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ASP.NET 3.5 Professionals If you are an experienced ASP.NET programmer, this is the forum for your 3.5 questions. Please also see the Visual Web Developer 2008 forum.
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Old April 1st, 2008, 05:25 PM
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Default ASP.NET 3.5 answers in Professional ASP.NET 3.5

If you're looking for ASP.NET 3.5 answers and you know how to program, the Wrox book Professional ASP.NET 3.5: in C# and VB is a good place to start. Here's the introduction from the book to help you decide if it will help you with ASP.NET 3.5:

What You Need for ASP.NET 3.5
You might find it best to install Visual Studio 2008 to work through the examples in this book; you can, however, just use Microsoft’s Notepad and the command-line compilers that come with the .NET Framework 3.5. To work through every example in this book, you need the following:
  • Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista
  • Visual Studio 2008 (this will install the .NET Framework 3.5)
  • SQL Server 2000, 2005, or 2008
  • Microsoft Access or SQL Server Express Edition
The nice thing is that you are not required to have Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) to work with ASP.NET 3.5 because ASP.NET includes a built-in Web server based on the previously released Microsoft Cassini technology. Moreover, if you do not have a full blown version of SQL Server, don’t be alarmed. Many examples that use this database can be altered to work with Microsoft’s SQL Server Express Edition, which you will find free on the Internet.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book was written to introduce you to the features and capabilities that ASP.NET 3.5 offers, as well as to give you an explanation of the foundation that ASP.NET provides. We assume you have a general understanding of Web technologies, such as previous versions of ASP.NET, Active Server Pages 2.0/3.0, or JavaServer Pages. If you understand the basics of Web programming, you should not have much trouble following along with this book’s content.
If you are brand new to ASP.NET, be sure to check out Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB by Imar Spaanjaars (Wrox, 2008) to help you understand the basics.
In addition to working with Web technologies, we also assume that you understand basic programming constructs, such as variables, For Each loops, and object-oriented programming.
You may also be wondering whether this book is for the Visual Basic developer or the C# developer. We are happy to say that it is for both! When the code differs substantially, this book provides examples in both VB and C#.
What This Book Covers
This book spends its time reviewing the 3.5 release of ASP.NET. Each major new feature included in ASP.NET 3.5 is covered in detail. The following list tells you something about the content of each chapter.
  • Chapter 1, “Application and Page Frameworks.” The first chapter covers the frameworks of ASP.NET applications as well as the structure and frameworks provided for single ASP.NET pages. This chapter shows you how to build ASP.NET applications using IIS or the built-in Web server that comes with Visual Studio 2008. This chapter also shows you the folders and files that are part of ASP.NET. It discusses ways to compile code and shows you how to perform cross-page posting. This chapter ends by showing you easy ways to deal with your classes from within Visual Studio 2008.
  • Chapters 2, 3, and 4, These three chapters are grouped here because they all deal with server controls. This batch of chapters starts by examining the idea of the server control and its pivotal role in ASP.NET development. In addition to looking at the server control framework, these chapters delve into the plethora of server controls that are at your disposal for ASP.NET development projects. Chapter 2, “ASP.NET Server Controls and Client-Side Scripts,” looks at the basics of working with server controls. Chapter 3, “ASP.NET Web Server Controls,” covers the controls that have been part of the ASP.NET technology since its initial release and the controls that have been added in each of the ASP.NET releases. Chapter 4, “Validation Server Controls,” describes a special group of server controls: those for validation. You can use these controls to create beginning-to-advanced form validations.
  • Chapter 5, “Working with Master Pages.” Master pages are a great capability found in ASP.NET . They provide a means of creating templated pages that enable you to work with the entire application, as opposed to single pages. This chapter examines the creation of these templates and how to apply them to your content pages throughout an ASP.NET application.
  • Chapter 6, “Themes and Skins.” The Cascading Style Sheet files you are allowed to use in ASP.NET 1.0/1.1 are simply not adequate in many regards, especially in the area of server controls. When using these early versions, the developer can never be sure of the HTML output these files might generate. This chapter looks at how to deal with the styles that your applications require and shows you how to create a centrally managed look-and-feel for all the pages of your application by using themes and the skin files that are part of a theme.
  • Chapters 7, “Data Binding in ASP.NET 3.5.” One of the more important tasks of ASP.NET is presenting data, and this chapter shows you how to do that. ASP.NET provides a number of controls to which you can attach data and present it to the end user. This chapter looks at the underlying capabilities that enable you to work with the data programmatically before issuing the data to a control.
  • Chapter 8, “Data Management with ADO.NET.” This chapter presents the ADO.NET data model provided by ASP.NET, which allows you to handle the retrieval, updating, and deleting of data quickly and logically. This new data model enables you to use one or two lines of code to get at data stored in everything from SQL Server to XML files.
