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Essential ASP.NET 2.0 [Paperback]

Fritz Onion , Keith Brown
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 9, 2006 0321237706 978-0321237705 2

"No one knows ASP.NET like Fritz Onion. And no one knows .NET security like Keith Brown. Combine the two and what do you get? The most comprehensive and enlightening book on ASP.NET 2.0 industrywide. I'm sure you'll find the book you're holding was worth every penny."

--Aaron Skonnard, member of technical staff and cofounder, Pluralsight

" Essential ASP.NET 2.0 gets under the hood and dismantles the engine before your eyes. Fritz and Keith understand that we as developers need to understand how it works and this book does exactly that. Their explanation of the ASP.NET 2.0 page event sequence is worth the price of the book alone."

--Shawn Wildermuth, Microsoft MVP (C#), "The ADO Guy"

" Essential ASP.NET 2.0 is an incredibly useful must-read for any developer.Many books drag you through theory and mindless detail, but this one actually sets up the problems you may encounter with ASP.NET 2.0 and rolls out the alternatives."

--Patrick Hynds, Microsoft Regional Director and President, CriticalSites

"This book is essential for any ASP.NET developer moving from version 1.x to 2.0. Onion and Brown not only cover the new features, but provide a wealth of insight and detail about how to use them effectively."

--Ron Petrusha, author of Visual Basic 2005: The Complete Reference

"Drawing on their deep technical knowledge and real-world experience, Fritz and Keith take the reader into some of the less explored and much improved areas of ASP.NET such as diagnostics and state management and performance. Readers will turn to this book over and over again."

--John Timney, Microsoft MVP, Senior Web Services Consultant,British Telecom

"Fritz and Keith, both established developers and writers in our industry, have succeeded again--enlightening us on the latest advancements found in ASP.NET 2.0. If you're new to ASP.NET or a seasoned veteran, you'll benefit tremendously from their overview, analysis, and sample code."

--Joe "MSJoe" Flanigen

"This book seeks not only to explain how to effectively build Web sites with ASP.NET, it also gives the reader an idea of how the process works. This insight is essential to creating applications that work with the infrastructure rather than fighting it."

--Justin Burtch, Vice President, Newbrook Solutions

Essential ASP.NET 2.0 is the Microsoft developer's definitive reference for ASP.NET 2.0 programming. It covers all you need to know to build robust, well-designed Web applications with ASP.NET 2.0, Visual Studio 2005, and .NET 2.0. ASP.NET MVP Fritz Onion and Developer Security MVP Keith Brown draw on their unparalleled experience working with ASP.NET 2.0 and teaching it to professional developers. From data binding to security, UIs to performance, they demystify ASP.NET 2.0's most difficult areas, and introduce little-known techniques for leveraging it to the fullest.

The perfect companion to his previous classic, Essential ASP.NET with Examples in C#, Essential ASP.NET 2.0 offers hundreds of new C# examples that illuminate today's best Web development practices. (Both C# and VB 2005 versions of all code examples can be downloaded from the companion Web site.)

Topics explored in-depth include:

  • Application architecture
  • Code behind
  • Master pages
  • Themes and skins
  • Navigation controls
  • Data binding
  • State management
  • Security
  • Web Parts
  • Diagnostics
  • Performance optimization
  • Asynchronous tasks and pages

Simply put, if you want to design and build better ASP.NET 2.0 Web applications, Essential ASP.NET 2.0 delivers everything you need: insider's knowledge, proven best practices, and outstanding code samples.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Fritz Onion is cofounder of Microsoft .NET training provider Pluralsight, and author of Pluralsight's ASP.NET curriculum. He teaches ASP.NET development worldwide. The author of the highly acclaimed Essential ASP.NET with Examples in C# (Addison-Wesley), Onion is a columnist for MSDN Magazine, and a regular speaker at TechEd, VSLive!, and PDC.

