Visual Basic .NET 2003 has arrived -- with richer object models, a quicker, more responsive IDE, support for .NET 1.1, even a greatly improved Upgrade Wizard for converting VB6 code. If you were considering purchasing VB.NET 2003 Standard Edition, get Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Deluxe Learning Edition instead.
For not much more than the software alone, you’ll also get Michael Halvorson’s great beginner’s tutorial Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Step by Step: Version 2003. This project-focused book covers everything from the simplest controls and program syntax through database and Internet programming.
By Chapter 2, you’ll be building complete programs: to be precise, a slot machine. As your skills grow, you’ll return to that program repeatedly -- adding public variables to track “wins,” new forms to provide Help. But that’s only one of 60-plus projects. Halvorson walks you through user interface programming, decision structures, debugging, modules and procedures, arrays and collections, text files, string processing, supporting printers, and more.
There’s a full chapter on automating Microsoft Office applications (sample project: calling Excel 2002 to compute a loan payment). Halvorson then introduces ADO.NET data adapters, datasets, and the DataGrid control -- all you need to use and display database information. You’ll also get a taste of web programming: first, displaying HTML documents in Internet Explorer and then using Web Forms and ASP.NET to design and build interactive web applications.
The CD-ROM contains all practice files -- plus an electronic version of the book. This package is all you need to get started with VB.NET 2003, in one box. 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.