Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
on August 1, 2011
At almost 1500 pages, this book covers ASP.NET in great detail. It gives a good overview of just about any topic you can think of in the .NET 4 framework, and the explanations and code examples are clear. You couldn't really ask for much more.
I also appreciated the authors' honesty with respect to the subject of LINQ to Entities. While many authors (and unfortunately a lot of developers) have fawned over this technology (and ORM generally), the authors state with regard to LINQ to Entities: "At worst, this model breaks down the proper division of layers in a carefully structured component-based application, [and] confuses data retrieval with data processing". (Bingo! ORM in a nutshell. This idea that you should essentially model your data twice and largely ignore the primary purpose of your business layer which is to solve problems, not model data).
The authors go on to say: "It's no exaggeration to say that LINQ to Entities gives developers the most powerful tool for shooting themselves in the foot that they've had in a long time. If in doubt, and if you don't need the more powerful LINQ to Entities features, it's best to stick to the more modest approach of simple [what a concept!], straightforward [ORM isn't straightforward?!] ADO.NET commands." While this short passage may not seem that important in the context of a 1500 page book, it is enormously so. The development community has become somewhat smitten with ORM and the OO astronauts have won some battles in the larger war. This is why I appreciate the authors providing such important advice here.