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Need ASP.Net Textbook Recommendation

P: n/a
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve unit.)
I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.

As I have delved into ASP.Net I find that I want to teach the course by
emphasizing coding in the code behind pages but most of the books
targeted at beginners to ASP use script tags in the majority of their
examples with a chapter or two on code behind.

I'd like recommendations on a reference book that:
- Provides an introduction to ASP.Net
- Covers controls well
- Covers database access to SQL Server DB
- Emphasizes coding in the code behind pages and classes

Other desirable features are:
- A discussion of designing for scalability
- Security issues
- Coverage of object design

The students will all have had one good class on programming in VB.Net
(WinForms based) and a class on database design and SQL.

I've found many good candidate texts except that they all focus on
program logic in script tags instead of in code.

Many thanks.

Larry

Dr. Larry West
MIS Department
University of Central Florida
lw***@bus.ucf.edu

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!
Nov 18 '05 #1
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11 Replies


P: n/a
Programming ASP.NET by Dino Esposito (Microsoft Press) will not disappoint
you (at least will go into your short list of candidate books)


"Larry" <lwest@_remove_.bus.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:uU*************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve unit.)
I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.

As I have delved into ASP.Net I find that I want to teach the course by
emphasizing coding in the code behind pages but most of the books
targeted at beginners to ASP use script tags in the majority of their
examples with a chapter or two on code behind.

I'd like recommendations on a reference book that:
- Provides an introduction to ASP.Net
- Covers controls well
- Covers database access to SQL Server DB
- Emphasizes coding in the code behind pages and classes

Other desirable features are:
- A discussion of designing for scalability
- Security issues
- Coverage of object design

The students will all have had one good class on programming in VB.Net
(WinForms based) and a class on database design and SQL.

I've found many good candidate texts except that they all focus on
program logic in script tags instead of in code.

Many thanks.

Larry

Dr. Larry West
MIS Department
University of Central Florida
lw***@bus.ucf.edu

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!

Nov 18 '05 #2

P: n/a
TJS
best book for vb and asp.net is "ASP.net unleashed" second edition from
Sam's
"Larry" <lwest@_remove_.bus.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:uU*************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve unit.)
I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.

As I have delved into ASP.Net I find that I want to teach the course by
emphasizing coding in the code behind pages but most of the books
targeted at beginners to ASP use script tags in the majority of their
examples with a chapter or two on code behind.

I'd like recommendations on a reference book that:
- Provides an introduction to ASP.Net
- Covers controls well
- Covers database access to SQL Server DB
- Emphasizes coding in the code behind pages and classes

Other desirable features are:
- A discussion of designing for scalability
- Security issues
- Coverage of object design

The students will all have had one good class on programming in VB.Net
(WinForms based) and a class on database design and SQL.

I've found many good candidate texts except that they all focus on
program logic in script tags instead of in code.

Many thanks.

Larry

Dr. Larry West
MIS Department
University of Central Florida
lw***@bus.ucf.edu

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!

Nov 18 '05 #3

P: n/a
Larry wrote:
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve
unit.) I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.


[snip]

I recommend Fritz Onion's Essential ASP.NET from Addsion-Wesley.

Cheers,

--
Joerg Jooss
jo*********@gmx.net

Nov 18 '05 #4

P: n/a
On Sat, 7 Aug 2004 21:33:22 +0200, "Joerg Jooss" <jo*********@gmx.net>
wrote:
Larry wrote:
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve
unit.) I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.


[snip]

I recommend Fritz Onion's Essential ASP.NET from Addsion-Wesley.

As a guy who has programmed VBScript & ASP, but is new to the .NET
framework, I'll share where I am so far as I learn ASP.NET.
My initial impulse was that since I knew so much Visual Basic syntax,
I'd learn with these 2 books:

1. Murach's Beginning Visual Basic .NET
(4.5 stars, based on 20 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/1890774154

2. Murach's ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET
(4 stars, based on 15 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/1890774200
I was halfway through, having just finished the first book, when a
friend recommended that I'd be much better off learning ASP.NET with
C#, rather than with VB.NET, so I decided I needed to change course.

