Microsoft & .NETVisual BasicBook Review: Developing ASP Components

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Looking to create your own components to simplify that ASP work? Good idea, but it can get a little sticky.

So here to help out is a new O’Reilly book that claims it can show you how to extend ASP with Visual Basic, Visual C++ or Visual J++.

But does it try to do too much work in too few pages?

Read on…

Review of Developing ASP Components

The thing I’ve always liked about the O’Reilly books is the size. They’re usually neat and compact and when sitting on my bookshelf, tend to disappear in the shadows of those giant red Wrox publications.

But for a company that specialise in "In a Nutshell" publications, Developing ASP Components is still fairly long 500 pages in all. And that’s a fairly big nutshell.

So how does its content stand up? Well, the book is split into two core parts. The first gives a background on ASP, whilst the second focuses on creating components in your favourite language.

Now the first part is pretty darn good. It provides a nice thorough overview without excess detail, covering everything from COM to MTS even touching on the likes of threads.

But it’s not for beginners. Don’t expect to come to this publication without a basic knowledge of ASP. Although you don’t need to know any of the principles behind COM and such technologies, an acquaintance with Active Server Pages is presumed.

The second part of the book contains all the real juice; it demonstrates how you can develop COM components for specific use in an ASP environment. And we’re not just talking about Visual Basic here Visual C++ and Visual J++ are also fully covered.

And the Visual Basic section was very well put together, with a hefty dollop of handy hints and tips that only come from real-world experience. This chapter starts out with a simple example, then goes on to look at accessing data through ADO, with a final section on utilising an n-tier architecture.

But all the stuff we VB folk are really interested in finishes at around page 260, leaving another 240 pages for the wastepaper basket. Tsk, waste of a good branch, if you ask me.


A good book on creating COM components in your favourite programming language, with a view to using them within an ASP environment. Well-written and relatively concise, though not for ASP newbies.

Developing ASP Components from O’Reilly at

ISBN: 1565924460

Price: US $29.95; UK ~#15.95

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