Programming ASP.NET, 3rd Edition
O Reilly has released a new edition of their well-received Programming ASP.NET title that has been updated to include the new features of Visual Studio 2005 and version 2.0 of the .NET Framework.
Frequent asp.netPRO readers may recall my glowing review of author Jesse Liberty s magnum opus, Programming C#, 3rd Edition. Although he shares the billing with co-author Dan Hurwitz, Liberty has extensively edited and rewritten the book to give it a single voice and it works. I m always leery of quality and continuity whenever I see more than one author contributing to a book; poor editing and alternate writing styles have often produced disjointed and/or redundant discussions. Fortunately for this book, the rewrites have eliminated such issues.
Chapter progression starts with the basic history of the technology, acclimation to the Visual Studio 2005 IDE, controls (from simple to advanced), debugging, error handling, working with XML and databases, ASP.NET 2.0 features (such as Master Pages, Personalization, and Themes), Web services, performance tweaks, IIS configuration, and application deployment. Like Liberty s Programming C# book, the topics are clearly presented in a conversational style, imparting enough detail to be comfortable but not so much as to get lost in minutia. The now famous O Reilly icons, such as the bear tracks and traps, are frequently employed and seem to be perfectly timed to break up lengthy technical discussions. It s obvious that a lot of care went into the editing and pacing of this book.
This book is valuable for beginners; however, intermediate ASP.NET developers will gain the most reward from reading it as they have enough experience to associate with the importance of a technical discussion but often lack the background and time to explore the reasoning behind an implementation or experiment with the many options ASP.NET provides. For example, Chapter 17 on Caching and Performance begins with an excellent, concise explanation of caching, the seven types of caching available to ASP.NET applications, and examples with code for each of these approaches. Readers will no doubt be smarter after completing the chapter, and may, in fact, be able to put that newfound knowledge to immediate use.
Clocking in at over 900 pages, Programming ASP.NET, 3rd Edition is not a book that can be read in one sitting, let alone a weekend. There is so much depth and information about every meaningful aspect of ASP.NET technology that each chapter should be read thoughtfully for maximum exposure. Some chapters, like those on ADO.NET and Web services, may need a second or third reading especially by those new to ASP.NET to ensure full understanding of these more complex topics.
If I were asked to recommend only one definitive book on developing ASP.NET 2.0 applications, Programming ASP.NET, 3rd Edition would be my top choice. It is well written, insightful, comprehensive, and highly educational. Other ASP.NET titles have their place, but developers who are serious about learning all aspects of ASP.NET need to have this title on their bookshelf. Owners of either the first or second edition owe it to themselves to upgrade to this latest release.
Title: Programming ASP.NET, 3rd Edition
Authors: Jesse Liberty and Dan Hurwitz
Publisher: O Reilly
Page Count: 956