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ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed Hardcover – January 7, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0672330117 ISBN-10: 0672330113 Edition: 1 Har/Cdr

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1920 pages
  • Publisher: Sams; 1 Har/Cdr edition (January 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672330113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672330117
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 2.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,144 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed is the most comprehensive book available on the Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Framework, covering all aspects of the ASP.NET 3.5 Framework--no matter how advanced.


This edition covers all the new features of ASP.NET 3.5. It explains Microsoft LINQ to SQL in detail. It includes a chapter on the two new data access controls introduced with the ASP.NET 3.5 Framework: ListView and DataPager. With its coverage of ASP.NET AJAX, this book shows you how to take advantage of Microsoft’s server-side AJAX framework to retrofit existing ASP.NET applications with AJAX functionality. It also demonstrates how to use Microsoft’s client-side AJAX framework to build the web applications of the future: pure client-side AJAX applications. All code samples are written in the C# programming language. (Visual Basic versions of all code samples are included on the CD-ROM that accompanies this book.)


  • Take advantage of Microsoft’s new database query language, LINQ to SQL, to easily build database-driven web applications
  • Learn how to use the new ListView and DataPager data access controls to build flexible user interfaces
  • Take advantage of ASP.NET AJAX when building both server-side and client-side web applications
  • Use the AJAX Control Toolkit to create auto-complete text fields, draggable panels, masked edit fields, and complex animations
  • Design ASP.NET websites
  • Secure your ASP.NET applications
  • Create custom components
  • Build highly interactive websites that can scale to handle thousands of simultaneous users
  • Learn to build a complete ASP.NET 3.5 website from start to finish–the last chapter of the book includes a sample ASP.NET 3.5 web application written with LINQ to SQL and ASP.NET AJAX


CD-ROM includes all examples and source code presented in this book in both C# and Visual Basic.


About the Author

Stephen Walther is a Microsoft Software Legend, a Microsoft ASP.NET MVP, and a member of the INETA Speaker's Bureau. He has spoken at a number of major conferences, including Microsoft TechEd, Microsoft DevDays, and ASP.NET Connections.


Stephen wrote several ASP.NET best-practice applications for Microsoft. He was the lead developer of the ASP.NET Community Starter Kit and the Issue Tracker Starter Kit.


His company, Superexpert ASP.NET Training (, has provided ASP.NET training to companies and organizations across the United States, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. House of Representatives, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Verizon, and Microsoft.


Customer Reviews

Very tight, very clear.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to become a well-rounded ASP developer.
M. Williams
The book includes a CD with tons of valuable samples in C# and VB.
K. Cox

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By David Betz on January 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a VERY good book for learning ASP.NET 3.5 from A to Z. It covers just about every ASP.NET topic you will touch in your career. This book is a LIBRARY of information on a wide variety of topics. The chapters on custom controls were much easier to read and more in depth than any book on the market. The chapters on ASP.NET AJAX were also very well written and were presented in a very systematic fashion.

Having been working as a senior-level developer and architect for ASP.NET system for many years now, I can tell you that this book will take you very far. If you're a seasoned ASP.NET developer, but aren't familiar with some of ASP.NET's lesser-known features (custom controls, custom configuration sections) or need to learn the various new features of .NET 3.5 like LINQ and the now native ASP.NET AJAX, this book is one you should definitely look at.

Also note that the author is not only an MVP, but he is a Microsoft Software Legend, the highest possible rank of a soldier in Microsoft's public army. He is a General; you can trust his work.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By K. Cox on February 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
At first blush, it may seem strange for me to review a "competing" ASP.NET 3.5 book. However, Stephen Walther's ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed doesn't target the same audience as ASP.NET 3.5 For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)). Mine is unabashedly a beginner's book. ASP.NET Unleashed is for intermediate to advanced programmers and definitely hits that mark.
At over 1800 pages, this is definitely not "light" reading. It is, however, packed with most everything a professional ASP.NET developer needs to know to work in ASP.NET 3.5.

