I recently read “Pro ASP.NET MVC3 Framework” from Apress publishing, written by Adam Freeman and Steve Sanderson, which was recently released. I have been doing a lot of MVC work, and moving several of my projects over to MVC3, so the timing was perfect when my review copy showed up at my door.
One of the first thing that I truly appreciate with this text is their dedication to testing. After every concept discussed in the book, there is a section on how to unit test what was just covered. This amount of testing coverage is pretty unusual in a book that is not about testing, so it was a very nice surprise. Not to worry if testing isn’t your cup of tea (although I would argue it needs to be), because they wrote the testing sections in such a way that you can skip over them if you want to and it doesn’t take anything away from the rest of the text.
As far as the topics covered, it’s all in there. From the basic intro (experience MVC developers can probably skip over that section) to writing a real application with MVC are all covered in Part 1. Nothing like getting real, practical information from the start!
Part 2 goes into greater detail of key topics like:
- URLs, Routing, and Areas
- Controllers and Actions
- Controller Extensibility
- Model Templates
- Model Binding
- Unobtrusive AJAX, and
Part 3 covers Security, Authorization and Authentication, and Deployment. Must have information that is often left out, since you need to put your application somewhere so others can use it as well as make sure it is secure.
All of the views are shown with the new Razor syntax, which is great, since we have all been working with the WebForms View Engine for a long time, and there really isn’t any need to show both syntaxes, as it wouldn’t have added anything to the value of the book. Besides, Razor is the expected go forward view engine for MVC.
One of the authors (Steve Sanderson) works for Microsoft and is on the MVC team, and that adds an incredible amount of value to the writing. It truly is an insider’s view into the framework.
I put this book in the “must have” category if you are going to be working with ASP.NET MVC3!