ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated (Microsoft .net Development Series)

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Overview

“This book is a phenomenal start for someone new to ASP.NET, as well as a complete guide to the new features of version 2.0 for programmers familiar with an earlier version. The beginning chapters detail concepts using a hypothetical company, examining the myriad sorts of requests and situations often requested by clients. The authors deal with these in an eloquent, realistic manner. They have clearly worked in the industry and have faced real-world challenges that programmers encounter daily. The content covers everything from the most basic tasks to the most complex, and is a comprehensive collection of information on ASP.NET 2.0. Every topic is well-referenced for additional information, but contains clear examples that work. The content is technical but the clear writing makes it easy to understand. Difficult concepts are explained in such a way that this book will quickly become your favorite reference for ASP.NET!”
—Ronda Pederson, consultant, Microsoft MVP Visual Developer, ASP/ASP.NET
“As to be expected from two of today’s leading technical authors, this book is a cracking guide to getting the most from the ASP 2.0 Framework. Detailed chapters, concise yet practical examples, and clear explanation provide the grounding and support necessary to leverage the new features that ASP 2.0 brings to the table—all explained with a logical, no-nonsense approach. This book will be borrowed by every developer you work with, so guard it wisely!”
—John Timney, Microsoft MVP, senior Web services consultant, British Telecom
“This book will absolutely change the way you view ASP.NET technology. Read it and your existing Web sites will suddenly appear to be underperforming.”
—Chris Carpenter, senior software engineer, L3 Communications, Inc.
“The authors have worked closely with the ASP.NET team at Microsoft to makesure that this book is authoritative, accurate, and informative. Anyone usingASP.NET will find a wealth of useful information on ASP.NET 2.0.”
—Scott Guthrie, general manager, .NET Developer Platform, Microsoft Corporation

Developers moving to ASP.NET 2.0, the breakthrough Web development environment from Microsoft, will want to learn how to take full advantage of the new features that make this the most productive and powerful Web development environment ever. ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated teaches developers exactly what they need to know to create exciting Web sites and applications quickly and easily using ASP.NET 2.0.

Renowned authors, developers, and conference speakers Alex Homer and Dave Sussman have written a concise, detailed exploration of the “must learn” features of ASP.NET 2.0. The book’s many original examples, fully updated for the release version of ASP.NET 2.0, are all downloadable from the authors’ Web site, and many can be run live online.

The authors provide detailed coverage of

  • Connecting to databases, using data source and data display controls with SQL statements and stored procedures; creating business layers and data layers with custom classes and Typed DataSets; and providing declarative access to business and data layers
  • Techniques for improving the scalability and responsiveness of data-driven sites, including caching techniques for data and ASP.NET pages
  • Binding to XML, transforming XML, updating XML data, and managing XML data stored in SQL Server 2005
  • Building interactive Web forms with a wide variety of ASP.NET controls
  • Understanding and using the core functionality of the Page class and key .NET Framework classes
  • Providing a consistent sitewide look and feel using Master Pages
  • Six ways to provide site navigation, including the new navigation controls
  • Securing sites and implementing membership and roles
  • Using profiles, personalization, and themes in your applications
  • Building user-customizable Web portals with Web Parts
  • Supporting multiple browsers, disabled users, mobile devices, and international users
  • Creating and consuming Web services

Developers will come away from this book knowing exactly how to build secure, efficient, visually consistent, easy-to-navigate, data-driven Web sites with ASP.NET 2.0.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Alex Homer and Dave Sussman are ASP.NET gods: They are the people to learn ASP.NET 2.0 from.

Their ASP.NET 2.0 Illustrated starts with an innovative “day-in-the-life” chapter demonstrating exactly how ASP.NET 2.0 streamlines the development process. In one chapter, you’ll walk through the basic steps needed to display data; enable row sorting, paging, editing, and filtering; work with data exposed through business objects; use caching to improve performance; deliver a consistent look-and-feel, and add effective navigation.

