Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the subtitle to the book says it all, June 27, 2004
This review is from: ASP.NET 1.1 Insider Solutions (Paperback)
The subtitle to the book says it all: "Practical Insight and Advice from the Experts"
This book is loaded with useful real-world information and code snippets. Code examples are in VB only, both in the book and on the companion Website, which is an excellent resource where you can download the code in one .zip file and also run the code examples online and see the code your just ran...extremely helpful to a developer like me. I consider myself an ntermediate level ASP.NET programmer and this book will definitely help me reach the next level... but if you're already at an advanced level, I think you will still find this book useful. Wow, I really can't say enough good things about this book.
I was at my local Barnes & Noble brick and mortar store looking for a landscaping book because our new property is in need of some serious landscaping. Well, I hadn't planned on getting any programming books but I decided I had time to check out the ASP.NET section to see if anything new was there. This book caught my attention immediately, so I read through the TOC and my eyes started getting wider and I adjusted my stance to get more comfortable because I could sense I was going to be standing here a while longer reviewing the book in depth. I immediately noticed the section on "cross-page posting" near the front of the book and one of the less advanced topics covered. Well, the authors spend 21 pages showing different techniques for passing values to another page. The book clearly demonstrates four main techniques for passing values between pages, something that is done in practically every asp.net application, but many books gloss over this at best and seem to concentrate on the Post back paradigm ASP.NET was designed for or other books seem to contain similar information but spread out in different chapters of the book. What I like about the approach in this book is that the authors breakdown a problem, in this case it's "how to pass values to another page" and then you are given options and then each option is explained using words, code examples and diagrams, so any intermediate or advanced developer could figure out what works best for their particular situation. In the more advanced topics there may be only one option, but at least they present it to you clearly and in a succinct manner. The writing style is easy to read without a lot of useless anecdotes and babble.
I would also like to point out that the layout of the book is top notch... not like a Wrox book where you can get a bit cross-eyed at times. Don't get me wrong, I like some of the Wrox books and have 3 on my shelf, but the layout of this book is very logical and clean. The content, code, figures and diagrams are very well presented, probably the most user-friendly layout I've seen when it comes to programming books. It's similar to the layout of the "ASP.NET Unleashed" book but even better IMO.(both published by SAMS) Each main section has a "best practice" subsection and there are also sidebar paragraphs to highlight tips and important information.
The code examples are very helpful at getting the point across and could be used in real-world applications. All of the code examples I've tried on the compainion Website have worked for me, although I have not tried every single one of them yet. Most of the code examples in the book are presented as a Sub or Function, so that helps keep the size of the book down to 559 pages not including the index and intro pages, but the full code is provided on the Website. Many examples use the standard SQL Server NorthWind db, so if you wanted to run the code on your local machine, you need a connection to SQL Server.
(...)
There is no CD, but really no need for one because the companion Website has all the code and you can run the examples online too.
There is not one ounce of "fluff" in this book. It is 100% real-world, useful, nitty-gritty content. It is not targeted for beginners. The authors assume you've built at at least a couple ASP.NET applications already and are familiar with the basics. The layout of the book's content is such that you can skip directly to the section you're interested in. It's not a beginning type book where each chapter sort of builds upon the next, rather, you can delve into specific topics and even subtopics directly. The only minor wish I have is for more code examples, but then again, doesn't every programmer wish for more examples they can directly apply to their own applications? Rest assured, there is enough code to get the point across for each and every topic covered.
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