Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming in Microsoft Visual Basic .NET

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The Microsoft® .NET Framework provides powerful technologies such as ASP.NET Web Forms, XML Web services, and Windows® Forms to simplify developing applications and components that work seamlessly on the Internet. This book shows how to make the most of the .NET Framework’s common language runtime (CLR). Written by two highly respected developer/writers and intended for anyone who understands OOP concepts such as data abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism, this book clearly explains the extensible type ...

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Overview

The Microsoft® .NET Framework provides powerful technologies such as ASP.NET Web Forms, XML Web services, and Windows® Forms to simplify developing applications and components that work seamlessly on the Internet. This book shows how to make the most of the .NET Framework’s common language runtime (CLR). Written by two highly respected developer/writers and intended for anyone who understands OOP concepts such as data abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism, this book clearly explains the extensible type system of the CLR, examines how the CLR manages the behavior of types, and explores how an application manipulates types. While focusing on Visual Basic® .NET, its in-depth explanations and concepts apply equally to all programming languages that target the .NET Framework.

Topics covered include:

  • The .NET Framework architecture
  • Building, packaging, deploying, and administering applications and their types
  • Building and deploying shared assemblies
  • Type fundamentals
  • Primitive, reference, and value types
  • Operations common to all objects
  • Type members and accessibility
  • Constants, fields, methods, properties, and events
  • Working with text
  • Enumerated types and bit flags
  • Array types
  • Interfaces
  • Custom attributes
  • Delegates
  • Error handling with exceptions
  • Automatic memory management
  • AppDomains and reflection
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Thousands of Visual Basic developers have now finished their “first pass” at .NET. They understand the top-level structure of the beast. They’ve started writing code -- maybe in production projects, maybe in pilots, maybe just for grins. Now, they’re ready to go deeper: to really give .NET’s Common Language Runtime (CLR) a workout, on both the straightaways and the turns, and see what this baby can do.

They’re the programmers Jeffrey Richter and Francesco Balena were thinking of when they conceived and wrote Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming in Visual Basic .NET. This book aims to give you a far deeper understanding of .NET and the CLR, so you can solve more complex problems, troubleshoot more effectively, and make more intelligent up-front design choices.

Richter, author of the classic Programming Applications for Microsoft Windows, has spent more than two and a half years consulting with Microsoft’s .NET development team. (The guy’s specialized in Windows development since Windows 1.0. You could still run Windows on floppies then.) Balena, Wintellect’s resident VB expert, runs vb2themax.com and wrote Microsoft Press’s Programming Microsoft Visual Basic 6.

These guys know the terrain, and in this book, they roam it far and wide to help you get the most out of .NET. For example, as Richter notes, the CLR offers many features that VB.NET doesn’t yet access. “Since this book is really about the CLR, I've chosen to describe CLR features that are not available to Visual Basic programmers using other programming languages such as C#, Managed Extensions for C++ and even IL assembly language.... With this knowledge, you may decide to write parts of your application using other programming languages; as you'll see this is very easy to do and offers you a lot of flexibility.”

Neither do Richter and Balena hesitate to break rules when necessary. While Microsoft generally encourages developers to write “safe code” that the CLR can protect, sometimes it makes sense to write “unsafe code” that runs faster. One example: fast array access, which evades the CLR’s built-in index checking.

Part I of Applied Microsoft .NET Framework Programming in Visual Basic .NET focuses on building, packaging, deploying, and administering applications and components, and on using assemblies effectively. The authors cover both private assemblies (ideal for maximizing control) and shared assemblies that multiple applications can access.

Next, they take a deeper look at types, beginning with the minimum set of behaviors that all types exhibit; type safety; and new options for changing object type. They review primitive, reference, and value types, illuminating subtleties that often trip up new .NET developers; then show how to properly implement key operations such as object equality, identity, hash codes, and cloning.

When you’re really comfortable with types, Richter and Banera turn to designing them, using the many different members you can define within them. There’s a full chapter on constants and fields, and another on methods -- including coverage of instance and type constructors, as well as operator overloads and conversion operators (not supported by VB.NET but illustrated here using C#).

There’s a detailed discussion of properties, which give source code a simpler way to call methods. Here, there’s a handful of inconsistent jargon you’ll need to overcome before you get productive (we’ll spare you).

Richter and Balena save much of the best for last. For example, if you’re an experienced Windows developer, you probably assume you know all there is to know about enumerated types and bit flags. But, as this book explains, they now have power you haven’t touched -- power that can make your life a whole lot easier. There’s excellent coverage of interfaces, delegates, .NET’s exception handling. Last but not least, the authors illuminate .NET’s reflection, in which a program reads its own metadata, then uses it to modify its own behavior dynamically. You can use reflection to handle dynamic type conversion, discovery, and binding; even to emit IL code. It’s powerful stuff, and the better you understand it, the more creative uses you’ll find for it.

If you’re ready to get serious about .NET, you’re ready for this book. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735617872
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey Richter is a cofounder of Wintellect (www.wintellect.com)-a training, debugging, and consulting firm dedicated to helping companies build better software faster. He is the author of the previous editions of this book, Windows via C/C++, and several other Windows®-related programming books. Jeffrey has been consulting with the Microsoft® .NET Framework team since October 1999.

Francesco Balena is a well-known and highly regarded developer and author. He has written numerous Microsoft Press® books, including the widely acclaimed Programming Microsoft Visual Basic® titles, and edits a popular Web site on .NET programming. Francesco is a cofounder of Code Architects srl, an Italian software company that specializes in using Microsoft technologies to create enterprise-level solutions and programming tools. In addition, he is a regional director for MSDN® Italy, and a frequent speaker at developer conferences.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. I Basics of the Microsoft .NET Framework
1 The Architecture of the .NET Framework Development Platform 3
2 Building, Packaging, Deploying, and Administering Applications and Types 37
3 Shared Assemblies 73
Pt. II Working with Types and the Common Language Runtime
4 Type Fundamentals 119
5 Primitive, Reference, and Value Types 139
6 Common Object Operations 165
Pt. III Designing Types
7 Type Members and Their Accessibility 181
8 Constants and Fields 191
9 Methods 197
10 Properties 235
11 Events 245
Pt. IV Essential Types
12 Working with Text 261
13 Enumerated Types and Bit Flags 313
14 Arrays 323
15 Interfaces 343
16 Custom Attributes 363
17 Delegates 383
Pt. V Managing Types
18 Exceptions 411
19 Automatic Memory Management (Garbage Collection) 471
20 CLR Hosting, AppDomains, and Reflection 529
Index 581
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