Originally Published: 4 February 2003
When I first began reading this book, a feeling of intense disappointment whelmed me. I was only familiar with it by its title, and, since I have been developing ASP.NET applications for a corporate intranet for over a year now, I was looking forward to discovering what other experts are doing in similar environments.
This feeling remained with me until I reached the seventh chapter, at which point my spirits were raised by a useful application that could easily be abstracted out of the IBuySpy Portal framework. In fact, this chapter and the subsequent two that conclude the tome redeem it by providing content that is both useful and usable for companies without the option of beginning with a blank slate for their intranets.
The book’s primary fault is that it starts from the somewhat naïve assumption that we developers have the luxury of starting with a tabula rasa. One would be hard-pressed to find a company having no existing intranet architecture to build upon or one willing to scrap the existing one in favor of developing an entirely new architecture based on a demo product.
This fault is compounded by the book’s overly copious amounts of code examples from the IBuySpy Portal, including many very basic snippets such as nearly-identical data and business tiers for various modules. In fact, it is not until Chapter Seven that the authors break away from the Portal mold and the book’s tedious methodology.
Up to that point, there are details as mundane as how to install the Portal and a gruelingly detailed inspection of the Portal itself and some directions and examples of how to modify it in simple ways. As far as I am concerned, the book up to this point could be scrapped into an MSDN article called Understanding and Extending the IBuySpy Portal.