview.url
ClickOnce Deployment Walkthroughs.url


Anders Hejlsberg on Language Integrated Query.URL
Enumerable Members (System.Linq).URL
IQueryProvider Members (System.Linq).URL
Language-Integrated Query (LINQ).URL
LINQ Home Page.URL
Queryable Members (System.Linq).URL
Standard Query Operators Overview.URL
System.Linq Namespace ().URL
System.Linq.Expressions Namespace ().URL


Excel Developer Center.url
How-to Center.url
Interactive Developer Map.url
Microsoft Office Development.url
Office Business Applications.url
Understanding Office Development.url
Welcome to the Microsoft Office Word 2007 Developer Reference [Word 2007 Developer Reference].url


Learn Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, developer, SDK, tutorials, videos, articles, books.url
Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies.url
SharePoint Developer Center 2010, 3.0, 2.0, downloads, tools, SDK.url
SharePoint Products and Technologies (2010).url
Welcome to the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 SDK.url

Windows Communication Foundation

Basic WCF Programming.url
Getting Started Tutorial.url
Guide to the Documentation.url
Windows Communication Foundation.url

Windows Forms

ClickOnce Deployment for Windows Forms Applications.url
Enhancing Windows Forms Applications.url
Getting Started with Windows Forms.url
What's New in Windows Forms for the .NET Framework 3.5.url
Windows Forms Reference.url

Windows Presentation Foundation

Application Development.url
Getting Started (WPF).url
Graphics and Multimedia.url
Windows Presentation Foundation.url
WPF Fundamentals.url

Windows Workflow

Services Overview.url
System.Workflow.Runtime.Hosting Namespace ().url
Windows Workflow Foundation Overview.url
Windows Workflow Foundation Tutorials.url
Windows Workflow Foundation.url


Visual C# 2008 Express Edition.URL
Visual Studio Software Development Kit (SDK).url
Visual Studio.url

Command Line Compiler

C# Compiler Options Listed by Category (C#).url
Command-Line Building.url
How to Set Environment Variables.url


Building, Debugging, and Testing.url
Debugging in Visual Studio.url
Debugging LINQ.url
Debugging Managed Code.url

Visual Studio Editor

Editing Code and Resource Files.url
How to Add Application Configuration Files to C# Projects.url
Metadata as Source.url
Refactoring (C#).url
XML Editor.url

Visual Studio Project and Tool Windows

How to Arrange and Dock Windows.url
How to Navigate Within the Integrated Development Environment.url
Managing Solutions, Projects, and Files.url
Quick Tour of the Integrated Development Environment.url

Web Development

Web Development.url


ASP.NET Overview.url
ASP.NET Walkthroughs by Scenario.url
The Official Microsoft ASP.NET Site.url
Visual Web Developer.url


HTML and DHTML Overviews and Tutorials.url
HTML and DHTML Reference.url
Quick Reference Guides.url

Internet Information Services

Deploying Web Sites on IIS 7.0 The Official Microsoft IIS Site.url
Developing on IIS 7.0 The Official Microsoft IIS Site.url
Using Visual Studio 2008 with IIS 7.0 Development Tools Developing on IIS 7.0 The Official Microsoft IIS Site.url


Getting Started with Silverlight.url
Silverlight 3.url
Silverlight 4.0.url
Silverlight Overview.url
The Official Microsoft Silverlight Site.url

kick it on

Comments (14)
  1. ShuggyCoUk says:

    only two things really matter to me:

    * Make it googleable/bingable

    * Stop the link rot!

    I become massively frustrated with much of MSDN because once I get into it internal links break on a depressingly regular basis.

    links from deep level articles back up to the general overview as well specific "how to do X" are a good (and now quite common in existing .Net documentation for example)

  2. Along with the small demo applications for each technology/class, I would like to see a well architected fully functional n-tier application that uses various MS technologies.

    I also think a glossary of terms, their common abbreviations and descriptions would be helpful.

  3. Mathias says:

    Amen to @ShuggyCoUk re: link rot. I wish re-direction to up-to-date pages was happening reliably.

    I loved what you did with LINQ 101, this is one MSFT doc page I come to all the time. I realize it does not work for every topic but it was great.

    I would love to see a better integration with forums, for things that are not covered in an official page. And possibly a cloud tag.

    I recommend that you guys check StackOverflow for inspiration on the question of helping people finding information.

    As for the specific organization you present, my biggest issue with it is order. The idea of arranging by scenario is reasonable, but the logical organization is weird. Why would data > ADO be the first item? The most likely / general items should be on top, ex: the C# language > Sample and Walk-through.

    My other issue is the following: when I search for programming info, either I know the topic and look for something detailed, and in that case I won’t need your index because search will hopefully bring me straight to the right page, or I am new to the topic, and from that standpoint your list assumes a good understanding of the technologies/names MSFT uses – or that the person knows what to use for their problem.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Rob says:

    I am interested in the general problem of how to make info more accessible. This looks like a useful start.

    I am interested in a user-editable source that provides user-voted RSS feeds, web links, and, as Matthias mentions, user-created-and-voted tag lists for each item. User interface may be an issue. Not sure the browser is the best way to go, but it should be an available interface. I think it would be good to add desired items from the source to your local sets.

  5. ccalvert says:


    The idea of user-editable content or user-voted rankings is one that I (and a few others) have supported for some time. Hopefully you will see the site move in that direction slowly over the coming months and years. Certainly some of us are working toward that goal. I’m not sure this particular project will help us achieve that end, but hopefully it has merit of its own.

    – Charlie

  6. ccalvert says:


    Thanks for your comment about the list assuming a good understanding of our technologies. That is a valid point. I’ll work on finding words that aren’t based on that assumption. The one exception will be the "Technologies" section which is predicated on the idea that users know about a particular subject already, and want to dig into it. I understand that many people will use search to get to the info automatically, but still there are times when one wants to see what we have to say about the subject here on MSDN and would prefer some kind of coherent presentation.

    – Charlie

  7. Terry says:

    I think this is a wonderful idea, but now if you could only make sections (not individual pages) available as coherant pdfs so it could be saved for future offline reference and perhaps printable

  8. ccalvert says:


    Thanks for that suggestion. I’ll pass it on. I’m sure people have recommended this kind of thing before, but I don’t know what the status is for this kind of request.

    – Charlie

  9. ccalvert says:


    You might also be interested in the Package This tool that does something similar to what you want:

    I didn’t know about this tool, but I asked around about your question, and someone mentioned it.

    – Charlie

  10. Kevin says:

    I like what you have done with this index, this is going to be very helpful.

    I agree with the idea of an option for saving a link or subject to a PDF file for future reference.

    Finally, being able to search just for C# subject matter would be quite helpful. You can do so now but not without several added steps. Weeding through the entire Development Network can sometimes be tedious.

  11. Don’t forget the architectural stuff currently appearing to be AWOL from your list. I’m deep in the doo trying to learn composite application development for Silverlight/WPF and can use all the guidance I can find.

  12. Thanks for these articles, I enjoyed them!

  13. thank for this article i love c# 😀

  14. Devnetfx says:

    I would like to see some good links for design patterns implemented in C#.

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