ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated
ASP.NET 2.0 is undoubtedly a flagship technology for building robust Web-based applications. And although there are many resources available for learning ASP.NET on the Internet, readers often must spend hours to grasp the content. Hence, many prefer the quality books that are available on the market to learn ASP.NET. One such book, written by renowned experts Alex Homer and Dave Sussman, is ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated. Part of the popular Microsoft .NET Development Series offered by Addison-Wesley, this book is packed with a mixture of basic and advanced content about the various aspects involved with the development of Web applications using ASP.NET 2.0.
The first chapter discusses the new features of ASP.NET 2.0, including the installation and configuration of .NET Framework 2.0. The second chapter provides a detailed roadmap regarding a day in the life of a developer. It analyzes some of the key features involved with the development of applications with databases using the GridView control. The next three chapters cover some of the advanced concepts regarding databases, including a detailed overview about the two- and three-tier architectures, Typed datasets, Data Source Control Events, Asynchronous Pages, and SQL 2005 User Defined Types. The fifth chapter demonstrates how to handle data editing conflicts with the help of relevant source codes.
The sixth chapter analyzes the use of caching, one of the key concepts of ASP.NET 2.0. Homer and Sussman provide detailed coverage about output and data caching with special reference to Cache API, in addition to special coverage about when to use caching in your applications. With the help of Chapter 7, you ll learn how to work with XML using Visual Studio 2005, including debugging XSLT, Streaming XML, Creation of XML Columns, and Schemas using SQL Server 2005. Chapter 8 elaborates about the building of ASP.NET projects using various controls, such as Hyperlink, ValidationSummary, List, Grid, and Mobile controls, and much more, with brief coverage about the use of the Postback approach.
While Chapter 9 examines such classes as HttpRequest, HttpResponse, and HttpServer, as well as Skins and Themes, Tracing, and Master Pages, Chapter 10 deals with various navigation techniques, including the use of sitemaps and menus. The next chapter is important because it examines security and membership. You ll learn how to manage Roles, Users, and the use of the Membership class, including the new security controls integrated into ASP.NET 2.0.
One of the points I noticed is that the authors jumped straight into discussing database-related concepts, without first discussing any fundamentals. From my point of view, Chapters 8 and 2 should be swapped. This is because readers should learn about the use of various Toolbox controls before beginning to work with databases. I also found that some of the explanations in some of the chapters did not meet my expectations. For instance, in Chapter 11 (Security and Membership) the authors explain the concepts simply by giving lines of code after each section. The authors should provide relevant explanations with complete source code so that readers can implement the concepts easily. The authors also should provide coverage about the use of security controls with a Microsoft Access database as the back-end, as it is still being used by many developers.
Using a shopping cart application as an example, Chapter 12 provides comprehensive coverage about Profiles, Personalization, and Themes. WebParts is a new addition to ASP.NET 2.0; Chapter 13 will help you master the concept.
Chapter 14 demonstrates how to validate page content and detect browser capabilities, in addition to the use of CSS, Shortcut keys, Tab order, Accessibility features, Creation of ASP.NET applications for mobile devices, and the relevant concepts regarding localization. While Chapter 15 examines various classes included with .NET Framework 2.0 (including exhaustive coverage about System.Net, System.Net.Mail, and System.Directory.Services namespaces), the final chapter demonstrates the creation and consumption of Web services with special coverage of the WSE 3.0 Toolkit. The chapter concludes with a short note about the future of Web services.
I was a bit disappointed after going through the book when I found it doesn t devote a chapter to the use of AJAX. One of the hottest topics in the developer community, I m sure readers expect AJAX-related content. For the most part, however, the authors provide detailed explanations, along with relevant source code and screenshots in all chapters. They made a nice attempt to provide clear-cut explanations about the various features of ASP.NET 2.0. Moreover, each chapter ends with a detailed summary. In addition, Homer and Sussman maintain a Web site (http://www.daveandal.net/books/8344/) that supports the book; you can download the code samples or run and view them online.
This book will be most useful for intermediate and advanced developers; beginners will sometimes find it difficult to follow the content. Novice developers should first master a beginner-level book before venturing into ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated.
Title: ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated
Authors: Alex Homer and Dave Sussman
Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
Page Count: 800