for the intended audience
It is about the features of .Net and the Microsoft operating systems which allow enterprise-scale applications to be built, with such considerations as distribution, performance, fail-safety, transaction integrity, and so on. Chapters cover concurrency, .net remoting, COM interop, data access, transaction services, compensating resource management, state management, queued components, loosely-coupled events, security, and deployment.
There are 15 chapters, the first being an introduction, 14 being a forward look at what's coming, and 15 being a case study. Throughout the book, code samples are given to illustrate the concepts being described. In general, I found these to be straightforward, and it was good that they all formed part of the larger case study (although there was potential for confusion in places as similar class names were in use for different parts of the system). I did not actually try any of them, or the whole case study, but my impression was good.
Starting off, I got a bad feeling when in chapter 1, all sorts of concepts were thrown at the reader. It didn't seem to make much sense, and I began to think it would be a difficult 540 pages. But, after that, the remaining chapters were good, each explaining one particular feature, what, why, how and with simple code examples. Options available in each case were clearly explained, and I got a good understanding of what each chapter was saying.
Some experience of the .net environment and programming in it is necessary, as there is a lot of detail to cover. On the other hand, if I were to decide to implement a system such as a queue component, I think I would use this book as a springboard, and find other sources of information to give me a really detailed picture. From reading the book, I would feel fairly comfortable about using the MSDN as a primary source of detailed information, but reserve the right to order a more specific book.
One minor niggle was that in each double-page, the left page has at the top the name of the book, the right page the name of the chapter. Personally, I generally know what book I am reading, so would have preferred the more detailed sub-chapter section to be available there.
Also, like most books I have read recently, the index was not great, more of an alphabetical list of terms, instead of a comprehensive matrix allowing me to find something even if I didn't know exactly what it was. I couldn't even see a reference to Visual Studio in there!
Still, the book is recommended.