For programming C#, I went 2 books:

1. Programming C#, Third Edition
(4 stars, based on 150 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596004893

2. C# & VB.NET Conversion Pocket Reference
(4.5 stars, based on 6 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596003196
I'm not 100% sure what I think of either of those yet. There were
some really nasty reviews for the "Programming C#" book, but they all
seemed to be based on earlier editions, not on the third edition that
I bought.

I'm also bummed that the "Programming C#" book doesn't have exercises
at the end of each chapter, like the kind I got in "Murach's Beginning
Visual Basic .NET." But none of my new books do, so I can't complain
much about that.
And finally, and most related to this topic, the two books I bought
for ASP.NET, with examples in C#:

1. Essential ASP.NET With Examples in C#
(4.5 stars, based on 35 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0201760401

also available as:

Essential ASP.NET with Examples in Visual Basic .NET
(5 stars, based on 6 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0201760398
2. Programming ASP.NET, Second Edition
(Building Web Applications and Services Using C# and VB.NET)
(Second Edition, Updated for .NET 1.1 & Visual Studio .NET 2003)
(4 stars, based on 58 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596001711
This message has already gotten too long, so I think I'm going to
compare the three ASP.NET books in a follow-up message in just a
minute. Stay tuned.
Nov 18 '05 #5

P: n/a

Okay, part 2...

My comparisons of (the tables of contents of) 3 well-reviewed books
that teach ASP.NET.

I'm posting this not because I'm so sure that my conclusions are
correct, but because I'm hoping someone will set me straight if my
conclusions are out of whack.
On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 23:05:42 -0700, Dgates <dg****@spamlinkline.com>
wrote:
On Sat, 7 Aug 2004 21:33:22 +0200, "Joerg Jooss" <jo*********@gmx.net>
wrote:
I recommend Fritz Onion's Essential ASP.NET from Addsion-Wesley.


3 well-reviewed books that teach ASP.NET:
Baby Bear:
1. Murach's ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET
(4 stars, based on 15 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/1890774200
This one seems the easiest to me, and if I weren't determined to learn
using as much C# as possible, I would probably start with this one.

Its TOC indicates that it spends a lot more time than the other two
books on certain "basics," such as button, label, text, listbox and
other server controls.
Mama Bear:
2. Programming ASP.NET, Second Edition (O'Reilly)
(Building Web Applications and Services Using C# and VB.NET)
(Second Edition, Updated for .NET 1.1 & Visual Studio .NET 2003)
(4 stars, based on 58 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596001711
I'm pretty sure I'll be starting with this one (although I may first
warm up on pages 1-100 of Murach's book, which I kind of already
started).

This one has examples in both C# and VB.NET, which will help me as I
translate concepts I know from VB.NET to C#.

This one doesn't spend as much time on certain "basics," like the
first book does. Instead, it seems to spend more time on:

- exploring rationale and concepts:
"Lifecycle," "Directives," "What is an application?" and 10 pages on
the concept of "Code-Behind" (a term which the first book just starts
mentioning without what I consider a proper introduction).

- more advanced topics:
Stored procedures, caching and performance, and many pages on
configuring the app with web.config, etc.
Papa Bear:
3. Essential ASP.NET With Examples in C#
(4.5 stars, based on 35 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0201760401

(also available as "Essential ASP.NET with Examples in
Visual Basic .NET," but I haven't looked at that one.)


I attached a post-it to the front of this one that just says "HAIRY."
To me, that means that it looks like it's too advanced, assumes too
much prerequisite knowledge on my part and will probably teach its
concepts much too quickly.

Unlike the "Baby Bear" book, which spent dozens of pages on how
existing "HTML controls" have now been converted to "ASP controls,"
this book barely touches on the various controls.

