ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips Paperback – May 30 2006
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From the Back Cover
As Microsoft MVPs, this team of authors has witnessed first-hand the innumerable problems and challenges that even the most experienced developers regularly encounter. This project survival guide offers little-known solutions, undocumented features, tips, and tricks—otherwise known as hacks—that you can use to build and deliver real-life applications using ASP.NET.
Written with the seasoned professional in mind, this book examines how some hacks ultimately become mainstream code or practices that are integrated into a product or process. You'll benefit from the extensive experience of the authors as they show you how to adapt various hacks to your specific application and business environment. Plus, in-depth discussions of the solutions prove to bea helpful way to learn more about the inner workings of ASP.NET 2.0.
What you will learn from this book
- Various hacks such as page templates, multiple forms, URL rewriting, and SQL cache dependencies
- The many improvements in ASP.NET 2.0 that were originally hacks but are now part of the base product
- How the many new built-in functions reduce the amount of code you need to write for the most common applications
Who this book is for
This book is for experienced developers familiar with ASP.NET programming who are looking to take their skills from an "average" to "excellent" level.
Wrox MVP Hacks and Tips provide unique and little-known solutions to complex programming challenges. Written by Microsoft MVPs—highly regarded independent technical experts nominated by their peers and selected by Microsoft—each title reveals the highest quality hacks that have been discovered through years of hands-on experience.
About the Author
David Yack is the president of Colorado Technology Consultants, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner based in Colorado. He is a Microsoft Regional Director and a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET. As a senior hands-on technology and business consultant with over 18 years of industry experience, David enjoys developing applications for both the Windows and Unix platforms, specializing in large system architecture and design. David embraced .NET during the final beta days of version 1.0 and has been helping clients migrate and build new applications on the technology, as well as helping to mentor and train their staffs. David is a frequent speaker at user group and industry events and is on the author teams of two NET 2.0–related books. David also founded and is on the leadership team for the South Colorado .NET User Group. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and two children. You can always track David down via his blog at http:/blog.davidyack.com where he writes about his .NET adventures.
Joe Mayo runs his own company, Mayo Software, and is an author, consultant, and instructor specializing in .NET technologies. He operates the C# Station website (www.csharp-station.com) and is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP). Joe’s previous books include C# Unleashed (Sams) and C# Builder Kick Start (Sams). For more information about Joe, please visit mayosoftware.com.
Scott Hanselman is currently the chief architect at the Corillian Corporation (NASDAQ: CORI), an eFinance enabler. He has over 13 years experience developing software in C, C++, VB, COM, and certainly in VB.NET and C#. Scott is proud to be both a Microsoft RD as well as an MVP for both ASP.NET and Solutions Architecture. Scott has spoken at dozens of conferences worldwide, including three TechEds and the North African DevCon. He is a primary contributor to “newtelligence DasBlog Community Edition 1.8,” the most popular open-source ASP.NET blogging software hosted on SourceForge. This is the fourth book Scott has worked on for Wrox. His thoughts on the Zen of .NET, programming, and Web Services can be found on his blog at www.computerzen.com. He welcomes e-mail at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fredrik Normén is a consultant who works for Callista Knowledgebase AB. He works mostly as a mentor, solution developer, architect, and instructor. He has worked with the .NET framework since the first bit of .NET 1.0 was released in 2000. He has over 10 years of experience building web applications, started with Perl and moving on to ASP and ASP.NET. You can find Fredrik’s blog at http://fredrik.nsquared2.com.
Dan Wahlin (Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET and XMLWeb Services) is the president of Wahlin Consulting LLC, which provides enterprise consulting and training services as well as ASP.NET server controls. He also founded the XML for ASP.NET Developers website (www.XMLforASP.net), which focuses on using XML, ADO.NET and Web Services in Microsoft’s .NET platform. Dan is a regular speaker at different .NET conferences and is a member of the INETASpeaker’s Bureau, which enables him to interact with .NET user groups around the United States. He has also authored/co-authored five books on various .NET technologies and writes for several technical magazines.
J. Ambrose Little is an ASP Insider and Microsoft MVP who works as a senior software engineer for a Tampa-based commercial software company and as the content director for ASPAlliance.com. He’s an author of numerous articles, co-author of Professional ADO.NET 2 and ASP.NET 2.0 MVP Hacks and Tips, and has spoken at various .NET user groups and events in Florida.
Jonathan D. Goodyear is the president of ASPSOFT, Inc, a software consulting company based out of Orlando, Florida. He is a contributing editor for both Visual Studio Magazine and asp.netPRO Magazine, and frequently speaks at major technology conferences such as VSLive and ASP.NET Connections. Jonathan was a featured speaker at the Visual Studio 2005 Launch Event in Orlando, Florida, and speaks at numerous .NET user groups through the International .NET Association (INETA). He wrote one of the first books about .NET development, Debugging ASP.NET (New Riders Publishing), and appeared in a video, Visual Studio .NET: An Introduction, by WatchIT.com. He is the founder and editor of the online magazine angryCoder.com, and is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for ASP.NET, an ASP Insider, and the Microsoft regional director (RD) for Florida.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
well-known Wiley (Wrox) red covers, some people call them 'creative solutions'. Some people call them
Tips and Tricks. In this writer's opinion, 'Creative Solutions' is a much
better name for what's inside. The code explained starts by showing how v2.0 of ASP.Net took some of the 'hacks' or
'creative solutions' for 1.1 and incorporated the obvious needs inside v2.0. Then, the writers take what's given
in v2.0, and extend that much further, finding the 'shortcomings' and extending the possibilities much further.
