Core MCSD: Designing and Implementing Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6


Visual Basic author Steven Holzner covers every Microsoft exam objective, with coverage of the intermediate-to-advanced topics most likely to trip you up on the exam.. "You'll find hundreds of pages of COM coverage: all you need to start creating COM clients, components and ActiveX controls and build sophisticated VB6 Web applications. Holzner reviews database integration in depth: ADO, OLE DB, data-bound controls, SQL queries and much more. You'll find complete chapters on topics such as advanced user interface ...
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Visual Basic author Steven Holzner covers every Microsoft exam objective, with coverage of the intermediate-to-advanced topics most likely to trip you up on the exam.. "You'll find hundreds of pages of COM coverage: all you need to start creating COM clients, components and ActiveX controls and build sophisticated VB6 Web applications. Holzner reviews database integration in depth: ADO, OLE DB, data-bound controls, SQL queries and much more. You'll find complete chapters on topics such as advanced user interface custom controls and a systematic review of VB6 error handling and debugging.. "CORE MCSD covers every key exam objective; includes exam strategy discussions, working examples, nearly 350 sample exam questions; forms, controls, menus, and advanced user interfaces; COM clients and components, ActiveX, active documents, DHTML, and the Internet; database integration and data-bound controls; debugging, packaging, deploying, and maintaining advanced VB6 applications.
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Editorial Reviews

This preparation guide for certification exam 70-176 reviews COM clients and components, ActiveX controls, DHTML pages, database connection protocols, data-bound controls, SQL queries, advanced user interface custom controls, and error handling and debugging. The CD- ROM contains a four-hour training module for Windows NT. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130139887
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 9/22/1999
  • Series: Prentice Hall Microsoft Technology Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1024
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.69 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: The Visual Basic Integrated Design Environment

Visual Basic is a collection of powerful tools that come together in the VB Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The IDE presents a logical place to start an examination of Visual Basic, because setting up the environment and using the tools in it comprise a crucial skill set for Exam 70-176.

In this chapter, you'll review each part of the IDE. The IDE includes many tools in which you'll need to be competent, such as the Visual Component Manager and the Object Browser. You'll also go through the standard tasks of creating projects and project files, as well as learn how to work with project groups. As with the other chapters in this book, you should be trying these things out as they're covered in the book-the whole point is to get you ready for the exam and, of course, that works best when you apply what you read here.

Installing Visual Basic

Visual Basic comes in three editions, as shown in Table I.I: Learning Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition. The Learning Edition is designed for novice programmers, or more experienced programmers who are just learning Visual Basic. This edition has the Visual Basic IDE, a standard set of common controls, and some data controls. It also includes the full MSDN documentation for Visual Basic. The Professional Edition also contains the Visual Basic IDE, the standard controls and some additional controls, the DHTML (Dynamic HTML) designer, database tools, the data environment, active data objects, and full MSDN documentation for Visual Basic.

The Enterprise Edition has all that the Professional Edition has, as ell as editionsof Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), Visual SourceSafe (VSS), tools for creating distributed applications, and more.

Note: It's best to prepare for the exam using the Enterprise Edition of Visual Basic.

You can purchase Visual Basic either as a standalone application or as part of the Microsoft Visual Studio (Visual Basic is part of the Visual Studio suite, which includes other products such as Visual C++ and Visual J++).

The installation process is mostly automatic and straightforward. There are, however, a few issues that you should be familiar with when installing this product.

Installation Requirements

To install Visual Basic, you'll need the resources shown in Table 1. 1 (these requirements are subject to change without notice and don't include items like the Microsoft Internet Explorer, which takes 43MB to 59MB).

Installing over Beta or Pre-Release Versions

Microsoft issues serious warnings about installing Visual Basic over previous beta, pre-release, and technical preview installations. Specifically, Microsoft says that you should not install the final release of any Visual Studio 6.0 product on computers that have these versions because some components may not be installed, which means that earlier beta versions of those components would remain on your disk. The result would be an unstable application-perhaps even an unstable system.

The solution? It's a tough pill to take: Microsoft says you should reformat your hard disk and reinstall the operating system before installing a final release over any beta or pre-release version. In fact, technical support people at Microsoft used to automatically assume you'd be using different computers for beta and pre-releases from the final product. The moral: Don't mix the final product with early versions of the same program.

In addition, note that if you have a dual-boot computer and want to install and run Visual Studio products under both operating systems, you must install the products into separate directories.

Note: During installation, the Installation Wizard may install the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack (SP), because the compiled HTML help system that comes with Visual Basic uses some of the Internet Explorer components, and because you can create dynamic HTML applications with Visual Basic. Near the end of the Internet Explorer setup, the Internet Explorer Setup Wizard restarts your computer, and after the computer is rebooted, the Internet Explorer Setup Wizard continues installing files and configuring your system. On some occasions, the Visual

Basic Installation Wizard may also start while the Internet Explorer Setup Wizard is finishing this task. Microsoft advises you to let the Internet Explorer Setup Wizard complete its processing before continuing with Visual Basic installation.

Performing the Installation

Whether you're installing Visual Basic as a standalone product or the Visual Studio suite, start the installation process in the same way: by inserting the first CD into your CD-ROM drive and running the setup.exe program (if there's been a full or partial installation on your system already, setup.exe won't run automatically, so start it manually).

