ASP.NET MVC Framework Preview – A review

I’ve just finished reading Steven Sanderson’s book ASP.NET MVC Framework Preview published by APress. While the book was short I felt it did give me a bit of an introduction to ASP.NET MVC. Although I have to admit that I could have probably got that from reading a number of articles.

The book is split in to a number of areas that could be summarised as Why? How? and Where? The Why? (chapter 1) describes why you would want to use ASP.NET MVC over traditional ASP.NET*. The How? (chapter 2) describes how you would create a web application with ASP.NET MVC and the Where? (chapter 3) describes the other architecture that ASP.NET MVC fits in with. Then, finally, there is an appendix that describes some of the new language features of C# 3.0 and I felt that this was added just to try and bulk the book out a little bit.

I have to admit that when I first opened the package containing the book I was a little disappointed by the size. When I opened the book I was more disappointed when I saw that, conversely, the font size was larger than I was expecting too.

If you already have an idea that you want to use ASP.NET MVC and why then chapter 1 can easily be skipped. If you are already familiar with n-tier development, ORM, IoC, unit testing and so on then chapter 3 can be skimmed quite quickly. That leaves the real meat of the book just in the 30 pages that is chapter 2.

Despite all the negative things that I have said up to this point, I rather like Steven’s writing style. It is clear and and easy to follow. There are a fair number of footnotes for clarification or to point you off in the direction of more information that is outside the scope of the book. He’s given enough information that a person could confidently make a stab at creating a starter application using ASP.NET MVC without too much trouble.

In short, I’m looking forward to Steven Sanderson’s 500 page and hopefully much more in depth Pro ASP.NET MVC book coming out in January 2009.

* I think this is where terminology is going to get slightly confusing. We already talk about “Classic ASP” when referring to ASP as it was before .NET came along. Now we have “Traditional ASP.NET” to refer to ASP.NET before MVC. Of course, traditional ASP.NET isn’t going away, just as the traditional songs I was taught at school haven’t gone away just because a bunch of rock-stars have come along and created new songs. (I was going to say pop-stars, then I realised they don’t tend to write their own songs these days)

1 Comment

  1. Hi Colin! Thanks for checking out the preview version of my book. You’re right that the preview book doesn’t go into great depth about the ASP.NET MVC Framework – it focuses on the surrounding principles instead.That’s partly because it’s a short (100-page) preview, but mostly because it was written to tie in with a particular CTP in the middle of 2008, at a time when the ASP.NET MVC Framework changed dramatically every month or so. Any deep specific detail written at that time would be out-of-date by now, whereas core architectural principles are still relevant.I hope you’ll check out the final 500-page edition, which does contain a huge amount of technical detail about ASP.NET MVC v1.0, e.g., all its APIs and extensibility points. This will be published when ASP.NET MVC gets its RTM release, because that’s the point when all this information becomes fixed.

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