Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bootstrap for ASP.NET MVC: A Book Review

If you're cooking up modern, responsive web applications using C# and .NET on the Windows platform, there are three main ingredients to the recipe: (1) the new improved, vitamin-enriched ASP.NET MVC (version 5 as of this writing), (2) Visual Studio 2013 (the latest and the greatest right now), and last but definitely never the least, (3) Twitter Bootstrap (at version 3.x as of the moment).

Having been fans of Bootstrap for responsive web application development and having reviewed books on using Bootstrap and on extending it, we're very honoured to review Pieter van der Westhuizen's "Bootstrap for ASP.NET MVC." It's just hot off the press last August 2014, published by Packt, available in paperback and e-book version, and best of all, reasonably priced with code samples.

The book starts off with setting up Visual Studio 2013, arguably Microsoft's killer app for software development. The book shows how to install Twitter Bootstrap within Visual Studio and how to configure the ASP.NET MVC to work with Bootstrap, along with the optimization options to be considered.

At the heart of van der Westhuizen's book is how to make the most of Bootstrap CSS and HTML elements and Javascript plug-ins as part of the ASP.NET MVC project, also discussed are using T4 template system, converting Bootstrap HTML template into an ASP.NET MVC project, and using jQuery DataTables plug-in with Bootstrap as part of the big picture ASP.NET MVC project.

The book finishes off with the introduction and in-depth use of TwitterBootstrapMVC library, an open source project created to make ASP.NET MVC sites using Bootstrap as convenient as using high quality ready-to-use sauces, spices and ingredients to save time and cook the responsive web project to suit your discriminating taste.

We've been using PHP with Twitter Bootstrap and we highly recommend this book for rookies and veteran alike in ASP.NET MVC; we should know, this book helped us transition from a different platform and saved us from many troubles starting with figuring our way within and around Visual Studio 2013. Veterans would find the explanations easy to understand and the steps as easy to follow as a cookbook.