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Review: ASP.NET 2.0 Black Book
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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ASP.NET 2.0 is one of the most popular and exciting programming technologies among web developers because of its simplicity, availability of tools, such as Visual Web Developer Express Edition, and resources in the form of online articles, books and self paced tutorial CD's. I initially learned most of the Classic ASP programming with the help of the black book which I purchased several years back. Fortunately, the same author team has completely republished a massive black book for ASP.NET 2.0. Published by Paraglyph Press and authored by the folks at India based Dreamtech Software the book encapsulates the core concepts of ASP.NET 2.0 in 24 chapters and 5 appendixes.

Inside the Book and Recommendations

The book begins with a basic introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 and then explores the development of an ASP.NET web application. It then delves deep into the aspects involved with Applications, State, Various WebForm Controls, Navigation Controls (TreeView, Menu, and Wizards), Validation Controls and Groups, Calendar, Ad Rotator, Login, Web Part and HTML Controls. The remaining chapters explore the usage of Databases, Master Pages and Themes, User Profiles, Web Part Framework, Caching, Application Globalization, Web Services, Development of mobile applications, Application Tracking, Management of web applications, Methods of extending and Securing ASP.NET 2.0 applications. The last two chapters examine the development of Web Standards compliant ASP.NET Websites and the future (now currently active) technologies such as Ajax.

A key feature of the book is that the authors have separated the content and demo examples for each chapter. Each chapter begins with a section In Depth which provides explanation of each property, method associated with the discussed content with the help of tables, and charts. This is followed by Immediate Solution which provides hands-on examples. The authors have provided complete source code in both VB and C# with relevant analysis and screenshots for each solution. I found that the authors have not discussed advanced topics such as Zipping and Unzipping files, Sending of E-mails with and without attachments and the usage of User Controls. I feel that the authors should also discuss the usage of MySQL databases in ASP.NET 2.0 web application as many authors do not cover these types of topics in regular books.

The authors have provided key emphasis to the discussion of WebForm controls shipped with .NET Framework 2.0. I would suggest the authors combine chapters 9 and 14 since both of them deal with Web Parts. The book includes five appendixes which examine the implementation of RSS and Atom feed, migrating ASP.NET 1.1 to ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Basic and Visual C# IDE and common classes in ASP.NET.

The final appendix showcases a complete project which demonstrates the creation of a data oriented website using some of the core features of ASP.NET 2.0 discussed on the book in a step-by-step manner. The book ships with a CD which contains the source code of each chapter and also that of the final project. I would suggest the publishers provide Visual Web Developer and SQL Server 2005 Express versions on the CD so that readers can install the required softwares instantly.

It is unfortunate that the original publisher, Paraglyph Press (now part of O'Reilly) has discontinued the supply of the book. However, as of the writing of this review, copies of the book are available from and I also found from Google that the book is available from other web sites as well.


From my point of view, the book will be very useful for beginners as it will help them to get most of ASP.NET 2.0 without any need to refer to the other books available on the market. Nobody can master the framework completely. Hence, advanced developers can use this book as a handy reference manual and refer to the content as and when required. Computer training centers can use the book to teach long term course on ASP.NET 2.0 as it includes a project which will be a huge bonus for learners. They can also make use of the book to teach several short term courses covering only WebParts, Databases, and Web Services, etc. I must say that the book is indeed a treasure house of knowledge and should find a place on the shelves of all ASP.NET 2.0 developers.

About the Reviewer

Anand Narayanaswamy (Microsoft MVP and Chief Technical Editor, is the author of Community Server Quickly.

About the Book


ASP.NET 2.0 Black Book


Belmarks Solution Content Team, Dreamtech Software Staff


Paraglyph Press

ISBN - 10


ISBN - 13



October 2006


1200 with CD


US $49.99




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