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Keywords: ASP.NET, Visual Studio, C#, VB.NET, web applications
Title: Programming ASP.NET
Authors: Jesse Liberty and Dan Hurwitz
Verdict: Recommended both as a tutorial and as a reference guide
This book is aimed at existing web developers and programmers wishing to learn ASP.Net, so does not cover general programming basics. But for those new to Microsoft's Visual Studio there are some basics covered e.g. project creation, debugging and error handling. There is also a small section on SQL Server and stored procedures that may prove useful for people with out previous exposure.
The book is written in a clear and concise style with consistent organisation throughout. The book should prove useful as a reference as there are many practical examples that can be tailored for use with real world applications. The examples are covered in both VB and C# which means that readers do not have to buy separate books for each language. However this does make the book a bit bloated and will be a minus for those who wish to concentrate on only one language. Both languages are covered in sufficient depth, however a little more about the syntactical differences would have been nice.
The book begins with a very brief intro into the .Net Framework. It also contains the obligatory "Hello World", however this book has a different take on this very common theme by covering versions in HTML, ASP and ASP.NET (VB.Net and C#) and Visual Studio for completeness.
The book has good coverage of ASP Events looking at the ASP Event model, Event Arguments, Application and Session Events, Page and Control Events, IsPostBack/Postback Versus Non-Postback Events and compares ASP.NET to ASP. These topics are well covered and clearly illustrated.
Controls are covered in depth: looking at html controls, HTML Server Controls, ASP controls, ASP.Net controls and custom controls. The different performance capabilities and key events and properties are discussed as well as validation and deployment.
The book continues with clear detail and examples covering more advanced topics such as ADO.Net, data binding, list-bound controls, transaction support and command line compilation.
Further highlights are topics such as Access modifiers, State, Code-Behind, directives, Caching, Security and Configuration which details issues with regards to the "global.asax" and the various config files. There are 3 chapters on Web Services, which provides a comprehensive overview of this topic, but a little more on SOAP and WDSL again would have been nice.
Over all this is a solid book, the writing is clear and concise and its more detailed explanations and examples will prove useful. We recommend it for its tutorials and as a reference guide for all aspects of ASP.NET