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How This Book Is Structured

ASP.NET in a Nutshell, Second Edition, consists of four parts. Part I, provides an introductory tutorial to ASP.NET consisting of the following 11 chapters:

Chapter 1

Provides an overview of the .NET Framework and the features of ASP.NET.

Chapter 2

Describes the types of applications that can be written with ASP.NET and discusses the file types used by ASP.NET and the structure of an ASP.NET application.

Chapter 3

Describes the structure of ASP.NET Web Forms, including page directives, coding styles, event handling, and page output caching.

Chapter 4

Describes the web services architecture provided by ASP.NET and shows how to create and consume web services in ASP.NET. It also shows how to publish and locate web services.

Chapter 5

Describes the HTML controls and web controls built into ASP.NET and shows how to use them in your ASP.NET pages.

Chapter 6

Describes two of the reuse techniques available in ASP.NET—user controls and custom server controls—and shows when and how to take advantage of each to enable code reuse in your applications.

Chapter 7

Describes ADO.NET, the new technology for data access in the .NET Framework, and shows you how to use ADO.NET and the new data binding framework of ASP.NET to quickly build robust data-driven pages.

Chapter 8

Describes the new configuration system in ASP.NET and shows you how to configure your application for several common scenarios.

Chapter 9

Describes the new authentication and authorization features in ASP.NET and shows you how to take advantage of them in your applications.

Chapter 10

Describes the new structured exception handling features of the Visual Basic .NET language and the tracing feature of ASP.NET. It also shows you how to use these new features, along with the .NET Framework SDK Debugger and/ or Visual Studio .NET, to troubleshoot and debug your applications.

Chapter 11

Describes the options available for deploying ASP.NET applications and shows you how to take advantage of them.

Like classic ASP, ASP.NET exposes a number of intrinsic objects to every page. These objects provide information on requests, allow sending of or manipulation of responses, and provide useful utility functions. Part II, documents each of the classes that provide the functionality for the Application, Context, Request, Response, Server, and Session intrinsics, as well as for the HttpException class and the Page class, which forms the basis for each ASP.NET page. Part II also includes a reference of the most common elements of the web.config configuration file.

The first reference section provides detailed information on the classes that replace classic ASP intrinsic objects, on the Page class, and on the elements found in the web.config file. Each chapter is divided into the following sections to help you locate the information you're looking for quickly:


This section introduces the class and describes its purpose and common uses.


This section lists the most commonly used properties, methods, collections, and events of the class. Members that are inherited from a base class or not typically used may be omitted.


This section provides information about gotchas to watch out for when using the class, as well as other important things to be aware of.


This section describes the properties for the class and provides examples of their use.


This section describes the collections for the class and provides examples of their use.


This section describes the methods for the class and provides examples of their use.


This section describes the events for the class, and provides examples of their use. Note that not all classes expose events, so not every chapter will have an "Events" section.

Because ASP.NET is considerably broader in the scope of its APIs than classic ASP, Part III, provides a high-level reference of the namespaces that are most relevant to ASP.NET development. These namespaces include:


The chapter covering each namespace describes each of the types contained in the namespace, and lists all members of each type.

Finally, the book includes one appendix, Appendix A: Type, Method, Property, and Field Index, which contains an alphabetical listing of the types and members found in Part III. You can use it to determine the namespace to which a particular type or member in which you're interested belongs.

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