Customer Reviews: Professional ASP.NET 1.0 (Programmer to Programmer)
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on March 24, 2002
This was just about the first ASP.NET book out there. The first edition dates back almost a year! Many ASP.NET developers used this to get started (like me), and believe me, it wasn't always easy. There are some great parts, some incredibly repetitive parts (the effect of having so many authors), and some infuriating mistakes. Finally they fixed those in this edition--did anyone else but me struggle with the completely wrong description of security rule priority?
The factual problems are fixed in this version, but it is still a painfully disorganized way to learn. It's best for programmers with hefty .NET and ASP experience. Many fundamentals (like session state) just aren't covered. Now there are other best first choices. I particularly like ASP.NET The Complete Reference (McGraww Hill), which has a comprehensive look at code-behind development, VS.NET, and best practices, which most books ignore. ANother good one is Programming ASP.NET (Oreilly) which covers everthing in VB and C#! AsP.nET unleashed is a solid title too (very comprehensive), but it is a little wonky in places. Who would use a database trigger to write a file on updates? That's one of the most unscalable ideas i've ever heard. One thing I've discovered is that books that pretend to be more specific, like e-commerce with ASP.NET, or data-driven sites with ASP.NET, are really just basic ASP.NET introductions that don't cover all the features. You are best off (right now at least) with an all in one.
In short, this book will do, and has good parts. But why bother now that other books (written carefully by a single guru instead of patched together from a whole comittee) are available?
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on April 4, 2002
I found that this book contains a vast amount of information on virtually everything you will need to know to really get up to speed with ASP.NET. I wasn't sure whether to go for this big Wrox book after reading some negative reviews about the old edition, but I've been as impressed by this title as much as I was by Wrox's former Professional ASP.
Make no mistake, this is not a book for beginners. This reflects the complexity of ASP.NET. But as a comprehensive and high level study of ASP.NET, it would be hard to beat. If you're looking for a book that starts with the basics, and gradually builds up your knowledge, this book mightn't be for you. It tackles all the important topics of ASP.NET, and so assumes that the reader can keep up a fast pace.
Unlike the earlier reviewer, I didn't find any bugs in the code download. In fact, I found the code to be very well organised, and free of errors.
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on May 23, 2002
I found this book frustrating for so many reasons but the most prominent are:
* most of the code in the book is in and a smattering of C# - and no matter what the authors say you can't learn this in two languages. It would have been nicer to see a separate C# edition. I kept trying to port the vb code to C# and ran into problem after problem.
* most of the sample code is buggy and a pain to get going. trying to follow the examples in the book with the code provided felt like a great waste of time. But more than that the way they structured the code was weird. They put the connection string in a usercontrol. Dont you think putting it in the config file or a db class would have been better. And dont even get me started on why they use three different connection methods. And not once did I see code behind.
* Structure of the book could have been better as well. There is little sense of evolution in your work - each chapter is self contained and that has its benefits but you couldnt see how to put everything together - enterprise class system design is definitely not present.
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on January 26, 2003
This is an incredibly chunky book that somehow never gets to the important points. WROX assembled a number of authors for this publication and unfortunately this has resulted in a lack of flow/consistency.
Most of the important topics are covered by the book - but they covered in a manner where it can be incredibly hard to get something useful.
I bought this book looking for a good reference by my side - instead I find the online help sites and forums much more productive.
I hope you find this review helpful - please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.
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on September 15, 2002
I cannot believe this book published by WROX. Usually WROX publishes great books but this one is nowhere close to be a good book.

Visual Studio .NET comes with great GUI enhancements to make ASP.NET development easy and guess what, this book is not mentioning any of those. They use "inline code" instead of "code behind" in most of the examples which it is kind of old school asp development habit. Examples and chapters are not organized well.

If you are new to ASP technology and you want to learn ASP.NET for the first time, this is NOT a book for you.
If you are an established ASP developer (which the book requires to be one) and you want to learn ASP.NET quickly, this is NOT a book for you.
