Author: Mary Delamater, Anne Boehm
Audience: C# developers
Reviewer: Kay Ewbank
This is a book designed for programmers who know C# and want to use ASP.NET web forms to develop server-side web applications.
This is the sixth edition of the book, with updates to ensure it is accurate for ASP.NET 4.6, and for C# 2015. The Murach series of books are well known and generally popular. If you like other books in the Murach stable you'll like this one; it uses the familiar paired pages layout where the theory of a topic is introduced on the left-hand page with an example illustrating it on the right.
The authors start with a short introduction to ASP.NET programming, followed swiftly by a chapter on developing a one-page web application. There's an introduction to HTML5, CSS3, and Bootstrap with ASP.NET and what role they play on the client side, then we're on to developing a muti-page web application. The first part of the book ends with a chapter on testing and debugging ASP.NET applications.
Having touched on the client side, section 2 looks at ASP.NET essentials. The standard server controls are introduced with examples showing how to use them, and the authors work on from there with chapters on validation controls, and working with state, cookies and URL encoding. There's a good description of master pages and how to work with them. Bootstrap is back in the picture in a chapter on working with it in ASP.NET, and the section ends with a chapter on working with friendly URLs and routing.
The next part of a book moves on to developing for database-driven web applications. One point worth noting is that the examples are written for SQL Server 2015 Express LocalDB which is included with Visual Studio 2015. The syntax of this is the same as for SQL Server 2014, but you'll need to alter the connection strings if you want to use other versions.
You're shown how to use SQL data sources, the delights of the GridView control, DetailsView and FormView. ListView and DataPager get a chapter, as does the technique of using object data sources. The database section ends with a chapter on model binding and the Entity Framework.
Section 4 is titled Finishing an ASP.NET application, and it has chapters on securing a web application, and authenticating and authorizing users. There's a chapter on using email, custom error pages, and the back-button control, and the section ends with a chapter on configuring and deploying web apps.
The final section is titled Going to the next level, starting with a chapter introducing Ajax. There's a good chapter on creating and using WCF and Web API services, and the book ends with an introduction to ASP.NET MVC.
The examples in the book cover entire web apps, from the web forms through the ASPX code to the C# code, and the examples are downloadable.
On the whole, I thought this was a good book. The topics are introduced in a sensible order, in the way you'd encounter them if you were attempting to create a web app using ASP.NET. I'd have liked more on some topics such as database development and Ajax, but this works well as an introduction, and you could go off and read a book devoted to just that topic where necessary. I like the paired pages layout of Murach texts, and find them useful as a way of becoming familiar with new topics. Overall, a good read.
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