So you want develop ASP.NET web sites? Then you'll get a really good start with this book, whether you're new to ASP.NET or you have worked with an earlier version. Like so many books, the first part goes through some very basic stuff, like using Visual Studio, but it's easy to skip that part if you don't need it; after all it's just the first 100 pages out of a total of more than 1600 pages packed with information. The table of contents is 25 pages long, so you can imagine how many topics are covered in this book. If you have worked with ASP.NET before, you may like that some chapters contains a "Changed in ASP.NET 4" section that highlights changes to earlier versions of ASP.NET.
The book is very well written and there is a good flow in the topics. Even though there is some basic stuff in the book, you need to have some programming skills and knowledge of VB.NET and the .NET Framework before you dig into this. Most, if not all, areas of ASP.NET 4 are covered and you'll also find that a lot of other topics like ADO.NET, LINQ, and XML etc. are covered as well. The book is divided in five parts and I am delighted to find that a whole part is dedicated to securing you web site with the ASP.NET security model and topics like Authentication, Authorization, Roles and Cryptography. With the Internet today you can hardly imagine publishing a web site without being worried about its security.
The book is also an excellent reference that you'll probably keep returning to; at least I know I will. I recommend this book to both beginner and experienced ASP.NET developers.
This is a substantial book of 1623 pages. ASP.net 4.0 is a very large subject and this book covers most of it with good descriptions and code samples. It addresses the features of asp .net and the visual studio IDE and the techniques you need to use them. It is well indexed, but in my opinion it is best used as a set of tutorials rather than a reference book, though you are likely to keep it to hand to refresh what you have learned. Each of its 34 chapters can be used as a self-contained tutorial. As a developer who started coding with VB3 I found that this book gave much useful information that I had not picked up in an ad hoc manner as migrated through to .NET 4.0. It is always difficult to keep up with changes in a rapidly developing environment and language - spending some time with this book will help bring you up to date. You are bound to make useful discoveries. This is not a book for beginners - Apress publish a `Beginning' book (also by Matthew MacDonald) for you.