Nothing can replace a live classroom setting, but this complete CD-ROM course on ASP.NET and Web services re-creates training sessions faithfully. Well-known experts teach using motion video, manuals, and tests.

AppDev's "ASP.NET using Visual Basic .NET" is a polished training package delivered on CD-ROM. The 12-CD set features crisp full-motion video, extensive onscreen code walk-throughs, complete manuals and labs in PDF format, source code for the examples, and tests.

Although nothing can replace the interaction with a live instructor and the discipline that a classroom setting imposes, this course re-creates ASP.NET training sessions faithfully. The stiffness and fixed smiles of the scripted "talking head" videos disappear when the experienced presenters demonstrate code and concepts using Visual Studio .NET (see Figure 1). Ken Getz is the best at injecting enthusiasm and personality into his presentations—for example, he includes bearded cotrainer Andy Baron in a "cute furry animals" sample application.

This course is for developers who are familiar with Visual Basic, the .NET Framework, Visual Studio, and at least some Web development. Newbies risk getting lost. The 20 hours of sessions give you in-depth coverage with plenty of realistic examples and helpful flow diagrams. In some cases, the trainers gloss over terminology on its first introduction but cover it fully in a subsequent discussion. This is an area where added effects such as a scrolling onscreen glossary would offset the inability to get live explanations that would crystallize the material before moving on. The AppDev presentation interface allows easy navigation through the 12 modules, but there's no full-text search. A resizable window would allow students to park the video in a corner of the desktop and reproduce the results on their own.

If you're motivated and willing to apply yourself, you'll get an excellent ASP.NET education out of this professional multimedia course.

ASP.NET using Visual Basic .NET
Phone: 800-578-2062; 952-943-1363
Price: $995
Quick Facts: Complete course on ASP.NET and Web services delivered on CD-ROM by well-known experts. Includes motion video, manuals, and tests.
Pros: Thorough coverage of the topic by pros; realistic scenarios and code walk-throughs.
Cons: User interface not resizable; no search mode.


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