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The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1918 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Title:
ASP in a Nutshell
Author:
A. Keyton Weissinger
ISBN:
1 56592 490 8
Publisher:
O'Reilly
Pages:
407pp
Price:
£15-95
Reviewer:
Dave Rutlidge
Subject:
internet; MS Windows
Appeared in:
11-6
Active Server Pages (ASP) were designed by Microsoft to provide the answer to the problems posed by CGI application development. Originally available on Microsoft platforms only, it is rapidly becoming commonplace on other web servers and other platforms.

This book assumes little, but is not really designed with the total novice in mind. It aims to provide a quick reference, providing essential information to the busy programmer. To achieve this goal effectively, the book requires a strong organisational structure and a very comprehensive index. The book is divided into three parts. The first provides a fast-paced introduction to ASP, discussing its role in web development, the differences between client-side and server-side scripting and the mechanism for incorporating external COM components in an ASP application.

The second part of the book covers the intrinsic objects that are always available in scripts, while the final section documents the COM components that are included with Microsoft's IIS installation. Both of these sections are ordered alphabetically for ease of reference.

The book is definitely written with the busy programmer in mind. It includes a discussion of debugging and performance enhancement techniques, as well as appendices on converting CGI/WinCGI applications to ASP, a discussion of some non-Microsoft ASP platforms and the configuration of ASP applications on IIS.

While the book is primarily designed as a reference guide, the first section in particular makes a useful tutorial. There are no exercises in the book, but the extensive sample code is available over the net (a fact which does not appear to be explicitly documented). The URL isftp://ftp.oreilly.com/published/oreilly/windows/aspnut/ASPCodeE xamples.zip.

There is no code disc.

Like all O'Reilly books the binding is excellent allowing the book to lie open on the desk. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone working with or looking at ASP. At under£16 it's a dream!