This book is for anyone who wants to learn how to build rich andinteractive web sites that run on the Microsoft platform. With theknowledge you gain from this book, you create a great foundation tobuild any type of web site, ranging from simple hobby-related websites to sites you may be creating for commercial purposes.
Anyone new to web programming should be able to follow alongbecause no prior background in web development is assumed althoughit helps if you do have a basic understanding of HTML and the webin general. The book starts at the very beginning of webdevelopment by showing you how to obtain and install Visual WebDeveloper. The chapters that follow gradually introduce you to newtechnologies, building on top of the knowledge gained in theprevious chapters.
Do you have a strong preference for Visual Basic over C# or theother way around? Or do you think both languages are equally cool? Or maybe you haven't made up your mind yet and want to learn bothlanguages? Either way, you'll like this book because allcode examples are presented in both languages!
Even if you have some experience with prior versions of ASP.NET,you may gain a lot from this book. Although many concepts fromprevious versions are brought forward into ASP.NET 4, you'lldiscover there's a lot of new stuff to be found in this book,including an introduction to the ADO.NET Entity Framework, theinclusion of jQuery, ASP.NET AJAX, the many changes to the ASP.NET4 Framework, and much more.
This book teaches you how to create a feature-rich, data-driven,and interactive web site called Planet Wrox. Although this is quitea mouthful, you'll find that with Visual Web Developer 2010,developing such a web site isn't as hard as it seems. You'll seethe entire process of building a web site, from installing VisualWeb Developer 2010 in Chapter 1 all the way up to putting your webapplication on a live server in Chapter 19. The book is dividedinto 19 chapters, each dealing with a specific subject.
- Chapter 1, “Getting Started with ASP.NET 4”shows you how to obtain and install Visual Web Developer 2010.You'll get instructions for downloading and installing the freeedition of Visual Web Developer 2010, called the Express edition.You are also introduced to HTML, the language behind every webpage. The chapter closes with an overview of the customizationoptions that Visual Web Developer gives you.
- Chapter 2, “Building an ASP.NET Web Site”shows you how to create a new web site and how to add new elementslike pages to it. Besides learning how to create a well-structuredsite, you also see how to use the numerous tools in Visual WebDeveloper to create HTML and ASP.NET pages.
- Chapter 3, “Designing Your Web Pages.” VisualWeb Developer comes with a host of tools that allow you to createwell-designed and attractive web pages. In this chapter, you seehow to make good use of these tools. Additionally, you learn aboutCSS, the language that is used to format web pages.
- Chapter 4, “Working with ASP.NET ServerControls.” ASP.NET Server Controls are one of the mostimportant concepts in ASP.NET. They allow you to create complex andfeature-rich web sites with very little code. This chapterintroduces you to the large number of server controls that areavailable, explains what they are used for, and shows you how touse them.
- Chapter 5, “Programming Your ASP.NET WebPages.” Although the built-in CSS tools and the ASP.NETServer Controls can get you a long way in creating web pages, youare likely to use a programming language to enhance your pages.This chapter serves as an introduction to programming with a strongfocus on programming web pages. Best of all: all the examples yousee in this chapter (and the rest of the book) are in both VisualBasic and C#, so you can choose the language you like best.
- Chapter 6, “Creating Consistent Looking WebSites.” ASP.NET helps you create consistent-looking pagesthrough the use of master pages, which allow you to define theglobal look and feel of a page. Skins and themes help you tocentralize the looks of controls and other visual elements in yoursite. You also see how to create a base page that helps tocentralize programming code that you need on all pages in yoursite.
- Chapter 7, “Navigation.” To help yourvisitors find their way around your site, ASP.NET comes with anumber of navigation controls. These controls are used to build thenavigation structure of your site. They can be connected to yoursite's central site map that defines the pages in your web site.You also learn how to programmatically send users from one page toanother.
- Chapter 8, “User Controls.” User controls arereusable page fragments that can be used in multiple web pages. Assuch, they are great for repeating content such as menus, banners,and so on. In this chapter, you learn how to create and use usercontrols and enhance them with some programmatic intelligence.
- Chapter 9, “Validating User Input.” A largepart of interactivity in your site is defined by the input of yourusers. This chapter shows you how to accept, validate, and processuser input using ASP.NET Server Controls. Additionally, you see howto send e-mail from your ASP.NET web application and how to readfrom text files.
