Book Review – ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design

Today I finished reading “ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design” by Vivek Thakur. This book is published by Packt Publishing who “specialize in publishing focused books on specific technologies and solutions“. They have books on JavaScript Libraries like jQuery, open source web applications like WordPress, Joomla, and Elgg, and web application frameworks like CakePHP.

This book appears to be a response to the growing interest in domain models and design patterns in the ASP.NET community. I’m not sure why this has become a hot topic, unless the MVC pattern has inspired developers to think more about their application architectures. I’ve been reading many blog posts over on the ASP.NET Weblogs community on this topic, for example, http://www.worldofasp.net/tut/designpattern/Design_Patterns_210.aspx. The Wikipedia article on Design Patterns suggests the practical application of design patterns is a recent phenomenon.

The jargon for application architecture is very mysterious; lazy loading, front controller design, model view controller, singleton pattern, factory method, dependency injection, command design pattern, etc so I was getting a little miffed to be so mystified by it all. Fortunately, Vivek Thakur does a good job of explaining all this in plain English. And since he covers how these design patterns can be implemented in ASP.NET you aren’t left wondering how it applies to web application development. However, that being said, most of this does not apply to my work. My projects do not need to scale, will not be integrated with enterprise systems, are not commercial, and have low budgets. I appreciated the author’s reasonable recommendation against using a design pattern for projects that cannot justify the time and effort or which don’t have a legitimate need to for the extra overhead.

Basically this is a thin book that you can read straight through to grasp some hot topics in .NET development today. There isn’t a lot of code to study or exercises to do. You may be disappointed if you know a lot about application architecture and are expecting detailed instructions on how to implement various design patterns. But if you are mystified by the current programming fad then you’ll find this book provides a good explanation for what everyone is talking about.

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