Interview with Mary Delamater, author of Murach’s ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with C# 2012

ASP.NET 4.5 is one of the popular programming frameworks for the web which allows developers to build applications using VB or C#. Murach ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with C# 2012 consists of 23 chapters divided into 5 sections. The chapters in Section 1 provide a basic introduction to ASP.NET Web programming, including the steps required to develop single-page and multi-page Web applications. This section also examines how to test and debug an ASP.NET application, including coverage of HTML5 and CSS5.

While Section 2 examines the use of standard server and validation controls, master pages, state management, cookies, URL encoding, themes, site navigation in addition to routing ASP.NET, Section 3 examines database programming in detail, including the use of SQL data sources. and various controls such as GridView, DetailsView, FormView, ListView, DataPager and object data sources. Hope the coverage of this section helps developers a lot as they can not only learn the usage but also apply them in a real scenario.

Section 4 examines the steps required to secure a website in addition to the use of email, custom error pages, and back button control. The authors also provide comprehensive coverage of various aspects related to user authentication and authorization in addition to configuring and deploying ASP.NET 4.5 applications.

The final section examines the use of Ajax and the steps involved in developing WCF and Web API services. The final chapter provides comprehensive coverage of ASP.NET MVC.

Murach ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with C# 2012 will be useful for IT training centers as they can use the book as material for a 3-6 month web development course. The publisher provides the first two chapters in downloadable format along with the required tools that must be installed to take advantage of the book’s content on the official page. I would suggest the editor also include relevant links so readers can easily download them rather than locating on the web.

The publisher also provides an instructor CD on request which contains PowerPoint slides for classroom presentations, test banks, project ideas and code downloads, including a second set of exercises with their solutions which are not available in the book.

InfoQ recently reached out to Mary Delamater, one of the book’s co-authors to learn more about the effort she and Anne Boehm went into writing the book.

InfoQ: What inspired you to write the book?

Married: A lot has changed in ASP.NET and web development in general, so it was time to update the book to incorporate HTML5, ASP.NET MVC, updates to WCF services, REST web services like l Web API and many other changes from Visual Studio 2010 to Visual Studio 2012.

Personally, I’ve been building ASP.NET applications for clients for years and I read a lot of technical books and articles to keep up to date. I’ve always loved writing, and while reading these books, I often wondered if it would be fun to write one. Luckily for me, Murach Books was kind enough to offer me the opportunity to help review their ASP.NET book, which made me discover that writing one is fun! Everyone at Murach has been wonderful and I feel honored to be associated with such a quality product.

InfoQ: Can you share with us the difference between the other ASP.NET 4.5 books and the one in your book?

Married: There are a few things that make our ASP.NET 4.5 books different from other books. First, we try to focus on concrete examples. We don’t do the traditional “Hello World”, because we don’t think it’s very useful to someone trying to learn programming. Instead, we try to include examples that a reader might actually use in a real application.

For example, the first example in the ASP.NET 4.5 book is an application that calculates a future value based on values ​​entered by the user. This example is simple enough not to overwhelm the reader, but practical enough for the reader to find useful.

Along the same lines, we provide complete application examples so that readers can see how all parts interact. We think this provides a better grounding in the material than the parasitic code snippets you see in other books.

Another difference between our books and other books is that we try to take a more focused approach to the material. This means that rather than trying to explain every possible way to do something, we try to focus on what we consider to be the best or most efficient way to do something. This has the benefit of reducing information overload for the reader and providing the reader with information on best practices.

And, of course, our facing page format is very different from other books. This format requires us to organize the material coherently and present only the most relevant information, and leads to a better learning experience for readers.

InfoQ: I see you have provided a lot of content in each section. Do you think readers will spend time reading them?

Married: The beauty of the facing page format and the structure of the book in general is that the reader doesn’t have to spend time reading everything. A reader could skim through the entire book reading just the numbers (the information on the right side of the facing pages), skipping the text entirely (the information on the left side), and learning enough to build a fairly sophisticated website. apps.

Or, a reader can read only the first two sections and then choose what interests them from the remaining sections. In fact, if a reader only read the first section, they would still learn enough to build and test basic web applications.

This means that a reader doesn’t need to read the entire book to find it useful. A reader can start slow, gain hands-on experience, and then learn more as they progress. Or a reader can go through all the sections and all the exercises at the same time. The structure of the book lends itself to all sorts of learning styles and levels of time investment.

InfoQ: You devoted an entire chapter to MVC. Is this a demanding subject for developers?

Married: It depends on what you mean by demanding subject. If you mean learning is demanding for developers, the answer is yes, it can be. Especially for developers, like me, who have more experience with desktops and ASP.NET web forms, an MVC application is foreign territory.

I remember the first article I read about ASP.NET MVC when it came out – I was really shocked when I saw the code! For people with more classic ASP experience, the code may look more familiar, especially the inline data binding. But because the MVC structure is so modular and so different from that of classic ASP or ASP.NET, the learning curve is still quite good.

If you mean there’s a lot of demand for ASP.NET MVC, that’s a little less clear. As far as we know, most enterprise applications are still being built with ASP.NET Web Forms. But ASP.NET MVC is gaining traction and seems to account for around 30% of ASP.NET development today.

And, increasingly, online articles and examples use ASP.NET MVC instead of Web Forms. This is especially true on the MSDN website. So even if you’re not going to be building ASP.NET MVC applications yourself, it’s a good idea to have at least some familiarity with MVC just so you can understand the code samples you can find in line.

One thing to keep in mind about our ASP.NET MVC chapter is that it’s just an introduction. This only scratches the surface and doesn’t cover important MVC concepts like unit testing and dependency injection. But that should give readers a head start.

InfoQ: Can you share with us the importance of covering web services?

Married: With the rise of mobile computing, web services are gaining in importance. This is because people want to be able to access their apps on multiple devices, and the best way to achieve this is to provide the basic functionality of an app in a web service. Then you can have a website, a mobile app, and even a desktop app all accessing the service.

The book uses a sample web service that updates a store’s product categories. Since this is an ASP.NET book, the example uses a website to use the service, but you can just as easily use a WCF service or web API from a desktop or web application. a mobile app. This provides great flexibility in managing our multi-device world.

InfoQ: Do you plan to update the book with Visual Studio 2013 Preview?

Married: At this time we have no plans to update the book with the Visual Studio 2013 preview. From what we can tell, it looks like the release is minor and we don’t think that it will materially affect the book. Of course, if the release turns out to be more important than we think, we might consider adding a chapter upload discussing the relevant changes.

About the authors of the book

Marie Delamater holds a BA with Great Distinction from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. Mary came to TechKnowSolve working as a mental health counselor and later as a trainer at the Portland Department of Veterans Affairs regional office. Mary brings excellent communication and problem solving skills to TechKnowSolve. Mary holds several Microsoft certifications, including Microsoft Certified Professional, Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist, and Microsoft Certified Professional Developer, and is also proficient in non-Microsoft technologies such as PHP and MySQL. Mary focuses on web programming and query design. Recently, Mary partnered with professional programming book publisher Murach to review her ASP.NET offerings. ASP.NET 4.5 with C# is now available and the Visual Basic version is coming soon!

Anne Boehm has over 30 years of experience as a business programmer. She started with Visual Basic back in the days of VB5 and has been programming on .NET since its inception. Over the past 5 years she has added C# to her programming repertoire and has authored or co-authored books on Visual Basic, C#, ADO.NET and ASP.NET.