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Visual Basic 6: Error Coding and Layering

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Visual Basic 6: Error Coding and Layering


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  • Copyright 2000
  • Dimensions: 7 X 9-1/4
  • Pages: 260
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-017227-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-017227-3


  • Concrete, proven techniques for improving code quality
  • Integrated process improvement solutions for any Visual Basic project
  • Building a safe coding framework that resists bugs
  • Superior management strategies for successful Visual Basic development
  • Anticipating, handling, trapping, reporting, and preventing errors
  • For every Visual Basic developer, analyst, and manager!

How to design and write indestructible Visual Basic code!

If you're a Visual Basic professional who demands excellence, here's a start-to-finish plan for achieving it. In Visual Basic 6: Error Coding and Layering, Tyson Gill introduces innovative, fully integrated technical and management strategies for dramatically improving the results of any Visual Basic 6 project.

Understand the "smart coding triangle"-and how to create safe coding frameworks that lead to error-resistant code. Discover new ways to anticipate and prevent errors; then master over 20 valuable error-coding techniques. Architect your software to avoid key causes of failure and learn layered techniques that simplify debugging and maintenance.

Visual Basic 6: Error Coding and Layering also delivers the industry's most powerful Visual Basic project management strategies-from smart coding teams to hyper-libraries to adaptive development. Whether you're a Visual Basic 6 developer, analyst, or manager, this is your single source for everything it takes to deliver outstanding software!

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130172278.pdf

Table of Contents

1. Your Software Development Mission.

Drafting Your Mission. Retaining Corporate Knowledge. Standardizing the Creative Process. Error Coding. Coding Smarter. Identifying the Possible. Achieving the Possible. The Smart Coding Triangle. Barriers to Your Mission.

2. Understanding the Barriers to Your Mission.

Visual Basic Error Coding. Why Good Error Coding Is Seldom Achieved. “We Will Adapt.” Achieving Good Error Coding. Barriers to Error Coding. Evaluating Error Coding. Barriers to Code Standardization. Barriers to Code Reuse. Eliminating the Barriers.

3. Implementing Effective Error Coding.

Raise Your Expectations. Manage Errors Early. Code Errors as You Go. Anticipate Errors. Prevent Errors. Handle Errors. Trap Errors. Report Errors. Avoid Assumptions. Design Functions for Reuse. Reuse Error Coding. Systematic Error Coding.

4. Explicit Coding.

Explicit Variable Usage. Arguments. Arrays. Coding Recommendations. Explicit Coding Is Fundamental.

5. Error Coding Mechanics.

Error Coding Is Not a Given. Visual Basic Error Handling. Without Error Handling. The Error Handler. On Error Resume Next. Error Suppression. On Error Goto. Resuming Program Execution. Multiple Error Handlers. Checking for Errors. Checking Err.Number. Handling the Error. Clearing the Error Object. Disabling the Error Handler. Scope of Error Handling. Error Bubbles. Errors within Errors. Changing Error Handlers. The Error Trap. The Error Trap Handler. Handling Errors In-Line. Raising Errors. Error Trap Block versus In-Line Error Handlers. When to Use the Error Trap Block. When to Use In-Line Error Handling. Avoiding Error Handling Completely.

6. Error Prevention.

Types of Errors. Types of Prevention. Preventing Coding Errors. Preventing User Errors. Form Preventative Habits.

7. Safe Coding Framework.

Reuse-Quality Routines. Safe Procedures. Safe Functions. Safe Error Messages. Defensive Functions. Defensive Subroutines. Safe Classes. Reuse of SPF Procedures. Self-Contained Procedures. Code Blocks. Naming Conventions. Arguments. Limited Scope. Counter Variables. Revision Numbering. Reuse-Quality Documentation. Cleanup. Using the SPF. Implementing the Standard.

8. SPF Sampler.

General Structure. Safe Error Utilities. Array Handling. Type Conversion and Data Validation. String Handling. Forms and Controls. Database Routines. Putting Safe Procedures to Work.

9. Corporate Strategies.

Smart Coding Teams. Cooperative Competition. Developing Your Standard. Creating Safe Procedures. Motivational Catalysis. Certifying for Reuse. Sharing Certified Procedures. Using Hyper-Libraries. Rewarding Lasting Contributions. Code Review through Certification. Adaptive Development. Eliminating Nontechnical Barriers. You're Not There Yet!

