Customer Reviews: Professional ASP.NET MVC 3
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on August 11, 2011
Got the Kindle version.

As someone who's already worked on a project with the first version of MVC a couple of years back, this was a good refresher and a quick way to get to know all the new MVC3 features. This includes: Razor for Views; Validation mechanisms are much easier now, there used to be way too many options to pick from; jQuery Templates; NuGet etc.

Favorite Chapters:
- Ch.7 on Security, it's very well written with quick and easy to use solutions. Great stuff! MVC 1 & 2 developers need to fix a security hole in the default authentication template if you've used it.
- Ch.12 on Testing, good examples and valuable tips towards the end.

Least favorite Chapters are:
- Ch. 11 on Dependency Injection, it's extremely abstract and that's perfectly fine for the first section given the design pattern discussion, but it becomes harder to follow subsequently with not even a single attempt to show an IoC container in action with some real code. It just doesn't seem to accomplish its intended goal, unfortunately this chapter is poorly done, needs better examples and better ways to describe the problem it's trying to solve. It's a shame since this is a key concept for building complex MVC solutions.
- Ch. 9 on Routing, it's definitely more of a "under the hood" reference type chapter, doesn't mean it isn't important, just boring to read through.

Some chapters are missing the full source code but you could just google/download the MVC Music Store application which has most of it. Also, some examples include NuGet packages which is pretty convenient to load and run within Visual Studio 2010. Another really minor issue is that chapters probably need a bit more accompanying graphics/images which help set the context than just code/text for long stretches such as the AJAX chapter.

Worth mentioning that the book feels more like a reference book rather than a walk-through with step-by-step instructions so some sections however essential can make you want to skip some pages.

Overall, the book does what it's supposed to as far as new MVC 3 features; it will not however prepare you enough for any Production ready solutions i.e. solution architecture is MIA.

I would've liked a chapter on how to structure enterprise applications which as you'll find out are quite different from a base application like MVC Music Store. A couple of sample approaches would go a long way. Yes, there are some on codeplex but it would be better to hear from the "MVC elite" how they would design real-world complex solutions.
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VINE VOICEon August 20, 2011
Having used ASP.NET MVC since around the time 1.0 was released I was a little interested in what Professional ASP.NET MVC 3 would bring to someone like myself. Would this book provide enough new content to someone like me who's tried to keep up on the framework? So when I was contacted by someone at Wiley to receive a copy for review I was of course interested.

The following review will take into consideration my particular experience with the framework. For new users I highly recommend you stick with the music store tutorial available from the official ASP.NET MVC Web site. Unlike Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0 this book does not contain a full tutorial to get you started. Also, this is one of my longer reviews, so if you just want to skip ahead the last three chapters provide a summary of my thoughts.

Professional ASP.NET MVC 3 consists of 14 chapters and an index, over the course of 400 pages. There are significantly fewer images than one might expect, but don't worry, that's a good thing, as there's a good deal of text and code.

Speaking of code you'll find they've used NuGet to distribute some code examples, but this seems to be based on whether the author choose to use it than being something consistent throughout the book. (I think you too will know which author wrote particular chapters/sections based upon whether NuGet code is available.) Speaking of authors there are four who worked together on this book, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that each chapter's author was noted.

As is the case with Wrox books, the physical book itself is top notch.

Given that this version of the book isn't for beginners I was a little alarmed after reading chapters 1 and 2, as they contained a large amount of introductory content within. Chapter 3 finally started including some newer information within, but again there was still a lot of introductory content contained within. I've noted that chapter 4 seems to go back to the review of introductory topics, like chapter 1 and 2.

In fact, I would argue that it isn't until chapter 7 that we start getting into the more 'professional' topics, with information about securing your application (including a note about vulnerabilities with MVC 2 code, which I hadn't seen mentioned previously). I also found chapter 8, regarding AJAX, to be a rather great chapter.

Chapter 9 takes us back to more introductory topics when it discusses routing, but it does contain a deeper look into more advanced routing, and is written by Phil Haack, so you couldn't ask for much more.

Chapter 10 covers NuGet, but outside of creating and distributing packages (which most people won't do), the information can easily be found in introductory tutorials.

And now we get to the part where the more advanced topics are covered. Chapters 11 through 13 cover dependency injection, unit testing, and extending MVC. For the first two these are items which 'professional' developers should be using, according to some schools of thought. However, if you've already researched these items and made the decision not to go down this path (at this time or ever), these chapters won't sway you.