Then, the authors drill down, illuminating ASP.NET 2.0’s remarkable power one feature at a time. You’ll master data source and display controls; data binding, working with XML, building interactive Web Forms, enforcing security and creating membership-based sites; constructing web portals; supporting mobile devices, and much more. And yes, to paraphrase one of the authors’ chapter titles, it really is that easy. Bill Camarda, from the July 2006 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321418340
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 6/30/2006
  • Series: Microsoft .NET Development Series
  • Pages: 756
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Homer is a computer geek and Web developer with a passion for ASP.NET, who doubles as a consultant, trainer, and speaker. Together with Dave Sussman, he has written many books on Microsoft technologies, including ASP.NET v. 2.0--The Beta Version (Addison-Wesley, 2005). He and Dave are the only two Microsoft "Software Legends" from the UK.

Dave Sussman speaks frequently at Microsoft development conferences and has been writing about ASP since its earliest release. Together with Alex Homer, he has written many books on Microsoft technologies, including ASP.NET v. 2.0--The Beta Version (Addison-Wesley, 2005). He and Alex are the only two Microsoft "Software Legends" from the UK.

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Read an Excerpt

It was late in the afternoon on a cold and rainy day in 1996 as we sat in the office in Birmingham, England, staring at a blank page in Internet Explorer 3 and wondering when the old Gateway 386 server under the desk would finally finish grinding through a dbWeb query and produce some results. The e-mail, from a small offshoot of the IIS team at Microsoft, arrived as we waited, asking if we would be interested in looking at a new product ("still under development") called Denali. Why not? It seemed that the case study for the final chapter of our book on Web site and database integration was going nowhere.

So we installed Denali 0.9 and started to play with it. Somewhere about ten in the evening, blown away by what we were seeing, the decision was made. The final chapter of the book would be a preview of this amazing new technology—released to the public some months later as Active Server Pages. Little did we realize then that this one event would determine the direction of our future writing career, right up to the current day.

What is remarkable, comparing ASP 1.0 with the current ASP.NET 2.0 release, is how much has changed in the past ten years. Our first book about ASP included the history of the Internet, a comprehensive reference to HTML 3.2 and a new styling language called CSS, a full tutorial on VBScript, plusdescriptions and examples of every object, method, and property of ASP and its associated database access technology, called ActiveX Data Objects. We even had room in the 1,000 or so pages to cover the SQL language, using MTS and MSMQ, building COM components, a few case studies, and a raft of appendices.

Now, with ASP.NET, we could fill 1,000 pagesjust describing server controls. ASP.NET has grown up to become a fully fledged, rich, and all-encompassing language-agnostic technology suitable for building any type of Web-based application. Covering all of ASP.NET 2.0 and the associated .NET Framework classes to the same level of detail as our first book on Active Server Pages would fill a whole shelf in your bookcase!

Instead, this book aims to provide you with the concise and detailed information on ASP.NET 2.0 that you need to build great Web sites and Web-based applications. We've attempted to share with you our passion for ASP.NET, our experience of working with it over many years, and our long and fruitful relationship with the team at Microsoft. We hope that you, too, will develop the same passion for ASP.NET as we have. What Do I Need to Use This Book?

This book is aimed at developers who are reasonably familiar with the Web, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the C# language. We have tried to avoid using code or concepts that are obscure or unduly complex, instead concentrating on the techniques and technologies in ASP.NET 2.0.

The examples were developed in Visual Studio 2005, though you can use Visual Web Developer (VWD) if you only have this available. You will also need access to a database—either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server Express Edition as installed with Visual Studio 2005 and VWD. You can download the examples, and run many of them online, from our server at http://www.daveandal.net/books/8344/. Alternatively, you can obtain the samples from the Addison-Wesley Web site at http://www.awprofessional.com/msdotnetseries.

