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Murach’s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET



Murach s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET

Another day, another ASP.NET tutorial book... or so I thought. I have to admit when I received Murach s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET for review, I skeptically wondered what was going to be so special about this title that justified its existence beyond the heap of ASP.NET texts already piled high in bookstores.


Then I read the Why you ll learn faster and better with this book section in the introduction, which articulated and addressed my concerns. The authors were attuned to the reality of the flooded ASP.NET book market, yet accurately assessed and approached the ASP.NET knowledge transfer problem with a more pragmatic solution.


Rather than spend countless pages on theoretical dissertations and reams of code listings, the book reads like a succinct three-day training course. Matter-of-fact explanations and real-world code accompany when necessary, with the majority of the book broken down into a two-page format of How To on the left page, and a description of that inquiry on the right. Remarkably, it works quite well and does wonders for comprehension. Other teaching texts often left me fatigued after reading a lengthy passage or particularly complex code listing. The downside to this approach is that the book literally scratches the surface on many topics. But if the intent is to make the ASP.NET neophyte productive as quickly as possible, Murach s approach succeeds.


The pace of instruction is effectively distilled into 20 chapters that each rarely exceeds 40 pages. The first half of the book orients readers to Web application development and how ASP.NET and VS.NET can be used to achieve application objectives. It also covers ASP.NET essentials such as datasets, cookies, debugging, input validation, and state management. ADO.NET commands and related technologies are discussed in the third section of the book. The last section reviews security, Web services and custom server controls, using Crystal Reports, e-mail and Web application deployment.


And since the book advertises VB.NET in its title, all code is provided in that syntax. Note, however, that no space is allocated to VB.NET tutorials. This is another reason why the book accelerates through explanations and descriptions: it doesn t have to drill readers down to the atomic level to convey the intent of a practice or procedure.


I was impressed by how quickly and effectively the contents of the book were presented. Nearly every new ASP.NET developer question is addressed. I especially appreciated the workaround insights for common hang-ups, like forcing a page to use a secure connection, or dealing with back-button refreshes problems that often plague inexperienced ASP.NET developers. These gems alone will be worth the price of the book for many first-time .NET Web authors.


For those information hounds who need to know more about ASP.NET than Microsoft s very own .NET product managers, this book will not satisfy their needs. However, those developers who are seeking to learn ASP.NET Web development, but are too busy or impatient to wade through the deep and sometimes murky material sold by other publishers, will most certainly want to consider buying this book.


Mike Riley



Title: Murach s ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET

Authors: Doug Lowe and Anne Prince

Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates, Inc.

ISBN: 1-890774-20-0

Book Web Site:

Price: US$49.50

Page Count: 718 pages



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