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on 14 August 2008
I am very impressed with this book. There are many books out there to help you build a web page, but get this one - it's ideal.

The book is definitely designed for the beginner (like me) and the book is set out for you to work through as a course. It's easy to read, and contains regular practical exercises for you to follow in which you'll build an actual web site. The exercises are the key to it's success. It covers a topic, then gives you an exercise to demonstrate that topic, then does a quick review to reinforce the information.

It even gives you the information you need to get the right software to develop your web site (in this case Microsoft Visual Web Developer express edition - which is free to download) and shows you how to use that software. It does touch upon using Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 (which I'm using) but predominantly concentrates on Microsoft Visual Web Developer. On saying that, they are pretty much the same for the purposes of the exercises, so that isn't a problem.

The book covers things like CSS (which is used to style your web sites) and gives all code examples in both VB.net and C#.

Being a programmer already, I found the book a little simple in places, which is probably a good thing, because it means that non-programmers could pick this book up and use it. I just skip over the bits that are obvious to me.

I am really pleased I bought this. I needed to upgrade my skills to web development and this book is definitely helping me to do that. It's an absolute must.
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on 2 September 2008
I made a decision about three months ago that I would use ASP.NET to create a new database-driven website. I immediately bought a couple of heavyweight reference books that came well recommended. However, as soon as I opened their covers I realised that my previous background as an Access VBA programmer was insufficient to let me leapfrog the early stages of the fairly steep ASP.NET learning curve.

A book called Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 seemed like an obvious choice to fill that gap. Luckily, it does that job very well. Unlike the two reference books I got initially, this is one that is worth reading from cover to cover. Imar Spaanjaars covers a very wide range of topics in the demo application that is the core of the book, without delving into them any deeper than is appropriate for the target audience (at various points, he suggests further reading if you want to investigate specific topics more thoroughly).

This book has proved invaluable in kick-starting my first ASP.NET development, which is now about halfway to completion.
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on 28 May 2008
I've been using ASP.NET 2.0 for a few years now and wanted to find out about the new features in vers. 3.5, especially LINQ, Microsoft's new query language. Imar explains in plain English how to create a sample clean, efficient website from scratch using the best of ASP.NET 3.5's features. I've been using VB for years and am gradually switching over to C#. I found the sample code (in VB and C#) throughout the book is also a great way of learning C#. All sample code can be downloaded from Wrox's website.

The book is a great introduction to so much more than ASP.NET 3.5. Imar also introduces the reader to: Visual Web Developer Express 2008, SQL Server 2005 Express, HTML, CSS, Databases and programming (VB and C#). To summarise, £20 well spent.
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on 7 December 2012
Well written book, takes you through the creation of a sample website with easy to follow tutorial sections written for both C# and VB. Easy to follow and should be a good reference.
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on 12 November 2009
Usually takes me a while to get into a book and start reading but this book got me straight into it only had it a few days but I'm already well into it. I've already made a few websites and programmed in four different programming languages so from my perspective it is very easy to follow. If you have never programmed or never built website before even in a design view this book is very easy to follow starts you off slowly and then builds up on chapters literally step by step. This book even tells you what to click on with screen shots in case you get stuck. I've used Visual Basic.net & C# so I could skip a few chapters. This book doesn't only teach you ASP.net but it also teaches you HTML, CSS, Visual Basic.net and C# as well with code comparisons between VB.net & C# so is very easy to pick up. If I was trying to find a fault with this book, honestly there isn't one that's why there are no review below 5 stars, Great book! Recommended for anyone.
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on 17 October 2009
This is an excellent beginner's book in web development. Absolutely exceptional. It's a cookbook that has fine attention to detail. I would say Imar holds your hands in all the steps of this recipe book. As cheesy as it may sound, it's like fine dining experience where Imar is a masterchef and I am hungry for more!

He anticipated the problems you will run into so he has written the "Try it out" excercises like a compiler that has a comprehensive list of if then else statements and error handling. Having said that, you may think that it's a boring style. It's not at all. The cohesiveness of the chapters are well thought of and is well paced. The coverage of each key technologies are ample enough to get your site running and detailed enough for you to want to read more. I'm very happy to have read this book.

My only criticism is the chapter on LINQ is a bit too short. It does not even cover update, insert or delete operations of data. I guess it's an advanced topic? The book does not cover ADO.NET nor Entity Framework either. I suppose it's a sign I am getting more advanced. But in retrospect, these topics are out of scope, since he only needs to explain one data provider.

