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Beginning ASP.NET 4: In C# and Vb (Wrox Programmer to Programmer) [Paperback]

Imar Spaanjaars
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
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Book Description

19 Mar 2010 Wrox Programmer to Programmer
This book is for anyone who wants to learn how to build rich and interactive web sites that run on the Microsoft platform. With the knowledge you gain from this book, you create a great foundation to build any type of web site, ranging from simple hobby–related web sites to sites you may be creating for commercial purposes. Anyone new to web programming should be able to follow along because no prior background in web development is assumed although it helps if you do have a basic understanding of HTML and the web in general. The book starts at the very beginning of web development by showing you how to obtain and install Visual Web Developer. The chapters that follow gradually introduce you to new technologies, building on top of the knowledge gained in the previous chapters. Do you have a strong preference for Visual Basic over C# or the other way around? Or do you think both languages are equally cool? Or maybe you haven′t made up your mind yet and want to learn both languages? Either way, you′ll like this book because all code examples are presented in both languages! Even if you have some experience with prior versions of ASP.NET, you may gain a lot from this book. Although many concepts from previous versions are brought forward into ASP.NET 4, you′ll discover there′s a lot of new stuff to be found in this book, including an introduction to the ADO.NET Entity Framework, the inclusion of jQuery, ASP.NET AJAX, the many changes to the ASP.NET 4 Framework, and much more. This book teaches you how to create a feature–rich, data–driven, and interactive web site called Planet Wrox. Although this is quite a mouthful, you′ll find that with Visual Web Developer 2010, developing such a web site isn′t as hard as it seems. You′ll see the entire process of building a web site, from installing Visual Web Developer 2010 in Chapter 1 all the way up to putting your web application on a live server in Chapter 19. The book is divided into 19 chapters, each dealing with a specific subject. Chapter 1, “Getting Started with ASP.NET 4” shows you how to obtain and install Visual Web Developer 2010. You′ll get instructions for downloading and installing the free edition of Visual Web Developer 2010, called the Express edition. You are also introduced to HTML, the language behind every web page. The chapter closes with an overview of the customization options that Visual Web Developer gives you. Chapter 2, “Building an ASP.NET Web Site” shows you how to create a new web site and how to add new elements like pages to it. Besides learning how to create a well–structured site, you also see how to use the numerous tools in Visual Web Developer to create HTML and ASP.NET pages. Chapter 3, “Designing Your Web Pages.” Visual Web Developer comes with a host of tools that allow you to create well–designed and attractive web pages. In this chapter, you see how to make good use of these tools. Additionally, you learn about CSS, the language that is used to format web pages. Chapter 4, “Working with ASP.NET Server Controls.” ASP.NET Server Controls are one of the most important concepts in ASP.NET. They allow you to create complex and feature–rich web sites with very little code. This chapter introduces you to the large number of server controls that are available, explains what they are used for, and shows you how to use them. Chapter 5, “Programming Your ASP.NET Web Pages.” Although the built–in CSS tools and the ASP.NET Server Controls can get you a long way in creating web pages, you are likely to use a programming language to enhance your pages. This chapter serves as an introduction to programming with a strong focus on programming web pages. Best of all: all the examples you see in this chapter (and the rest of the book) are in both Visual Basic and C#, so you can choose the language you like best. Chapter 6, “Creating Consistent Looking Web Sites.” ASP.NET helps you create consistent–looking pages through the use of master pages, which allow you to define the global look and feel of a page. Skins and themes help you to centralize the looks of controls and other visual elements in your site. You also see how to create a base page that helps to centralize programming code that you need on all pages in your site. Chapter 7, “Navigation.” To help your visitors find their way around your site, ASP.NET comes with a number of navigation controls. These controls are used to build the navigation structure of your site. They can be connected to your site′s central site map that defines the pages in your web site. You also learn how to programmatically send users from one page to another. Chapter 8, “User Controls.” User controls are reusable page fragments that can be used in multiple web pages. As such, they are great for repeating content such as menus, banners, and so on. In this chapter, you learn how to create and use user controls and enhance them with some programmatic intelligence. Chapter 9, “Validating User Input.” A large part of interactivity in your site is defined by the input of your users. This chapter shows you how to accept, validate, and process user input using ASP.NET Server Controls. Additionally, you see how to send e–mail from your ASP.NET web application and how to read from text files. Chapter 10, “ASP.NET AJAX. ” Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX allows you to create good–looking, flicker–free web pages that close the gap between traditional desktop applications and web applications. In this chapter you learn how to use the built–in Ajax features to enhance the presence of your web pages, resulting in a smoother interaction with the web site. Chapter 11, “jQuery.” jQuery is a popular, open source and cross–browser JavaScript library designed to make it easier to interact with web pages in the client’s browser. In this chapter you learn the basics of jQuery and see how to add rich visual effects and animations to your web pages. Chapter 12, “Introducing Databases.” Understanding how to use a database is critical to building web sites, as most modern web sites require the use of a database. You’ll learn the basics of SQL, the query language that allows you to access and alter data in a database. In addition, you are introduced to the database tools found in Visual Web Developer that help you create and manage your SQL Server databases. Chapter 13, “Displaying and Updating Data.” Building on the knowledge you gained in the previous chapter, this chapter shows you how to use the ASP.NET data–bound and data source controls to create a rich interface that enables your users to interact with the data in the database that these controls target. Chapter 14, “LINQ and the ADO.NET Entity Framework.” LINQ is Microsoft’s solution for accessing objects, databases, XML, and more. The ADO.NET Entity Framework (EF) is Microsoft′s new technology for database access. This chapter shows you what LINQ is all about, how to use the visual EF designer built into Visual Studio, and how to write LINQ to EF queries to get data in and out of your SQL Server database. Chapter 15, “Working with Data—Advanced Topics.” While earlier chapters focused mostly on the technical foundations of working with data, this chapter looks at the same topic from a front–end perspective. You see how to change the visual appearance of your data through the use of control styles. You also see how to interact with the data–bound controls and how to speed up your application by keeping a local copy of frequently accessed data. Chapter 16, “Security in Your ASP.NET 4 Web Site.” Although presented quite late in the book, security is a first–class, important topic. This chapter shows you how to make use of the built–in ASP.NET features related to security. You learn about a number of application services that facilitate security. You also learn how to let users sign up for an account on your web site, how to distinguish between anonymous and logged–on users, and how to manage the users in your system. Chapter 17, “Personalizing Web Sites.” Building on the security features introduced in Chapter 16, this chapter shows you how to create personalized web pages with content targeted at individual users. You see how to configure and use ASP.NET Profile that enables you to store personalized data for known and anonymous visitors. Chapter 18, “Exception Handling, Debugging, and Tracing.” In order to understand, improve, and fix the code you write for your ASP.NET web pages you need good debugging tools. Visual Web Developer ships with great debugging support that enables you to diagnose the state of your application at run time, helping you find and fix problems before your users do. Chapter 19, “Deploying Your Web Site.” By the end of the book, you should have a web site that is ready to be shown to the world. But how exactly do you do that? What are the things you need to know and understand to put your web site out in the wild? This chapter gives the answers and provides you with a good look at configuring different production systems in order to run your final web site. Note: CD–ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (19 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470502215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470502211
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 9.2 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 189,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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From the Back Cover

