I'm an experienced programmer in C/C++, Java and PHP and I've recently become interested in learning ASP.NET. I'm looking for a book geared toward someone who already knows web development (I don't need to relearn HTML and CSS) and programming that will dive into using ASP. Also, a book that teaches ASP development using Visual Studio and Windows Server 2008 would be great.

I found Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB by Imar Spaanjaars but it goes into too much depth on the simple stuff... maybe there's something better?

Bonus points if it's available on :D

+3  A: 

One detail before: ASP and are two different things. ASP is an older technology, that is still being used, so it may confuse.

As for books, i am always a big fan of the Apress stuff, and I do like their "Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 in C# 2008: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition".

Michael Stum
+1  A: 

I've always enjoyed the Jesse Liberty range of books on the .NET families, but then again I haven't read (or used) .NET so I don't have much to compare them with.

+1  A: 

I have always enjoyed the "Unleashed" series and ASP.NET 3.5 Unleashed is a good start. It is reasonably comprehensive, but I fear it will also suffer from going "into too much depth on the simple stuff".

Brad Tutterow
+3  A: 

I think Fritz Onion's books are still hard to beat.

I agree, as far as an intro, these are the best.
Guy Starbuck

The head first books are pretty good for intro stuff:

Ryan Lanciaux
+2  A: 

"Best" is subjective but here a few good ones:


I'd suggest, if you're starting out developing web applications in .NET, that you skip the old and soon to be deprecated ASP.NET server control-based model and learn about the new ASP.NET MVC framework. IMHO, its a hundred times better than the server control model. Its much easier to understand, is of course a much cleaner design, is easier to test, doesn't require understanding the complex and bug-prone page lifecycle, etc etc etc.

BTW, there aren't any books out on it yet. The official site also lags behind ScottGu by about two releases...

Deprecated isn't the right word for WebForms. MVC's great, but I'd be surprised if it accounts for anywhere near a majority of ASP.NET development anytime soon.
Dave Ward
+4  A: 

This is a good starting point:

Followed by this:

Also, if you don't have the .NET framework or an IDE yet, there are free downloads of both here:

Dave Ward

You can find tons of info online. and are both great resources for info, and code examples.

+1  A: 

I found Dino Esposito's Programming ASP.NET 2.0: Core Reference and Programming ASP.NET 2.0 Applications: Advanced Topics to be really well done. It's massive (which is why it's in two volumes), but very few people know the ins-and-outs of ASP.NET like Dino. His writing is exceedingly precise, which makes it a slow read but very detailed.

David Rubin
+1  A: 

Fritz Onion's books are great.

+1  A: 

Professional ASP.Net 3.5 in C# and VB - Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, Devin Rader from Wrox Press

Scott Mayfield

I started with ASP.NET 2.0 For Dummies. I thought it was a great introduction and really easy to read. The 3.5 book was written by a different author and has examples mainly in VB. I was more interested in using C# so that book didn't really appeal to me. However, the author did post many of the C# examples on his website.