||Joel Murach and Doug Lowe|
||Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Upgrader's Guide - C# Edition|
||Mike Murach & Associates;|
||August 10, 2005|
||Dimensions (in inches): 1.57 x 10.02 x 8.02|
I returned home from a long day at the office a few days ago, to find a shiny new copy of Murach's latest offering on my doorstep. I've got to say it, I like their books, and this one does not disappoint the reader.
The same great layout of "paired pages" has been used, where the left hand page has an explanation of how to achieve certain goals, and the right hand side has guidelines, syntax and examples. These right hand pages make a great reference guide after you have initially read through the book.
At 500+ pages, this book is aimed at the C# developer who wants to upgrade from ASP.NET 1.x to ASP.NET 2.0. This book is based on Microsoft's Beta 2 release of ASP.NET 2.0, and should be compatible with Visual Studio 2005 when it is released.
The book is split into four sections, each comprising of several chapters. One of the most helpful chapters, often missed out in other books, is the appendix, which walks you through installing the software you need to get you creating ASP web pages.
Section 1 - Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0
The book starts out by describing what is new in ASP.NET 2.0 both in the language and in Visual Studio 2005. Quickly you move on to develop a shopping cart application, which gives you hands-on experience with the new code-behind model, data sources, and cross-page posting. Finally this section covers the new master pages which make it easy for you to create web pages that have common elements. You can download Chapter 3 - Master Pages for free from Murach's web site.
Section 2 - ASP.NET 2.0 Data Access
This section begins by covering SQL and XML. It then moves on to the new
GridView control, that lets you display the data in rows and columns of a table, while making it easy to manipulate and maintain that data. Next, two new Views are introduced, the
FormView controls. These are ideal for any application that displays bound data one record at a time. Finally this section shows you how to use object data sources to implement 3-layer applications in which the data access code is kept in data access classes and separates out the presentation code.
Section 3 - New ASP.NET features
This section begins by covering the new features that make it easy for users to navigate to the various pages in your site. It then moves on to the new Web Site Administration Tool and login controls. These control user access to a site without you having to write a single line of code. Next, you create user accounts with preferences in the shopping cart application. Next the new
Wizard controls are introduced, these let you divide a page into multiple views or steps that can handle data changes, and you can navigate between the views or steps without writing any C# code.
The next chapter shows you how to use themes to give a consistent look and feel to a web site. Then Portals (web pages that display modular content that can be customized by the user) are discussed. Finally the last chapter in this section discusses some of the minor features and controls that you should be aware of but that you probably won't use every day.
Section 4 - ASP.NET 2.0 in practice
This section begins by showing you what is involved in converting your old ASP.NET applications to ASP.NET 2.0, including whether it is worth the trouble of converting them or whether you want to maintain them as 1.x applications. It ends by explaining how to use ASP.NET 2.0's configuration tools to control the ever-expanding web.config file.
The accompanying source code can be found on Murach's web site. As ever, the source code is a great boon when learning, as it clarifies what the author has written.
This is a clear and concise book that will give you a good understanding of the new features of ASP.NET 2.0 using C#. A fine addition to any programmer's bookshelf!