Book Review: A First Look at ASP.NET v. 2.0
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by Robert Chartier
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Chapters 6 through 13

We now move onto Security I Chapter 6.  This chapter covers the wide topic of membership (not including personalization).


NOTE: Remember, the difference between Membership and Personalization that membership deals with user authentication and authorization only.  Personalization deals with things like themes and skins, more along the lines of allowing the user to customize their view of the content on your site.


I personally like how this chapter flows.  We start off with forms authentication, then move into the actual membership pieces, some of the controls that we can use with membership, role management, cookie-less forms authentication, and finally the very cool Web Admin tool. We get a very straight forward coverage of membership.


Now we move onto Personalization in Chapter 7.  This book, of course, covers all the bases.  Personalization providers (access and SQL-Server) and even how we can roll out our own custom providers.  I also liked the fact that we get a very basic introduction to how to apply themes to your sites on a per user basis, including creating and using skins.  Finally the book ends with how to support theme’s within our own custom controls.


The next logical topic we would expect from this book would be to deal with those extremely complex Web Parts, the Portal Framework.  I tried to read over most of this chapter (we’re on Chapter 8 now) but found myself hoping that the IDE would give me sufficient support for my needs regarding these.  I think for some production rollouts these would mostly be a nice-to-have feature, and for an even smaller number a must-have, so I felt that when the time comes that I need to leverage these that I will take a deeper look then.  Either way, its nice to know that this book covers these features in over 40 pages of content.


Chapter 9 deals with Pages, Posting and Validation.  I know many of you out there will take these features to heart.  They cover such things as cross page posting, validation, validation groups, the new wizard control, client scripting support, page directive, and finally page and control lifecycles.  Very extensive coverage in about 30 pages.  I did notice that they tossed in URL Mapping within the mix.  I felt that this was out of place and could be better places with the configuration details in Chapter 13.


We now jump over to the Mobile development world.  I’ve always loved the fact that Microsoft really was interested in solving the whole device adaptability stuff.  One thing that I didn’t expect from this book was the fact that they actually introduced the browser definitions files and how to register them with ASP.NET.  Along with that we also get a peek at some of the mobile-only controls which we can leverage.  The chapter ends with a nice list of the available emulators. 


Chapter 11 jumps over to Caching.  And I believe this is all done by Rob Howard.  Basically is standard discussion regarding Caching, database caching (yes, with Yukon too).


I want to quickly jump over to Chapter 12, Control Enhancements.  We get a nice overview of Dynamic Images (device specific rendering), Image Generation Service (ImageGenerator Control),  a list of changes to existing controls (a must for everyone planning on migrating to v2) and finally the author covers resources, and how to actually add web resources, which I’m sure will impress most control developers.


The last Chapter, 13 deals with all the new Configuration and Administration features that we will see roll out in v2.  It’s a very detailed (brutal) view all most if not all of the configuration sections that we will be able to play with in v2.  Thank god that Microsoft is actually giving us a tool to help with all of these options.

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