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Book Review: ASP.NET Core in Action

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As part of my learning proclivities this year, I wanted to relearn MVC along with .NET Core. After some research, I found ASP.NET Core in Action by Andrew Lock to be well recommended. I set out to read the book from cover to cover to ascertain the recommendations.


Primary audience is developers new to ASP.NET Core. Developers having exposure to ASP.NET MVC will refresh their knowledge while also learning .NET Core.


This is a 700 page book and is split into three parts.

  1. Getting started with MVC
  2. Building complete applications
  3. Extending you applications

In the first part, we learn the building blocks and the first steps to working with a ASP.NET Core web application. Chapter 3 walks us through a basic middleware, which is then built upon to combine two middleware. We understand how exception handling works within the middleware pipeline.

Chapter 4 is all about the MVC pattern. This is the most important chapter for a new developer to ASP.NET Core. Chapter 5 goes into routing concepts and elaborates how conventional routing works. Chapter 6 explains how model gets constructed from the request data and touches upon data validation with a few examples.

Chapter 7 gives an overview of razor templates, how template selection happens, layouts and partial views. Chapter 8 goes into enough detail about tag helpers that is immediately useful in most use-cases. Chapter 9 talks about the Web APIs and goes into decent detail about input and output formatters, and attribute routing.

In the second part, we look into the aspects that help us build complex and real-world applications.

In the final part, we look into application extensibility.


First timers to ASP.NET Core should pay attention to chapter 3 for understanding the fundamentals middleware and then 4 to 8 for understanding the core concepts of MVC.

One of the best things about the book is that the examples are on point.

The book is written while .NET Core 2.1 is current, but it can be used with the .NET Core 2.2 and the upcoming .NET Core 3.0 as the book teaches concepts building them from ground up with great care.


Andrew Lock is a well-known person in the .NET Core community. He writes blog posts about ASP.NET Core and related topics frequently. He blogs at .NET Escapades and is on twitter @andrewlocknet.