Book Image

ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design

By : Vivek Thakur
Book Image

ASP.NET 3.5 Application Architecture and Design

By: Vivek Thakur

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (14 chapters)
About the Author
About the Reviewers


The world of web development, as we see today, has undergone many dynamic changes shaped by multiple new technologies and platforms. Over the last few years Microsoft ASP.NET has quickly evolved to become one of the most famous platforms for developing web-based solutions. Since early 2002, when the first version (1.0) of ASP.NET was released, Microsoft has continuously added many out-of-the-box features and components, making web development easier for the end developer. In a very short time span, the ASP.NET platform has grown and matured into a stable object-oriented framework, with a large set of useful tools and a huge class library, attracting widespread interest in the developer communities around the world. With the introduction of LINQ, MS AJAX, WCF, WPF, and a lot of exciting new tools, the .NET framework has not only grown large but also flexible, in terms of the choices and options being offered to the developers.

With all of these new technologies hogging the limelight, an ever-increasing gap was created in the mindset of new developers, due to a shift in priorities. Developers, especially beginners, were attracted by the buzz created by these new,cool tools, and started interpreting them as a solution for better architecture and design, losing focus on the core concepts in the process. A developer, who has just learnt the basics of ASP.NET, was more eager to devote his or her time to technologies such as AJAX and LINQ instead of learning and implementing design patterns.

One reason for this paradigm shift was the lack of books that could showcase a better way to structure and develop ASP.NET-based web solutions, explaining with examples how to use different architectural styles and design patterns in real-life ASP.NET code. This book aims to bridge that gap.

I won't be focusing on deep and detailed theoretical concepts, as this book is not a "pure" architecture and design guide. Rather, the goal is to show you how to design a web site in ASP.NET the correct way, focus on different design options, analyze and study what architectural options we have, and decide when to use which architectural solution. It is very important to understand that there is no one perfect or best way in architecture and design. We need to improvise, and adapt to each project's unique requirements. Understanding core application architecture and design patterns can be tough for many developers, and so this book aims to elucidate these through the use of real-life examples and code in ASP.NET. This book will also shed some light on the basics of better application structure, coding practices, and database design, and will demonstrate, with suitable examples, how the correct architectural decisions can greatly impact overall application stability and performance.

What This Book Covers

Chapter 1 will introduce you to architecture and design in ASP.NET, including tiers, layers, and logical structuring.

Chapter 2 discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using the simplest and easiest 1-tier, 1-layer default architecture in ASP.NET. You will also understand when and why we should use out-of-the-box data source controls, and how the 1-tier, 1-layer style is tightly-coupled and is not flexible or scalable.

Chapter 3 discusses what an ER diagram is, the domain model, the basics of UML, and what an n-layer design is, and how it increases the flexibility and maintainability of the code when compared to a 1-layer architecture. A sample project is explained with code in a 3-layer model. The drawbacks or limitations of this model are also discussed.

Chapter 4 talks about n-tier architecture in ASP.NET and how to implement it. It also explains Data Transfer Objects and how to use them with 4-tier and 5-tier web solutions.

In Chapter 5, you will learn and understand what MVC design is, and how the ASP.NET MVC framework helps us quickly implement MVC design in our web applications.

In Chapter 6, you will learn how and when to use the most common design patterns in ASP.NET: Factory, Dependency Injection, Singleton, and others.

Chapter 7 explains why we need SOA, explaining the advantages of SOA for a beginner. A sample project using SOA architecture is discussed. The chapter also explains how the Windows Communication Framework (WCF) compliments SOA.

Chapter 8 deals with the importance of a well-designed database, balanced normalization, logical and physical models, and tips and tricks for better database models.

Chapter 9 covers localization for ASP.NET applications, the deployment of localized applications, the localization framework, and best practices.

What You Need for This Book

Readers should be familiar with and know how to use:

  • Visual Studio 2008.

  • SQL Server 2005.

  • Operating system: Code samples will run both on Windows XP Pro and Windows Vista, Windows 2003/2008.

  • Microsoft Visio Enterprise Architect (you can use the trial version available free to download from MS website). This is needed only for one of the chapters (Chapter 8).

Who is This Book For

Readers must have basic understanding of the ASP.NET framework, and programming knowledge of either C# or VB.NET. The book can be used by any ASP.NET developer. Although it is primarily aimed at beginner and intermediate developers, it is a good resource for experienced programmers as well. This book is not a theoretical guide on architecture and design patterns, or any other technology.

If reading about application architecture usually confuses you or sends you to sleep, then this book will be perfect for you! In short, any ASP.NET programmer who is confused or disoriented after reading different books or materials on architectures, or is wondering how and what to implement in their application, will definitely benefit from this book!


In this book, you will find a number of styles of text that distinguish between different kinds of information. Here are some examples of these styles, and an explanation of their meaning.

Code words in text are shown as follows: "We are just calling the GetAllProducts() method, which has all data access code wrapped in a different class named DAL."

A block of code will be set as follows:

<asp:Repeater ID="prodRepeater" runat="server">
Product Code: <%# Eval("Code")%>
Name: <%# Eval("Name")%>
Unit Price: $<%# Eval("UnitPrice")%>

New terms and important words are introduced in a bold-type font. Words that you see on the screen, in menus or dialog boxes for example, appear in our text like this: "In the Internet Explorer, we can change the default language by going to Internet Options and clicking the Language button under the General tab."


Important notes appear in a box like this.


Tips and tricks appear like this.

Reader Feedback

Feedback from our readers is always welcome. Let us know what you think about this book, what you liked or may have disliked. Reader feedback is important for us to develop titles that you really get the most out of.

To send us general feedback, simply drop an email to , making sure to mention the book title in the subject of your message.

If there is a book that you need and would like to see us publish, please send us a note in the SUGGEST A TITLE form on or email .

If there is a topic that you have expertise in and you are interested in either writing or contributing to a book, see our author guide on

Customer Support

Now that you are the proud owner of a Packt book, we have a number of things to help you to get the most from your purchase.

Downloading the Example Code for the Book

Visit to directly download the example code.


Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our contents, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in text or code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing this you can save other readers from frustration, and help to improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, report them by visiting, selecting your book, clicking on the let us know link, and entering the details of your errata. Once your errata are verified, your submission will be accepted and the errata added to the list of existing errata. The existing errata can be viewed by selecting your title from


Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. At Packt, we take the protection of our copyright and licenses very seriously. If you come across any illegal copies of our works in any form on the Internet, please provide the location address or website name immediately so we can pursue a remedy.

Please contact us at with a link to the suspected pirated material.

We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content.


You can contact us at if you are having a problem with some aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it.