  • Chapter 9, “Querying with LINQ.” The new addition to the .NET Framework 3.5 is the much-anticipated LINQ. LINQ is a set of extensions to the .NET Framework that encompass language-integrated query, set, and transform operations. This chapter introduces you to LINQ and how to effectively use this new feature in their web applications today.
  • Chapter 10, “Working with XML and LINQ to XML.” Without a doubt, XML has become one of the leading technologies used for data representation. For this reason, the .NET Framework and ASP.NET 3.5 have many capabilities built into their frameworks that enable you to easily extract, create, manipulate, and store XML. This chapter takes a close look at the XML technologies built into ASP.NET and the underlying .NET Framework.
  • Chapter 11, “IIS 7.0 Development.” Probably the most substantial release of IIS in its history, IIS 7.0 will change the way you host and work with your ASP.NET applications. IIS 7.0 is part of Windows Server 2008.
  • Chapter 12, “Introduction to the Provider Model.” A number of systems are built into ASP.NET that make the lives of developers so much easier and more productive than ever before. These systems are built upon an architecture called a provider model, which is rather extensible. This chapter gives an overview of this provider model and how it is used throughout ASP.NET 3.5.
  • Chapter 13, “Extending the Provider Model.” After an introduction of the provider model, this chapter looks at some of the ways to extend the provider model found in ASP.NET 3.5. This chapter also reviews a couple of sample extensions to the provider model.
  • Chapter 14, “Site Navigation.” It is quite apparent that many developers do not simply develop single pages—they build applications. Therefore, they need mechanics that deal with functionality throughout the entire application, not just the pages. One of the application capabilities provided by ASP.NET 3.5 is the site navigation system covered in this chapter. The underlying navigation system enables you to define your application’s navigation structure through an XML file, and it introduces a whole series of navigation server controls that work with the data from these XML files.
  • Chapter 15, “Personalization.” Developers are always looking for ways to store information pertinent to the end user. After it is stored, this personalization data has to be persisted for future visits or for grabbing other pages within the same application. The ASP.NET team developed a way to store this information—the ASP.NET personalization system. The great thing about this system is that you configure the entire behavior of the system from the web.config file.
  • Chapter 16, “Membership and Role Management.” This chapter covers the membership and role management system developed to simplify adding authentication and authorization to your ASP.NET applications. These two systems are extensive; they make some of the more complicated authentication and authorization implementations of the past a distant memory. This chapter focuses on using the web.config file for controlling how these systems are applied, as well as on the server controls that work with the underlying systems.
  • Chapter 17, “Portal Frameworks and Web Parts.” This chapter explains Web Parts— a way of encapsulating pages into smaller and more manageable objects. The great thing about Web Parts is that they can be made of a larger Portal Framework, which can then enable end users to completely modify how the Web Parts are constructed on the page—including their appearance and layout.
  • Chapter 18, “HTML and CSS Design with ASP.NET.” A lot of focus on building a CSS-based Web application was placed on Visual Studio 2008. This chapter takes a close look at how you can effectively work with HTML and CSS design for your ASP.NET applications.
  • Chapter 19, “ASP.NET AJAX.” AJAX is a hot buzzword in the Web application world these days. AJAX is an acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML and, in Web application development; it signifies the capability to build applications that make use of the XMLHttpRequest object. New to Visual Studio 2008 is the ability to build AJAX-enabled ASP.NET applications from the default install of the IDE. This chapter takes a look at a new way to build your applications.
  • Chapter 20, “ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit.” Along with the new capabilities to build ASP.NET application which make use of the AJAX technology, there are a series of new controls that are now available to make the task rather simple. This chapter takes a good look at the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit and how to use this toolkit with your applications today.
  • Chapter 21, “Security.” This security chapter discusses security beyond the membership and role management features provided by ASP.NET 3.5. This chapter provides an in-depth look at the authentication and authorization mechanics inherent in the ASP.NET technology, as well as HTTP access types and impersonations.
  • Chapter 22, “State Management.” Because ASP.NET is a request-response–based technology, state management and the performance of requests and responses take on significant importance. This chapter introduces these two separate but important areas of ASP.NET development.
  • Chapter 23, “Caching.” Because of the request-response nature of ASP.NET, caching (storing previous generated results, images, and pages) on the server becomes rather important to the performance of your ASP.NET applications. This chapter looks at some of the advanced caching capabilities provided by ASP.NET, including the SQL cache invalidation feature which is part of ASP.NET 3.5.
  • Chapter 24, “Debugging and Error Handling Techniques.” Being able to handle unanticipated errors in your ASP.NET applications is vital for any application that you build. This chapter tells you how to properly structure error handling within your applications. It also shows you how to use various debugging techniques to find errors that your applications might contain.
  • Chapter 25, “File I/O and Streams.” More often than not, you want your ASP.NET applications to work with items that are outside the base application. Examples include files and streams. This chapter takes a close look at working with various file types and streams that might come into your ASP.NET applications.