Instead, its TOC was full of advanced topics like "Process Model" and
60 pages on "HTTP Pipeline" (including "A Day in the Life of a
Request," "Threading in the Pipeline," etc.).

All this, apparently, before it even gets to topics like querying data
and displaying it.
Those are my findings. Again, I'm putting them out there, not because
I'm so sure that everyone learning ASP.NET should start with the
O'Reilly book, but rather because I'm interested in feedback.

Personally, I'd like to start with the most basic book (the Murach
one, using VB.NET), but I've committed to this idea of getting C#
under my belt. So...
BOTTOM LINE:
I'm starting with the O'Reilly book, the one that uses both C# and
VB.NET in its examples:

Programming ASP.NET, Second Edition (O'Reilly)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596001711
I'll still be flipping back to pages in the Murach book to give myself
"exercises" that I can try to work through. I'll be looking at the
designs of the Murach book's ASP.NET forms and trying to code them
using C#.

And I am postponing the hairy book until last.
Second opinions, anyone?
Nov 18 '05 #6

P: n/a
Dgates wrote:
Okay, part 2...

My comparisons of (the tables of contents of) 3 well-reviewed books
that teach ASP.NET.

I'm posting this not because I'm so sure that my conclusions are
correct, but because I'm hoping someone will set me straight if my
conclusions are out of whack. [...] Papa Bear:
3. Essential ASP.NET With Examples in C#
(4.5 stars, based on 35 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0201760401

(also available as "Essential ASP.NET with Examples in
Visual Basic .NET," but I haven't looked at that one.)


I attached a post-it to the front of this one that just says "HAIRY."
To me, that means that it looks like it's too advanced, assumes too
much prerequisite knowledge on my part and will probably teach its
concepts much too quickly.

Unlike the "Baby Bear" book, which spent dozens of pages on how
existing "HTML controls" have now been converted to "ASP controls,"
this book barely touches on the various controls.

Instead, its TOC was full of advanced topics like "Process Model" and
60 pages on "HTTP Pipeline" (including "A Day in the Life of a
Request," "Threading in the Pipeline," etc.).

All this, apparently, before it even gets to topics like querying data
and displaying it.


Your observation is absolutely correct. This book does not explain each
HtmlControl and WebControl in detail, it does not come with the usual
pseudeo-must-have-chapters about the CLR, ADO.NET, either C# or VB.NET. It
does not teach you what POST data, query strings, or asynchronous processing
are.

It is not a beginner's book.

I guess of the three dimensions

- .NET concepts in general (CLR, FCL, etc.)
- .NET programming language (C', VB .NET)
- Web development technology (ASP, JSP, PHP, previous ASP.NET training)

you need to bring along knowledge in all of them in order to really enjoy
the book.

But the book does a marvelous job of explainig the ASP.NET architecture and
focusing on teaching what's important as opposed to what can be easily
looked up again. And doing all this in just 350 pages is just plain fun to
read :-)
Cheers,
--
Joerg Jooss
jo*********@gmx.net

Nov 18 '05 #7

P: n/a
Wow! What a great thread this has become. Many, many thanks to all who
responded. I'm working my way through the list but I also think that
the thread will be useful to many.

Textbook selection is always a challenging process for a technology
course like this (at least if you care about what you are doing). A
book that would be great for me as a reference may not be the best thing
for students. And .Net offers more opportunities than any previous
version of VB or ASP to get lost in jargon and core concepts that some
authors assume are already well known. My desire to focus on code
behind, object oriented design, and accessing professional databases
seems to be throwing me into a class of references that don't cover
basic concepts that beginners need to have.

Let me modify my inquiry somewhat. I may decide to go to two textbooks
for this course. One would focus on code behind, database connectivity,
object oriented design, scalability, and other more advanced concepts.
I've got two candidates for this book already.