A few pages in the beginning, along with an entire chapter (16) deals with Master Pages, one of the more colossal
additions to ASP.Net 2.0, and rightly so, having its origins in Paul Wilsons Template pages, back in the 1.x days. Again,
this book takes a quick look at how to build Master pages, along with Content pages, and then shows how to extend
and nest them. But, then, this is only a start.
When reading this book we are taken through the steps of adding client side scripting to GridViews (and much more),
creating your own RSS viewer control, through Cache, Viewstate, Security and Deployment hacks/tips, and finally ends up with HTTP Handlers and Modules.
This book is not a beginner's book, by any means, but it can take an intermediate or even advanced
developer and really help him/her get to the next 'level'. Looking back, it's just as much as an 'eye-opener' type of book. Yes, it shows code and explains how to do a whole lot of new programming, but just as much, it expands your horizons, enabling you to not only see those horizons, but realize then, how to get past them.
If I were to find one fault with the book, it would be that 90% of the code samples in the book are with C#. There are a few
VB.Net samples sprinkled here and there, but coming from a VB.Net development background, I did find this a shortcoming.
However, if that's all that I could find as a 'con', the 'pros' far outweigh them.
The book is not not an A-Z C# reference or complete primer for Asp.NET nor is it meant to be. It is exactly what the title says it is, a collection of tips that should help you be more productive in your daily tasks. Because of this the target reader should be familiar with developing web projects using ASP.NET and the ideal reader would be a .NET web developer, either professional or hobbyist. Depending on your experience level and knack for gathering these types of things there some things in the book that you may already know or use, but I bet you will at least learn a thing or two.
Chapter 2, "Getting Started" offers some excellent suggestions for organizing your projects/solutions ,including recommending a base class for your pages. Later chapters on providers, debugging, viewstate, cache and deployment proved to be a good refresher and taught me more than a handful of things I didn't know. Scott Hanselman's chapter on Http Handlers and Modules was outstanding as well. Any reader of his blog will find him/herself right at home.
The book was a pleasure to read and is one of those that will have to remain close by so that I can pick it up and browse through it again from time to time. I believe that every time I read it I will find something new - like watching a favorite movie.
I highly recommend the book to anyone doing ASP.NET development, especially those that are already fans of the authors - like me :)
The book is written by a series of guys who have been working for years with Microsoft's ASP.NET. They probably started off with ASP.NET on the first version. They've been through each version up to now trying things, working around things, finding ways to make it do what they needed. Being Microsoft MVP's (Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals) the ASP.NET development team listens to them somewhat more than they would listen to the average fellow sending them an e-mail.
Any these guys developed these hacks, or creative solutions, or cool code snippets, or undocumented features and a lot of the ones they developed in earlier versions have made it into the standard code. Here is what they have discovered with ASP.NET 2.0.
This is not a book for beginners, but if you are up to intermediate status here are a bunch of things that will help you make your next project better. These hacks do things that these guys have found desirable. You're likely to find a good idea or two as well.
Each chapter in the book covers a topic like "Providers," "HttpHandlers and HttpModules," and "Master Pages" and goes into a few neat things you can do with each. The hacks and descriptions are written in an easy to understand way that makes them simple to adopt for your own purposes.
It's hard to say whether the book will be of help to you or not. As each hack applies to a pretty specific problem being solved, you'd really need to scan the table of contents and see if your application is facing any of these problems or has requirements that touch on any of the areas covered. On the other hand, just scanning through each hack causes you to think about the various ways you can apply what's being described, so there might be some value to you just in the inspiration they bring.
Entry level ASP.NET developers might be helped by looking at the code and learning from it, but the concepts really are more intermediate or advanced level. If you're starting your first ASP.NET site, this is probably not your book; if you have a few under your belt, it could help you out.
While it's not obvious from the title, some of the hacks can be used in ASP.NET 1.1 as well, so for folks not quite up to 2.0, the book still holds some value.
The only downside I really found with the book was the organization. The order of the chapters feels slightly arbitrary, starting with a potpourri chapter that covers a lot of topics, moving into client-side hacks, then server-side, then into deployment and development hacks, back into server-side hacks. If you read from front to back, it makes you wonder why they didn't take two hacks that both deal with the same topic and put them both in the same chapter, or why they didn't centralize all of the control-based hacks, all of the handler/module hacks, etc., into sections of the book closer together. Finally, there's a distinct lack of cross-referencing, which belies the multi-author nature of the book: both chapters 1 and 17 talk about a URL rewriting hack, but neither references the other. It would have been better to put all of the URL rewriting information together, or at least mention in each something like "this topic is also discussed in chapter X." I knocked my rating down a star for poor organization.
Overall it's a pretty good book and offers some interesting ideas for fixes to problems that many intermediate/advanced ASP.NET developers have encountered (or will eventually encounter). A good addition to your bookshelf.
First of all, they should stop printing books for beta and pre-release versions of products. Much of this book refers to features that have changed since ASP.NET 2.0 went gold.
Second, one section that I had a particular interest in, URL Rewriting, basically gave a three page review of what it is, and referred the user to go to blog to download code and read more about it. This is not what I would expect as a "MVP Hack"
Third, there were very few useful hacks in here. The O'Reilly Cookbook series is SO MUCH better than this. I don't know if there is an O'Reilly ASP.NET 2.0 book, but the authors of this Wrox title should read it and rewrite this book.
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