  • Chapter 26, “User and Server Controls.” Not only can you use the plethora of server controls that come with ASP.NET, but you can also utilize the same framework these controls use and build your own. This chapter describes building your own server controls and how to use them within your applications.
  • Chapter 27, “Modules and Handlers.” Sometimes, just creating dynamic Web pages with the latest languages and databases does not give you, the developer, enough control over an application. At times, you need to be able to dig deeper and create applications that can interact with the Web server itself. You want to be able to interact with the low-level processes, such as how the Web server processes incoming and outgoing HTTP requests. This chapter looks at two methods of manipulating the way ASP.NET processes HTTP requests: HttpModule and HttpHandler. Each method provides a unique level of access to the underlying processing of ASP.NET and can be powerful tools for creating web applications.
  • Chapter 28, “Using Business Objects.” Invariably, you are going to have components created with previous technologies that you do not want to rebuild but that you do want to integrate into new ASP.NET applications. If this is the case, the .NET Framework makes it fairly simple and straightforward to incorporate your previous COM components into your applications. Beyond showing you how to integrate your COM components into your applications, this chapter also shows you how to build newer style .NET components instead of turning to the previous COM component architecture.
  • Chapter 29, “Building and Consuming Services.” XML Web services have monopolized all the hype for the past few years, and a major aspect of the Web services model within .NET is part of ASP.NET. This chapter reveals the ease not only of building XML Web services, but consuming them in an ASP.NET application. This chapter then ventures further by describing how to build XML Web services that utilize SOAP headers and how to consume this particular type of service.
  • Chapter 30, “Localization.” Developers usually build Web applications in the English language and then, as the audience for the application expands, they then realize the need to globalize the application. Of course, the ideal is to build the Web application to handle an international audience right from the start, but, in many cases, this may not be possible because of the extra work it requires. ASP.NET provides an outstanding way to address the internationalization of Web applications. You quickly realize that changes to the API, the addition of capabilities to the server controls, and even Visual Studio itself equip you to do the extra work required more easily to bring your application to an international audience. This chapter looks at some of the important items to consider when building your Web applications for the world.
  • Chapter 31, “Configuration.” Configuration in ASP.NET can be a big topic because the ASP.NET team is not into building black boxes; instead, it is building the underlying capabilities of ASP.NET in a fashion that can easily be expanded on later. This chapter teaches you to modify the capabilities and behaviors of ASP.NET using the various configuration files at your disposal.
  • Chapter 32, “Instrumentation.” ASP.NET 3.5 gives you greater capability to apply instrumentation techniques to your applications. The ASP.NET framework includes performance counters, the capability to work with the Windows Event Tracing system, possibilities for application tracing (covered in Chapter 24 of this book), and the most exciting part of this discussion—a health monitoring system that allows you to log a number of different events over an application’s lifetime. This chapter takes an in-depth look at this health monitoring system.
  • Chapter 33, “Administration and Management.” Besides making it easier for the developer to be more productive in building ASP.NET applications, the ASP.NET team also put considerable effort into making it easier to manage applications. In the past, using ASP.NET 1.0/1.1, you managed ASP.NET applications by changing values in an XML configuration file. This chapter provides an overview of the GUI tools that come with this release that enable you to manage your Web applications easily and effectively.
  • Chapter 34, “Packaging and Deploying ASP.NET Applications.” So you have built an ASP.NET application now what? This chapter takes the building process one-step further and shows you how to package your ASP.NET applications for easy deployment. Many options are available for working with the installers and compilation model to change what you are actually giving your customers.
  • Appendix A, “Migrating Older ASP.NET Projects.” In some cases, you build your ASP.NET 3.5 applications from scratch, starting everything new. In many instances, however, this is not an option. You need to take an ASP.NET application that was previously built on the 1.0, 1.1, or 2.0 versions of the .NET Framework and migrate the application so that it can run on the .NET Framework 3.5. This appendix focuses on migrating ASP.NET 1.x, or 2.0 applications to the 3.5 framework.
  • Appendix B, “ASP.NET Ultimate Tools.” This chapter takes a look at the tools available to you as an ASP.NET developer. Many of the tools here will help you to expedite your development process and in many cases, make you a better developer.
  • Appendix C, “Silverlight.” Called WPF/E during its development days and now called Silverlight, this is a means to build fluid applications using XAML. This new technology enables developers with really rich vector-based applications.
  • Appendix D, “ASP.NET Resources.” This small appendix points you to some of the more valuable online resources for enhancing your understanding of ASP.NET.

Jim Minatel
Acquisitions Director
Wiley Technology Publishing
WROX Press
Blog: http://wroxblog.typepad.com/
Wrox online library: http://wrox.books24x7.com
Jim Minatel
Associate Publisher, WROX - A Wiley Brand
Blog: http://p2p.wrox.com/content/blogs/jminatel
Wrox on Twitter: http://twitter.com/wrox
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