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Table of Contents

Figures xix

Tables xxix

Preface xxxi

Acknowledgments xxxiii

About the Authors xxxv

1. Technology, Tools, and Getting Started 1

New Features of ASP.NET 2.0 2

Changes from Version 1.x 19

Obtaining and Installing .NET 2.0 19

Upgrading and Deploying Applications 21

Installing the Samples 21

Summary 22

2 Is It Really This Easy? 23

A Day in the Life of a Developer 24

Summary 52

3 Data Source and Data Display Controls 53

Databases and Connections 54

Data Source Controls 59

Data Display and Edit Controls 72

Summary 104

4 Data Binding to Business Objects 105

Two- and Three-Tier Architecture 106

The ObjectDataSource Control 113

Typed Data Sets 122

Summary 131

5 Advanced Data and Page Techniques 133

DataSource Control Events 134

GridView and DetailsView Events 144

Handling Data Editing Conflicts 145

SQL Server 2005 User-De*ned Types 159

Additions to UDTs 168

Summary 176

6 Data and Output Caching 177

Application, Session, HttpContext, and ViewState Caching 178

Output Caching 185

Data Caching 195

The Cache API 210

When to Use Caching 216

Summary 218

7 Working with XML 219

Working with XML in Visual Studio 2005 220

Databinding and Displaying XML Data 222

Transforming XML 230

Working with Raw XML 236

Converting between XML and Relational Data 247

Working with SQL Server 2005 XML Data 248

Summary 255

8 Building Interactive Web Forms 257

The ASP.NET Control Set 258

The ASP.NET Page and Postback Model 306

Summary 308

9 The Page Class and Master Pages 309

The HttpRequest, HttpResponse, HttpServerUtility, and HttpContext Classes 310

The ASP.NET Page Class 319

Sub-Classing the Page Object 343

Working with Master Pages 344

Summary 351

10 Web Site Navigation Techniques 353

Simple Navigation with Hyperlinks 354

Navigation with LinkButton Controls 358

Navigation through Browser Redirection 366

Navigation through Server-Side Redirection 369

Cross-Page Posting of Form Contents 377

Site Maps, Menus, and Navigation Path Controls 381

Summary 393

11 Security and Membership 395

Preventing Anonymous Access to Web Sites 396

ASP.NET Membership Provider and Role Manager 408

The ASP.NET Web Site Administration Tool 414

The ASP.NET Security Server Controls 441

Accessing the Membership and Roles Features in Code 451

Summary 457

12 Profiles, Personalization, and Themes 459

Configuring Profiles and Personalization 460

Storing and Using Dynamic Profile Data 471

A Simple Example of Using a Shopping Cart 474

Using Themes to Personalize Your Site 487

Summary 503

13 Building Web Portals 505

The ASP.NET 2.0 Portal Framework 506

The WebPart Manager 509

WebParts and Authorization 512

Zones and WebParts 513

Catalog Zones 523

Editor Zones 525

Connecting WebParts Together 533

Summary 545

14 Usability, Accessibility, Mobile Devices, Localization 547

Page Validation, Browser Capabilities, and Alternative Content 548

Making Your Pages Easier to Use 559

Supporting Disabled Users and Specialist User Agents 562

Building Pages for Small-Screen and Mobile Devices 587

Supporting Localization and Multiple Languages 600

Summary 616

15 Using the Framework Classes 619

The Example Application 620

Storing Data with the System.Collections Classes 628

Reading, Writing, and Compressing Data with the System.IO Classes 638

Creating Graphics and Images with the System.Drawing Classes 652

Accessing the Internet with the System.Net Classes 656

Accessing Active Directory with the System.DirectoryServices Classes 669

Encrypting Data with the System.Security.Cryptography Classes 673

Summary 678

16 Web Services 679

Web Services 680

Creating Web Services 681

Consuming Web Services 690

Controlling How Data Is Transferred in Web Services 694

Web Service Enhancements 701

The Future of Web Services 708

Summary 708

Index 711

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Preface

It was late in the afternoon on a cold and rainy day in 1996 as we sat in the office in Birmingham, England, staring at a blank page in Internet Explorer 3 and wondering when the old Gateway 386 server under the desk would finally finish grinding through a dbWeb query and produce some results. The e-mail, from a small offshoot of the IIS team at Microsoft, arrived as we waited, asking if we would be interested in looking at a new product ("still under development") called Denali. Why not? It seemed that the case study for the final chapter of our book on Web site and database integration was going nowhere.

