Mike Murach and Associates has just published a 3.5 edition of their best-selling ASP.NET book, now entitled Murach’s ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with VB 2008.
As its title implies, this book presents all of the best new 3.5 features, including the ListView and DataPager controls that allow for complex data handling, LINQ data sources for accessing data using VB constructs, new tools for working with cascading style sheets (CSS), and an introduction to ASP.NET AJAX that shows how it can improve the performance of web applications.
But beyond that, this book has several features that make it different from other ASP.NET 3.5 books.
#1: There’s a 7-chapter section on database programming
That’s two more chapters than in the previous edition because .NET continues to deliver new, powerful tools for this critical component of business applications.
So this section still teaches the basics of database programming using SQL data sources and controls like GridView. But it also shows how to use the versatile new ListView control in conjunction with the new DataPager control. It shows how to use LINQ data sources, also new in 3.5, to access SQL Server data using the Object Relational Designer and the LinqDataSource control. And it has expanded material on how to use object data sources to create 3-layer applications with custom business and data access classes.
#2: It teaches development the way it should be done today, using Visual StudioThe 1.x edition of this book was one of the first to teach web development using Visual Studio instead of tools like Notepad. Today, no developer should miss out on the productivity features of Visual Studio. So they’re integrated throughout this book, rather than being relegated to just a chapter or two at the beginning.
#3: Complete applications show how all the pieces interactThe key to mastering web development is to have plenty of applications that show how the features you’re learning interact and what problems you might run into as you build a web site. So this book shows complete applications, including the web forms, the aspx code, and the VB code. These can be downloaded for free from the Murach web site, so developers can experiment with them on their own.
#4: The paired-pages format lets developers set their own pace
Murach books have a distinctive format. Each two-page spread presents a single topic: the lefthand page explains the topic, while the righthand page shows the critical details, using syntax, code, screen shots, and how-to notes. Beginners find that this format breaks the material down into manageable bites. Experienced developers find that they can pick up information that’s new or interesting just by paging through. And developers at any level can easily pinpoint the details they need when they’re using the book as a reference.
Murach’s ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with VB 2008 is available directly from the publisher at www.murach.com and from all major retail outlets. A C# edition of this book will be off-press in October.