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Review: Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX
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by Brendan Enrick
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Outline

In this book the authors try to take a step by step approach to explaining ASP.NET AJAX. The book is filled with "Try It Out" sections. In these the reader may follow along with a step by step process which will leave the reader with a little sample. Once the sample has been completed there will be a step by step explanation of what has just been created. This method lets someone dive right into creating some code which is not too difficult, and then each part of what was created will be individually explained.

The authors try to stay on topic during the chapters, and achieve this by only explaining small portions of what is needed at a time. They will then have a not informing you of which later chapter contains more information on a specific topic. This allows them to give the reader some necessary information while not steering too far from the current section. This is great because if something was not explained very well one can skip ahead to learn a little bit more.

This is a beginners' guide to ASP.NET AJAX, and the book tends to stick with this. The topics become generally more complicated as the book proceeds. Keep in mind one could read merely the first few chapters of this book and then run off to write some ASP.NET AJAX. As the book progresses the reader will learn more advanced knowledge. I believe this will help someone get a leg up if the next book he or she reads will be Professional ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX.

Chapters Notes

Chapter 1: Introduction to ASP.NET AJAX

The first chapter of the book introduces AJAX by explaining the needs which resulted in AJAX as well as the needs which resulted in the web development preceding AJAX. This chapter also gives some explanation of AJAX.

Chapter 2: Creating an ASP.NET AJAX Application

Starting from the installation of ASP.NET AJAX and continuing on to a very simple AJAX application, this chapter shows the general basis of how to develop a web application using ASP.NET AJAX. This chapter can be skipped by someone with a basic knowledge of ASP.NET AJAX, but it does well in giving an overview of what goes into a simple web application.

Chapter 3: ASP.NET AJAX Architecture

As the title of the chapter states, this one explains how ASP.NET AJAX is structured and how that structure will affect developers. In this chapter you will learn the basic inner-workings of ASP.NET AJAX.

Chapter 4: Calling Web Services

This is the first chapter for those who wish to perform some custom ASP.NET AJAX work. In this chapter, the authors explain basically how to interact with the server from the client in ASP.NET AJAX. Web services are your utility belt while working with AJAX, and these pages will explain how one goes about using these web services to perform work on the server.

Chapter 5: The UpdatePanel

The update panel is the core tool for the simplest and easiest AJAX. Using it one can achieve much AJAX functionality without having to even write any client-side code or even wiring up events between the two. All of the work will act almost exactly how it did before AJAX. This chapter gives some pretty simplistic uses of the control, and it definitely the chapter to read for the person who desires some AJAX but doesn't want to get down and dirty.

Chapter 6: Control Toolkit

This chapter explains the basics of the Microsoft Open Source project to create extenders for ASP.NET AJAX. This is basically an introduction to a separate project and really is not strictly necessary to cover as anything which can be achieved using the Control Toolkit could be achieved by a developer simple using ASP.NET AJAX. This chapter gives some introduction to these controls.

Chapter 8: JavaScript Enhancements

JavaScript has had a great deal added to it from the Microsoft AJAX Library. This chapter teaches some of the more interesting and useful additions to JavaScript from the Microsoft AJAX Library and include: Interfaces, Inheritance, Classes, and Namespaces.

Chapter 9: Microsoft AJAX Library

This chapter covers many of the classes within the Microsoft AJAX Library. The explanations go into great detail about how one would develop their client side functionality uses these new tools. The MS AJAX library is basically an addition onto client-side programming, and the chapter tries not to cover too much of client side development as there are entire books on this topic. This chapter tends to cover how that client-side development ties into AJAX as a whole.

Chapter 11: Security and Integration

There are obvious new security risks which come into place from using AJAX. Upon reading the title of this chapter, I hoped to learn a little about those security issues. I believe a more applicable title for this chapter should be "Authentication and Integration". Overall I believe this chapter did very well in explaining a great deal about authentication using ASP.NET AJAX. I did not expect a large chapter to cover security issues as that is slightly out of the scope of this book, but some suggestions without much explanation would have been very nice.

Recommendations

I think this is one of the better written technical books I've ever read. I was able to easily read through the content, and had very little difficulty understanding what was meant. I would recommend that anyone new to AJAX pick up this book when getting their feet wet. There are a few times when it is obvious that there are many authors of this book, and I would recommend to the authors of the book that they coordinate better what each other is writing. A few of the chapters seemed to intro in about the same way, and it seemed the authors had not read each other's chapters. Overall, I believe this to be a great book.

About the Book

Title

Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX

Author

Wallace B. McClure, Paul Glavich, Steve C. Orr, Craig Shoemaker, Steve A. Smith, Jim Zimmerman

Publisher

Wrox

ISBN

978-0-470-11283-0

Edition

First

Pages

344

Price

US $39.99

Rating

*****

Related URL

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