- Chapter 10, “ASP.NET AJAX.” Microsoft ASP.NETAJAX allows you to create good-looking, flicker-free web pages thatclose the gap between traditional desktop applications and webapplications. In this chapter you learn how to use the built-inAjax features to enhance the presence of your web pages, resultingin a smoother interaction with the web site.
- Chapter 12, “Introducing Databases.”Understanding how to use a database is critical to building websites, as most modern web sites require the use of a database.You’ll learn the basics of SQL, the query language thatallows you to access and alter data in a database. In addition, youare introduced to the database tools found in Visual Web Developerthat help you create and manage your SQL Server databases.
- Chapter 13, “Displaying and Updating Data.”Building on the knowledge you gained in the previous chapter, thischapter shows you how to use the ASP.NET data-bound and data sourcecontrols to create a rich interface that enables your users tointeract with the data in the database that these controlstarget.
- Chapter 14, “LINQ and the ADO.NET EntityFramework.” LINQ is Microsoft’s solution foraccessing objects, databases, XML, and more. The ADO.NET EntityFramework (EF) is Microsoft's new technology for database access.This chapter shows you what LINQ is all about, how to use thevisual EF designer built into Visual Studio, and how to write LINQto EF queries to get data in and out of your SQL Serverdatabase.
- Chapter 15, “Working with Data—AdvancedTopics.” While earlier chapters focused mostly on thetechnical foundations of working with data, this chapter looks atthe same topic from a front-end perspective. You see how to changethe visual appearance of your data through the use of controlstyles. You also see how to interact with the data-bound controlsand how to speed up your application by keeping a local copy offrequently accessed data.
- Chapter 16, “Security in Your ASP.NET 4 WebSite.” Although presented quite late in the book,security is a first-class, important topic. This chapter shows youhow to make use of the built-in ASP.NET features related tosecurity. You learn about a number of application services thatfacilitate security. You also learn how to let users sign up for anaccount on your web site, how to distinguish between anonymous andlogged-on users, and how to manage the users in your system.
- Chapter 17, “Personalizing Web Sites.”Building on the security features introduced in Chapter 16, thischapter shows you how to create personalized web pages with contenttargeted at individual users. You see how to configure and useASP.NET Profile that enables you to store personalized data forknown and anonymous visitors.
- Chapter 18, “Exception Handling, Debugging, andTracing.” In order to understand, improve, and fix thecode you write for your ASP.NET web pages you need good debuggingtools. Visual Web Developer ships with great debugging support thatenables you to diagnose the state of your application at run time,helping you find and fix problems before your users do.
- Chapter 19, “Deploying Your Web Site.” By theend of the book, you should have a web site that is ready to beshown to the world. But how exactly do you do that? What are thethings you need to know and understand to put your web site out inthe wild? This chapter gives the answers and provides you with agood look at configuring different production systems in order torun your final web site.
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About the Author
Imar Spaanjaars is a Microsoft ASP.NET MVP and runs his own company called De Vier Koeden in the Netherlands, specializing in Internet and intranet pplications built with Microsoft technologies like ASP.NET 4. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including ASP.NET 2.0 Instant Results and Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# and VB, and is one of the top contributors to the Wrox Community Forum at p2p.wrox.com.
Table of Contents
Getting Chapter 1: Started with AS P.NET 4 1
Chapter 2: Building an AS P.NET Web Site 33
Chapter 3: Designing Your Web Pages 65
Chapter 4: Working with AS P.NET Server Controls 105
Chapter 5: Programming Your AS P.NET Web Pages 139
Chapter 6: Creating Consistent Looking Web Sites 197
Chapter 7: Navigation 239
Chapter 8: User Controls 271
Chapter 9: Validating User Input 297
Chapter 10: AS P.NET AJAX 331
Chapter 11: jQuery 367
Chapter 12: Introducing Databases 403
Chapter 13: Displaying and Updating Data 433
Chapter 14: LIN Q and the ADO .NET Entity Framework 477
Chapter 15: Working with Data — Advanced Topics 529
Chapter 16: Security in Your AS P.NET 4 Web Site 579
Chapter 17: Personalizing Web Sites 619
Chapter 18: Exception Handling, Debugging, andTracing 655
Chapter 19: Deploying Your Web Site 697
Appendix A: Exercise Answers 731
Appendix B: Configuring SQL Server 2008 757
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
On page 407. No major errors in examples found so far. Easy to follow examples make learning less difficult. Ah dia, ah dia, ah dats all folks!
The book rewards if you take the time to absorb the information, do the exercises, and follow building the example project.