I guess this book was good a year ago when there were not many books around, but today you can find much better books than this.
nowhere close
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on June 14, 2002
This book is long and tedious to read, more than 1400 pages with small printed text :( . The first 400 pages seem to have a lot of repeating materials that are already discussed in earlier chapters, possibly due to the confusion between too many authors and lack of editors.
There are tons of code samples in the book, but most of them are fragmented, some are buggy, and some are very confusing. Though pardon my criticism for I am no expert in ASP.NET, yet I felt the book could have make it clearer if it was to have a mixture of simple fundumental code examples, rather than all with excessive use of server controls.
Nevertheless, to fully digest the codes in this book, you really have to break away from the old ASP programming styles, which for many of us ASP savvy, is like jumping off a perfectly fine airplane - not an easy thing to do, and will take some time to get comfortable. Regardless, coding in ASP.NET is like a new generation - lots of changes, lots of old habits to break. :( || :) ?
This book does covers a lot of ground on what you can do with ASP .NET, probably more than any other books on the market at this moment (remember 1400 pages). But the way this book cover from one subject to the next, the unfulfilled potholes will only leave you an uneasy feeling of caution. Just like reading a reference book, if you know what you are doing, you will feel right at home. But if you don't, you will need more books to supplement. Just as I put in my title review and coincidently enough, this book does make a good reference too.
Overall, this book could have been better written and edited. Repeated materials should have been taken out and save some trees. For a book this size (1400+ pages), it is a low-blow to force readers in finish reading it only because of the price he/she bought it for . Put it this way and if I may quote from this book, "...time better spend watching paint dry!", or one of my favorite by Dale Rogerson, "...time better spend watching metal rust!". Yes, time like this I really missed reading the SQL book written by Rob Vieira.
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on January 25, 2003
The title says it all: it's for professionals. This is not a gentle introduction for those new to server-side programming so you will not find chapters on HTML, C#, VB, basic program design etc.
Experienced developers will find this a cost-effective and time-efficient guide to ASP.NET. The wide range of topics includes among others ASP.NET architecture fundamentals, XML in ASP.NET, security, custom controls, configuration, state management, performance, data access, migration and web services.
As usual for books with multiple authors, the writing is variable but in the 6 chapters I have read so far it ranges from reasonable to quite good. The absence of pedestrian click-this-click-that instructions and endless repetitive screenshots mean that this sizeable tome (1300+ pages) is packed with concise and solid information and very little fluff. It really does show that this book was written by professionals for professionals.
The chapters are mostly self-contained and are not intended to be read in sequence. Those new to ASP.NET but with a good grounding in ASP and programming generally, will want to dip into this book whenever they need a quick introduction to new areas. Many developers may find some chapters of no interest because they never have to deal with the topic addressed but with such complete coverage, the buyer can feel confident the relevant information is on her bookshelf should she need it. Though I have absolutely no interest in mobile devices, I am glad I read the relevant chapter. I recommend that eventually you give every chapter a quick read.
Unlike many other books, this one is not padded with long or numerous appendices. There are just three, covering performance tips, source of further information and an overview of the core namespaces.
This book, the "ASP.NET In a Nutshell" reference from O'Reilly and the Microsoft documentation together will be all I need for ASP.NET. Of the (too) many programming books I have bought over the years, this is among the best.
Highly recommended!
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on May 12, 2003
This book is 1300 pages of [stuff]. Its written by about 10 people who obviously didn't look at each others segments because they repeat the same stuff over and over. If they took out all the information that was repeated throughout the book it would be about 300 pages. I was better served by the MSDN documentation. Wrox used to have a good reputation for solid books but it seems like quantity over quality is what they are after.
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on May 13, 2002
The book, although SLAMMED with lots of info about WHY is useful & WHY you should use it, doesn't provide you with information on HOW to use it.
The book doesn't seem like a useful tool for individuals making the transition from ASP to ASP.NET as far as providing useful examples & syntax reference.
It's loaded with theory & overview information but provides little in the way of examples, syntax, & reference.
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on April 8, 2002
This is a great book and I would suggest it if you are learning ASP.NET. However!!! There really does need to be two books, one for VB.NET and one for C#. Most of the examples are in and this make it frustrating for C# developers.
The book claims this does not matter, but it does.
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