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Programming Visual Basic .NET
by Dave Grundgeiger

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List Price: $39.95
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Edition: Paperback

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Editorial Reviews
Suitable for Visual Basic programmers of all levels, Programming Visual Basic .NET is a solid, one-volume tutorial of basic and advanced features, with good coverage of new support for Web development. Whether you have been working with VB for years or are coming to VB .NET from another language, this book's no-nonsense tour will get you working with VB .NET with a minimum of hassle.

This title's compact format has to be one of its most appealing features. After covering the basics of what's new in VB .NET, the author digs in with a fast-moving, authoritative tour of all essential language features in the new version. This language tutorial really shines as it covers topics such as basic language statements, data types, and variables and defining classes using properties, methods, and inheritance (and more advanced bells and whistles). Short code excerpts illustrate just how to program quickly, and many readers will find this material useful as a reference for day-to-day questions about specific language features as they come up in real projects.

Of course, .NET has a brand-new set of APIs too. The author concentrates on basic Windows Forms and Web forms programming. The section on basic database ADO.NET (including bound controls) is a standout and will get you started with these essential programming APIs. Coverage of Web services will put using this new approach to building distributed systems within reach of many readers. (Here, the author provides some advice for creating effective distributed Web services.)

By focusing first on the language itself, this book will help virtually anyone get started with the latest version of Microsoft's most popular programming language without getting bogged down in the many details of the .NET platform. With plenty of detail for the expert, yet entirely approachable for the beginner, this title will serve both as a reference and a tutorial for getting onboard with this new version. It provides a valuable and timely resource for the aspiring VB .NET developer. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered: Introduction to the .NET framework and Visual Basic; in-depth tutorial to VB .NET (including keywords, data types, operators, and expressions, classes, interfaces, exception handling, delegates and events); the Common Language Infrastructure (CLI), the Common Type System (CTS), garbage collection, overview of built-in .NET namespaces; Windows Forms, building MDI applications, basic graphics programming with GDI+, using common controls, menus, event handling, basic Web development with VB .NET (server controls, validation, maintaining state and application-level settings); creating custom controls, Web services (including WSDL and discovery), ADO.NET database programming (SQL Server and OLE DB APIs compared, the DataSet and DataReader classes, grid controls); references to .NET attributes, exceptions, and math functions.

Book Description
Programming Visual Basic .NET is the complete guide to application development using Visual Basic .NET. Targeted at programmers with some prior programming experience, the book covers the major areas of application development for Microsoft's new .NET platform.

After starting with the traditional "hello world" application, the book discusses the two basic building blocks of any .NET application built with Visual Basic--the Visual Basic .NET programming language and the .NET Framework.

Topics covered include:

  • Visual Basic language elements
  • Visual Basic's object-oriented language features
  • Programming with attributes
  • The Common Language Runtime
  • Garbage Collection and the Finalize and Dispose methods
  • Programmatically reading from and writing to .NET configuration files

The remainder of the book focuses on the three major kinds of applications that can be developed with the .NET Framework: Windows Forms applications, ASP.NET applications, and web services. In each case, the book shows you how to build an application using Visual Studio .NET as well as using a text editor and the Visual Basic command-line compiler. This gives you an "under the hood" look at what Visual Studio is doing and allows you to gain a greater understanding of how a .NET application works--an understanding that you can take advantage of in building your own applications. Individual development topics covered in these chapters include:

  • Developing Multiple Document Interface (MDI) Windows Forms applications.
  • Handling form and control placement and resizing
  • Working with Windows Forms menus
  • Working with Windows Common Dialogs
  • Taking advantage of .NET printer services programmatically
  • Using ASP.NET HTML controls and Web controls
  • Understanding security in ASP.NET
  • Creating, discovering, and consuming web services
  • Accessing data in your .NET applications using ADO.NET
Published just in time for the first release of Visual Studio .NET,Programming Visual Basic .NET is sure to become a key component of developers' .NET libraries.

