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For an excellent tour of Web development using Microsoft tools, readers should consider getting a copy of Microsoft Visual InterDev 6.0 Enterprise Developer's Workshop. Besides introducing Visual InterDev, this title covers the realities of enterprise development, including scalability and accessing legacy data on mainframes.
Sections on Visual InterDev 6.0 concentrate on its new Rapid Application Development (RAD) features. Then it's on to choosing which Web technologies to use: pure HTML, dynamic HTML (DHTML), and/or style sheets. (The author shows what options to use for the public Internet versus options that provide better functionality at the cost of a more restricted audience.)
Chapters on Microsoft BackOffice tools will prove invaluable to any ASP developer. There's excellent coverage of ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) for databases, transactions with Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), and the advantages of message queueing with Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ). One especially notable chapter surveys the tools that allow IIS Web sites to connect to legacy mainframe data.
Later the author shows you how to improve performance of a lagging ASP-based Web application, including many tips for improving response times. Much more than just a fine introduction to Visual InterDev, this book also delivers plenty of useful design expertise for using Microsoft technologies on the enterprise. --Richard Dragan
G. Andrew Duthie is an experienced ASP.NET developer. He is a frequent speaker at ASP.NET conferences, and is the author of a number of books on ASP.NET and Visual Interdev.