Build rich web sites with the latest version of ASP.NET ASP.NET is the part of the .NET Framework that enables you to build rich, dynamic web sites. The latest version—ASP.NET 4—boasts numerous improvements to the previous iteration, including Web Forms enhancements and jQuery support. This step–by–step book walks you through building rich web sites with ASP.NET 4 and is packed with in–depth examples in both C# and VB. With hands–on exercises that take you right into the action, you′ll learn how to build web sites firsthand while you get a good look at what goes on behind the scenes when you view an ASP.NET 4 page in your browser. Beginning ASP.NET 4: Demonstrates how to build ASP.NET 4 web pages Explains adding features with pre–built server controls Reviews working with the development tools to create ASP.NET web sites Shares techniques for creating consistent–looking web sites Teaches you how to implement jQuery and AJAX techniques in your web sites Shows you how to work with databases and the Microsoft® ADO.NET Entity Framework Addresses securing and personalizing your site Investigates exception handling, debugging, and tracing pages Wrox Beginning guides are crafted to make learning programming languages and technologies easier than you think, providing a structured, tutorial format that will guide you through all the techniques involved. Programmer Forums Join our Programmer to Programmer forums to ask and answer programming questions about this book, join discussions on the hottest topics in the industry, and connect with fellow programmers from around the world. Code Downloads Take advantage of free code samples from this book, as well as code samples from hundreds of other books, all ready to use. Read More Find articles, ebooks, sample chapters, and tables of contents for hundreds of books, and more reference resources on programming topics that matter to you.

About the Author

Imar Spaanjaars is a Microsoft ASP.NET MVP and runs his own company called De Vier Koeden in the Netherlands, specializing in Internet and intranet applications built with Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET 4. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including ASP.NET 2.0 Instant Results and Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# and VB , and is one of the top contributors to the Wrox Community Forum at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As of 2010 I have used ASP.Net professionally for 9 years. I am a programmer by trade and have used .Net 1.1,2 and 3.5

The usual problem with books on programming is that they are always either too basic or too advanced. Sometimes the problem is that they are too out of date or even too new, based on technologies which no-one uses yet. And sometimes it is because they assume or demand knowledge of other areas before what is being taught makes sense.

Programming in ASP.Net is one of those tasks that requires a reasonable amount of knowledge of a number of things before any headway can be made. An aspiring developer needs to know a smattering of HTML, some CSS, a little bit of Windows configuration, a bit of Visual Studio and either VB or C# syntax. Later on you'll need Java and probably SQL too.. That is a lot of things to learn at once and it can be daunting.

The excellent thing about this book is that the early chapters address this reality. Chapter one address the Visual Studio problem, chapter 2 is about basic HTML and Chapter 3 shows CSS. Too many books and programmers skip over these basics and dive straight into web forms and web services and trust me, you need these basics. I read these chapters with interest and after nearly 10 years of doing this professionally I learnt a couple of things, especially in the CSS primer.