A second would then be a more basic reference that would cover in print
the fundamentals of forms and controls. While this information is
available in the VisStudio Help, beginners are more comfortable with a
printed reference (though their parents are not more comfortable with
two books for the course--at least the cost of two typical trade books
still comes in under the cost of a single text book for many courses
today). Any recommendations for this more basic book? The more
comprehensive in terms of number of controls, properties and methods
covered the better.

Thanks again,

Larry

Dr. Larry West
MIS Department
University of Central Florida
lw***@bus.ucf.edu

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!
Nov 18 '05 #8

P: n/a
Larry wrote:
[...]
Let me modify my inquiry somewhat. I may decide to go to two
textbooks for this course. One would focus on code behind, database
connectivity, object oriented design, scalability, and other more
advanced concepts. I've got two candidates for this book already.

A second would then be a more basic reference that would cover in
print the fundamentals of forms and controls. While this information
is available in the VisStudio Help, beginners are more comfortable
with a printed reference (though their parents are not more
comfortable with two books for the course--at least the cost of two
typical trade books still comes in under the cost of a single text
book for many courses today). Any recommendations for this more
basic book? The more comprehensive in terms of number of controls,
properties and methods covered the better.


One book that hasn't been mentioned so far is Dino Esposito's Programming
ASP.NET from MS Press. I have read only the first 100 pages or so (it is a
1100+ pages behemoth), but I think it might fit the bill. Part 2 of the book
(200 pages) is solely dedicated to data retrieval and display. I've always
enjoyed Dino's writing in MSDN Magazine or CoDe Magazine.

Cheers,

--
Joerg Jooss
jo*********@gmx.net

Nov 18 '05 #9

P: n/a

On Sun, 08 Aug 2004 23:42:44 -0700, Dgates <dg****@spamlinkline.com>
wrote:
3 well-reviewed books that teach ASP.NET...

The more I look at these book choices, the more I think I'm going to
start with the "Baby Bear" book -- the one that almost immediately has
me coding sample one-page and multi-page web apps...
Baby Bear:
1. Murach's ASP.NET Web Programming with VB.NET
(4 stars, based on 15 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/1890774200
This one seems the easiest to me, and if I weren't determined to learn
using as much C# as possible, I would probably start with this one.


I think that I'll use the Murach book (at least for the first 100 or
so pages) in conjunction with the "Mama Bear" book:
Mama Bear:
2. Programming ASP.NET, Second Edition (O'Reilly)
(Building Web Applications and Services Using C# and VB.NET)
(Second Edition, Updated for .NET 1.1 & Visual Studio .NET 2003)
(4 stars, based on 58 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596001711
I'm pretty sure I'll be starting with this one (although I may first
warm up on pages 1-100 of Murach's book, which I kind of already
started).


I just can't get over how many "real world" type sample apps the
Murach book offers. My current plan is to build them once in VB.NET
and once in C#.

I'll also use the O'Reilly book when I feel that some term or concept
is introduced too quickly -- like, say, "view state."

BOTTOM LINE:
I'm starting with the O'Reilly book, the one that uses both C# and
VB.NET in its examples:

Programming ASP.NET, Second Edition (O'Reilly)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0596001711
I'll still be flipping back to pages in the Murach book to give myself
"exercises" that I can try to work through. I'll be looking at the
designs of the Murach book's ASP.NET forms and trying to code them
using C#.


Actually, the "bottom line" hasn't changed much at all here, except
that I'll be using the Murach book as my main source and flipping to
the O'Reilly book for additional info, as opposed to vice versa.
Nov 18 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Mon, 9 Aug 2004 09:24:48 +0200, "Joerg Jooss" <jo*********@gmx.net>
wrote:
Dgates wrote:
Okay, part 2...

My comparisons of (the tables of contents of) 3 well-reviewed books
that teach ASP.NET.

I'm posting this not because I'm so sure that my conclusions are
correct, but because I'm hoping someone will set me straight if my
conclusions are out of whack.

