What Others Are Saying About Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# And VB

It's been more than six months since my latest book, Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# And VB, has been released, so it's a good time to look back a little, see how the book has been received and what people think about it.

During that time I literally received hundreds of e-mails, forum posts, book reviews and comments about my book. Below you find a number of these quotes. Some are anonymous, as I don't know whether these people want their name to show up here. If you recognize your quote and you want your name added, send me a message.

By the way, your book is awesome and so is the help that you're giving me. You're going way beyond the role of just an author; you obviously care to help others and THAT says a lot.
(Gerard, in a private e-mail conversation)

Thanks for your quick reply! You did a fantastic job on this book. I took some very expensive technical training for ASP and tried various other ASP.NET books and didn't get much out of it. This book blows them away. Could have saved a bunch of money :)
(Mike, in a P2P forum post)

Your book on asp.net 3.5 rocks, i enjoyed every bit of it. Thanks to your book i am taking the path to become a software programmer myself and taking some baby steps while being in my current job.
(Anonymous, in a private e-mail conversation)

I purchased your book "Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB" last week and I am currently working through the exercises.

I am enjoying the fact that I can also bring myself up to date with .NET and the new Web Technologies from your book for which I am very  grateful, thanks you!
(Anonymous, in a private e-mail conversation)

I work at a small college, my current class is 7 students, and I chose your book myself. I skimmed through it at Barnes & Noble and was blown away. I really like your presentation, what you cover, and the order you cover it in. I called my department head from the store at 10.00pm at night and asked him to cancel my old book order for the new term and get your book instead. I am a full-time developer, as well as teaching development in college, and I liked your practicality of choices. Thank you so much for a great textbook.


(Jefferson Brumfield, in a private e-mail conversation)

However, with Imar Spaanjaars' book, I finally feel comfortable with ASP.NET 3.5.


In this book Imar works through the steps of creating of an actual, fully-functional, ASP.NET 3.5 Web site, that's actually not that bad (ignoring some questionable design).


Unlike other books, Imar covers both the Express and commercial versions of Visual Studio, in a very unobtrusive way. In addition, Imar doesn't rely solely on the ASP.NET components, but gives a good deal of actual programming, in both C# and VB (in a very clean, comfortable, way).




Overall, my faith in the ability of Web developers to write good books has been restored by this tome (and at over 700 pages, tome it is). A Web developer Imar is, and to us, as equals, is to whom he speaks. This is clearly seen in his summaries and tips, at the end of each chapter.


I give this book 5 stars of 5. If you've read the other books and been left sad, confused, and/or angry, this is the volume to pick up.


Note: I will be reading this book twice, once I've finished with Professional ASP.NET 3.5. There is so much in this book that bears repeating, and many things that I'm sure I missed in my first read, since it's so full of (valuable) information.
(James Skemp, in an on-line review of the book)

I am finding your book very enjoyable to work through and a great teaching tool.
(Brian, in a P2P forum post)


- Superb beginning overview of VWD.
- Excellent starting grounds on the controls and what they are capable of. Really [g]ood start on databases and SQL.
- LINQ is covered well.
- As well as deployment, debugging security also covered well for a beginner. Excellent customer service on the Wrox.com forums. This is probably one of the reasons I picked up your book in the first place, as your customer service was great on a forum for one of your other books (which i[']m going to read now that I have confidence in this book)



For me, there is not enough covered on programming. For example, methods appear out of no where.(Page 419 specifically comes to mind when you use e.values and e.newValues) Although you do explain it well in "how it works", there is no fundamental covering on where they come from (namespaces etc). I realize ASP.NET is huge and you could not possibly cover every single detail possible. But when using something in your book it would be great to explain where it comes from :)




My apologies with the con section of your book. Instead for further editions of you book, you should have an introduction section on where to find parts of the .NET framework that you should use in your applications! :)

I take back what I said about the programming part of it, as I guess I couldn't express my problem properly.
(aspcoder, in a P2P forum post)

I'm thoroughly enjoying the book. I've been a classic ASP programmer for about 10 years. I have wanted to learn .Net for years, but have been too busy keeping up with my classic ASP work to give it a go. If I would have known just how powerful and easy asp.net is, I would have made a stronger effort to learn it sooner
(Mark Selby, in a private e-mail conversation)

I think this is a great start for anyone looking to get into ASP.NET. The entire book takes you through creating a professional-looking website. The book was very well thought out and I have yet to see any errors. I've found the author to be very responsive on the WROX website, as well.
(Eric Smith, on Amazon.com)

I am using this text as the basis for a university-level business web application development course. It is a better introduction to ASP.NET 3.5 than any textbook I have found. The chapters unfold logically, each new skill building on the last. The prose is clear and relaxed. The code examples are correct and clearly presented. Imar has used the same organization and logic skills needed for good programming to produce an excellent book!
(Deborah J. Ballou, on Amazon.com)

It turns out you can't satisfy everyone:

Not even 50 pages into the book, the author has made at least two easily spotted spelling errors as well as launching into using jargon many beginners wouldn't know shortly before spending half a page walking someone slowly through changing a single Windows display option.


Checking the short list of errata on the website, and these errors are not even listed...
(An anonymous JD, on Amazon.com)

JD doesn't realize that in order to put errata on the web site, someone has to report it. Apparently, he didn't bother to do it himself, so it's still not on the list. Since I don't know what errors he's talking about, I can't fix nor report them myself. Thank you JD!

