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The purpose of most of the real-world applications is to process data that are available in external data sources such as databases and XML files or obtained using a web service or REST API. Accessing such data sources in a typed way is difficult, because the compiler does not understand the structure of the data.
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Tomas Petricek is a long time F# enthusiast, using F# since the early Microsoft Research versions. He has been a Microsoft C# MVP since 2004, and together with Jon Skeet wrote Real-world Functional Programming which explains basic functional concepts using C# 3.0 (teaching F# alongside) and which shows several appealing real-world uses of F# and functional techniques. He also contributed to the development of F# during two internships at Microsoft Research in Cambridge.