ASP.NET Solutions 23 Case Studies
The tidal wave of ASP.NET tutorial books has subsided, leaving room for titles focusing on higher-level issues. One such title from Addison-Wesley is ASP.NET Solutions 23 Case Studies. This is one of the most accurately titled books I ve read. Addison-Wesley has made a serious commitment to publishing books on Microsoft .NET technologies, and this book reinforces their efforts.
This book is intended for active ASP.NET developers who have already assembled a few real-world applications, and are looking for techniques to improve their existing and future projects. It isn t a tutorial; in fact, the first chapter orienting readers to .NET barely spends eight pages discussing C# and VB .NET constructs (the two languages are employed interchangeably throughout the book). Chapter 2 dives right in with a resume application, with each chapter progressing into more complex topics. Readers will create survey, technical support, scheduling, forum, classifieds, online store, guest book, ad banner management, data mining, chart display, portal, training, speech, file repository, and certificates applications throughout the course of executing the case studies. Other examples include discussions on dynamically creating charts/graphs and animated banners, how to effectively use the .NET Networking Classes, how to create a server control, and how to implement an application performance monitor.
Along with a thorough analysis of the code, the author interjects chapters with invaluable caution, recommended practices, and tip callouts that collectively deliver the best value of the book.
All that said, the book is not without its shortcomings. The organization of ideas is somewhat disjointed. Although each chapter is prefaced with a bullet list of topics to be covered, I would have preferred that the list focus on why rather than what. It would have also made seeking answers to real-world design issues easier. I would have also preferred one or two large ASP.NET case studies in lieu of five smaller ones that delve into the complexities associated with enterprise-class intranet ASP.NET applications. A greater focus on design patterns and the importance of modeling an application before coding it would have been a useful reminder chapter or appendix, as well. And although the author provides a fair representation of both C# and VB .NET examples, he rarely touches on when and why one language is more appropriate than the other in each of the respective case studies. Perhaps another appendix that had a checklist of requirements to evaluate for language preference would have been meaningful.
Nearly all the source code for each of the case studies can be downloaded from the book s Web site (code and examples for Chapters 13, 17, 19, and 20 were missing when I wrote this review). Although a bit sparse on attractive page design, the site nevertheless provides some live examples, chapter errata, and forums for readers to exchange ideas with the author.
Overall, the book is a well-intentioned attempt toward expanding the .NET developer s understanding of how ASP.NET can be leveraged in real-world applications. If its shortcomings can be addressed in a future edition, it will be a book worthy of higher praise. As it stands in its current form, it best serves the intermediate .NET developer seeking to broaden their applied understanding of Microsoft s Web technologies.
Title: ASP.NET Solutions 23 Case Studies
Author: Rick Leinecker
Book Web Site: http://www.ASPNET-Solutions.com
Page Count: 894 pages