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on 3 July 2009
Bought this book together with the Wrox book by the Microsoft guys Professional ASP.NET MVC 1.0 (Wrox Programmer to Programmer). Haven't even bothered to finish that one, although to be fair to them their blogs on various subjects have been very helpful. That book appears to be written according to the MS line of "there is nothing wrong with Webforms, and you can still create a decent website with drag and drop even in MVC", which isn't of course the point of MVC anyway.

This guy's clearly from a professional / freelance background, where he understands the pressure from clients to deliver commercial websites which are maintainable, accessible and using all the latest best practices, and yet within competitive timescales, which, as he points out, becomes more and more difficult by the day as Webforms shows its age against the ever evolving needs of modern development.

In particular, he laments the prevalence of "demoware", which is so common when dealing with tutorials on ASP.NET on the web, where we are continually sold the idea that you can create a site of commercially acceptable quality by pointing and clicking your way through a few wizards, and then us poor developers are measured against such timescales and expectations (violins please).

Therefore, not only does he cover this, and also related subjects (Mocking, jQuery etc.) in sufficient detail (also pointing us in the way of other useful literature), but he goes to great lengths to explain WHY things have been done this way in MVC, and the various best practices whose requirements MVC strives to meet.

An indispensible one for any serious ASP.NET developer.
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on 19 May 2009
Sanderson manages to cook up a feast from the acryonm soup. MVC looks to be THE big thing in the Microsoft development world, and I'm really glad to have found this guide.

Lots of the big brand publishers just commission people to fill in the gaps in their product range and I suspect the big names are just added as glorified editors to give credibility to the underlings. In contrast, Sanderson writes with product experience (which is very rare in these early days of MVC) and the fact that it is his first book show he is not writing to order - he really knows his stuff and cares about communicating it. His blog and the online resources back this up.

You are not buying a printed version of rehashed documentation, you are buying a well written technical book. Oh so rare and very valuable.

Highly recommended if you're even thinking about moving to the next generation of MS development.
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on 9 November 2009
I bought this book based from the 5 previous recommendations. And their recommendations does not disappoint. Because when you are learning a new technology, you need a good book to show you the ropes, otherwise you'll just get frustrated and annoyed. I hope Steven Sanderson writes another professional technical book.

In the first part of the book, Steven takes you straight in to the guts of an ASP.NET MVC application. Bulk of the first part is an e-commerce cookbook with an image catalog and shopping cart functionality which he refuses to call a demoware. There is a lot to take in, from the prerequisites of the new 3.5 .Net language features like lambdas, extension methods, projections, and anonymous types; to appreciating the importance of separation of concern by using interfaces to isolate the dependencies of objects. For example separating the implementation involved in a data store from the controller you use an interface to instantiate the controller. Since the controller only knows about the interface, it does not need to know how the concrete object is implemented. The two concerns have been separated cleanly and no implementation dependency will blight a maintainable, scalable solution. When you read this book, you get the sense of a sound educated rational in developing any type of application. This is probably due to the fact that MVC has been around for more than 30 years.

The second part explains all the plumbing you have used in part 1 in great detail and more. It explains the guts of the MVC architecture itself and how you can customise it to leverage it from your own preculiar requirements. Although some people might prefer to start reading the second part I actually think that Sanderson's method reinforces what I have seen in action in the first part. I actually learn more by example rather than reading a reference guide that does not look relevant with the bigger picture.

Although this is a professional book and Apress recommends to read the beginning and pro ASP.NET 3.5, anyone with a basic understanding of MVC and a bit of classic ASP should be able to sail through this book. Infact all the server controls you've learnt in ASP.NET 2.0 and 3.5 with all the stateful abstraction of Windowsform-like events are actually nearly worthless within the MVC world.

In conclusion the book is extremely well written, organised and full of reusable code relevant to project problems and requirements.
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on 10 November 2009
To be honest, the real reason I got this book was because it was one of the first books (if not the first) to come out in relation to ASP.NET MVC. Whilst my reasoning for buying it wasn't based on previous reviews it definitely isn't a regret.

I've been devouring this book at work in an effort to develop better MVC applications. The guidance is very straightforward and understandable even for those with zero clue in MVC architectures. Fortunately I had a good grounding in MVC having worked closely with the architecture previously, so it wasn't new to me.

Not only does Steve break down ASP.NET MVC chapter-by-chapter but he also gives a real world application to work through for a considerable amount of the book. This allows the reader to see how many of the features are applicable in the real-world which immediately made me want to give it five stars as I feel many authors of technical literature should do this.

Some things aren't made entirely clear. For example, my DAL uses stored procedures therefore I have to extend DataContext which means I have to provide the base constructor, essentially stopping me from passing a connection string to my repository constructor. The example given for Castle Windsor passes a connection string to the repository which left me stuck in my tracks. Of course you don't have to do it this way. Of course this is only a minor detail but a beginner may become stuck, and of course if Steve covered every single one of these minor details the book would've been twice the length, which wouldn't have been pleasureable for the reader or writer alike.

