Programming Microsoft Web Forms
Now that Visual Studio 2005 has been officially released to the world, the floodgates for related books and products have opened. Major publishers have launched their collections of subject-matter expert interpretations of VS 2005 and the shock and awe affect of so many titles from which to choose can be overwhelming at times. In an effort to differentiate between the sea of .NET 2.0 titles, several publishers, including Microsoft Press, have approached the market with more creative names than simply pasting ASP.NET 2.0 somewhere in the book s title.
Such is the case with Douglas Reilly s Programming Microsoft Web Forms. Even though the title alludes to a possible deep dive into the internal workings and best practice optimizations of ASP.NET Web page delivery, the book is really nothing more than an ASP.NET 2.0 new-feature tutorial in action. As such, there is little new information in this book that hasn t already been discussed in detail by other ASP.NET 2.0 titles. In fact, the book could have been renamed ASP.NET 2.0 Step-by-Step, but that would have conflicted with another Microsoft Press title with the same name, at the same price, and which, unlike Programming Microsoft Web Forms, includes a CD-ROM of the book s code.
This 300+ page book is separated into eight chapters and an appendix, and features all code examples in C# syntax. Chapter 1 is the obligatory VS 2005 IDE orientation and IIS configuration. Chapter 2 reviews the new, predominantly user interface, controls in ASP.NET 2.0. The third chapter covers Web form layouts via HTML tables, CSS, themes and skins, and Master Pages. This chapter touched on a few helpful hints for dealing with controls and text on a Web form and placing them in just the right order for a more effective user presentation.
The next chapter briefly orients readers with Microsoft Web Parts. Chapter 5 dives into data binding using the DataSource, GridView, DetailsView, and MultiView controls. Chapter 6 discusses building custom controls using either Visual Studio or by converting an ASP.NET Web page into such a control. Chapter 7 offers a step-by-step walkthrough of ASP.NET 2.0 s user security and administration via Microsoft s new Web site administration tool.
The last chapter has a somewhat misleading title: Integrating with Windows Forms Applications . I had high hopes that this chapter would offer something unique, perhaps by demonstrating how an n-tiered application can easily consume data from a common repository and present it in a Web UI as rich as a Windows Forms UI. Nope. Instead, the author shows how readers can embed the WebBrowser managed-wrapper ActiveX control into a Windows Form to view the Web pages constructed throughout the text. Lame. The book closes with an appendix on IIS application creation and deployment.
Is this book worth the cover price? Not compared to similarly priced ASP.NET 2.0 books. I m not sure what Microsoft was trying to say with this book that hadn t already been said in other ASP.NET 2.0 titles including its own. It s not a bad book, per se; it s simply an average book with an above average price.
Title: Programming Microsoft Web Forms
Author: Douglas J. Reilly
Publisher: Microsoft Press
Page Count: 368