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4.6 out of 5 stars18
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 May 2013
I had a hard time about whether to give this 3 or 4 stars, but in the end felt that it has enough good detail and is well paced enough to get 4. It's definitely not a 5-star book though.

I've read this through from beginning to end, doing the exercises as they came up, which works really well for me as a format. For the past few years I've been doing back-end systems work and I've struggled when I've had to do anything on the front-end. After working my way through this I feel confident about building/working on an MVC website. In general I found the level of detail really good, with explanations of most of the major building blocks in the framework, like Routing and Model Binding, and a good introduction on how to extend those.

However, there are some annoyances: the index is poor, there are machine-generated typos in Chapters 16 & 17 e.g. 'table' substituted with 'Table-16', which makes reading 'suitable' or 'database/Table name pair' much harder than it should be.

Then there are also parts that feel a bit like filler, for example Chapter 4 "Essential Language Features" focuses on the changes that came with C#3.0 back in 2007. That said, the examples the authors give are good. Also, given that the book is labelled as being for intermediate to advanced users, the description of how to debug in Visual Studio in Chapter 12 seemed entirely superfluous.

The section on Authorization and Authentication is inadequate to say the least (and as of .Net 4.5, obsolete) and while the 'Deployment' chapter has an OK-ish intro to hosting on Azure, it doesn't mention at all the config transforms that were introduced with VS2010, but instead talks about making sure you delete connection strings you don't want on production. In fact, really, no part of your deployment strategy should be 'make sure you've deleted stuff'.

The worst aspect though is the failed separation of concerns in Chapters 7-11, just because it's an addition that could easily have been omitted and is implemented badly. There's no good reason for your external domain project to have attributes on its entities that are for a specific UI implementation - the 'Description' property of a 'Product' is almost certainly not inherently 'MultilineText'. Even more importantly, your domain should not require a reference to your UI framework as the example project does because the domain model decides how the UI displays a property.

Overall then, a good book that has helped me get to grips with the MVC framework, but with some aspects that really let it down.
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on 23 August 2013
This is a superb book, written exceptionally well. Not for beginners, as the title suggests , an intermediate level of knowledge would be essential to work through this book. By that I mean that you should know the fundamentals like what interfaces are, how LINQ queries work at a basic level, an understanding of Lambda syntax, and a CSS/HTML knowledge will help certainly - otherwise honestly you will just struggle.

What I liked most about this book is that it deals with all the essentials+ advanced features, and , like the other review said has just the right amount of detail. Ranging from Linq/Helper methods, to URL routing, to building a robust online store to security concerns, this book has it all. Plus tons of unit testing / DI included!

I particularly liked the SportsStore , an Asp.Net MVC store from chapter 7 to 11 that we build. I highly recommend typing it along as you read. Typing the code really helps things sink in. It isn't a trivial example either, it covers dependency injection, Mocking objects, rendering and customizing views , database operations and more.

Reading this book cover to cover will give you a solid grasp of the ASP.net MVC 4. It isn't a reference book ( like Pro WPF 4.5 in C# for example by Apress). But it does have 700+ pages, so a LOT of material. You can click the book image to read the first few pages and go through the table of contents. Download Kindle for PC free and order a free sample chapter. You will not regret it.
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on 22 January 2013
The content and index is reduced from the Third Edition.
The smallness of the index (17 pages in the Fourth Edition, 31 in the Third) stops this book being a useful reference.
The content is also missing information contained in the Third Edition.
For instance the Third Edition correctly lists all the built-in ActionResult types but the Fourth only lists a subset.
A sad degradation of what was a great book
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on 25 December 2013
I don’t know if this book has been reviewed or not, but it’s full of mistakes. Even-stupid-copy paste replace mistakes. One can easily see that this book is an update from a previous version. A programmer should output a better book if they verify it.
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on 9 April 2013
Despite what the other reviews say, I still think this is a great book for learning MVC 4!

I think it is essential that you approach with at least some familiarity of C#, asp.net or even some grasp of web development. You will certainly need some grasp of visual studio too. The book will provide you with some grounding on those subjects, but will omit a large amount, if it included it the book size would be far greater than the already mammoth 729 pages!

All that being said, the book does do a great and comprehensive job, of teaching ASP.net MVC 4. I am absolutely positive that if you do not fully comprehend the subject by the end of reading this book, then maybe it's not for you :-)

The tone of the book is very laid back and pragmatic, which totally suits my style of learning. It is probably one of the few books that the code actually works too!

I recommend this book for all those switching over to ASP.net MVC 4 from other web dev technologies. There is no need to have a grounding on MVC 1-3 before reading this book, as it does a great job of setting you off in the deep end!
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on 22 July 2013
Great intro to MVC 4 and the basic patterns and technologies around it. The book does very well in describing a problem, explaining historic solutions and then presenting the preferred MVC 4 solution. The use of IOC/dependency injection, unit testing and the Entity Framework allows the user to see examples that can be used and expanded. As someone who moved from ASP.NET web forms, with an understanding of patterns, IOC, unit testing and ORMs, but not too much experience in implementing them, I found this book extremely helpful and perfectly paced.
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on 21 May 2014
This is a pretty easy book to work your way through and covers a lot of topics with easy to follow examples. The only down side is the number of typos in the book. For this price some addtional proof reading would have been appreciated.
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on 22 August 2013
Firstly, I would like to say that this is a great book for an experienced developer to learn MVC4. It is at times a bit overly comprehensive, going into details people will probably already know. But I would rather that, than not going properly into a topic. The problem I found was the structure. I don't know why the example project is done so early into the book, when you do not have a proper understanding of the model. Overall, I would recommend definitely the book.
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on 13 April 2014
Good books teach you the good, latest stuff.
Great books like this also teach you the proper development methodology, along with explaining technical matters.

I recommend it to anyone, and would not hesitate buying the most recent updates (MVC 5) from the same author.
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on 25 April 2013
This is, as always has been, a good book for someone stepping into this world or wanting to know more. It's not really different enough to justify buying v4 from the previous titles, but that is probably more Microsoft's fault than the authors.

Still a good book.
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