Building a Web 2.0 Portal with ASP.NET 3.5

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Building a Web 2.0 Portal with ASP.NET 3.5: Learn How to Build a State-of-the-Art Ajax Start Page Using ASP.NET, .NET 3.5, LINQ, Windows WF, and More by Omar AL Zabir

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Web 2.0 Ajax portals are among the most successful web applications of the Web 2.0 generation. iGoogle and Pageflakes are the pioneers in this market and were among the first to show Ajax’s potential. Portal sites give users a personal homepage with one-stop access to information and entertainment from all over the Web, as well as dashboards that deliver powerful content aggregation for enterprises. A Web 2.0 portal can be used as a content repository just like a SharePoint or DotNetNuke site. Because they draw on Ajax to deliver rich, client-side interactivity, Web 2.0 portals improve usability and provide faster performance compared to non-Ajax web sites. Also, because portals are commonly composed of widgets (small plug-and-play type applications), there’s no limit to how much functionality you can provide, simply by adding more and more widgets. Their use also keeps the core architecture of the portal clean and simple because widgets are developed and maintained independently. DotNetNuke is a great example of a widget-powered portal concept that has created a new era in highly decoupled enterprise web applications.

This book takes a fresh new look at portal solutions using the latest cutting-edge technologies from Microsoft. In developing personal, educational, community, and enterprise portals, I have had to deal with many interesting design, development, scalability, performance, and production challenges. In this book, I have tried to show solutions to some of these challenges by building an open source Web 2.0 Portal prototype, and then walk you through through the design and architectural challenges, advanced Ajax concepts, performance optimization techniques, and serverside scalability challenges involved. The prototype also shows you practical implementation of the cutting-edge .NET 3.0 and 3.5 frameworks, including LINQ and the Windows Workflow Foundation. Moreover, it explores Ajax web site details, browser performance and compatibility challenges, security challenges, and ASP.NET AJAX framework advantages and shortcomings.

The project is available at www.dropthings (dot) com. Dropthings is an open source example of what can be done with the new technologies from Microsoft. It is intended for educational purposes only. Although it does come close to real web portal (like Pageflakes) in terms of its feature set, performance, security, and scalability, it does a good job of showing you how to put together several new technologies in a working web application.

Who This Book Is for

This book is primarily for ASP.NET 2.0 or 3.5 developers who have already developed one or more web applications and have a good grip on jаvascript and ASP.NET 2.0. The reader is also expected to have basic understanding of ASP.NET AJAX. This information is available in numerous publications, including several from O’Reilly that are listed in the Roadmap page for this book.

Intermediate developers, looking for ways to gain insight into web development challenges and learn how a successful production web site is built and run, will greatly benefit from this book. Advanced developers will learn how to build a rock solid web application that can withstand millions of hits every day around the clock, survive sudden scalability demands, prevent hack attempts and denial of service attacks, deploy and run a web site on a distributed cluster environment utilizing Content Delivery Networks (CDN), face real-life production challenges, and much more.



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