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Introduction to Visual Basic Using .NET

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Introduction to Visual Basic Using .NET


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  • Insights for students with experience in Visual Basic 6 and previous versions—Carefully designed to help students with prior Visual Basic experience.
    • Enables students with prior Visual Basic experience to become effective with Visual Basic.NET more rapidly.

  • Coverage of key .NET classes—Introduces .NET classes that simplify access to .NET's key features, including classes for collections, files, and threads.
    • Gives students who are experienced with VB exceptionally rapid access to sophisticated .NET functionality.

  • Object-oriented VB.NET programming design, in detail—Explains how to design effective object-oriented Visual Basic.NET programs for distributed environments.
    • Helps students gain the full power of VB.NET — and maximize reuse and efficiency — whether or not they have previously used true object-oriented languages.

  • Detailed Windows Forms coverage—Demonstrates how to use Windows Forms to build robust, next-generation Windows user interfaces.
    • Gives students the skills they need to build Windows applications with exceptional power and usability.

  • Detailed coverage of database access—Introduces practical techniques for integrating databases using Microsoft's advanced ADO.NET technology.
    • Helps students master database integration techniques that are central to virtually all contemporary application and Web service development.

  • Case study shared across all books in the series—This and all other books in the Integrated .NET Series from Object Innovations and Prentice Hall PTR share appropriate facets of a detailed case study covering the entire development process.
    • Lets students more effectively leverage what they've learned as they move from one .NET book and skillset to the next. Because the case study covers the entire development lifecycle, students will understand the challenges that can arise at all stages of .NET development.


  • Copyright 2002
  • Dimensions: 6-3/4" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 704
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-041804-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-041804-3

Using real-world examples and a case study, this book helps you master VB.NET from the ground up -- or rapidly migrate to VB.NET from whatever version of Visual Basic you've used before. Dana Wyatt and Robert Oberg present a thorough introduction to the .NET Framework and Visual Studio.NET from the perspective of Visual Basic developers at all levels. They examine the basic coding constructs of the language, and thoroughly explore the design of object-oriented programs with VB.NET. The book also includes substantial coverage of building next-generation Windows applications using Windows Forms. Finally, the authors introduce major .NET classes for collections, files, ADO.NET, and threads, showing VB.NET developers how to make the most of them. A case study helps leverage the skills you've learned throughout the book and guides you to building a complete system using VB.NET. For every Visual Basic developer who wants to master VB.NET -- regardless of experience level.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Understanding .NET Framework

Table of Contents



About This Series.


 1. .NET Framework.
 2. First VB.NET Programs.
 3. Visual Studio.NET.


 4. Fundamentals of VB.NET.
 5. Control Structures.
 6. Procedures.
 7. Advanced Data Types.
 8. VB.NET Utility Functions.
 9. Exception Handling.


10. Object-Oriented Programming.
11. Classes.
12. Inheritance.
13. Interfaces.
14. The VB.NET Type System.


15. Introduction to Windows Forms.
16. Windows Forms, Part II.
17. Windows Forms, Part III.


18. Using the .NET Framework.
19. NET Collections.
20. Database Access.
21. File I/O.
22. Advanced Features.
23. Components and Assemblies.
Appendix A. Case Study: Object-Oriented Programming.



Microsoft's .NET is a revolutionary advance in programming technology that greatly simplifies application development. In addition to providing support for traditional desktop Windows applications, it provides tremendous support for Web-based services.

Microsoft's popular Visual Basic programming language has been upgraded to take advantage of the new .NET features. Visual Basic.NET, or simply VB.NET, has become a full object-oriented programming language with capabilities comparable to C++, Java, and Microsoft's new language C# (pronounced "C sharp").

This book is a practical introduction to programming in VB.NET and using services provided by .NET. It emphasizes the VB.NET language and is part of The Integrated .NET Series from Object Innovations and Prentice Hall PTR.

An important thrust of this book is to teach VB.NET programming from an object-oriented perspective. This book introduces object-oriented concepts early and includes a case study on object-oriented programming. The book is intended to be fully accessible to programmers who do not already have a background in object-oriented programming. Previous knowledge of Visual Basic is not essential.

The book may also be read by more experienced programmers who desire a simple introduction to VB.NET with many example programs. Although designed for working professionals, the book includes enough detail, careful explanations, and sample programs so that it can be useful as a college textbook.