Chapter 11 could really benefit with a unified example, and chapter 12's shining point are the ASP.NET MVC-specific tips and tricks. Chapter 13 covers the extendability of MVC, but it is my opinion that the majority of people won't have to go down this route very often, if it all.

Finally we get to the last chapter, chapter 14. The title, "Advanced Topics," would work much better as a section. Instead we have a number of topics consolidated into one chapter instead of mini-chapters for each. What's really telling is the first chapter where we read that "[t]here are a lot of really cool advanced topics we glossed over to avoid getting lost in the weeds as we covered the fundamentals of ASP.NET MVC." Is this an ASP.NET MVC fundamentals, or professional book?

Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but this really seems to suggest that this isn't so much a 'professional ASP.NET MVC' book, but rather a collection of really cool or advanced features of ASP.NET MVC. So this is not like their 'Beginning/Professional _' series of books, but rather another type altogether. So, unlike that series, just because you've read the music store tutorial does not necessarily mean that your next step is this book. Instead you're much more likely to find what you need next online, perhaps even on the blogs of the writers. Later, as you try to move closer to the metal you might find use for the techniques covered in this book, but once again you're more likely to find what you need already online (and rare is the need for more than one of the book's topics to be required at that particular moment in time).

As such, as much as I'd like to give this book 4 stars I find myself needing to give it only 3. I consider this much more of a reference book when you need to start digging in closer to the metal. Perhaps if the book took the music store application (something it starts with and then seems to forget as the book progresses) and built upon it with the more advanced information contained within the book would have a wider appeal. But as it is the content of the book ranges oddly between beginner topics and much more specific information.

For these reasons I give Professional ASP.NET MVC 3 3 of 5 stars.
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on March 5, 2012
This book contains a lot of great information. I love the fact that they also cover NuGet. I'm glad that I purchased the book but I must give the book only one star is because the book is a collection of typos strung together, one after the other.

The first thing I always do is download the Errata from the publisher and make the corrections in my book. This doesn't even come close to covering all of the mistakes that you will find in this book! Also, some of the errors listed on the publishers "Errata" list are not errors at all (someone needs to vet the list).

Each author wrote one (or more) chapters but it is obvious that they did not read each others work. Instead, they assumed that certain information would be covered in other chapters. For example, on page 109 you will see this sentence, "The data annotations you saw in Chapter 4 can have a dramatic influence..." The problem is that data annotations are not covered in Chapter 4 (other than [HttpPost]). The author assumed annotations would be covered in Chapter 4 because that chapter covers the Model. Now, flip to the index and look up "Data Annotation" and it points you to Chapter 6. I could list dozens of these examples from throughout the book.

If you disagree with me then turn to Chapter 3 and see how many typos you can find in that chapter alone. Chapter 3 is a short Chapter (28 pages) and here are just a few....

>> Page 42, next to last paragraph starts with "Notice that unlike the sample in Code Snippet 3-3,...should say 3-2. Also, every code snippet reference throughout the chapter that references a snippet after 3-8 is wrong because snippets 3-9 and 3-10 are not provided....well actually they are but they are numbered 3-11 & 3-12 thus throwing off every number after that!

>> Page 45, last sentence, "...,you could create the ShoppingCartSummaryViewModel class, shown as follows: but then shows you a class called ShoppingCartViewModel....DOOHH!

>> Page 47, Two entire lines under Figure 3-3 are printed again in the first bullet that follows. Did anyone read this before it was printed?

>> Had enough yet? There are more. I didn't even list the Chapter 3 mistakes that are listed in the publisher's Errata listing (one of which is not a mistake at all).

If you are not going to take the time to proofread and edit your book, don't bother writing it in the first place!
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on August 26, 2011
First, a disclaimer. I work for Microsoft, and know several of the authors personally.

That said, I purchased this book out with my own money, as a means to fill in any gaps in my MVC3 knowledge, and to get the authors' perspective on the most recent release of ASP.NET MVC. I am about halfway through the book, and I'm very pleased with it.

