Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Special Edition
ASP.NET 2.0 is not simply about learning new controls and exploring other related topics. And although you can t learn all the features of ASP.NET 2.0 in a short span of time, it is an asset to have a good book that provides comprehensive analysis about nearly all the features so you can refer to it whenever you require. Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Special Edition is one such book; it truly explores all the topics associated with the new framework (in more than 1,000 pages).
The book consists of 34 chapters and four appendixes. Every page contains high-quality content written professionally for developers. The initial chapters provide detailed analysis about the fundamentals of ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, application and page frameworks, and server and validation controls. The authors also should have examined Visual Studio Express, as many developers may not have access to Visual Studio 2005. However, the book ships with a 180-day trial version of the product, which developers can use to master the contents of the book if they don t have access to the development environment.
Chapters 8 and 9 examine such features of ASP.NET 2.0 as master pages, themes, and skins. Chapter 10 covers collections and lists, and chapters 11 and 12 provide exhaustive coverage about database-related topics. The authors thoroughly explain the use of GridView, DetailsView, and other related Data controls, in addition to coverage about other databound controls such as DropDownList, ListBox, and CheckBoxList.
Chapters 13, 14, and 15 deal with XML, the provider model, and the different ways by which you can extend the provider model. The text also demonstrates how to build your own providers in a detailed manner. Chapters 16, 17, and 18 examine site navigation, personalization, membership, and role management techniques. An interesting point to note is that each chapter includes detailed explanations and screenshots in both Visual Basic and C#. The authors also provide tables listing important methods, accompanied by short descriptions about each one.
While chapter 19 analyzes the workings of WebParts, chapter 20 examines the different ways by which you can secure your ASP.NET 2.0 applications. The remaining chapters provide comprehensive coverage of state management, caching, debugging and error handling, file operations, user and server controls, modules, and handlers. The chapter covering file operations is very useful; it includes source code for compressing and decompressing ZIP files using ASP.NET 2.0. But I found the decompression example is of little use for real world developers who need a solution for decompressing a ZIP file into a folder rather than saving it as a text file. I hope the authors look into this and modify the code appropriately in the next edition of the book.
The rest of the chapters mainly target advanced developers; they include detailed analysis about the use of business objects, mobile development, building and consuming XML Web services, localization, configuration, and instrumentation. The final two chapters examine the different methods of deploying ASP.NET 2.0 applications. As mentioned, the book includes four useful appendixes. Appendix A covers the new features included with VB 2005 and C# 2.0. Appendix B examines migrating ASP.NET 1.1 projects to 2.0. Appendix C provides concise coverage of the use of Atlas, with the help of an accompanying example. There should be more content about Atlas, and as a separate chapter, not an appendix. The final appendix lists useful Web sites.
A big advantage of this book is that the authors cover all the advanced features of ASP.NET 2.0 in a lucid language, with source code in both VB and C#. Moreover, the book ships with a special CD that includes content from other interesting Wrox titles. The downside is that it is too bulky and heavy to carry. I don t recommend Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Special Edition for beginners because it includes advanced topics that may be irrelevant to them. However, they can use the book after mastering the basics of ASP.NET 2.0 using other fundamental books.
Title: Professional ASP.NET 2.0 Special Edition
Authors: Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, Devin Rader, Farhan Muhammad, Srinivasa Sivakumar
Page Count: 1,584