VB.NET is now a fully object-oriented language. It supports classes, interfaces, interface and implementation inheritance, and polymorphism. It is also highly integrated with the .NET Framework. These features make VB.NET a compelling language for developing object-oriented and component-based systems. This book provides thorough coverage of all these features.

One of the strengths of Visual Basic, and the reason it has enjoyed such widespread use, is the ease with which Windows application can be developed. Microsoft has revamped the way that Windows applications are built under .NET. Windows Forms, used by .NET languages, represents a class library that brings uniformity to the components of a Windows application. The book includes substantial coverage of using Windows Forms in VB.NET.

VB.NET, as a language, is elegant and powerful. However, to fully utilize its capabilities, you must have a good understanding of how it works with the .NET Framework. The book examines several important interactions between VB.NET and the .NET Framework, and includes an introduction to major .NET classes for collections, files, databases, and threads.

Organization of This Book

This book is organized into five major parts and is structured to make it easy for you to isolate what you most need to know.

Part 1, which everyone should read, begins with an introduction to the .NET Framework. The second chapter provides a short introduction to hands-on programming using VB.NET, so that you can start writing code on .NET right away. The third chapter introduces Visual Studio.NET. It is the latest version of Microsoft's popular Visual Studio development environment and has many features that make application development easier and more pleasant. These chapters will equip you to use Visual Studio throughout the rest of the book.

Part 2 covers the core features of VB.NET. If you know Visual Basic, you will have a definite leg up in learning VB.NET, and you can quickly skim this section, paying attention to the information in the sidebars. Sidebars alert you to either (1) the first time a concept new to VB.NET is introduced, or (2) a significant change to the VB.NET language that experienced VB programmers should note. If you are not familiar with Visual Basic, this section is for you. It will quickly bring you up to speed on the core topics of data types, operators, and control structures.

Part 3 examines the object-oriented features of VB.NET. This language is now fully object-oriented, which is one of the most significant improvements in VB.NET. In this part, we begin by examine how classes are built. Subsequent chapters discuss implementation and interface inheritance. These topics are covered gradually and thoroughly, making this part of the book accessible to readers without previous object-oriented experience.

Part 4 covers Windows programming in VB.NET. Microsoft has adopted a new approach to developing Windows applications that will be readily apparent to previous VB programmers. Systematic coverage is presented on the core topics in Windows Forms, including form design, controls, events, menus, toolbars, and dialogs. The rich variety of useful controls provided by Windows Forms is covered in detail.

Part 5 explores the relationships between VB.NET and the .NET Framework. .NET collection classes are introduced. We also examine the .NET interfaces that classes must implement for fundamental operations such as copying and comparing objects. Delegates, a .NET callback mechanism, are discussed. We also introduce both VB.NET file I/O and database programming using ADO.NET. We look at multiple thread programming and attributes. Attributes are powerful in .NET, enabling the programmer to accomplish tasks declaratively, even while writing very little code. You can implement custom attributes in VB.NET. You can read information about custom attributes, or any other metadata, by a mechanism known as "reflection." The book concludes with an introduction to components and assemblies.

Sample Programs

The only way to really learn a programming language is to read and write many, many programs. This book provides many programs that illustrate features of VB.NET. The programs are clearly labeled in the text, and they can all be found in the software distribution that accompanies this book, available through our associated Web site. Also, a case study illustrates many features of VB.NET working together in combination, as they would in a practical application. We make a special point of demonstrating the object-oriented features of VB.NET. If you are new to OO, reading the case study is a must!

The sample programs are provided in a self-extracting file. When expanded, a directory structure is created, rooted in C:\OI\IntroVb. The sample programs are in directories Chap01, Chap02, and so on. All the samples for a given chapter are in individual folders within the chapter directories. The names of the folders are clearly identified in the text. An icon in the margin alerts you to a code example. The case study is in a directory called CaseStudy, at the same level as the chapter directories.

This book is part of The Integrated .NET Series. The sample programs for other books in the series are located in their own directories beneath \OI, so all the .NET examples from all books in the series will be located in a common area as you install them.

Web SiteHere's the Web site for the book series:

A link is provided at that Web site for downloading the sample programs for this book.


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