This book is different from most others you can find in bookstores. Most offerings in this area are mainly reference books that dissect every little detail of version 2.0 of ASP.NET or the .NET Framework and that – in the best cases – provide a short listing to illustrate each feature. Marco’s book has a radically different approach: he explains how you can assemble all ASP.NET 2.0’s features and leverage its power to design, develop, and deploy a full-featured Web site. Don’t be fooled by the TheBeerHouse being a fictitious site for a fictitious customer: if the main differences between a sample application and a real-world Web site are the performance, security, robustness, scalability, and care for details that you expect from a commercial site, then Marco’s TheBeerHouse is more real-world than most real-world sites I have seen recently.
In fact, unlike most real site authors, Marco was able to take all the time he needed to implement an impressive list of features and fix all the bugs he bumped into. And unlike most sample application authors, he never took a shortcut and never ignored the problems that developers have to solve every day in the real world. For sure, the overall quality exceeds what you might expect from a mere “book sample” and, as of this writing, it’s the best demonstration of ASP.NET 2.0’s new features, including Microsoft’s own starter kits.
From a teaching perspective, the great value of this book is the rationale underlying all the design and implementation decisions taken in the development phase. Marco does more than just describing what he did: he lists the pros and cons of all the alternatives he tried out and explains how he found the perfect solution (or the best compromise) to each problem. It’s like having an expert sitting besides you, able to read your mind, and ready to fix your mistakes before you have a chance to make them. Can you ask for more? -- Francesco Balena, author of widely popular Microsoft Press books.