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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:
Web Development with Microsoft Resources
Author:
James Townsend et al
ISBN:
1 57521 095 9
Publisher:
Sams
Pages:
751pp+CD
Price:
£46-95
Reviewer:
Chris Hills
Subject:
internet; microsoft
Appeared in:
10-4
Despite its understated title, this is a large book that covers a whole field, with all the tools on the accompanying CD. When I say the whole field I mean it - from setting up a WinNT server for Internet/intranet using all the (MS) web authoring tools to integrating a database and ActiveX controls. The CD contains everything Microsoft, IE3, all the MS Assistants, ActiveX control panel, HTML Layout Control, on-line links to the MS Developers Areas, Resources and Vendor Area. Whilst the software on the CD is for Win95 it does give instructions on how to download Win3 and Mac versions.

I suspect that the team of six editors had some input from MS. Apart from the CD this view is reinforced by the first part of the book, 30 pages on 'An Introduction to the Microsoft Strategy'. The rest of the 700 pages are evenly split between 'Setting up an Internet Server with Windows NT and IIS' and 'Authoring for the WWW with MS Tools'. It is not just looking at software; the intricacies of the server hardware are also discussed.

The text is well sprinkled with diagrams, screen shots, dialogue boxes and fragments of HTML, but it feels like solid text. No padding here. There is a lot more information in this book than many other 750-page books I can think of. I found all of the text straightforward and easy to understand. Whilst the text flows in a logical progression it is a book one can dip into and use sections on their own.

As for web design this is at the sober corporate end of the market rather than the whiz-bang WOW! (in stereo) end of things. It does cover Java, Active X and other go-fast goodies but it also looks at SQL server and other more 'sensible' topics.

If you really are into Microsoft for your corporate or small business web site and absolutely must use IE this is the book for you. Not cheap, not flashy but authoritative and well worth it for someone setting up a web server.

Whilst trying out some of the software on the CD I hit a problem. The ActiveX on the CD requires IE3.0 Beta 2 or later (it says on install) but will not work with the IE 3.0 on the CD, the install aborts. I'm not sure why but I am sure that the relevant software will be available from MS on the Internet or as a work around from the publishers.