Before installing Visual Basic, you might want to look at the readme files on the CD; these files are in HTML format and address many installation issues. If you're running Windows 95, you may get a warning from the setup program about limited Registry space, because of the 64K Registry size limit in Windows 95. If you have other large products already installed, like Microsoft Office, the shared DLL space may exceed the 64K limit.

The setup program displays an End User License Agreement; click I accept. You're also prompted for your name and company name. Enter the appropriate settings-you may need to get the CD key from the back of the CD case. The product ID is displayed; this is a number you'll need if you call Microsoft for technical support.

If you're installing Visual Basic as part of Visual Studio, you'll see screen showing a list of installation options:

  • custom-Lets you customize your installation by selecting what components to install.
  • Products-Lets you select the product or products you want to install.
  • Server Applications-Lets you install Visual Studio server applications without installing other development environments.

If you select the Products option and follow the on-screen directions, the setup program displays the visual Studio Individual Tools Setup screen; select the option for Visual Basic 6.0. When you do, the setup dialog that lets you indicate what products to install appears, as in Figure 1.1. If you're installing Visual Basic as a standalone product, you'll see the same screen, but with fewer options (Visual C++ and so on will be missing). Select the options you want-at a minimum, you'll need Microsoft visual Basic 6. 0 and the Data Access options to make sure Visual Basic works right-then click continue.

If you're installing Visual Basic from the Visual Studio CDs, I recommend accepting the default options you're presented with if you're installing Visual Basic as a standalone product, and deselecting the Microsoft Visual C++ 6. 0, Microsoft Visual FoxPro 6. 0, and Microsoft visual InterDev 6. 0 options-unless you specifically want those components....

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Table of Contents



1. The Visual Basic Integrated Design Environment.


2. Working with Forms.
3. Working with Controls.
4. Visual Basic Core Controls and Syntax.
5. Creating Menus.
6. Using the Image List, Toolbar, and Status Bar Custom Controls.
7. Using the Tree View and List View Custom Controls.


8. Creating COM Clients.
9. Creating COM Components.
10. Creating Activex Controls.
11. Creating Active Documents.
12. Dynamic HTML and the Internet.


13. Databases.
14. Databases and Data-Bound Controls.
15. Databases in Code.


16. Error Handling and Debugging.


17. Adding Help to Applications.
18. Packaging and Deploying Your Program.
Appendix: Answers to Chapter Review Questions.
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Interviews & Essays

From the Author

This book was designed to be truly the only book you'll need to pass the Desktop Applications with Microsoft Visual Basic 6 exam. I've written many Visual Basic bestsellers, but never packed such depth into a VB book before. I've also got and compared this book to virtually every other VB MCSD book out there, and I was honestly amazed at the number of errors and outright misinterpretations of the test objectives that exist in most books. This book, on the other hand, is the product of extensive research and testing into each objective, without skipping over anything as so many other books do. It presents every objective in far more detail than the others, and it's not afraid to tackle the in-depth issues, such as COM programming, database programming, and using every database tool that comes with Visual Basic. In addition, there's at least one full-length example illustrating every objective of the exam (again, unlike virtually every other book). Besides fully covering the objectives, there's also a great deal of background material that you'll find helpful on the exam, such as using SQL server and many other topics. This book was written to stand head and shoulders above its competition, and I hope you agree it does-please write me if you can find anything to add. I've written books that have led the Visual Basic market, but never covered everything you need to pass the test in such detail-often providing twice as much coverage as the competition-before. I know the test well, and everything you need to pass it is right here. —Steven Holzner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2002

    Excelent book!!!!

    I bet in this book to improve myself and I took the exam today and passed!!!! uhuuu Its quite extensive but worth a lot. Buy this book right now if you want to gonna be a Visual Basic MCP.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2001

    I just passed today!

    This book defintely helped me pass the test. The test covered every topic on the test, including the Package and Deployment wizard and VSS, which other books tend to be weak on. It was easy to see how each topic matched the topics on the exam. Each concept is marked with a number that corresponds to a topic on the exam, so you can see which chapter in the book covers each part of the exam. There are typos, and I found a few questions that gave incorrect answers in the answer key, but overall it was the best book out of the three books I purchased(O'Reilly's came in a close second, with Coriolis Exam Prep a far distant third)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2000

    Holzner gets 5+ stars but Prentice Hall's Editing gets -1. . .

    Holzner has written a fantastic, clear, and concise book - and so concise that he is able to cover a huge amount of territory in 18 chapters. He is a rarity: a real expert who is a gifted writer and teacher. I will buy his books on name alone. Hopefully he will hook up with a better publisher! Prentice Hall has done a horriffic 'job' of editing this book. There are typos galore and in places you feel that somebody got whole paragraphs out of sequence. Those folks didn't earn their pay. Despite this - I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2000

    Easily the best around for this exam

    Basically, everything Holzner says in the review is correct. I have looked at all the other MCSD VB6 Desktop books, and none of them come close to this. If you're doing the exam, or even if you're not and you need to learn VB, then buy this book. The CD has some good courseware stuff as well.

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