The second half of the book is dedicated to professional application development with ASP.NET. "Section 4 - Professional ASP.NET skills" is a torrent of information covering user authentication and security, profiles and personalization, Web parts, and application deployment. The focus in this section is on the built-in features new to ASP.NET 2.0, specifically the authentication and personalization classes and controls added to facilitate user management. The sections about SSL, e-mail, and deployment include walkthroughs for configuring the Web server, which is a nice touch given the potential complexities inherent to Web site administration. Also covered in this section are the MultiView and Wizard controls, custom error pages, and several pages devoted to a discussion about how to handle browser back button issues in a state-oriented site.
Throughout the book I found myself thinking "What they should really cover is..." and invariably whatever topic I had come up with was discussed in the next chapter. What really impressed me, however, is the last section (called "Developing reusable code"), which covers the design and development of user controls, custom server controls (rendered controls, superclassed controls, composite controls, and Web controls libraries), and Web service development. These are important advanced concepts to cover, and their inclusion in the book rounds it out quite nicely.