Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0
About once a week I get an email from a reader of ASP.NET Data Web Controls Kick Start wondering if I'm going to be updating the book for ASP.NET 2.0. (For those unfamiliar with the book, Data Web Controls Kick Start is a 350+ page book focusing entirely on working with the DataGrid, DataList, and Repeater controls in ASP.NET 1.x; the An Extensive Examination of the DataGrid Web Control article series was the impetus for the book.)
My answer to them is, “Yes, I'm writing an update to this book, but one that's entirely online.” In particular, I've been working on a series of “Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0” tutorials for Microsoft and am proud to announce that the first 10 of these tutorials are now available online!
The “Working with Data in ASP.NET 2.0” tutorials are modeled after the tutorial series started by Scott Guthrie and aim to provide step-by-step instructions (with lots of screen shots) on how to perform common data-related patterns. The first three tutorials constructs the architecture used by the other tutorials. The first tutorial, Create a Data Access Layer, shows how to create a DAL using Typed DataSets. The second tutorial looks at building a custom Business Logic Layer on top of that DAL, while the third implements the framework for the presentation layer, crafting the master page and site navigation for the tutorials website. The remaining seven tutorials provided currently show how to perform common data access scenarios using the architecture. The third tutorial looks at using the ObjectDataSource to access data from the BLL, while tutorials four and five look at using parameters with the ObjectDataSource. Tutorials six through ten focus on master/detail reporting scenarios.
There will be a total of 38 (or so) tutorials - I've currently turned in the first 28 to Microsoft and will be starting #30 this week. In addition to displaying data, future tutorials will look at editing, inserting, and deleting data, using optimistic concurrency, paging and sorting through data, and so on, and includes a multitude of examples using the GridView, DetailsView, FormView, DataList, and Repeater controls. All in all, these 38 (or so) tutorials, if printed, would likely consume around 250 pages of printed material.
What I like best about these tutorials is the way they're packaged up and presented, and my hat's off to the editors at Microsoft. My favorite “features” of this tutorial series, which differentiates it from much of the standard content on the MSDN website, are:
- All tutorials include both a C# and VB version
- Each tutorial can be downloaded as a printable PDF; also, you can download a single PDF that has the entire content for the first 10 tutorials
- When downloading the code, it downloads as an extractable ZIP file and not an MSI file; furthermore, you can download the code on a tutorial-by-tutorial basis, or download the entire code for the first 10 tutorials
- The HTML and source code presented inline in the article is color coded
As more tutorials from the series come online, I'll be sure to blog about them here...