Author: Stephen Walther
Aimed at: .NET web developers
Pros: A good introduction to MVC for those already familiar with ASP.NET
Cons: Light on computation
Reviewed by: Mike James
MVC (Model View Controller) seems to be the flavour of the year as far as web applications are concerned - is there any other way of doing the job?
This book is focuses on the Microsoft ASP .NET MVC framework and there isn't much to help you to get a grasp on the more general idea. If you don't know why you need to use an MVC approach the book doesn't help you to see why you do - but be assured you do.
The first part of the book is a gentle introduction to using the components to build a web application - a movie database. You also need to be fairly good at using ASP .NET - this is certainly not the place to start your investigation of the subject.
Each chapter introduces a fairly self contained topic - creating the controller, creating views, creating the model, HTML helpers, binders and action filters, authentication and so on. The book also covers less obvious topics such as using Ajax techniques and specifically jQuery as an alternative to the usual ASP .NET approach.
In the main however the book doesn't often stray from the main features of the framework and always uses them as they were intended with little extension or innovation. However this is probability the sort of information anyone new to the MVC framework is looking for.
Part II of the book is an extended example involving the implementation of an MVC blog application. In many ways this is a good choice because a blog is an ideal fit to the MVC model. It might have been nice to have something with a little more computation and data transformation to demonstrate how the whole MVC idea can get messy in the real world.
Most of the code is presented as listing chunks occupying one or two pages which discussion before and after. I prefer an approach that mixes the code in with the discussion. Each listing is also presented in C# and VB which is something of a waste of space but I can appreciate why the publisher decided that this was a better approach than producing two editions.
This is a good introduction to the MVC Framework and as long as you are happy with the basics of ASP .NET and know why you want to use MVC then buy a copy.