The book begins with an introductory chapter which explains
only the basics of how one databinds controls. He introduces the data source
controls which can be used for the databinding. Some common classes which are
used throughout the book are introduced in this chapter. The screenshots and
code snippets scattered throughout the first chapter and the rest of the book
make it very easy to follow along with the steps explained in the text. There
are so many screenshots and code snippets it feels like there is not much text
in the chapter.
Because of the similarities between the different list
controls in ASP.NET, the second chapter lumps them all together. In this short
chapter you will learn how to use the list controls. This chapter feels like a
collection of "How to" examples. It mentions a task you might need to
perform and it explains how to perform the task using examples. In this chapter
I was slightly bothered by some of the sections not explaining all the main
circumstances. For example, when it explains how to remove items from each of
the list controls it explains how to remove all of the items or one of the
items based on an index. It does not, however, explain how to remove based on a
value. Overall, I thought the chapter was well written. Small things such as
this are easily found using Google.
The third, forth, and fifth chapters cover Repeaters,
DataLists, and DataGrids. These three chapters naturally flow well together
because the controls about which they are written are often used for the same
purposes. In many situations software developers are able to use these controls
to create solutions. In these chapters, Joydip explains how to handle the
basics which are needed when using these data presentation controls. He shows
how to implement paging, sorting, and filtering of data using these controls.
He also shows how to perform data manipulation with them: inserting, editing,
and deleting data.
Chapters six and seven are collectively one long topic, the
view controls. These two chapters are part one and part two of the view section
of the book. The GridView, being a much more advanced data presentation
control, gets a great deal more explanation than the other views. In the first
chapter, Joydip explains a lot of the same things he has in the past few
chapters, like paging, sorting, filtering, inserting, updating, etc. One of my
personal favorite things to do with a GridView is also explained- showing
hierarchical data. Considering the amount of data stored in a relational way,
it is quite important to be able to display this relational data
hierarchically. The author made sure to include one very useful piece of
information in this chapter, the ability to export a GridView to Microsoft
The second part explains how to use the DetailsView,
FormView, and TreeView controls. Each of these is far less advanced than the
GridView which is how all three can be covered in one chapter. The TreeView
examples used in the chapter explain pretty well how to work with the TreeView.
It is probably one of the most interesting controls available simply because of
the interest interface it allows.
In the last pages of the book the ASP.NET 3.5 topics are
covered. There is a brief introduction to using LINQ. The author does not go
into depth on using LINQ, but simply shows the basics. It seems to mostly just
be a teaser. I expect for the next version of this book there will be a
full-blown chapter on using LINQ. The rest of the chapter is also brief
introductions to some of the data presentation controls available in ASP.NET
3.5. For the next edition of this book, I am sure that Joydip will have
developed the sections on LINQ, ListView, and DataPager much more thoroughly.