Maximizing ASP.NET: Real World, Object-Oriented Development is a book written for those developers who were introduced to Web application development via scripting languages such as Cold Fusion, PHP, and Microsoft s first iteration of Active Server Pages, and are ready to learn the ways of true ASP.NET object-oriented development. The author assumes that readers have very little, if any, OOD experience and kicks off the first two chapters with the classic construction of virtual car parts in programmatic objects terminology. From there, the book jumps from associating this brief OOD introduction to creating custom ASP.NET classes using OO techniques.
The book is written in three parts. Part 1, The Leap to Object Oriented Programming, tries to ease readers unfamiliar with basic OO methodology into leveraging it within the ASP.NET universe. Unfortunately, its attempt to do so is thwarted by the brevity on the subject due to the reduced page count and examples. It s adequate for those with some OO experience, but it s not the best I ve seen for beginners. In addition to the OO introduction, Part 1 familiarizes readers with other tenants of modern programming, such as test-driven development, n-tier structures, and general needs assessments.
Part 2, The ASP.NET Architecture, reviews the general features of ASP.NET 1.x and 2.0. This includes chapters on the ASP.NET event model, HttpHandlers and HttpModules, Server Controls (both the use of pre-packaged and self-authored ones) and the employment of Web services. ASP.NET 2.0-specific topics on membership, security, custom profiles, and themes are discussed, but books specifically marketed toward ASP.NET 2.0 features detail much deeper, richer content than the cursory overview and brief examples that Maximizing ASP.NET provides.
The last part of the book, Development Issues, includes an overview of the Visual Studio 2005 environment, application performance advice, testing, deployment, and advanced topics on streams, networking, and threading. Besides a few helpful tidbits and code snippets, the high-level, often two-page or less review of these topics tends to leave more questions than answers.
I also found it odd that on the first page of Chapter 2 the author recommends readers obtain a competing publisher s C# and VB.NET books rather than those from Addison-Wesley s own library, such as The C# Programming Language by Anders Hejlsberg, Scott Wiltamuth, and Peter Golde. While it s refreshing to see an author avoid nepotism with their publisher, a good portion of what the book tries to teach is quite honestly more adequately covered in competing references. This begs the question why one would buy the book when one can obtain more, and in some cases better, information in a competing book? It s a question that reoccurred throughout my read of Maximizing ASP.NET.
I also found myself wishing that the author had spent more time on the thornier topics instead of being deferred with x topic is beyond the scope of this book. If the book were twenty dollars less expensive, these deflections would be tolerable. At nearly fifty bucks they re an expensive dead-end. Although the author does share some hard-earned knowledge from his own experience, those valuable insights are unfortunately too few and far between to justify the cover price. Even those readers seeking the book s code will be disappointed when they visit the URL listed in the book, only to be informed that The plans changed... there is no code download because there are few examples of complete classes anywhere in the book other than chapter 5. Wasn t this apparent before the book went to press? This is yet another sign that the book aspired to be more than it actually is.
Title: Maximizing ASP.NET
Author: Jeffrey Putz
Page Count: 309 pages