- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (February 22, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0672325012
- ISBN-13: 978-0672325014
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,549,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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ASP.NET Data Web Controls Kick Start 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
Utilizing the more advanced features of the Data Web Controls has many developers stumped. These controls are fairly simple to use when it comes to simple data display. However, they can do much more than merely present data. For example, the DataGrid Web Control allows for sorting, paging, and editing of data. In addition, these controls allow for templating of data, which can be used to provide more complex views. The DataGrid, DataList, and Repeater forum on the Microsoft ASP.NET Forums received more than 2,100 posts in the first month and a half of use, or over 35 posts per day on average. As the Web master of an ASP.NET Web site, Scott has also received numerous emails from readers and visitors asking questions about these Web Controls. ASP.NET Data Web Controls is likely to be an indispensable item in every ASP.NET developer's toolbox.
About the Author
As editor and main contributor to 4GuysFromRolla.com, a popular ASP/ASP.NET resource Web site, Scott Mitchell has authored hundreds of articles on Microsoft Web Technologies since 1998. In addition to his vast collection of online article, Scott has written three previous books on ASP/ASP.NET: Sams Teach Yourself Active Server Pages 3.0 in 21 Days (Sams); Designing Active Server Pages (O'Reilly); and ASP.NET: Tips, Tutorials, and Code (Sams). Scott has also written a number of magazine articles, including articles for Microsoft's MSDN Magazine and asp.netPRO.
Scott's non-writing accomplishments include speaking at numerous ASP/ASP.NET user groups across the country and at ASP.NET conferences. Scott has also taught three ASP.NET classes at the University of California¿San Diego University Extension. Additionally, he created WebForums.NET, which was purchased by Microsoft and transformed into the ASP.NET Forums (with numerous enhancements added by Rob Howard and his team). The ASP.NET Forums can be visited online at http://www.asp.net/Forums/. Currently, Scott is wrapping up his master's degree in computer science at the University of California¿San Diego. Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Top customer reviews
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What appeals to me the most about this book is that it doesn't make the mistake that most other books make. It doesn't gloss over the hard parts. Most of the books I read go something like this, "There are two ways to do this: the easy way and the more advanced but powerful way. Let me show you an example of the easy way. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to implement it the hard way." I hate that! Most of the time I already know how to do it the easy way. I'm looking for help with the advanced techniques and most books skip that.
This book goes into the nitty-gritty of everything you want to do with these three controls. I've used this book extensively on my ASP.NET projects and it's really gotten me over some tough hurdles. Scott has saved my butt a few times.
Re the title, yes it is misleading. The book doesn't cover all the data controls. However, now that you've read the reviews and know that, then you also know that if you are working with the datagrid, datalist, and repeater controls, then this is the only book you'll need to buy.
I found Scott Guthrie to be a valuable reference. I used DataGrids to add, edit and delete all of the apps SQL Tables. His examples in regard to this were extremely helpful.
I recommend this book highly!
What are these three Web Controls? Imagine a typical website where someone wants to search a database through a browser interface, like a book database. They search for ASP.NET books and the browser displays the 30 books on the subject, 10 rows to a page. The user also needs to select only a few of these books to narrow down the list and then maybe place an order for 3 of the final list. This involves using Web Controls that can accomplish this. In this particular case, the favored Web Control may be the Data Grid due to its inherent support of pagination (where the results are split into multiple pages with 10 rows to a page or whatever number of rows you want per page). That's what you need these Web Controls for.
Once you are far enough into using ASP.NET to create dynamic database driven websites, you will need an in-depth introduction to these three very important Web Controls - Repeater, Data List, and Data Grid. That's where this book comes in. It does an excellent job of going into the intricacies of these three Web Controls. As a beginner, you absolutely need this book to go to the next level in website development.
But this book has some limitations. Even though it is great to use the book and get to the next level of website development as a beginner, you will quickly run into problems. When you try to create a real live website that is complex and destined for production, you will find that this book is not adequate.
Simple example - let's use the above example of accessing a book database through a browser. As mentioned, you will most likely need to use the Data Grid Web Control to display rows of data in the browser for your user to take some action on this data. It is normal to expect many rows to be displayed in the browser with a whole column full of check boxes that the user can select to narrow down the selection. And click on some button to take a specific action like buy the books that are checked. So the question for you as a web designer would be - how do I insert this extra column of checkboxes with the rows full of data? And how do I link the buy action associated with the button click to the Data Grid that is indirectly connected to the database that needs to be updated?
Well, the Data Grid Web Control only has Select, Edit (Update & Cancel), and Hyperlink, as choices when creating the control using a tool like Visual Studio. To insert a column full of check boxes, you need to write a custom control (based on CheckBoxList) that integrates neatly into the Data Grid Web Control supported by ASP.NET. And you need to write the event handlers that respond on the application side when people click on the buy buttons next to the check boxes. The hard part being the event handlers you write need to connect the check boxes and the buy action the user wants to initiate.
The book spends a few pages towards the end of book explaining how you could accomplish something like what is described above. At this point, it becomes a theoretical text book with very little direction on how to practically implement it. It would have been wonderful if the book finished the excellent job it started by having another 50 pages covering these topics that are absolutely essential.
Unfortunately, there are almost no other books in the market that reach the level of depth on Web Controls that this book reaches. So you can almost forget about trying to find a book that goes deeper addressing the issues above. There IS one book that actually publishes all the code you need to get to this next level but lacks in explanation. There have been complaints that the code in the book doesn't work. We realized that in many cases, the code doesn't work because of problems on the Visual Studio side of things and when we found some workarounds to overcome the VS.NET problems, we were able to make most of the code in this book work. That book is 'ASP.NET Developer's Cookbook' by The ASP Alliance. So if you get to the Intermediate/Advanced level in using ASP.NET, you can use these two books to figure out how to accomplish the desired results.
Right now, there isn't much out there that you can readily use to accomplish your website goals. Even though there are a ton of books published, they don't adequately address the practical issues. But the next release of ASP.NET is believed to change al this. So we'll keep our fingers crossed till then. In the meanwhile, good luck with your own real world .NET implementations and we hope that the results of our experiences we shared in this review are helpful.
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