Unlike many multi-author books, it's very clear that Allen, Galloway, Haack, and Wilson coordinated closely on the content and code for the book. By using the MVC Music Store application consistently as the example for code samples, the reader gains more understanding of how the many pieces of an MVC 3 application fit together. One major step forward for this book (speaking as someone who's written books, and had to maintain the code samples that go along with them) is the use of the NuGet package manager to provide code samples for the book. This ensures that the authors can update the code samples easily, and that readers will always get the latest version of the code, without having to search for a URL, or browse around unnecessarily, or download and unzip a bunch of stuff to who knows where.

This may not be the right book for someone who's new to web development, as it does not purport to be for beginners. For those folks, there are lots of great resources at [...]to get you started. But if you have a basic grounding in ASP.NET MVC, or are an experienced Web Forms developer with a desire to learn what MVC3 is all about, this book is a good place to get solid information from folks who are building the product (Phil Haack and Brad Wilson) and those with a great deal of hands on experience writing code with it (Jon Galloway and K. Scott Allen).
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VINE VOICEon September 13, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I received this book I was curious to understand how different the MVC pattern was adapted to work for considering how much tedium goes into making a normal web application. The book made things a lot easier to understand by providing me with that information such as how normally handles performing a certain task versus how the mvc and razor web engine handle it.

Coming from CakePHP and Ruby on Rails I'm used to the MVC pattern so I was glad the quick few opening chapters didn't drag on trying to encourage folks to join the MVC wagon but I also felt like in some respects I didn't get the feel the book was geared toward professionals. I think that most folks who would be interested in getting a 'professional' book would be willing for a shorter introduction to the model view controller pattern if it meant an increase in other areas of the book. I felt the first 100 pages were mostly fluff with some good mixed in between for someone new to the MVC itself not the concept of a MVC.

If you're new to the model view controller pattern then you'll likely find those first few chapters useful and well placed and if not you can likely just skim over them looking for gems in between.

Either way I'd recommend the book as it was a fairly easy read and helped me grasp how it was implemented for
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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've recently started working with MVC 3 about a month ago and not longer after started reading this book.

I really liked the style of the book in that it is meant to get you up and running in short time without dwelling on things you probably generally know. The chapters are written by different people so you can really take advantage of different expertise.

Though the most important thing is that the book was instantly useful and I was able to apply what I was learning immediately and since it had enough advanced tips I was aware of some MVC 3 capabilities others on my team were not aware of. The chapter on security was exceptional with lots of good information. The last chapter of the book covers advanced topics in extending MVC 3 Controllers, Views, etc

One thing I really appreciated is that all the code examples are available via Nuget and this is something I would like to see with any coding book involving net programming. Plus there is even a chapter on Nuget and how to create your own packages for distribution.

Very worthwhile.
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on August 7, 2011
Downloaded the kindle version of this book so I can read it on my iPad2 and I really enjoyed it. While there could be some more in depth coverage on application architecture rather than wizards I still think this is a great place to start.

As a Microsoft Certified Trainer I will definitely recommend this to my students. Not everyone are high end/senior developers and in fact I find quite the opposite in most of my courses. Most students who look for "advanced topics" tend to need something like this first but then again that is the persona of most developers.

This is great supplimental material for anyone looking to get an understanding of what MVC is without really having to work their way up the ranks understaning MVC 2. MVC is something that most PHP, classic ASP and ASP.NET Web Forms developers typically have trouble understanding and Jon and Phil definitely do well with some of their concepts. I obviously recommend taking a course as well. #shamelessPlug
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on October 17, 2011
Full disclosure: I work for Microsoft and work with the authors but I feel my review is objective. This is an excellent introduction to ASP.NET MVC. The book in many places provides code snippets that plug into the music store tutorial. [...]
The book doesn't just dump code on you, it provides motivation and background so you can really understand how to use the ASP.NET MVC framework to write real world applications.
The book doesn't need to be read in chapter order, you can jump to any chapter and start learning. (You may need to do some background reading when not starting at the beginning).
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on November 30, 2012
The book starts off great with a good overview of MVC by Jon Galloway. It's almost worth it for the first two chapters, but not quite. The subsequent chapters seemed to be making what should be a pretty simple subject more complex than it needs to be. By the time you get to the chapter on NuGet - wait, what? What part of of MVC is NuGet exactly? There's probably a better resource out there if you look.
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on February 27, 2013
I hate tech. books that cover every feature by saying (in a thousand words or more) "This feature is really easy" and "you can do x and y and z" but never really show worthwhile code snippets, or layout any details.
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