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Short review of "Pro ASP.NET MVC 2 Framework"

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Published by: Apress
ISBN: 1430228865

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One Minute Bottom Line

This is a review of a book that can be considered a fundamental resource for those who want to start with MVC2.


Before I go further with this review, I must mention that I am in no way a guy who knows a lot about web development. I worked with ASP.NET WebForms, HTML & CSS, JavaScript and PHP in some projects - I am quite familiar with the fundamentals and I generally have no problem building a web project from scratch when needed. But it never was my focus - I mainly work on Windows and mobile applications.

Recently, I decided to work on a complex web project and since it had quite a few ramifications as a system, I decided that it is time to start learning the MVC framework since it offers a more organized structure when it comes to building maintainable (and trust me, the project I am working on will require more maintenance, extension and adjustment work than development effort).

Pro ASP.NET MVC2 Framework had a number of positive reviews on Amazon, so I decided to pick it up, and I must say that it was totally the right choice. As I said before, I am already familiar with the fundamentals (including .NET) so in several situations I don't need to start with the very basic "how-to". However, what I noticed about this book is the fact that it shows how to get to a speicific point step-by-step - there was never an assumption that the user knows something and in some cases, the book covers topics beyond its scope.

If you are already familiar with .NET and C# (because that is the language that is used in the book), it will be a big plus for you since it will be possible to focus on the core web development rather than try understanding the used classes and methods. But if it's not the case, it's not a problem either and you can learn as you go.

The entire framework is covered pretty much from A to Z. Among the topics included in the book are Ajax, model binding, jQuery, controller extensibility and security. What is really interesting is that from the very beginning the reader follows a real-world example of a web application that is partially implemented in MVC, therefore it is really easy to understand why a specific concept of MVC is better than the same approach applied in the context of WebForms (providing this just as an example).

It is in no way a standard reference book (although it can be used as one) - it's focus group are beginners who never touched MVC and want to learn it from scratch. If you are a developer who wants to go beyond the fundamental MVC stuff, then probably you should look for another book - of course, there are some interesting topics discussed here as well, like unit testing and performance tuning, but their number is limited. On the other hand, if you are just starting in the world of MVC and want to learn the framework in an efficient and well-structured maner, then look no further - this book is for you.