What is a shame is that Microsoft ferverently released ASP.NET MVC 2 which included a host of new features which would've been excellent in a book like this. Hopefully Steve may provide a top-up book either in electronic format or printed.

Overall I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to get involved in ASP.NET MVC development, even if you are a beginner.
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on 15 May 2009
An engaging and extremely well-written book that is bringing me up to speed on ASP.NET MVC very quickly. Steve Sanderson writes with enviable clarity, and has obviously put a lot of care, love and attention into this book.

Helping Steve and his readers is the MVC framework itself, a modern and beautiful way of writing web applications using Microsoft technology. It's basically "Ruby on Rails", copied by Microsoft (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) and brought to the WebForms hoardes for a very welcome change in approach.

Being new, material you can trust on ASP.NET MVC is light on the ground of course, while the Internet and the bookstores are bursting full of ASP.NET WebForms knowledge. Steve is the perfect guide to the new world of MVC, and understands completely the changes in attitude and approach that people (like me) are going to have to make. His best quality is putting all the new knowledge in its correct context, anticipating the initial objections that current WebFormers are going to have (What?! You put inline code into the HTML markup?!) Steve greases the wheels of understanding all the way along.

All in all I must say that this is an exceptionally well-written book, and one that is constantly at my side these days.
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on 22 November 2009
I am a C# MVP and have worked with most MSFT technologies but do not favour the web, instead I prefer to write WPF, but this book spiked my interest, having done Apache Struts and also ASP .NET Webforms, I have to say at that time I preferred ASP .NET Webforms.

So I took a plunge and read this book cover to cover, and felt a wry smile touch my lips with each passing chapter, Mocking, IOC, TDD, its all covered (and we do the same with WPF at work as well).

The book is an absolute winner, and although I prefer not to do web development, this book is clearly a gem, it is 2,000,000% clear that Steve actually earns money out of creating well designed software that is maintainable, that just comes across in his style.

The book is littered with so many useful bits of code, its not funny. This book would actually be a bloody good read for someone currently doing ASP .NET webforms, that wanted to know how to get into TDD.

In closing its ace, buy it now. You will not be disappointed at all.
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on 27 January 2011
This was my first Kindle purchase.

The content of the book is good. It is informative, and well written. It certainly has me itching to rewrite the codebase I have the "pleasure" of maintaining!

However the Kindle Edition is let down by poor formatting of code samples. In every code sample I have encountered so far the first character on each line is truncated, and many code samples have page breaks in weird places, leaving half the screen blank.

As a first introduction to Kindle Books this is not as encouraging as it could have been. The preview of the first edition of this book that I read before buying this one did not have these 'schoolboy' formatting errors. For only £3.58 less than the paper edition I have to say I feel rather short changed.

On the plus side, I do have a searchable copy of the book, and I can read it one-handed without it breaking my wrist!
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on 5 June 2011
Not only will this book hold your hand fully to understand the Asp.net MVC 2 framework, but with it it will also detail how to introduce a whole host of best practices and preferred development methodologies. It'll open your eyes to DI, MOQ, TDD and a whole lot more. In creating the SportsStore application you'll not only be guided every step of the way (personally I *MUCH prefer* the learn-by-example approach that this book takes) but end up with a working application as a result.
Yes, this is a hefty book and yes its pretty complex - but then again there is a LOT of complex stuff to cover.

If you have an understanding of asp.net web forms and want to venture into the world of MVC, this really is a perfect starting point. Highly recommended.
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on 4 February 2011
This book gets too complicated too soon. It started OK, with some theory that appeared to make sense, but in the example project the author tells you to create all sorts of weird and wonderful folders in additional to the standard ones.

After following along for quite some time, I realised I hadn't got a clue what most of the stuff I'd created was for, whether it was an M, a V or a C, or where to look for a particular file! First he divides the top level into Domain and WebUI; then he adds Abstract and Concrete subfolders to Domain and HtmlHelpers and Infastructure to WebUI. Then he tells you to install third party extensions for Dependency Injection.

For someone trying to understand the MVC concept this was just too much. A free download of the first chapter of the other book, Professional ASP.NET MVC 2, proved much more helpful. Having ditched my first project and started again using this example my project now has folders called Models, Views and Controllers - no ambiguity there - plus a couple of other folders whose function is pretty easy to understand.

I suspect the author of this book has developed his folder structure as a result of his experience on projects; it probably works for him, but for a beginner struggling to understand new concepts it is not appropriate.

For reference my background is in web development and programming but not, until recently, ASP.NET or C#.
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on 10 June 2009
Hi,

I've bought this book and as far as I'm concerned is the bible for Microsoft ASP.net MVC. It is very thorough and in depth and has good examples at every stage. If you're seriously thinking about taking a step into MVC then this book will be extremely useful in your book collection.

One of the best books I've seen for a long time
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