ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008 3rd Edition
Author: Matthew MacDonald & Mario Szpuszta
Publisher: Apress, 2008
Pages: 1520
ISBN: 978-1430215677
Rating: 5
Aimed at: Experienced .NET programmers wanting to master ASP.NET
Pros: A well-polished, comprehensive treatment of ASP.NET
Cons: Isn't just about new features of ASP.NET 3.5
Reviewed by: David Conrad


This encyclopaedic volume is the third edition of Matthew McDonald and Mario Szpuszta's treatment of ASP.NET in C#. Now covering ASP.NET 3.5 it has the subtitle "Includes Silverlight 2 & the ADO.NET Entity Framework". This time around there is a Visual Basic version (ISBN-13: 978-1430216308) and the two tomes are almost identical apart from the language used for the examples. As you would expect from a book that sets out to be comprehensive, it starts from the very basics so it isn't a good way to discover just the new features in 3.5. It is, however, well written and easy reading (apart from the difficulty of actually holding its 1500+ pages for any length of time.) Also being a third edition it's well polished.

If you want to just catch up with 3.5 then buy a book on Silverlight and ASP.NET Ajax. Equally you probably don't need to read it if you are an experienced ASP.NET programmer - it's aimed at the reasonably experienced .NET programmer who wants to know everything they need to know about ASP.NET including a certain amount of discussion of how we got to the position we are in today.

The best way to describe this book is that it's a methodical description of ASP.NET complete with helpful comments and discussion of the how and why you might want to make use of this or that facility. It doesn't read like a reference work despite the fact that it is fairly complete. It even goes slightly off topic to cover the theory and use of XML, XSLT, Javascript and so on. It also covers aspects of IIS 7 and, of course, the core new technology in 3.5 Silverlight 2 and Ajax and some of the more general new technologies in .NET e.g. LINQ, web services, ADO.NET and so on. The examples are generally not too long and you never get the impression that anything was included just to fill some space and achieve the 1500 plus pages.

This is a short review, especially so given the size of the book, but the bottom line is simple - this is a recommended book for beginning ASP.NET programmers who really want to know what it's all about. Just pick that language that you are using and buy a copy.
<Reviewed in VSJ>

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 March 2012 )