Book Review: Microsoft .NET Kick Start
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Published: 09 Feb 2004
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Abstract
A review of "Microsoft .NET Kick Start" written by Hitesh Seth and recently released by Sams Publishing
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Book Review
Microsoft .NET Kick Start
Reviewer: Anand Narayanaswamy


Microsoft .NET Kick Start
By Hitesh Seth
Sams Publishing
456 Pages
US $34.99 | Buy Now

Rating: ####

About the Author

Anand Narayanaswamy (MVP) works as an independent consultant based in Trivandrum, India. Anand runs learnxpress.com and dotnetalbum.com. He specializes in ASP, ASP.NET, C#, Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 6.0 and in the development of courseware, technical articles, documentation, and reviews of products and books. He is available for writing documentations, help files, reviews and for other development related projects. Reach him at ananddotnet@yahoo.co.in   

 

Microsoft .NET Kick Start is a great book to read upon. I found the contents of this book were not only interesting but also informative. The book has been written in a lucid style by explaining all the concepts in an orderly fashion.

Designed for Intermediate and Advanced readers this book can also be read by beginners as they will get a basic idea about the architecture of .NET. Even though this book doesn’t concentrate on a single .NET language, it contains a mixture of C#, Visual Basic .NET, Visual J# .NET & Visual C+ .NET. With the help of this book, readers can be able to learn the basics of these four languages along with many other advanced topics.

The book begins with a nice introduction to Microsoft .NET (Chapter 1: Putting .NET in Perspective). This chapter covers all the key concepts of .NET Framework like CLR, CTS including a detailed note about Microsoft Office System and Enterprise Servers. Chapter 2 (Understanding the CLR) examines the Common Language Runtime and the Intermediate Language. The author missed to give a screenshot of the ILDASM tool. In chapter 3, Programming with .NET, author explains all the language basics beginning from developing a simple Hello World application to Delegates in 4 different .NET languages. The author also shows how to mix C#, Visual Basic .NET and Visual J# .NET in a single program along with a note on other .NET programming languages. This chapter is a very big chapter and it deserves to be called as 4 in 1. However, the author missed to give explanations about Attributes, Indexers and Operator Overloading. Further, it would have been nice if the source codes were accompanied by relevant screenshots or snippets of the output.

Chapter 4 (Using the .NET Class Library) is a very big chapter. It covers some of the advanced topics like Multithreading, XML and Message queuing in addition to ADO.NET. I feel that this chapter should be divided into 2 separate chapters for more clarity. For instance, XML and ADO.NET can be featured as a separate chapter. Chapter 5 is a real bonus for readers as it deals with Visual Studio .NET in a comprehensive manner with numerous screenshots. This chapter begins with the installation of Visual Studio .NET and later on it shows you how to develop applications for smart devices and mobiles. It ends with a brief introduction about modeling .NET applications. Table 5.2 given on this chapter is a very useful one as it helps a reader to learn about different project types in a flash.

Chapter 6 covers about the various third party tools used for developing .NET applications. It would have been great if a CD had been included with this book containing the trial versions of these tools so that readers without Internet connectivity can install and test them easily. I feel that the author missed to give a note about other popular editors like SharpDevelop.

Chapter 7 completely talks about Windows Forms with the help of code samples. ASP.NET and Web Services have been covered in Chapter 8 and 9. The author explains how to create a simple ASP.NET application in three .NET languages supported by a nice flow chart. Further, important ASP.NET Web Controls have been explained in a table with abbreviated code syntaxes. A brief introduction about ASP.NET Web Matrix has been provided at the end of this chapter. The remaining section covers advanced topics like Data binding, XML and User Controls. A very detailed explanation about Web Services has been provided in chapter 9. It also covers advanced topics like the development of Transactional and Asynchronous web services.

The author has provided a website (http://www.dotnetkickstart) for the support of this book. But the site hasn't developed yet by the author and will redirect you to the relevant page of this book located at Samspublishing.com. You can download complete source code of all the code listings as a single ZIP file from the publisher’s website.

Chapter 10 gives a detailed coverage about the development of .NET applications for mobile devices. Towards the end the author also gives a short explanation about the development of speech applications using .NET. The remaining chapters cover advanced topics like Interoperability, Office System 2003 and Windows Server. I found it difficult to grasp the contents of Chapter 12 (Programming office system 2003 with .NET). A step-by-step explanation is required since the topic is pretty complicated and new for beginners. The author didn’t explain about how to create a word file after referencing the schema.

Chapter 13 talks about the development and deployment of Web Parts. This chapter also gives a short explanation about BizTalk Server 2004. Chapter 14 explains the different ways by which you can secure your .NET applications. Chapter 15 is really a bonus for readers as it covers about some of the useful real world .NET applications like .NET Pet Shop, Nile, Duwamish Books, FM Stocks and Cold Storage.

The final chapter (Looking forward: What’s next?) is also a very useful one. It gives a short introduction about SQLServer, Whidbey and a gentle touch on Longhorn, Visual Studio .NET Orcas. Every chapter ends with a short summary called “In Brief”. Even though the subject matter has been organized very well, the nomenclature used by the author in many places is incorrect. For instance, Windows Server 2003 is wrongly interpreted as Windows 2003 Server.

Overall, this book is a great reference for .NET developers and should find a place on your book shelves.

I give this book a 4 star (####) rating.

 



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