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A Review of "ASP.NET Data Web Controls Kick Start" from Sams Publishing

by John Peterson
ASP.NET Data Web Controls Kick Start

They Got Me To Do It Again (Again!)

A while ago I wrote a review of "ASP.NET Distributed Data Applications" from Wrox Press. As I mentioned in that review, I don't particularly like doing book reviews, but apparently I have a problem saying no because when they asked me to do another one, before I even though about it, I had whipped off a reply saying "Sure... I'll do it". That review of "Professional ASP.NET Web Forms Techniques" is here.

Now don't get me wrong. I like the people at Wrox and all, but in the last couple years I've sort of fallen out of touch with the people I know there so I only did the reviews as a professional courtesy and to let our readers know what they could expect from the books. So... when Scott Mitchell, with whom I work on a regular basis, came to me and asked if I could take a look at his new book, I really couldn't say no now could I? So, just like last time, I agreed to take a look, and also just like last time I put it off for a good long while. Finally (again - just like last time) I got sick of the book taking up space on my desk and decided to bite the bullet...

So I'm saying it now... (and quoting a cheesy 80's movie in the process) "This was the last time. Yeah until the next time."

Another Specific Topic

Like the last two reviews I've done... this book is not a general "learn ASP.NET" book. It's designed specifically for developers who want to learn everything they can about data-binding web controls, in particular the DataGrid, DataList, and Repeater. While the book does start from the beginning in terms of the data controls, it assumes you already have a decent handle on the basics. While all but the novice developer should be able to keep up, if you don't already have at least a passing knowledge of ASP.NET you should probably find a book to help you get up to speed first. In a nutshell, Sams' user level indication of intermediate is relatively appropriate.

Specifics - Not This Time!

I was going to go through and tell you what I liked and didn't like about the book like I usually do, but to tell you the truth, there's really no need. I like almost everything about this book.

Scott has come through once again with his typical clearly written style and covers the topics quickly and painlessly. Unless you're running a bunch of presence sites or you only deal with ASP.NET occasionally, you're eventually gonna need to do more then the "plain vanilla" DataGrid, DataList, or Repeater handles. When this day comes, have this book at your side. The book lists for only $35 (and is less then $25 online)... at this price it's a must have for anyone who needs to do anything except the most very basics with the ASP.NET Data Web Controls.

Conclusion

If you work with the DataGrid, DataList, or Repeater Web Controls in any real capacity at all, then this is the book to get. Don't just take my word for it, check out the reviews over at Amazon. When I checked, every reviewer had given it a perfect (and well-deserved) 5 stars!

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