Keith Brown is cofounder of Pluralsight and contributing editor for MSDN Magazine. He is the author of Programming Windows Security and The .NET Developer's Guide to Windows Security, both from Addison-Wesley.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

I remember sitting in a room on the Microsoft campus in August of 2003 listening to Scott Guthrie and others from the ASP.NET team present the wide array of new features coming in ASP.NET 2.0. They astounded us with one demo after another of features that greatly simplified Web development, and in such a pluggable and extensible fashion so that changes could be made at any level as needed during the development process. As with its predecessor, I knew that this release was going to change the way developers built Web applications, and it would be compelling enough to bring many more developers to the ASP.NET platform.Over the subsequent two years I carefully tracked the Beta releases of ASP.NET 2.0, wrote many articles on the upcoming features, and gave numerous conference talks around the world. In early 2005 I finished writing Pluralsight's Applied ASP.NET 2.0 course, and spent the next year and a half teaching the course, as well as speaking, blogging, and writing about ASP.NET 2.0 in many different forums. This book is the culmination of those activities, and I hope it helps you in your path to understanding ASP.NET 2.0.

Sample Code, Web Site, Feedback

All of the code samples in this book are drawn from working samples available for display and download at The site also contains examples written in VB.NET and a listing of all links and references mentioned in the book. Any errata found after publication will be posted on this site, as well as a supplemental set of more extended examples of the concepts presented in this book for your reference. The authors welcome your comments, errata, and feedback via the forms available on the Web site.

Volume 2, Not Second Edition

This book is fundamentally a companion book to my first book on ASP.NET, Essential ASP.NET with Examples in C#, and is not a second edition. You will notice little to no overlap between the two books, and, in fact, I strongly encourage you to become comfortable with much of the contents of the first book before jumping into this one. Almost all of the topics presented in the first book are still completely relevant today in the ASP.NET 2.0 release. There are, however, a few topics that can be bypassed in the first book as they have been replaced and/or modified with the ASP.NET 2.0 release. The following is a reader's guide to Essential ASP.NET with Examples in C# with the intent of preparing you to read this new book.

Chapter 1--Architecture

The discussion of codebehind should be read only lightly, as it has changed in 2.0, although the ASP.NET 1.1 model of codebehind is still supported.

Chapter 2--WebForms

The discussion of codebehind and server-side control integration can be skipped, as this has changed in ASP.NET 2.0. The last section on building WebForms with Visual Studio can be skipped.

Chapter 3--Configuration

All of this chapter is still completely relevant. Do note that every use of ConfigurationSettings should now be ConfigurationManager in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 4--HTTP Pipeline

The discussion of asynchronous handlers can be skipped in anticipation of the entire chapter dedicated to asynchrony (Chapter 9) in this new book.

Chapter 5--Diagnostics and Error Handling

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 6--Validation

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0. Be aware that client-side validation now works cross-browser (not just in Internet Explorer as it did in ASP.NET 1.1). Also, there is a new ValidationGroup property you can associate with validation controls and buttons that generate postbacks to selectively fire subsets of validation controls.

Chapter 7--Data Binding

Skip over the discussion of the DataGrid control, as it has been replaced by the GridView control in ASP.NET 2.0. In the template discussion, replace every occurrence of DataBinder.Eval(Container.DataItem, ) with Eval(), which is the new expression in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 8--Custom Controls

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0. Whenever you see references to RegisterClientScriptBlock, replace it with ClientScript.RegisterClientScriptBlock for ASP.NET 2.0. In the discussion of data-bound and composite controls, be aware that there are two new control base classes in ASP.NET 2.0, DataBoundControl and CompositeControl, which should be used as base classes when creating these types of controls. There are also many new designer integration features in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 9--Caching

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 10--State Management

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0.

Chapter 11--Security

All of this chapter is still completely relevant in ASP.NET 2.0. Be aware that many of the features discussed in the forms authentication section are much easier to build in ASP.NET 2.0 because of the membership feature. Understanding the details of how Forms authentication works is still critical to using membership properly, however, and thus this discussion is a good precursor to the discussion about security in Chapter 5 of this new book.

Organization of This Book

Chapter 1, Architecture, covers the changes in the architecture of ASP.NET with this release, including a new codebehind mechanism, new Page events, new specially named compilation directories, a new compiler utility, and Web Application Projects.

Chapter 2, User Interface Elements, looks at the three primary new user interface elements of ASP.NET 2.0: master pages, themes and skins, and navigation controls. This chapter also looks at the new control adapter architecture as a means of altering standard control rendering in a browser-contingent way.

Chapter 3, Data Binding, describes the new declarative data source model introduced with ASP.NET 2.0. It starts with a discussion of the fundamentals of declarative data sources and moves through many different usages, including SQL, stored procedures, and objects.

