Microsoft LINQ Resources

By John Paul Mueller

Part of LINQ For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It’s always helpful to know where you can go for additional information and tools and enhancements when creating your Language INtegrated Query (LINQ) applications. Here’s a list of helpful Microsoft resources for LINQ.

Microsoft Developer Network

The Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) has always provided the baseline material for all Microsoft development products. You’ll find a whole warehouse of information there — more than any one human being can probably read in a lifetime. Consequently, you need to sift the information carefully or you’ll quickly become lost in the MSDN labyrinth. The main MSDN site for working with LINQ provides you with news, resources, and access to other information such as samples.

Microsoft blogs

Microsoft wants you to know how to work with LINQ. In the past, you’d find much of the information you need on MSDN. The MSDN website is still a good place to go, but many Microsoft developers complained that it was a bit too formal (the articles are pretty difficult to understand in some cases) and there wasn’t any opportunity to interact with the authors. The Microsoft blogs provide a friendlier environment for obtaining information where you can actually correspond with the author. Here are a few blogs you’ll want to visit when working with LINQ:

Most of these blogs are generic — they all discuss programming issues of some kind. Consequently, you’ll find a mix of topics in each blog. The author may discuss the file system in one post and LINQ on another. Each has LINQ-specific entries that you can search for using the search features on the blog. Although Charlie Calvert has left Microsoft, his blog contains a wealth of general LINQ information.

Microsoft forums

If you don’t think that you’re getting enough interaction with Microsoft through a blog, Microsoft employees often frequent the Microsoft forums as well. Uploading a message to the correct forum can net you some professional help or at least some knowledgeable help from another forum member. Most developers rely on the MSDN forum for basic questions about LINQ. You can see a general listing of forums at the Microsoft Community. Don’t forget to try the language-specific forum for Visual Basic .NET.