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ASP.NET Cookbook

Recipes for .NET success

The "cookbook" format has become quite popular in recent years as a vehicle for presenting ideas and code. Each chapter focuses in on a particular topic. Each topic contains a number of "recipes" that build upon other recipes to present ideas that may be of value to developers. As with real cookbooks, the quality of these programming "cookbooks" varies. Some cookbooks present only the entrees while others present a full-course meal. This book falls into the latter category. It is chock-full of recipes that as the authors state, "help you quickly and efficiently solve many of the day-to-day problems you face developing Web applications with the .NET platform." There is lots of code and the code is presented in both VB.NET and C# with appropriate comments. The code is highlighted when changes are made as you progress through the recipes in a chapter. The code can be downloaded as well. The authors maintain that the code can not only teach you a lot about ASP.NET, but also about software techniques and methodology. After reviewing their code you will agree.

The chapters cover a wide range of topics. For example, the authors begin the cookbook with an excellent treatment of datagrid use. They tackle the very real problem of "paging through a record-heavy datagrid" and offer a robust and well-thought-out solution. Have you ever wondered about how to set focus to a control that has a validation error? There are examples that demonstrate practical and ready-to-use ideas such as a file download handler. This recipe combines the concepts of building an HTTP handler with a multipurpose application to download files of any type. There is even a chapter on assorted tips that don't fit neatly into any other category. The book (see Book Image) is loaded with insights and suggestions as well things to look out for or avoid. There are lots of helpful charts and diagrams. For example, in the tabular data chapter the authors present a helpful overview of how to use the formatting string and in the chapter on caching, they offer important guidelines as to what types of Web pages are candidates for caching.

Each chapter begins with an introduction. Then, each recipe is presented as a problem to solve as well as the solution to the problem. A robust discussion of the solution then follows the solution. You can learn a lot from this book and it will be a valuable addition to your bookshelf.

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Steven Mandel has worked in the IT industry for over 15 years designing databases using Microsoft Access and SQL Server. He has developed Web and Windows applications using VB.NET and has written numerous articles and reviews about ASP.NET and VB.NET.

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