Chapter 4, State Management, describes three new state-related features of ASP.NET 2.0, including cross-page posting, profile, and the MultiView, View, and Wizard controls.

Chapter 5, Security, covers the new security features in ASP.NET 2.0 with a special focus on the provider model. It includes lots of practical advice on choosing and configuring Membership and Role providers. It also covers the new login controls and other new features, such as cookieless forms authentication and configuration file encryption.

Chapter 6, Web Parts, describes the collection of components and controls introduced in ASP.NET 2.0 for constructing customizable portal sites. These components manage the details of storing user customization data, providing the interface for customization, and managing the Web Parts you define as components for users to work with.

Chapter 7, Diagnostics, explores management, instrumentation, and diagnostics in ASP.NET 2.0, focusing on the new health monitoring system. The key abstraction here is the Web event, and this chapter introduces the built-in events and providers as well as helps you build your own. At the end of the chapter is an introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 support for Event Tracing for Windows (ETW), showing how you can diagnose problems in a running ASP.NET application without having to attach a debugger.

Chapter 8, Performance, covers the new performance-related features of ASP.NET 2.0, including many new caching features as well as a client-callback architecture. Among the new caching features covered are data source caching, SQL cache dependencies, post-cache substitution, and configuration file settings for cache control.

Chapter 9, Asynchrony, looks at the new Async="true" attribute on the @Page directive in ASP.NET 2.0, and how it can be used to improve the responsiveness of pages in your site as well as increase the overall scalability of the application. Several ways of introducing asynchrony into your pages are covered, including implicitly using the AsyncOperationManager, explicitly using asynchronous tasks, and at a lower level by using the Page class's AddOnPreRenderCompleteAsync method.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 2 edition (November 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321237706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321237705
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,611,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better September 4, 2007
By Björn
This one is not as solid & thorough as the previous edition on 1.1, some deficiencies include:
- page life cycle is rather poorly explained, MSDN documentation does a better job
- only covers the website model, not the 1.1 style web project model, which is a shame, as many professional sites don't use the web site model (which btw really sucks)
- page compilation is poorly covered, this actually changed a lot between 1.1 & 2.0, but as the author chose to write this book as an addon to the earlier edition, the explanation of this topic is rather sketchy.
- web parts: didnt get to bottom of how proxywebpartmanager is different from the normal webpartmanager. again, MSDN online arctles provide a clearer explanation.

all in all, i get the impression this book is somehow rushed to market.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASP.NET Expertise Required May 13, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good book for somebody who is already quite familiar with ASP.NET and just wants to learn what is new with ASP.NET 2.0. I thought the material was sometimes too technical. For example, there is a lot of information on changing the provider database. You would probably find this book most useful if you needed to dig into the guts of ASP.NET 2.0.

However, "Essential ASP.NET 2.0" isn't a very good introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 because it does not provide simple explanations on how to use the new features in real world situations. I've read "ASP.NET 2.0 For Dummies" but found it went over too much familiar material on ASP.NET and left out many aspects of ASP.NET 2.0. Ideally you need a book that focuses just on the new features of ASP.NET 2.0 with an emphasis on practical usage.

I would most recommend this book if you needed in depth information on how to go beyond the typical use of the new features when you find yourself frustrated by some special considerations. If you need to use a MySQL database then the information on changing the provider database will be very useful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content, but dissapointing release process October 18, 2007
By Patrick
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book inherits from the Essential ASP book. If you don't have that book, it's like trying to create an inherited class without any documentation or source for the base class. This book requires the reader to have the Essential ASP book and to do a mental merge (vtable?), where some chapters come from ASP.NET and others come from ASP.NET 2.0. I would have preferred a 2nd edition that merged all of the current content into a single book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great ASP.NET 2.0 Book - Accurate and Concise February 22, 2007
I really like Fritz and Keith's writing style, and found this book an excellent ASP.NET 2.0 read.

Unlike other books, this doesn't attempt to be a huge reference. Instead it offers a relatively quick and concise read that details how to use some of the most important new features in ASP.NET 2.0. The result is a very approachable book that provides a great way to learn ASP.NET 2.0 and how to immediately take advantage of it.
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