10. Program Architecture.

Modes of Program Failure. Beadwork Programs. Maintainability. Maintenance Nightmares. Implicit Business Logic. Architectural Dimensions. Lobes and Layers. Universal Layered Architecture. Reusable Layers. Layered Flow. Layering versus Binding. Layering versus Classes. Layering versus Tiers. Layer Packaging. Deploying Layers. Benefits of Layering. Layering Case Study. Datasets. Insulation from Technology Changes. Implementing a Layered Application.

11. Designing a Layered Application.

The Database. Planning Your Data Layer. Mapping Your Controls. Creating Your Layers. Pseudo-Coding the User Layer. Pseudo-Coding the Business Layer. Methods in the Data Layer. Methods in the User Connection Layer. Methods in the Data Connection Layer. Cool Features of Layered Applications. Creating a Safe Layered Library. Using Layer-Wrapped Controls. Take It from Here.

12. Accomplishing Your Mission.

Getting the Panoramic View. Assessing Your Success. Taking Your Next Steps. Keep the Ball Going!

Appendix A: Naming Conventions.

Appendix B: SPF Checklist.

Appendix C: Certification Rating Sheet.




Coding Smarter

This book will help you improve the quality and productivity of your software development effort. By the time you finish reading it, you will know how to code smarter and to participate in a team effort to code smarter. You will have a better appreciation of the problems and pitfalls associated with Visual Basic programming and the common causes of project failure. You will also have a clear understanding of how to avoid those problems and to ensure the success of your project in the long term as well as in the short term.

This Book Is for You

If you have anything to do with computer programming, this book is for you. Whether you are an analyst, a programmer, a manager, or a related professional, you will find value in this book. Regardless of your experience level, from student to senior developer, this material is at the appropriate level for you. No matter what type of project you are involved in, this book will be applicable.

The scope of this book is broad, from general philosophies to specific lines of code. While many of the general approaches and attitudes presented in this book hold true no matter in what language you are developing, the specific problems and solutions detailed in this book are designed for Visual Basic development.

This is not another "learn Visual Basic" book. It does not simply rephrase and repackage information found in help files and computer books. It presents new and uniquely valuable strategies to overcome coding problems that plague virtually all Visual Basic programs. While it is not a programming book, it does teach programming techniques. It deals with the process of Visual Basic programming as opposed to the language details.

While this is not a management book, it does discuss management issues. While it is not a book about testing, it does deal with testing issues. In short, this book covers all the topics that are vital to a successful team program development effort. It sets an ambitious new standard of excellence for Visual Basic applications, and provides simple (and, in retrospect, obvious) techniques for achieving that new standard of productivity and quality.

This is not a neutral book detailing a specific technology or documenting the latest API or object model. On the contrary, it is a passionate book dealing with both technical and nontechnical issues. Sometimes, it may hit close to home. It may expose flaws in the attitudes and techniques that you may have been using for years. If it does, it will have succeeded in half its mission. If it succeeds in showing you how to overcome those flaws, then it will have succeeded completely.

Getting the Most from This Book

To get the greatest benefit from this book, it is essential that you read it straight through as though you were reading a novel. If you are used to reading technical books by browsing the contents or index and jumping from topic to topic, that approach will not work. Both the conceptual and the practical ideas build progressively through the course of the book, each flowing from previous material. Like a novel, it builds to a climax, at which point you may wonder how you can possibly improve your coding practice in spite of all the formidable antagonists. In the end, it reaches resolution, however, and shows you how you can overcome all obstacles by adopting relatively simple coding approaches.

It is also recommended that you read it at least twice. During the first reading, you may come across suggestions that you question. That is good, but file them away and continue reading. Then go back and read it again. Suggestions that you might reject or question during the first reading may seem more appealing after you see how they fit into the complete picture. During the second reading, you can selectively incorporate the suggestions into your own work, adapting them if necessary to your particular situation.


Thanks to J. Kevin Meadows, Ed Stegman, Edward Michelic, Marcie Gill, and Bill Munro for reviewing the manuscript. Thanks also to David Johnson for contributing illustrations. A big group thanks to the entire staff at WinResources for their support and encouragement. Finally, thanks to Waterside Productions and Prentice Hall for making this book a reality.


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