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Book Review: The Microsoft .NET Platform and Technologies

  • December 27, 2001
  • By Developer.com Staff
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by John Corrigan

This book attempts to explain what .NET is, what the basic components are, and what it can do for you. The book is composed of two parts: the first part (seven chapters and 76 pages) describes the .NET platform and some of its technologies - XML, ASP.NET, the Common Language Runtime, Web Services, etc. The second part describes each of the .NET servers.

The book is aimed more at managers/decision makers who need summary information about .NET and is at a fairly high level. There are only a few code samples provided in the book and those are in VB. One ASP .NET code sample seems to have lost a few characters resulting in interesting events like Button1_click. Some users I know might actually attempt that. Anyhow, this is not a book for someone looking for code samples or programming techniques.

It appears that the book is a bit dated when reading the chapter on XML. They go through some samples of parsing and binding to XML documents, but it is all shown with ADO 2.X and the MSXML parser. The new capabilities provided by ADO.NET and the System.XML classes render the old techniques obsolete when discussing .NET. Additionally, some of the key technologies of .NET were either hardly mentioned or not covered at all - ADO.NET, Windows Forms and C# in particular.

The chapters covering Microsoft's servers comprise the bulk of the book (130 pages). There is a chapter devoted to each of: BixTalk Server, Commerce Server 2000 and Host Integration Server 2000, Application Center Server 2000, Internet Security and Acceleration Server 2000, Exchange Server, SQL Server 2000, and Mobile Information Server and Sharepoint Portal Server. Each of the chapters provides a summary of what the server does, why it is used, system requirements for running the server and some frequently asked questions concerning each server. There is a lot of good information here that would help individuals learn about the capabilites of the Microsoft products.

I think the authors accomplished their objective in providing a concise overview of .NET although as mentioned above, some of the material is dated and a number of .NET features are not covered. The $40 price seems a bit high considering the content and the fact that most of the basic .NET information provided is readily available on the many .NET web sites and information on Microsofts servers can be found on the .NET servers pages on Microsofts site. An additional resource that I have just looked at and would recommend is .NET Magazine. The Fall/Winter 2001 issue has a lot of good information on .NET for all levels.

About the book:

The Microsoft .NET Platform and Technologies
by Curt Simmons and Ash Rofail
Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0-13-034178-9
Pages: 254
Price: $39.95

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