Sams Teach Yourself Active Server Pages in 24 Hours
by Christoph Wille, Christian Koller

Worth it for its price, but prepare to work - If you buy this book, then be prepared to work. If you're new to the whole programming field, or maybe just web programming, don't think the knowledge will be served to you on a silver platter. People's expectations about this book are too high. The introduction to VBScript (which ASP supports) is well put together. It's not excellent, but it's good. As the book progresses, it covers all the essentials of ASP: setting up PWS, IIS, setting up SQL server or Access to work correctly with ASP, databases, cookies, files, and all the essential ASP objects. The examples were also useful, e.g. sending mail through the SMTP server, creating cookies, working with files... these are all good examples that can be modified and copy-and-pasted on any of your creations. It even contains tips on how to create a shopping cart and implementing XML. Now, this book is not intended as a bible. As with any method for learning, you're going to have to access external resources: the web, people, etc. This will make the learning experience more enjoyable. The reasons why I didn't give it five stars was because, the person who knows some programming has an EXTREME advantage over the one who doesn't. But then again, if you're not experienced, it just takes time. Another thing I didn't like was the way the examples were presented. It looked confusing and this confusion can lead to a lack of motivation. The last thing I found strange was the transition between chapters. Sometimes it seemed that there was no transition. Overall, not a bad book. For it's price however, it's an excellent book. If you're new to programming, it will take hard work to grasp the language. If you're experienced, and also have worked with a web language such as JSP, PHP, or maybe even some Coldfusion, then this book will certainly be easy to follow.

I actually own that book. I found it to be quite good for many reasons, but you are right, it certainly doesn't read like a starter book. The only real thing that I found that I disagreed with was that it covered things that are ancient history in the ASP world.

They talked about setting it up on NT 4.0 and even on PWS. Most of the hardcore developers have their server as a Win2K or Win2K3 and it really doesn't talk much about those. I understand that it was written in 1999 so it had to go with what was current. I just wish they would revise it to include those. Another thing I disliked was that it didn't really talk much about ASP 3 codes. But XML is a good read too!

Overall I would give it a 7 out of 10.