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Building Web apps with ASP.NET and Ajax

8 Aug

Last week I spent 4 days getting stuck into learning about ASP.NET on another Learning Tree International course called Building Web Applications with ASP.NET and Ajax: Hands-On. Richard Howells of Dynamisys once again led us through the course very well. With the usual Learning Tree mix of theory and practical exercises, we covered the following topics:

  • .NET application architecture (n-tier architecture, Web Farms, distributed objects vs. clustering, state and data consistency, the anatomy of an ASP.NET web application)
  • Data access via ADO.NET, LINQ to SQL and Entity Framework (custom business objects: ORM-created vs. POCO objects)
  • ASP.NET application infrastructure (Web Form security, Web application state, exception handling, URL routing and page inheritance)
  • Applying business rules (managing business logic, overcoming concurrency issues, message queues and transactions)
  • Ajax Extensions (Controls: ScriptManager, ScriptManagerProxy, UpdatePanel, UpdateProgress, Timer; and asynchronous triggers)
  • Ajax Control Toolkit (control extenders, native script controls, accessing WCF Web services)
  • jQuery (a comprehensive introduction to jQuery including a look at Microsoft jQuery Plugins)
  • Application deployment (Web Deploy, Web Packages, Web.config transformation)

As is always the case with these 4-day courses, the amount of new information to take on board was overwhelming. But the key is to go back over the course notes and exercise manual and to jump in at the deep end with an ASP.NET project.

This was the 8th and final Learning Tree course that I’m required to complete as part of an MSc in Professional Computing. Next up, a large postgraduate diploma level project due to commence next month.

A taste of a .NET language

30 May

Last week I delved into the world of .NET on an excellent 4-day training course with Learning Tree International called C# Programming: Hands-On. The course was ably and enthusiastically led by Richard Howells of Dynamisys. With an appropriate sprinkling of practical exercises to break up the theory, the course covered:

  • C# syntax and semantics,
  • user interface development (briefly),
  • custom data types (using classes & structs),
  • the .NET Framework which includes a vast library of classes (e.g. collection classes such as List, Queue, Stack and Dictionary) for the developer to exploit,
  • interfaces and polymorphism (including a look at IEnumberable – which can be applied to a class to allow foreach loops to iterate through a collection within that class),
  • databases access via ADO.NET, LINQ and the Entity Framework (LINQ/EF),
  • writing and deploying components
  • miscellaneous C# features (such as symbolic operators, indexers, events and delegates, lambda expressions and disposable objects)

It certainly was a whirlwind of information to take on board, but realistically I need to go back over the course notes and exercise manual for it to really sink in. I’m just installing the free Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express (including Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express) now so that I can get stuck in.

As an aside, the course was a good opportunity to refresh my memory on some object-oriented (OO) theory. I do use OO every day at work, but it is nice to remind myself of the theory that underpins it every now and then.

This was the 7th of 8 Learning Tree courses that I need to complete for the MSc in Professional Computing that I’m studying. Next up, ASP.NET in August!