Once the basics are under control, the book moves onto consistent page design (master pages), web forms, web controls and validation. These are all often seen as a bit basic but again they are important and being proficient in these will make the reader a useful programmer and team member. The last few chapters address databases, security and deployment. I like that the chapters on databases are further in.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference for the new version of ASP.Net 29 April 2010
By Mr. Graham Cummings VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While I agree with other reviews of this product that some of the information is quite basic, I do believe that this book will give you a huge head start in creating cutting-edge websites. And after all the title of the book contains the word 'Beginning' so I wouldn't expect it to be set at a level of an advanced seasoned professional.

Anyway, the beauty of ASP.Net 4 is that you have to do less coding than you did in earlier versions and you can create a lot of your website without hardly touching code at all (if you use the free Visual Web Developer software from Microsoft). What was a nice surprise was the inclusion of a jQuery (Javascript library) chapter.

I am a seasoned ASP.Net (VB) professional and you can take it from me that there is no better place to start learning .Net than this book. It's superbly and clearly written. The samples are easy to follow and much of the book is step-by-step. The book has been written by one of the top authors in the ASP.Net environment (I've also had blog posts answered by him too) and his authoring skills shine through in this book.

And at 800+ pages, it's great value for money. There's also an accompanying website for the book where you can download all the code samples from the book.

Highly recommended place to start. And yes, I believe with a bit of effort and time on your part, you could start creating cutting-edge applications using this book. It's a gentle but excellent introduction to ASP.Net 4.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Even complete beginners to web programming will find this book a doddle, as it helpfully supports the learner by explaining all key concepts, from basic HTML upwards, assuming nothing from the outset. That's not to say it scrimps on the meaty stuff - by the end of the book you'll be working with databases and covering more advanced topics like security, so will reward the patient learner with a solid, well-rounded set of skills for working with ASP.NET and ready to take it further.

It's well-written and not patronising, as some primers can be - and by the end you'll be confident in the core skills and know how you want to progress in the web programming world. Add to that the fact that Visual Web Developer - the key tool for working through the book's examples - is free, and you're on to a winner with this guide.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good for beginners 16 Jun 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I rather like this book- finally one on my wavelength. It's nice as well that it has been written with the free version of Microsoft Visual Web Developer in mind - perfect for anyone starting out who doesn't want to commit resources until they are sure it's worth it.

I'm really sorry to see that there are some beginners that are completely flummoxed by this book. To use this book you have to
1. be willing to learn the ins and outs of the Microsoft Visual Studio interface.
2. be willing to learn a smattering of a programming language (or at least take a deep breath and let it wash over you). Very nicely you have C# and Visual Basic in parallel throughout the book (most books are C#, which is why I gave up on VB).
3. get to grips with cascading style sheets for web page layout.
4. Want to learn ASP.NET to produce more dynamic websites, and understand about why they are dynamic.

Now this is an awful lot for a beginner to take in at once. I've just bashed my head against walls 1-3 too often, so some of it is sinking in. The author tries to give you little introductions along the way to 1- 3. He's not completely easy to understand- you just need to let it wash over you and move on- the ASP in comparison is a doddle.

However the worked examples are a dream- you build up a "Planet Wrox" website bit by bit. On the way you shove extra workthroughs into a demo folder to keep your site clean. He helpfully tells you any omissions or errors you should check for if the delightful program fails on you. He's great! One warning-He does advise you to copy all the downloaded files into you main website- don't!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good starter/Refresher book
It has been a while since I have done any ASP work and so I needed something to get me back into it plus cover both VB/C#. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JBS
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good Book
I have classic ASP experience and MVC but not ASP.NET Web Forms and this book has definitely filled the gaps. Read more
Published 7 months ago by CK
3.0 out of 5 stars Skip it for a more complete book
I found this book rather incomplete. A lot was outside the scope of the book that was not express up front or on the blurb. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mary Gilmartin
2.0 out of 5 stars This book feels lacking
I give this book 2 stars for multiple reasons.

The book redirects you to about 3 or 4 different books authored by Wrox, with lacking excuses such as "This is so... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kevin Kazoun
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all perfectly clear now
Having tried several times to get up to speed with ASP.NET and C#, I found this book perfect for both helping me to understand . Read more
Published 12 months ago by Mikey 2008
3.0 out of 5 stars Have to try and see
Arrived as predicted, I had a brief look at the pages and read a little bit, and it seems to be fine so far.
Published 13 months ago by Mensah
3.0 out of 5 stars Its OK
I like way it has been written with detailed examples. Source code provided with this book is a great help.
Published 14 months ago by Khan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great way to learn ASP.NET
The best way to learn is by doing, and doing the project in this book is a good way to learn.

It starts off covering the basics of programming and web development, which... Read more
Published 14 months ago by S. Oberauer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
As a beginner in, but with experience in css and html this was the perfect book. I was able to produce a working web site by following the tutorial. Read more
Published 16 months ago by T. Mein
4.0 out of 5 stars A Dabblers review
OK so under normal circumstances I wouldn't have bought this book, but being a bit of a geek and a computer enthusiast i thought I would give it a look. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mr. M. Regan
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