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Book Review: JScript.NET Programming

  • November 28, 2001
  • By Developer.com Staff
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by Jim Maioriello

The NET Framework consists principally of the Common Language Runtime (CLR), the .NET Class Library and the Common Type System. Writing software for the .NET platform means you will write code using a .NET compliant programming language designed to inherit functionality from the Class Libraries. This code gets compiled into a metadata representation that is managed by the CLR when you run the executable file. Therefore, to program to .NET means you must become one with the .NET Class Libraries. In addition, programming languages that conform to the .NET specification are strongly typed and fully compliant with Object Oriented Programming Principles. This must be the case in order to write code to take advantage of the .NET Class Library and the benefits of writing code for the CLR. If you keep this in mind as you read JScript.NET Programming, you get a better appreciation for the main points discussed by Essam Ahmed.

JScript.NET Programming is written for intermediate and advanced programmers to introduce them to what they need to know to use JScript.NET in writing write code for .NET. The book takes a holistic approach to the topic by covering a wide range of material in sufficient detail to get the reader started with JScript.NET. The topics range from a review of JScript to discussion of issues with migrating ASP code to ASP.NET in order to take advantage of the .NET framework. The author also covers basic UML notation, Object Oriented Programming concepts one can use to fully take advantage of the capabilities of JScript.NET and basic principles of software engineering.

The material is organized into five parts and three appendices. In the first part, entitled "Introducing .NET and JScript.NET," the author begins by giving the reader an overview of the .NET framework. He briefly discusses web forms, web services, and Visual Studio .NET. The author does a particularly fine job of describing the functions of each component in the .NET framework, how they are related to one another and how they execute code. This section also introduces you to the JScript.NET programming language and describes how it fits into the big picture.

The second part of book is dedicated to a review of JScript. If you have experience programming with JScript, you should be able to breeze through the material. You may be able to skip the section, although the author does do a good job of presenting the material with enough content to make it worth reading.

Part three entitled, "JScript Essentials: What Every JScript.NET Developer Should Know," is where you begin to examine some code. The section gives you an opportunity to test drive JScript.NET and explore some of the new features. Microsoft needed to make JScript a strongly typed, object oriented programming language in order to give the programmer a way to take advantage of the .NET framework to create web-based applications. The section uses several examples, each designed to highlight a new feature, to introduce you to the details of writing JScript.NET code for the .NET platform. The examples introduce you to the new JScript.NET data types, and show you how to write code to inherit functionality from the .NET Class Libraries. The examples illustrate some of the capabilities programming for the .NET platform. The author also uses examples to introduce you to Visual Studio .NET's debugging and error handling capabilities, and how write exception handling code in JScript.NET.

Part four discusses Object Oriented Programming and Software Engineering principles that you can use design your code. The author gives a practical and pragmatic overview on UML and how to use UML notation to create systems analysis artifacts, such as UML models and diagrams. The author shows you how to implement UML constructs with JScript.NET code. The examples are nice to use you need to write JScript.NET code from UML diagrams for the first time.

The last section, entitled "Putting it All Together," walks you through two sample ASP.NET applications implemented with JScript.NET code. The first application is called a data explorer and exposes the table structures in a Microsoft Access database. The application uses two web forms to interact with the user and shows you how to write JScript.NET code to implement ADO.NET. The second application is a Windows Service designed to manage the content furnished by hypothetical news providers to a web service provider. As you work your way through the code in each of the samples, you will see how JScript.NET is used to take advantage of the Class Library to write .NET software. This section also describes a phased strategy for upgrading ASP code to ASP.NET. Finally, the author introduces you to issues in migrating to ADO.NET.

The book concludes with appendices dedicated to a review of UML notation, translating UML patterns into JScript.NET Code and an XML primer.

The book is accompanied by software you need to download as a single zip file from the publisher's website. In addition, you will need Visual Studio .NET Beta 2, the .NET Framework Beta 2 and IIS installed on your environment to run all the sample code. You also need to configure the samples so they run on your environment. The author provides a good explanation of how this is done. The zip file I downloaded was missing some of the source code you need to compile a form generator utility called X-Forms. Hopefully, the missing source code has been added to the download by the time you read this. Once properly configured, I had no problems running the sample code. I found it useful to make a printout of the source code so I could place, in proper context, the code snippets displayed in the book. Otherwise, you will need to spend a lot of time reading this book in front of your computer to fully understand the code snippets.

JScript.NET Programming is an excellent book to read if you are looking for an introduction to programming with JScript.NET. Concepts are developed logically as you work your way through each chapter, making the book easy to follow. The book makes use of cross-references and notes sprinkled alongside the text that provide links to relevant topics presented elsewhere in the book or to give additional information. The main points I came aaway after reading JScript.NET Programming are: 1) JScript.NET is a full featured programming language designed for .NET, and 2) writing code for .NET means the programmer must be fluent with OOP principles in order to take advantage of the .NET Class Libraries when writing JScript.NET code.

I enjoyed reading JScript.NET Programming. The author managed to find a good balance in covering a wide range of topics with sufficient detail to make the book informative. Despite the missing source code files and a couple of typos, the book is an excellent introduction to JScript.NET and furnishes the intermediate or advanced programmer with a review of concepts and skills required to take full advantage of JScript.NET in writing software for .NET.

About the book:

Title: JScript .NET Programming
ISBN: 0-7645-4868-9
Author: Essam Ahmed
Publisher: M&T Books
Price: $39.99 US
Media: None

Click HERE to buy.

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