Review: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

The following book review is for Imar Spaanjaars’ Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB.

Update July 11 2008: Review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB.

Update March 28 2010: Review of Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB

I’ve picked up copies of Beginning ASP.NET 2.0; Build Your Own ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site Using C# & VB; Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 E-Commerce in C# 2005 From Novice to Professional; and Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Step by Step (the only one I can recommend). With all of these, I struggled to read them and didn’t feel as though I learned much, or in the case of the last, failed to get much more than an overview of ASP.NET (albeit a good one).

However, with Imar Spaanjaars’ book, I finally feel comfortable with ASP.NET 3.5.

In this book Imar works through the steps of creating of an actual, fully-functional, ASP.NET 3.5 Web site, that’s actually not that bad (ignoring some questionable design).

Unlike other books, Imar covers both the Express and commercial versions of Visual Studio, in a very unobtrusive way. In addition, Imar doesn’t rely solely on the ASP.NET components, but gives a good deal of actual programming, in both C# and VB (in a very clean, comfortable, way).

While it’s true that he references a number of other Wrox books, such as Professional ASP.NET 3.5, there is very little that needs to be examined to get a site up and running, that would suit the majority of business needs.

Overall, my faith in the ability of Web developers to write good books has been restored by this tome (and at over 700 pages, tome it is). A Web developer Imar is, and to us, as equals, is to whom he speaks. This is clearly seen in his summaries and tips, at the end of each chapter.

I give this book 5 stars of 5. If you’ve read the other books and been left sad, confused, and/or angry, this is the volume to pick up.

Note: I will be reading this book twice, once I’ve finished with Professional ASP.NET 3.5. There is so much in this book that bears repeating, and many things that I’m sure I missed in my first read, since it’s so full of (valuable) information.