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Programming ASP.NET (O'Reilly Windows) 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596001711
ISBN-10: 0596001711
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Suitable for most any programmer who wants to master ASP.NET with an eye toward real-world development, Programming ASP.NET is an excellent resource that mixes good coverage of APIs with actual programming techniques and advice using Visual Basic .NET and C#. The combination places it in the forefront of currently available titles on ASP.NET.

Written in part by veteran computer author Jesse Liberty, this book offers an excellent mix of coverage of important ASP.NET features that you will absolutely need to use for real-world programming. Readers with previous ASP experience will appreciate early sections that compare an older ASP sample with the new ASP.NET to highlight what's new and improved, with good explanation of the ASP.NET event model. The pace of this book is just excellent. The authors first move through the essentials, like basic ASP Web controls and data binding, before delving into data-driven applications using the (slightly complicated) ASP.NET database APIs. It also helps that the authors let you use Notepad (or another text editor) to create your ASP.NET programs first. (Later, they cover the details of Visual Studio .NET, pointing out how this tool can sometimes make it difficult to see where your code is generated.) There's also coverage of debugging and tracing techniques.

Standout sections on the calendar, Repeater, DataList, and DataGrid controls (all presented in good detail) will help you master these important controls. Coverage of techniques and support for validating user input in Web pages will also help you use these essential features.

The author's well-measured tutorial on Web services (much touted by Microsoft) is as good as any. Their demos (using a well-traveled example of a stock ticker server) will show you what all the fuss is about. They cut through the hype here and manage to show why Web services are a potentially better way toward distributed computing. Later sections look at deployment, configuration, and performance (as well as caching) options that you'll need to deploy and run your ASP.NET programs successfully. Coverage of security options in .NET rounds out the tour of what you'll need to create real applications.

Illustrated throughout with samples from VB .NET and C#, Programming ASP.NET is a worthy addition to the O'Reilly lineup and one of the best available titles for learning ASP.NET. The authors have achieved an excellent balance of practical, hands-on examples and essential programming techniques with the most important APIs and features, all without getting bogged down in the richness and complexity of .NET itself. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Introduction to the .NET platform and ASP.NET; basic programs in HTML; ASP and ASP.NET compared; events in ASP.NET (application, session, page, and control events); HTML and ASP controls compared; basic ASP controls APIs (including in-depth coverage of calendar support); code behind forms; using the Visual Studio .NET IDE; tracing, debugging, and error handling; validation controls in ASP.NET (including built-in and custom validators, plus regular expression support); basic data-binding techniques; list and DataGrid controls; ADO.NET tutorial (basic APIs and programming techniques); calling stored procedures; updating database records; Repeater and DataList controls used with ADO.NET; custom ASP.NET controls (including derived, composite, and full custom controls); overview of Web services (including SOAP, WSDL, and other standards); creating and consuming a sample Web service for a stock ticker; ASP.NET caching techniques explained (including fragment and object caching); security options in ASP.NET for authentication, authorization, and impersonation; configuration and deployment options in ASP.NET (including XCOPY deployment); and an appendix with a quick tutorial on database design.

Review

"But there's still a need for a good book on the subject. There are several out there, but Programming ASP.NET by O'Reilly is particularly excellent. One measure I use to decide whether I'll buy a book is if it will solve a problem for me. By using this metric, the book would pay for itself several times over." - Mark Newton, PC Pro, November 2002
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 960 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596001711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596001711
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,301,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ever since I read Jesse Liberty's "Programming C#", I've been eagerly awaiting the release of his "Programming ASP.NET". I received the book recently and just finished going through the 900 pages. Writing style is very lucid as expected (one of very few technical authors who succeed in this aspect. Another such author is Doug Walther of "XML for ASP.Net"). Though Programming ASP.NET begins with a simple "Hello World" example, by page 20, it has you creating a data table based on a datagrid connected to the Northwind database. This early demonstration of ASP.NET's power leads to an "aha" moment and keeps you going. It is refreshing to have the code work as promised. Unlike other ASP.NET books which address both VB and C# communities but show a marked preference for one or the other language, virtually every example in this book is given in both languages. I read only the C# examples, and reckon about 1/4th of the 900 pages catered to code in the "other" language. There are several screenshots of how to carry out various tasks in ASP.NET that are very useful for beginners. Similarly, screenshots of results from example programs are also very helpful. This book is "self-contained" for any concepts it discusses. You don't need to run to another book to seek clarifications. For me, this is the one book that brought together every aspect of ASP.NET, from hands-on "how to handle the development tool and set up files and directories" tasks, to conceptual issues. And the beauty is the whole discussion doesn't seem disjointed given its scope. I guess this is the advantage of having only one/two authors. The one minor criticism (may be just my personal preference) is, in the chapters on Accessing Data with ADO.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
Of all the books on ASP.NET that I've read, this book is undoubtedly the best. But, it has some very rough edges that, when smoothed out in later editions will make it great. For those looking for a reference, look elsewhere. If you're looking for a strong tutorial that does an excellent job balancing depth for the experienced and simplicity for the beginner, this is the book.
Specific comments:
1. All examples in C# and VB. his is a plus or minus depending on your point of view. On one hand it's good because you have the option of choosing the language you want to use (or get exposure to both). On the other hand, it takes up a lot of space that could have been devoted further exploration of other topics.
2. Does not try to be a tutorial on how to program with VB or C#. I definitely like this approach. Other books on the market split their efforts between explaining ASP.NET and OOP/C#/VB. They end up being avarage at best for either topic.
3. The examples almost always do a good job demonstrating the topic under discussion. Other books on the market have serious problems in this area.
4. The examples are not consistent. I think that the examples were developed by different people. In one example, it is a step by step tutorial The next example, the examples are rough descriptions followed by source code (hard to follow). Yet another example will have a table layout of object property values. This is my biggest complaint. It would be nice if there was a consistent approach to the examples.
5. The ADO chapters are a bit confusing. A couple reasons for this:
5.a The examples here suffer from varying styles worst of all.
5.b ADO.NET is a big topic that probably deserves a book to itself (how about it O'Reilly? Programming ADO.NET) so the coverage is not enough, and it leaves you with lots of questions.
Overall, this book is the best I've found for a tutorial on ASP.NET. And, it has the potential to be another O'Reilly classic.
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Format: Paperback
I have been asked to create a web application for my company, and I reviewed a number of books on ASP.NET (as well as ADO.NET). This is by far the best I've seen.
The coverage of the various controls is excellent, the examples are small and useful and really explain the material, and you can download the examples from the author's web site.
In addition, this book provides an excellent introduction to ADO.NET for ASP.NET, better than some dedicated books I looked at.
The book goes beyond the superficial, and really covers the issues you run into when writing an application. This is not a rehash of the existing documentation, but a guided tour through what it takes to create a working web application with ASP.NET.
I personally like C#, but it was interesting to see the code both in C# and in VB.NET. I feel like I learned VB.NET along the way, as a bonus, and I realize now how similar these languages really are. You can skip over the language you don't care about (all the examples are in both C# and in VB.NET) but it is fun to see how similar they are.
In any case, I highly recommend this book both for programmers with little ASP experience, and for more advanced programmers as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a C# book. The reviews here, along with Amazon's own review, are referring to one of the previous editions where VB.NET code samples were included.

When deciding to buy this book, or not, be wary of the reviews that were posted before the publication date. I can see that this situation has already caused others some grief.
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