3 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Wrong Approach for Me
, 5 April 2014
This review is from: Pro ASP.Net MVC 5 (Expert's Voice in ASP.Net) (Paperback)
No longer a full-time developer as I run a business providing a wide variety of IT support services. I just received a commission for a web-based application from a managed services customer and I relished the opportunity to do some programming.
Things have changed a great deal since I last wrote a MS based web-based app (in dot net 2.0), but having recently written an iOS app which required learning the MVC concept, I didn't think the learning curve to master ASP.NET MVC 5 would be too steep, and I'd be able to get up and running quickly. That has not been the case using this book as my teacher.
Too much of the non-essentials such as unit testing, mocking and dependency injection could have been shoved nearer the back of the book. I wasted an entire afternoon waiting for the nuget.org servers to provide me with the three ninject installations required to learn this book's version of dependency injection. If the author used the visual studio built in DI tool, this would have been unnecessary. Although the author said the ninject chapter was optional, since it was written into the Sports Store application example which takes up a good chunk of the remainder of the book, this is evidently NOT so!
The first useful chapter for me was Chapter 7 which delved into using databases. Its approach was to use the local database, but when I followed the coding instructions, the app crashed because it was trying to find the model db rather than the sportsStore db. This turned out to be because I already had a previous version of SQL Server Express installed on my dev box, which the Entity Framework defaults to using if it finds it present. It took an entire afternoon of frustrating trial and error before this bug was fixed by tweaking connection strings etc. I am not sure if I can blame the author for this or the way the Entity Framework is constructed. But surely a more universal approach must be possible?
It is not uncommon for code examples in these kinds of books to fail since configurations are so varied depending on which tools are being used. What I have found useful with other books is accompanying blogs which enable students which encounter the same problems to obtain fixes from each other. Such a blog would have been extremely useful for this book, but I have been unable to find one at the publisher's website.
I suspect that the most trouble free way of using this book is probably to wipe your development machine, reinstall Windows, then install the latest version of Visual Studio Express. Any other configuration is likely to cause problems, which of course may be educational in themselves!
I am still only in Chapter 7! I will probably amend this assessment as I go along, but so far I have to conclude that I may have learnt MVC 5 quicker if I had tried another book.
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