Fortunately, others don't agree with this review:

I have looked at several ASP.NET books but this particular one seems to be the best so far. The chronology of the book and the Try It Out sections are great. They force to learn by doing the hands on exercises. The book makes learning the ASP.NET subject very easy. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn the subject matter. The negative reviews that some people have levied on this book are unfounded. You can't base your opinion by reading one chapter. This book would also be a great reference material.
(S. Hussain, on Amazon.com)

I made a decision about three months ago that I would use ASP.NET to create a new database-driven website. I immediately bought a couple of heavyweight reference books that came well recommended. However, as soon as I opened their covers I realised that my previous background as an Access VBA programmer was insufficient to let me leapfrog the early stages of the fairly steep ASP.NET learning curve.

A book called Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 seemed like an obvious choice to fill that gap. Luckily, it does that job very well. Unlike the two reference books I got initially, this is one that is worth reading from cover to cover. Imar Spaanjaars covers a very wide range of topics in the demo application that is the core of the book, without delving into them any deeper than is appropriate for the target audience (at various points, he suggests further reading if you want to investigate specific topics more thoroughly).

This book has proved invaluable in kick-starting my first ASP.NET development, which is now about halfway to completion.
(Music lover, on Amazon.co.uk)

I am very impressed with this book. There are many books out there to help you build a web page, but get this one - it's ideal.


The book is definitely designed for the beginner (like me) and the book is set out for you to work through as a course. It's easy to read, and contains regular practical exercises for you to follow in which you'll build an actual web site. The exercises are the key to it's success. It covers a topic, then gives you an exercise to demonstrate that topic, then does a quick review to reinforce the information.




Being a programmer already, I found the book a little simple in places, which is probably a good thing, because it means that non-programmers could pick this book up and use it. I just skip over the bits that are obvious to me.


I am really pleased I bought this. I needed to upgrade my skills to web development and this book is definitely helping me to do that. It's an absolute must.
(SharonUK, on Amazon.co.uk)

Where to Next?

Wonder where to go next? You can read existing comments below or you can post a comment yourself on this article .

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Feedback by Other Visitors of Imar.Spaanjaars.Com

On Wednesday, September 10, 2008 9:42:22 AM Kunal Bahadure said:
Hello sir, I m from India. Your book is so helpfull as i am a beginner in asp.net.
Thanks a lot.
On Monday, September 15, 2008 10:09:30 AM sunil said:
Hi Imar
I got very interested about your new book asp.net 3.5..
Is there any Plans of Having a book Similar to your Previous book (ASP.NET 2.0 Projects) Instant Results
Having Project Examples Using ASP.NET 3.5

On Monday, September 15, 2008 5:17:15 PM Imar Spaanjaars said:
Hi sunil,

There are currently no plans to write an update of the Instant Results book.


On Wednesday, October 8, 2008 5:16:56 PM yousaid said:
Your instant Results book is one of the best books out there. I have used it several times to get started on an application and have recommended it to several friends who also actively use it.
So are you planning on a new version that focuses on  DotNet 3.5?
Btw: I also have your new book and it is GREAT that you wrote in both VB and C#. Writing in both languages gives those of us learning C# best of both worlds. I work in a language I already know and then learn a new language from one book. I have followed your writings from my DreamWeaver days.
Keep it up !!
On Saturday, October 11, 2008 7:58:47 PM John Kochendorfer said:
I purchased book Beginning Asp.Net 3.5 and getting along fine with "Try it Out" untill I got to Chap. 9 page 310 item 5 request Email.aspx in browser and to page 316 item 7 click the send button. Then comes the Message!

Server Error in '/' Application.
Unable to read data from the tranport connection: net_io_connectionclosed.

I am using Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition on Windows XP pro but I don't have IIS ( Do I need it? ) I've tried everything I can think of without success. Can I get help or does my learning end with Chap 9?
On Sunday, October 12, 2008 10:48:42 AM Imar Spaanjaars said:
Hi John,

That sounds like a problem with the mail server. Did you configure an (external) mail server as explained on page 308? And does that server require you to authenticate? If so, did you specify a user name and password as explained on page 309?

I don't think a single error with a mail server qualifies as a reason to have your learning end here.... ;-)

If this doesn't help, can you please post follow up questions in the book's forum at http://p2p.wrox.com/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=386 That way, others can join and learn from the discussion as well.


On Tuesday, October 14, 2008 7:33:34 AM Gopal said:
Hello Imar,

I bought your book Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# And VB. It is great book and learned lot. I need to develop an online scholarship application using ASP.NET, VB.NET and SqlServer 2005.

  The Scholarship Application form have 3 to 5 screens full of information to be entered by students and it need to be stored in Sqlserver 2005. If scholarship application exists then allow the student modify using ASP.NET & VB.NET.

I had difficult time to find some type of sample example using ASP.NET in books and internet. Any help you can give to me on this?

Also when I checked the Gridview, Formview, DetailView there are Edit, Select, Inert, Update type of buttons (or actions).
  Is there anyway I can bind the sqlserver 2005 fields to different textbox and design my own screens instead of these Gridview, formview etc? May be I am thinking of regular old VB /Access DB programming here.

  Your help and advice is always appreciated. Refer me to some text books explained in detail about using SQLServer 2005 with multiple screens to maintain sqlserver database with few tables. Or any website I can explore for this purpose or any video tutorial on internet. Any hip is really appreciated.
On Tuesday, October 14, 2008 4:25:49 PM Imar Spaanjaars said:
Hi Gopal,

One obvious choice would be Professional ASP.NET 3.5, also by Wrox.

Additionally, you may want to check out the official ASP.NET web site at http://www.asp.net

Finally, the ASP.NET category of the Wrox forums at http:/p2p.wrox.com would be a great place to ask specific questions for any problems you may have.

Hope this helps,


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