Book Review: Professional ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 – Wrox

I received a review copy of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 by Wrox, through Emerging .NET Devs User Group. So thank you Wrox and Emerging .NET Devs.

Title: Professional ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 in C# and VB

Authors: Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman and Devin Rader

ISBN: 978-0-470-47826-4

Publisher: Wrox

“I would say this book, written by ASP.NET experts, is one of the most comprehensive book for professionals not only for ASP.NET 3.5 SP1 but it also covers detail overview of all the new features which .NET 3.5 SP1 offers such as LINQ, Entity Framework, IIS7, WCF, ADO.NET Data Services, ASP.NET AJAX and ASP.NET AJAX control toolkit as well.

The initial 6 chapters cover some of the basic topics for developing ASP.NET Websites:

  • Chapter 1: Application and Page Framework
    • Describing fundamentals like Page directives, page events, application folders and working with classes using VS 2008
  • Chapter 2: ASP.NET Server Controls and Client-Side Scripts
    • The first part of the chapter covers what and how will you use ASP.NET server controls and HTML Server controls. The second part focuses on Client Side scripting discussing about using JavaScript to manipulate server controls and callback mechanism
  • Chapter 3: ASP.NET Web Server Controls
    • This chapters introduces server controls in detail, both their functionality and usage
  • Chapter 4: Validation Sever Controls
    • Describing validation and server controls, provided out of the box with ASP.NET, to easily incorporate validation in your website
  • Chapter 5: Working with Master Pages
  • Chapter 6: Themes and Skins

After covering fundamentals and core concepts, the authors moved towards the area of working with Data such as Data Binding, ADO.NET, LINQ etc. This book is well organized and let reader to have knowledge from fundamentals to advance concepts.

The book comes with a CD containing a PDF version of this book along with 7 free eBooks that normally worth USD 7 each. Another good point of this book are appendixes.

  • Appendix A: Migrating Older ASP.NET Projects
  • Appendix B: ASP.NET Ultimate Tools
  • Appendix C: Silverlight 2 and ASP.NET
  • Appendix D: ASP.NET is Greater than ASP.NET MVC
  • Appendix E: ASP.NET online resources

Overall, The book is a great package for the ASP.NET developers. However, if you are new to the ASP.NET world or web development then I would not recommend this book for you. Check out some Beginners’ series by Wrox or other publishers.”

About Reviewer:

Adil Mughal is working as Development Executive at Telenor Pakistan. He is Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and also Microsoft Certified Professional. He is leading International .NET Association (INETA) user groups, “Emerging .NET Devs” and “DevNext”. He is also author of few articles at CodeProject.com. Being active community contributor, he often participates as speaker in different events. He frequently does blogging at http://www.AdilMughal.com

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Book Review: Professional Silverlight 2 for ASP.NET Developers – Wrox

277751 cover.inddTitle: Professional Silverlight 2 for ASP.NET Developers

Authors: Jonathan Swift, Salvador Alvarez Patuel, Chris Barker, Dan Wahlin

ISBN: 978-0-470-27775-1

 

I really had a good experience while reading the book because the authors have used great style of writing to involve users more as if I am in a discussion on the topics and written the concepts in a simple and straight forward way. The book is structured well and the chapter layout really supported a learning curve of a new technology.

I was really surprised to see the level of depth to describe the bits and pieces of the architecture and knowledgebase for Silverlight and this also strengthen concepts of .NET as well. Here is what I found while skimming cautiously through the book.

The book, first of all, provides reasons why we should move on to build web with Silverlight? What impact it will have on existing application if we use in existing apps? And then you can find in detail about how to properly build the understanding regarding the Silverlight architecture. It also has details on platforms and Silverlight page life cycle. The book also deeply dives in the new the XAML language that is extended from XML and used to declare and initialize UI objects with tagging. Silverlight, JavaScript and DOM manipulation (for novice JavaScript developers) is a good start on JavaScript is written for them.

As it is understood Silverlight controls are of great importance. These are the building blocks of Silverlight which will light up the future RIA web applications. And book has detail on it. We also found details on communication with Silverlight applications- Networking, data processing, Cross-Domain support, service proxies, WCF and ASMX services, REST API’s and services, JSON, sockets, serialization, feeds, and much more. Also good knowledge of LINQ and LINQ to XML is provided. The book has some good content on graphics library classes and also shows different types of animation support in Silverlight.

One thing I found out is that the code provided is really helpful. Overall the book whets a great deal of new concepts to build Silverlight applications.

usergroup_125x125About Reviewer:

Usama Khalil is Development Officer at Telenor Pakistan currently involved in building web applications. Usama is passionate about latest technologies and always eager to improve user experience through different tools. He is an active member of Emerging .NET Devs.

Book Review: Professional ASP.NET AJAX 3.5 – Wrox

Pro ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX - Wrox There are many books available on topics like ASP.NET & AJAX. The book that I read is titled “Professional ASP.NET 3.5 AJAX” from Wrox. Its written by four .Net experts: Bill Evjen, Matt Gibbs, Dan Wahlin and Dave Reed. I found this book very easy to understand as it gives in-depth explanation of every topic covered in the book. Although Bill Evjen wrote on his blog that: “This book is aimed at experienced ASP.NET developers looking to add AJAX to their applications, and experienced Web developers who want to move to using ASP.NET and AJAX together.”  But I can say that this book can be helpful for all levels of readers having basic knowledge of ASP.NET.

To begin with, Chapter 1 “Overview of AJAX” explains need, benefits and libraries. Following chapters cover other topics like JavaScript for ASP.NET, ASP.Net AJAX Client library, ScriptManager and so on. Chapter 7 gives a thorough explanation of AJAX Toolkit from downloading & installing to using the controls in your web-application. Despite of vast material written against every single control, I would also recommend tutorial videos for a better understanding.

The book continues to cover State Management (explaining sessions, cookies, view-states in a simplified manner with easy-to-understand examples), Testing & Debugging and in the last Deployment of ASP.NET AJAX Application.

Over all the book is well-written with well-organized contents. Reading technical books is usually (or normally) too dry and boring, but the authors of this books knew how to keep the readers interested in reading it. I would conclude by saying that it’s a good book to add up in your collection to learn ASP.NET AJAX fast.

About Reviewer:

Tooba Zafar works at Telenor Pakistan and primarily involved in development of business websites using ASP.NET 3.5. She graduated in Computer Science/Information Technology from NED University.