There is another excellent book by Christian Darie called "Build Your Own ASP.NET 3.5 Website Using C# & VB" ISBN-10: 0980455219. Looking at the table of contents, they are nearly actually identical. However, although I have read Christian Darie first, I thought to myself since I am a beginner in ASP.NET, I could do with more excercises just to make me more confident in the technology. Also there is such a big rave about Imar's book in the review forums that I have to read it too. No regrets reading these books. It took me roughly 3 weeks to read each. I know I'm a slow reader, but I take my time internalising what I've learnt and follow all the excercises to the letter. Now I am hosting my own little website based on these two books and I am at a stage that I have enough confidence in the technology I want to learn about ASP.NET MVC and Entity Frameworks. Joy!
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on 31 May 2015
If you're starting out from scratch - this is the book to help you learn how to build a fully functioning, robust website.

You definitely need Microsoft's Visual Studio Express 2012 For Web to get the most from this book...I downloaded the Visual 2013 version at first and found, bit by bit, that what I got on my screen gradually diverged from what the book depicted...So I downloaded Visual 2012 and everything went exactly as it should according to this book.(You can have both versions of Visual on your computer-but only use the 2012 version with this book).

The author-Imar Spaanjaars-has a very methodical approach and introduces things in a clear way. He knows all the little quirks of the system that can often throw someone new to website building. As you work your way through the book he guides you neatly through all the tricky hoops and hurdles building a website entails.

It's a complicated area that deals with a variety of programming languages and uses a host of different sources to construct the website but he
manages to make it all comprehensible to the beginner. I initially started out learning C++ with Microsoft's Visual Studio Express For Desktop.
If that is like drawing up blueprints for a machine, house or whatever, this is the actual on-site building of the machine, house or whatever where you draw together all the materials you need from variety of sources to build what your single blueprint has sketched out.

It's worth noting, too, that all the code used in the book is presented in both C# form and Visual Basic. There's not a lot of difference between the two languages but if you know one better than the other it is extremely helpful.

The book has great pictures of what your screen should look like at almost every point during the construction of the example website and the downloads of source codes and resources (very easy-just a few clicks on the appropriate bit of the Wrox website) are extremely useful as you can easily see where your own code has gone wrong.

One suspects that, if you were building your own website, you wouldn't necessarily use all the ways and means detailed in this book but, that it covers so many, equips you with sufficient tools to decide which are the best ones for building your own, particular, website.

Imar Spaanjars has updated this book ('Beginning ASP.NET 4.5.1 in C# and VB') and for that you will need to use the 2013 version of Microsoft's Visual Studio Express For Web. The updated book covers the same ground in the same way but makes adjustments for changes since the 2012 version was released.
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on 16 March 2009
I have many years of experience in programming, predominantly C++, and wanted to get a lead into ASP.
Having looked into a few books and their reviews I went for this title and am glad that I did so.

The book is very well written with clear and instructive information.
It follows the development of a minimalistic, but useable ASP website which deals with a wide range of issues surrounding the process.
Each step follows logically on from the last as your understanding of the subject is built along with the site.
Where a foundation needs to be built for a given concept, a basic illustrative solution for an area of the site is developed for core understanding, and later in the book when the appropriate skill level has been developed the area may be revisited to develop a more elegant solution to the same or similar problem.

Due to my background I followed the C# notes, and although it was my first time with the language it presented no problems at all.
What helped in this area is that having lead you through an exercise step by step, the author then runs through the same set of steps from an explanatory perspective rather than the previous instructive one.

There were only a couple of times where I thought that the code used in the examples could have done with a bit more explaining, but this was easily overcome with a little research.
I only came across one 'error' in the code that wasn't mentioned in Wrox's erata for the book. All I would say is that if code you know to be correct according to the book isn't working, check Wrox's list & you'll probably find the answer.

I have spent some time working with VB in the past and also had no problem understanding the VB examples although I didn't use them.

I really would recommend this book to anybody with a programming background who wants to find out whether ASP is for them & their project.
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on 2 April 2013
This book is brilliant, and I already had the previous version, but I wanted to use some of the newer software such as SQL server 2012, and this book allowed me to do so. Brilliant for anyone who is trying to learn ASP.net
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on 18 December 2009
I tried ploughing through this book as a tutorial but found it to be hard work so I gave up after the first hundred pages or so. It seemed like hard work for a 'Beginning' book and although it is a thick book I think the information it covers is fairly basic with lots of mentions of how you should buy the next book and a lot of 'do this, then do this' without enough explanation. As always with Wrox books I am always a bit disappointed with the general production quality of the book such as the cheap paper, ugly typefaces, lack of editing, poor index etc.

Instead I started reading the Sitepoint ASP.NET book and found it refreshingly shorter, more methodical and more user-friendly while also going into more detail.

I also have the Pro ASP.NET (Apress) book and I think that is a really good 'professional' book and covers a lot of information, but the Sitepoint book is much better as a tutorial if you are completely new to ASP.NET.

I think that this book falls between two stools - as a beginner book, it is too long-winded and too dry and as a professional book, it isn't comprehensive enough.
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