Review: Build Your Own ASP.NET 3.5 Web Site Using C# & VB, 3rd Edition
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Published: 13 Apr 2009
Unedited - Community Contributed
Abstract
Do you want to migrate to ASP.NET 3.5 from ASP.NET 2.0 and are searching for an informative book? Why not refer to SitePoint's latest book and kick start the updating process right now. According to Anand, the book is a handy companion for developers. Read the review and find it out whether it will suit your learning style.
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

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 source codes.

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

Title

Build Your Own ASP.NET 3.5 Web Site Using C# & VB

Author

Cristian Darie & Wyatt Barnett

Publisher

SitePoint

ISBN - 13

978-0-9804552-1-2

Edition

3rd Edition, October 2008

Pages

771

Price

US $44.

Rating

*****

 



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