Professional XML for .NET Developers

Professional XML for .NET Developers
Dinar Dalvi, Darshan Singh, Kevin Williams, Andy Olsen, J. Michael Palermo IV, John Slater, Bipin Joshi, Joe Gray, Fredrik Normn, Francis Norton
01 Dec 2001
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This book is aimed at intermediate-level programmers who have started on their journey towards .NET development, and who want to see how to use XML within their applications to its best advantage.

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  1. Editorial Reviews
  2. Customer Reviews

Customer Reviews

Brent said
VB or C which is it? I don't mind books the have syntax for both and C#. I also don't mind books that have JUST C#(since I don't know C# why would I mind this?). I Like books that have JUST VB.NET since thats what I like. But this book doesn't do any of these! It provides C# only on many occasions! And as a VB.NET only programmer its awfully hard to build on C# examples. It's almost as if the authors didn't know how to code everything in VB.NET and just skipped it sometimes.

Anonymous said
This book was published in Dec 01 which means it was written using .NET Beta 2. It is now completely out of date and many of the examples just don't work. To be fair, there is an "Update" document available for download from Wrox but wht not just buy an up to date book in the first place. My recommendation is "Applied XML Programming for Microsoft .NET" by Dino Esposito, # 0735618011.

Paulo E. Reichert said
I bought this book thinking that it was about XML and its applications in .NET, but I saw that it covers just how to use the class library of the framework to work with XML parser.

I'm not a novice to XML, but I can say that if you don't know XML or .NET this book will be quite hard to understand, and if you know them both you will not find too much use for its contents.

If you read books like Professional C# 2nd Edition and Professional ADO .NET Programming you will see a good part of the contents of this book and will learn a lot more.

Southern California .NET User Group said
The overall quality of the book is great. It has many so-called "real world" code samples to help you practice as you read. I don't know if I would call them "real world" but they are good enough to help you learn. The book is very well organized and covers many topics from reading and writing XML files to showing you some ADO.NET and ASP.NET. It also has a small portion on web services and SOAP.

The only problem I had with the book was that the code samples were not consistent. There are many samples that have both a C# and VB version but some have only one. For example, a Case Study they have which is a DVD Rental System is written only in VB.NET. For a C# programmer, that means you have to re-write the code for C# yourself just to run the sample. This does not take so long but you should not have to do all that.

Personally, I think they should have made the book shorter by only using one language, C# of course as this is the language of choice for the .NET framework. But I guess they had to make the book for everyone.

I strongly recommend that you know XML and a .NET programming language before picking up this book, otherwise, you will be completely lost. ---Reviewed by Elmer Morales

Southern California .NET User Group said
The text covers a lot of ground in 700+ pages. Starting with an introduction to the .NET Framework, it moves through the requisite areas of reading & writing XML, navigating the DOM, transforming, validating and serializing XML, and then on to XML-centric introductions to ADO.NET, ASP.NET, SOAP and Web Services. Two case studies are thrown in as well.

Instead of just listing features, it goes the extra, more important step of actually explaining why features are important or useful and how they can be of practical benefit. For example, in Chapter 3:

"The main difference between the XmlNodeReader and XmlTextReader is in the constructor - XmlNodeReader allows access to the contents of XML nodes obtained in some other way, such as part of an XPath resolution or an XmlDocument parse. For example, we can select XML document fragments using XPath document manipulation methods, then iterate through the fragments to extract their content using XmlNodeReader objects. By using a combination of these technologies, we can simplify our code while keeping memory consumption to a minimum."

On the down side, the quality varies from chapter to chapter, as can be expected from a book with multiple authors. For the most part, both VB.NET and C# examples are included, though occasionally, and for no apparent reason, only one or the other is shown (examples of both are included in the downloads available on the Wrox site).

Like many of the Wrox Professional books, it tells you more than you might need or care to know at the given moment, but because of that breadth and depth of content, it serves as an excellent reference.

"Professional XML for .NET Developers" was published while the .NET Framework was still in Beta 2, so there are some anomalies that show up. Wrox has updated code samples and errata available for download on their site.

Chapter 1 has the requisite, though satisfying, introduction to the .NET Framework. There's an enlightening discussion of the Common Language Specification (CLS) and the Common Type System and how, in practical terms, they contribute to cross language interoperability.

Chapter 2, among other things, has a lucid and very helpful explanation of the various config files and their relationship to each other.

Chapter 3 contains a thorough explanation of the objects that allow forward-only reading and writing of XML, a discussion of lesser known objects such as the Stack and NameTable objects, as well as a more complicated example at the end of the chapter that brings it all together.

Chapter 7 gives a quick intro to serialization, how to do it and why it's useful, then covers dealing with unexpected XML content via three of the Serializer object's specific events. Also goes into serializing complex objects, composite objects as well as fine-tuning serialization using .NET Framework attributes. There was an enlightening and useful explanation of the XSD Generator Tool which allows you to generate an XSD schema from a class and vice versa.

Chapter 9 contains a curious departure/case study extending the XmlReader and XmlWriter to communicate with Word and Visio as target applications.

Chapter 10 packs a respectable, XML-centric introduction to ADO.NET into 50 pages, focusing largely on datasets and how they interact with schemas.

Chapter 11 gives a quick intro to ASP.NET, some of the basic Web Controls, and a discussion of the web.config file's most important sections.

Chapter 13 has a brief, very basic description of Web Services, SOAP and UDDI. I'd highly recommend "Professional ASP.NET Web Services" for a thorough, in-depth treatment on the subject.

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