ASP.NET Data Presentation Controls Essentials
Developers just getting their feet wet with ASP.NET may find daunting its abundance of Web controls. Where is the logical starting point for such a learning endeavor? I d suggest a book such as ASP.NET Data Presentation Controls Essentials, authored by fellow ASP.NET MVP Joydip Kanjilal. It s a great way for C# developers to get introduced to the most powerful and useful Web controls ASP.NET offers.
This book doesn t attempt to cover every menial control of ASP.NET after all, who really needs a book to figure out the Label control? Instead, the meatier controls are the focus of this text and like the title says, they re all about presenting data to users. The book starts with the ASP.NET 1.0 Repeater control, traverses through the data control wonderland of ASP.NET 2.0, and ends its journey with the two new data controls of ASP.NET 3.5.
The first chapter breaks the ice by covering data binding basics, including the use and evolution of data binding expressions. It also details the declarative and programmatic interfaces for the ASP.NET 2.0 data source controls, including (but not limited to) the Object Data Source and the SQL Data Source controls. Paging, sorting, and filtering techniques are also disseminated.
The second chapter thoroughly covers the basic list controls of ASP.NET, such as the ListBox, DropDownList, and CheckBoxList controls. It explains how to bind them, handle key events, manage their list items, and use them in simple applications. A comparison of design time declarations vs. dynamic control instantiation is also presented. One of this chapter s most valuable assets is a demonstration showing how to extend the CheckBoxList control with custom behaviors via object-oriented techniques, like inheritance.
The most feature-rich ASP.NET data controls like the Repeater, GridView, and DataList each have entire chapters dedicated to the exploration of their intricacies. Editing, sorting, filtering, styling, and event handling tend to be major topics of discussion for each. Chapter 6 even shows how to programmatically export the contents of a GridView control to Microsoft Excel or Word.
Chapter 7 explores the ASP.NET view controls: DetailsView, FormView, and Treeview, while the final chapter delves in to LINQ and the two new data controls of ASP.NET 3.5: ListView and DataPager. Drill-down forms and hierarchical data display techniques will be a breeze after you ve made it this far.
At roughly 250 pages, this is a bite-size book that fits nicely within the busy schedule of modern-day programmers. Its concise explanations are a refreshing change from the encyclopedia-sized programming references of yesteryear. It includes plenty of screenshots to help Visual Studio users navigate the maze of wizards and dialog boxes to reach their desired outcomes. This is an excellent book for developers new to ASP.NET, and may also be a useful reference for more experienced developers who ve found themselves with too little time to learn these functionally rich controls in as much detail as they would have preferred.
Steve C. Orr
Title: ASP.NET Data Presentation Controls Essentials
Author: Joydip Kanjilal
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Web Site: http://www.packtpub.com
Page Count: 241