Murach s ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader s Guide, C# Edition
It s no secret that I found Murach s first ASP.NET guide to be one of the best ASP.NET educational manuals on the market. In fact, a quote from my review even appears on the back cover of ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader s Guide. (For the full review see Murach s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET.) Having recently finished reviewing two other ASP.NET 2.0 titles, I must admit that fatigue on the subject was starting to set in. I imagined what famous physicist Richard Feynman must have felt like after serving on a review board for California s educational textbook evaluations (for those who aren t aware of this analogous reference, I implore you to read Ralph Leighton s transcriptions of his conversations with the world-renowned physicist in the wonderfully entertaining book, Surely You re Joking, Mr. Feynman). Yet with such a positive 5-star experience from Murach s first ASP.NET guide, my enthusiasm candle was relit and I dug into this book with high expectations. I am happy to report that I was once again thoroughly impressed with the quality and stickiness of the Murach teaching technique. Maybe it s just my style of learning, or maybe it s because the publisher has been perfecting their efforts for more than 30 years, but whatever magic dust is sprinkled into these books, this new Murach title scores another 5-star review as a result.
This is an upgrader s guide to ASP.NET 2.0. Unlike the original Web Programming title that assumed no prior ASP experience, this book jumps right in and hits the ground running. Based on the ASP.NET 2.0 Go Live Beta 2 release, this book is also one of the most closely accurate to what will most likely be manifested in the final release of ASP.NET 2.0, and thus it should be relatively safe to spend the time committing to memory the programmatic recommendations. As such, the book expects readers to be working in front of the latest available release of Visual Studio 2005. The guide is divided into four sections, with the first providing a summary of the enhancements made to the ASP.NET 2.0 release, working with the VS.NET 2005 IDE, and understanding the new master pages feature by building the front end for a Halloween products e-commerce Web site.
Section 2 targets data access and continues building on the Halloween example to teach the consumption of object, SQL, and XML data sources in ASP.NET 2.0 applications. This section also delves into the details of Microsoft s new GridView, DetailsView, and FormView controls.
Section 3 expands on the specifics of the ASP.NET 2.0 improvements by demonstrating the use of Microsoft s new site navigation controls (Menu, SiteMapDataSource, SiteMapPath, and TreeView components) and login controls (ChangePassword, CreateUserWizard, Login, LoginName, LoginStatus, LoginView, and PasswordRecovery components), understanding and applying the Membership and Roles classes, and showing how to create and manipulate user account profiles. Chapters on using the MultiView and Wizard controls, building and modifying site themes, creating and using Web parts for portal frameworks, and a handful of other interesting new ASP.NET 2.0 features and controls (such as the new FileUpload, HiddenField, and ImageMap components) are also covered in this section.
The last section, aptly titled ASP.NET 2.0 in Practice, is the shortest, focusing on the most important issues to be prepared for when upgrading ASP.NET 1.x projects to the 2.0 version. The last chapter reviews how to configure and deploy an ASP.NET 2.0-based Web application. The book closes with a single appendix that covers installing and configuring Visual Studio 2005, as well as obtaining the book s code from the murach.com Web site.
Even with all this new ground to cover, the authors have still managed to hold most of the page designs to the same design methodology established in Murach s ASP.NET 1.0 book: the left page is reserved for explanation and the right page is used for illustration and/or code layout. The page dimensions and weight of the book make this perfect for having the book open on the table while practicing the contents at the computer.
There is a sprouting mushroom patch of ASP.NET 2.0 books from which developers can choose, but only a few of those titles are truly worth the cover price. For readers already sold on Murach s ASP.NET 1.0 book, this new release is a no-brainer purchase decision. For those developers unfamiliar with the Murach approach who are open to trying a new, more concise way of learning, I highly recommend picking up Murach s ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader s Guide, one of the best to digest from the latest .NET book harvest. If you need a nudge, check out Chapter 3, How to use master pages ; it s available for free at http://www.murach.com/books/ugcs/chapters.htm.
Title: Murach s ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader s Guide, C# Edition
Author: Doug Lowe, Joel Murach
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates, Inc.
Page Count: 526 pages