[...]
Papa Bear:
3. Essential ASP.NET With Examples in C#
(4.5 stars, based on 35 reviews)
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...l/-/0201760401

(also available as "Essential ASP.NET with Examples in
Visual Basic .NET," but I haven't looked at that one.)


I attached a post-it to the front of this one that just says "HAIRY."
To me, that means that it looks like it's too advanced, assumes too
much prerequisite knowledge on my part and will probably teach its
concepts much too quickly.

Unlike the "Baby Bear" book, which spent dozens of pages on how
existing "HTML controls" have now been converted to "ASP controls,"
this book barely touches on the various controls.

Instead, its TOC was full of advanced topics like "Process Model" and
60 pages on "HTTP Pipeline" (including "A Day in the Life of a
Request," "Threading in the Pipeline," etc.).

All this, apparently, before it even gets to topics like querying data
and displaying it.


Your observation is absolutely correct. This book does not explain each
HtmlControl and WebControl in detail, it does not come with the usual
pseudeo-must-have-chapters about the CLR, ADO.NET, either C# or VB.NET. It
does not teach you what POST data, query strings, or asynchronous processing
are.

It is not a beginner's book.

I guess of the three dimensions

- .NET concepts in general (CLR, FCL, etc.)
- .NET programming language (C', VB .NET)
- Web development technology (ASP, JSP, PHP, previous ASP.NET training)

you need to bring along knowledge in all of them in order to really enjoy
the book.

But the book does a marvelous job of explainig the ASP.NET architecture and
focusing on teaching what's important as opposed to what can be easily
looked up again. And doing all this in just 350 pages is just plain fun to
read :-)


I'm with ya there!

I own the book and I'm hoping that in a month or so, I will have
worked my way up to the point where I can read it, and hopefully
"enjoy" it.

Heck, I'd even reread information I knew if it were somehow "plain
fun" to read!
Nov 18 '05 #11

P: n/a
I recommend:

1) Microsoft® ASP.NET Programming with Microsoft Visual C#® .NET Version 2003 Step By Step

2) MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Developing Web Applications with Microsoft® Visual Basic® .NET and
Microsoft Visual C#® .NET, Second Edition

Hope that helps,

Michelle

***Disclaimer: This posting is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights.***
--------------------
From: "Fred Newton" <a@b.com>
References: <uU*************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl>
Subject: Re: Need ASP.Net Textbook Recommendation
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2004 13:34:29 -0700
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Newsgroups: microsoft.public.dotnet.framework.aspnet
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Programming ASP.NET by Dino Esposito (Microsoft Press) will not disappoint
you (at least will go into your short list of candidate books)


"Larry" <lwest@_remove_.bus.ucf.edu> wrote in message
news:uU*************@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
I will be teaching an eCommerce application development course using
ASP.Net after many years of having taught classic ASP. (Course was
interrupted by 18 months in the Middle East with my Army Reserve unit.)
I need a textbook recommendation for a particular need.

As I have delved into ASP.Net I find that I want to teach the course by
emphasizing coding in the code behind pages but most of the books
targeted at beginners to ASP use script tags in the majority of their
examples with a chapter or two on code behind.

I'd like recommendations on a reference book that:
- Provides an introduction to ASP.Net
- Covers controls well
- Covers database access to SQL Server DB
- Emphasizes coding in the code behind pages and classes

Other desirable features are:
- A discussion of designing for scalability
- Security issues
- Coverage of object design

The students will all have had one good class on programming in VB.Net
(WinForms based) and a class on database design and SQL.

I've found many good candidate texts except that they all focus on
program logic in script tags instead of in code.

Many thanks.

Larry

Dr. Larry West
MIS Department
University of Central Florida
lw***@bus.ucf.edu

*** Sent via Developersdex http://www.developersdex.com ***
Don't just participate in USENET...get rewarded for it!


Nov 18 '05 #12

This discussion thread is closed

Replies have been disabled for this discussion.