Many developers have mastered ASP.NET 2.0 with the help of the
several resources such as online articles, training CDs and books. Microsoft is
always very fast in its product development lifecycle as they have released
ASP.NET 3.5 with Visual Studio 2008. Even though the concepts are similar to
that of ASP.NET 2.0, Microsoft has added new controls and also modified the
syntaxes. Hence, it is vital for the developers to know about these changes
with the help of MSDN documentation and articles from the web. Some developers
don't prefer the above routes and stick with books. There are plenty of books
available on the market but it's the quality and content which matter the most
rather than pages.
Build your own ASP.NET 3.5 website using C# and VB is a 700
page book recently released by SitePoint. Authored by Cristian Darie and Wyatt
Barnett it analyzes nearly all the concepts in a concise format and with the
help of source code, screenshots. An interesting aspect of the book is that the
authors first examine the concepts and then analyzes the requirements and the
steps to implement them in the sample application.
The authors have added one additional chapter and the latest
edition of the book contains 15 chapters including two appendixes. The concepts
are examined with the help of a same project like in the previous edition
codenamed DorkNozzle. I would prefer to see some other new project to accompany
the book. This will help those developers who are already gone through the
previous edition of the book. They will feel bored if they came across the same
project several times.
The book starts with a basic introduction about ASP.NET with
special reference to the installation of Visual Web Developer 2008 and SQL
Server 2008 Express. The author also provides the steps needed to write a first
ASP.NET page with the help of source codes in both C# and Visual Basic. I feel
that this is an interesting aspect as many books tend to provide the codes in
any one of the language. The chapter also provides several tips in grayed boxes.
The second and third chapters examines the page structure of
ASP.NET with a comprehensive coverage about Directives, Code Declaration Blocks,
View State, Programming basics such as functions, loops, arrays and the usage
of code behind files. Moreover, the author also examines about the various
concepts of Object Oriented Programming (OOP) with the help of figures and
You will learn the usage of server controls, master pages
and usage of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in chapter 4. The authors then delves
deep into various key concepts such as usage of validation controls, setting up
of databases, enhancing the application with DataLists, GridView and
DetailsView controls and some of the advanced issues associated with the
Database, Security and User Authentication.
The final chapter provides a comprehensive coverage about File
handling and uploading, Sending Email with ASP.NET 3.5 including a short note
about the creation and implementation of company newsletter page into the
project. The book includes a separate chapter about SQL basics titled Speaking
SQL. I feel that it should be included as an appendix rather than accommodating
it between key chapters.
The authors have added an additional chapter related to
ASP.NET AJAX and it examines the usage of UpdatePanel and ScriptManager
controls. The chapter also provides a short coverage of the usage of Triggers
to update an UpdatePanel control, ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit. The author also
examines the technique of implementing animation using ASP.NET AJAX wit the
help of a sample application. I would prefer to see the coverage of advanced
content on AJAX and hope authors will add them in the next edition of the book.
The book also includes an appendix which provides references
to events, properties and methods of various web controls included with ASP.NET
3.5. I am sure that it is a handy cheat sheet for developers. The latest
edition also includes a second appendix which outlines the procedure to be
followed to deploy ASP.NET Web Sites and also provides few tips including the
usage of SQL Server Hosting Toolkit, which I hope will help advanced developers.
From my point of view, the authors should also provide a
list of naming conventions which should be followed while working with the web
controls including a brief comparison about the changes in ASP.NET 3.5 with
respect to ASP.NET 2.0 at appropriate places. I would suggest the authors to
provide a short coverage of new features included with Visual Studio 2010 which
is currently in beta stage.
I am impressed by the quality of the content and the book is
surely a ready reckoner for all developers who wish to master the core features
of ASP.NET 3.5 in a user-friendly manner with a real world project.
About the Book