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Product Details
  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly; 1 edition (December 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 0596000936
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.0 x 1.0 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds. (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: based on 5 reviews.
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #513,733 in Books
  • (Publishers and authors: improve your sales)

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      7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

      Good book...not great, March 13, 2002
      Reviewer: ueberhund "ueberhund" (Salt Lake City, UT United States) - See all my reviews
      While this book does contain a little bit for everybody, it's not presented as well as in some other books. Some great explanations and examples, but most are at a very introductory level.

      The chapter on ASP.NET is well organized, and everyone interested in using ASP.NET will learn something. There is a great section on data validation and a clear explanation on how to use the Application, Session, and Cookie objects. ASP developers should have little trouble ramping up to ASP.NET quickly. Be aware that the coverage of ADO.NET is sketchy at best.

      All in all, Programming Visual Basic .NET is a good book. Not the best book you'll ever read on the subject, but a good beginning level book. If you've every had any experience with Visual Basic or ASP, most of the examples will be very easy to pick up on. However, you'll want to pick up at least one additional book to cover some of the gaps left by this book.

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      4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

      An Excellent VB.NET Guide and Reference, April 20, 2002
      Reviewer: "codedom" (Madison, WI) - See all my reviews
      Programming Visual Basic .NET does an excellent job of covering all of the language elements and associated .NET framework topics that a developer will need to become an effective VB.NET programmer. This book is successful by getting straight to the point and tackling the issues that programmers need to understand the new language, how it fits in with the .NET framework, and how it differs from Microsoft's previous incarnations of Visual Basic.

      In the early chapters Dave covers all of the important VB.NET language constructs and the .NET framework with a clear tone and effective examples. The chapters on Windows Form development are particularly helpful in understanding GUI programming in the language, and how to take advantage of the many new features in .NET including control docking and anchoring, and menu programming. He covers both using the tools in Visual Studio.NET, as well as exploring the creation of Windows Forms through code. This type of in depth information is very helpful for any developer who really wishes to know and understand what's going on behind the scenes of Windows Forms.

      The later chapters are similarly well presented and explain the important aspects of additional technologies of the .NET Platform that are central to successful application development. The chapter on ASP.NET does a great job of explaining user controls, form validation, and security in ASP.NET. I've found this information critical in designing solutions that target the web. While the chapter on ADO.NET is perhaps not as comprehensive as the rest, I found the information to be quite helpful and informative enough to implement complete data access solutions. Similarly, the chapter on programming web services in VB.NET has been a great help in understanding how web services function, and their importance in communications across the internet.

      Overall I find this book to be a great introduction to the Visual Basic .NET language itself, as well as a great tool for understanding how to use Visual Basic .NET to harness many of the exciting features of the .NET platform.

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      5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

      Great Comprehensive Book, April 4, 2002
      Reviewer: A reader
      Excellent book with a comprehensive view of using VB.NET to develop Windows-based and Web-based solutions, including Web services.

      The second chapter in the book, "The Visual Basic .NET Language" was particularly helpful with an in-depth view of the VB.NET language constructs and keywords. The third chapter explains the .NET CLR, assemblies, garbage collection and other concepts new to .NET very clearly.

      This book is excellent for programmers moving from classic VB to VB.NET, people new to the VB.NET language, and as a language reference for more advanced users.

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      3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:

      Clear, comprehensive guide, March 12, 2002
      Reviewer: A reader
      This book does a great job helping existing programmers move into .NET quickly. The book's organization of topics and sample applications are also great. I'd recommend it highly.

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      6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:

      OK book, but there are better books, February 14, 2002
      Reviewer: The Geek "asquare_from_flatland" (NY, NY) - See all my reviews
      This is an OK book but there are better books. The treatement of the essential language issues isn't very good: for example, Cornell's book is *much* much better at teaching the Visual Basic .NET language and in particular the Object Oriented Principles you need for VB NET. Troelsen's book (also from Apress) is much better for applications than this book. The book "Coding Techniques for Microsoft VB NET" by John Connell is also a book to consider over this one. In sum, while there is nothing very wrong with this book, there are just much better books.

      (Question to O'Reilly - why didn't you just port Liberty's book from C# to VB NET. It would have made a better book than this one and would have been one of the best books out there....)

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