I was interested in Walther's assertion at the opening of Chapter 31 (Using Server-Side ASP.NET AJAX) that the future is AJAX:
"Microsoft ASP.NET is a dying technology. It received its death blow on February 18, 2005 when Jess James Garrett published his article 'Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications.' All that is left is the long, slow goodbye."

The author encourages readers to "leave the safety of the server side and enter the wilds of the client side." To that end, Walther does an excellent job of explaining the use of the UpdatePanel, Timer, and UpdateProgress controls that are built into ASP.NET 3.5.
The subsequent chapter, Using the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, gives a solid overview of the toolkit's suite. It then shows how to use the AutoComplete, DragPanel, FilteredTextBox, MaskedEdit, Animation, and UpdatePanelAnimation controls. As always, there are many code listings (in C# in this edition). Chapter 33 digs even deeper into AJAX to program client-side applications against the Microsoft AJAX Library. If you're ramping up to build on the client, the book's AJAX content is very valuable.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jason Buys on March 31, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At 1890 pages this book has just about everything you need to know to start building complex ASP.NET applications. While the book assumes that you have some familiarity with using ASP.NET the first few chapters are still devoted to the basics. I encourage everyone to read them, even the experts. There are many tips and tricks in the book so you may learn something new or pick up on something you'd long forgotten. Did you know the asp:Literal control has a build in Mode property that can be set to HTML encode it's content? I'd honestly forgotten about that and had been doing my encoding on the back-end.

This book provides an in-depth look at just about all of the core ASP.NET features building on many of the techniques we used in 2.0. For the new features specific to ASP.NET 3.5 , Walther devotes an entire chapter to the new ListView and DataPager controls. These controls can be thought of as a GridView or Repeater on steroids. There's also a chapter on data access with LINQ to SQL and a 3-chapter section devoted to working with AJAX.NET and the AJAX Control Toolkit.

There are many books out there that focus on the "how" but what I like most about Mr. Walther's books is that he devotes a great deal of time to the "why". For example, the book explains how to use the SqlDataSource control but then also explains why you'll want to avoid it for most complex applications and use the ObjectDatasourceControl instead. With this book you'll not only learn how to get things done, you'll learn how to get things done right. For that reason it's an invaluable resource for your library. Every ASP.NET developer should have this book on his/her shelf.

Note: While the code samples in the previous 1.1 and 2.0 Unleashed books were written in VB.NET, this new 3.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By .NET Code Monkey on February 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Walther is of a rare breed of authors that can churn out a 1,900-page book and actually give you immense value on each of those pages...unlike most that might give you about 10% value, 90% rambling.

Walther does an especially good job explaining the new built-in ASP.NET AJAX functionality, how to mimic the ASP.NET AJAX architecture in your own JavaScript, and how to integrate the two to better extend the existing AJAX functionality.

A couple other interesting points were the rundown of the ASP.NET AJAX control toolkit and his blurb about Visual Studio 2008 support for IntelliSense for JavaScript via XML commenting. Very useful.

The one topic that I was surprised not to see was mobile ASP.NET development, especially since .NET has so much built-in support for it. The only book I've seen yet with mobile ASP.NET covered was an ASP.NET 2.0 title by Dino Esposito: Programming Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 Applications: Advanced Topics...but the mobile coverage is just cursory and not nearly as useful as the MSDN site.

Overall, though, this book is a definite must-read and must-have for any ASP.NET developer. I'm now getting rid of my five other ASP.NET books...they've all been rendered obsolete by this title.
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More About the Author

Stephen Walther is a Microsoft Software Legend. He worked as a Program Manager on the ASP.NET team at Microsoft where he was responsible for making the ASP.NET Framework compliant with Web Standards such as XHTML and Accessibility standards.

Through his companies and, he has provided consulting and training services for companies across the United States including NASA, the National Science Foundation, Microsoft, Verizon, the US House of Representatives, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Petco, and The Gap.

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