Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005: From Novice to Professional
I have had the pleasure of reviewing so many ASP.NET tutorial books that I ve nearly lost count. Every new version of Microsoft s preeminent Web technology brings on a tidal wave of updated editions of established titles, as well as entirely new attempts to communicate the latest information to readers.
Apress recently added several selections to the ASP.NET title list, including Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005. At more than 1,100 pages, this book quite literally covers the broad spectrum of the technology, just as the subtitle declares, from novice to professional. Although I was initially skeptical of this claim, as well as somewhat jaded from all the other ASP.NET tutorial books I previously read, I was pleasantly surprised by both the clarity and depth that author Matthew MacDonald provides. Even though the book covers all the major aspects of ASP.NET development using the C# language which it does in a methodical, easy to follow manner I rarely felt bogged down by wordy descriptions or dry explanations.
The span of topics covered is extensive and exciting. MacDonald sets the tone with a brisk introduction to the .NET Framework, followed by a brief chapter on C# syntax. Because the book is not intended as a C# primer, readers unfamiliar with the language should work through a C# tutorial book first. Types, objects, and namespaces are explained in the third chapter, followed by a tour of the Visual Studio 2005 IDE.
Part 2 begins with a chapter on the fundamentals of Web forms via the construction of an HTML-based currency converter server control. Web controls are demonstrated with a simple greeting card applet, followed by a chapter on tracing, logging, and error handling. Chapter 8, covering validation and rich controls, demonstrates simple client-side form validation using regular expressions and validation groups. Rich controls, including the AdRotator, Calendar, and MultiView components, are also detailed. The chapter on state management using cookies, InProc, and SQL-based session tracking is followed by an introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 s master pages and themes features. Web site navigation using site maps, as well as the SiteMapPath, TreeView, and Menu controls, is explained next. The section concludes with a demonstration of ASP.NET 1.x and 2.x application deployment under IIS5 and IIS6, and also via the Visual Studio Web site publishing wizard.
Part 3 begins with ADO.NET fundamentals, covering basic SQL syntax, the steps required to connect and interact with a data source, and interacting with tables and records. Data binding is covered in Chapter 14, with reviews of single and repeat value data binding, using a dictionary collection, and so on. Next, data controls, such as the GridView templates, DetailsView, and FormView objects, are discussed. Files and streams are demonstrated via the construction of a sample Web server file browser application. A file upload example is also included. Chapter 17 on XML covers the basics via XmlTextWriter and XmlTextReader demonstrations of parsing, validating, transforming, and data binding XML documents.
Part 4 encompasses Web site security, and includes chapters on IIS security fundamentals, membership, and related ASP.NET controls and profiles using SQL Server 2005 Express Edition.
Covering Web services, Part 5 introduces architecture and design, as well as creating and enhancing Web services with security and ticket-based authentication approaches. A TerraService example demonstrates these ideas in a Windows client application.
The final part of the book reviews advanced ASP.NET concepts, such as component-based programming and creating custom controls. Page caching, profiling, and performance tuning remind readers of the importance of responsive, scalable applications. The book concludes with a chapter on creating Web parts via a walkthrough of a Fahrenheit-Celsius temperature converter.
Each chapter concludes with The Last Word, a section summarizing the main ideas discussed. This section also serves as a reminder to the reader of the important ideas that should be understood before proceeding to the next chapter. Another good device used throughout the book are the Note, Tip, and Caution callouts that further help readers appreciate the sophistication and simplicity of ASP.NET 2.0 these callouts also help the reader avoid potential potholes along the way. Overall, the book accomplishes its goal, from novice to pro, in the leanest way possible.
Title: Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 in C# 2005: From Novice to Professional
Author: Matthew MacDonald
Page Count: 1,184