So we installed Denali 0.9 and started to play with it. Somewhere about ten in the evening, blown away by what we were seeing, the decision was made. The final chapter of the book would be a preview of this amazing new technology—released to the public some months later as Active Server Pages. Little did we realize then that this one event would determine the direction of our future writing career, right up to the current day.

What is remarkable, comparing ASP 1.0 with the current ASP.NET 2.0 release, is how much has changed in the past ten years. Our first book about ASP included the history of the Internet, a comprehensive reference to HTML 3.2 and a new styling language called CSS, a full tutorial on VBScript, plusdescriptions and examples of every object, method, and property of ASP and its associated database access technology, called ActiveX Data Objects. We even had room in the 1,000 or so pages to cover the SQL language, using MTS and MSMQ, building COM components, a few case studies, and a raft of appendices.

Now, with ASP.NET, we could fill 1,000 pages just describing server controls. ASP.NET has grown up to become a fully fledged, rich, and all-encompassing language-agnostic technology suitable for building any type of Web-based application. Covering all of ASP.NET 2.0 and the associated .NET Framework classes to the same level of detail as our first book on Active Server Pages would fill a whole shelf in your bookcase!

Instead, this book aims to provide you with the concise and detailed information on ASP.NET 2.0 that you need to build great Web sites and Web-based applications. We've attempted to share with you our passion for ASP.NET, our experience of working with it over many years, and our long and fruitful relationship with the team at Microsoft. We hope that you, too, will develop the same passion for ASP.NET as we have.

What Do I Need to Use This Book?

This book is aimed at developers who are reasonably familiar with the Web, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and the C# language. We have tried to avoid using code or concepts that are obscure or unduly complex, instead concentrating on the techniques and technologies in ASP.NET 2.0.

The examples were developed in Visual Studio 2005, though you can use Visual Web Developer (VWD) if you only have this available. You will also need access to a database—either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server Express Edition as installed with Visual Studio 2005 and VWD. You can download the examples, and run many of them online, from our server at http://www.daveandal.net/books/8344/. Alternatively, you can obtain the samples from the Addison-Wesley Web site at http://www.awprofessional.com/msdotnetseries.

Read More Show Less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2006

    rich feature set for UI design

    This recent book by Homer and Sussman gives a pretty comprehensive exposition of ASP.NET version 2.0. You might compare it to another recent text, 'ASP.NET 2.0 Unleashed' by Walther. That book chose to give its examples in Visual Basic. Whereas Homer and Sussman provide theirs in C#. In terms of C# knowledge, you need a general acquaintance with its syntax, to easily follow this book. Possibly, the 'Illustrated' in the title refers to the copious number of screen captures. Given that you want to make dynamic web pages with ASP, this is very appropriate. Especially when a lot of the text is devoted to explaining the many user interface widgets and associated interactions. Version 2 gives you a rich feature set. Take the Wizard control, for example. It has many possible configurations, where you can decide whether its various subparts are visible or not. And possibly providing custom images for some visible parts. Along with giving style information, where this can be done in a centralised manner across many of your dynamic pages. The latter is done via Master Pages and Themes, and extends the idea of Cascading Style Sheets. There is also an interesting chapter on making pages for mobile devices and small screen devices. If you know Java, which is the main competing language, then it splits into a dialect called J2ME for mobile and small devices. Whereas ASP.NET seems to hold out the prospect of staying within the main language. But I can't tell from the text if this usage is actually practical. Sun had to make J2ME instead of J2SE [normal Java] out of necessity. Because of the severe resource constraints of gadgets like cellphones. Surely ASP/C# runs into the same constraints?

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