What is this book about? .NET is designed to provide a new environment within which you can develop almost any application to run on Windows (and possibly in the future on other platforms). Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET) is likely to be a very popular development tool for use with this framework. VB.NET is a .NET compliant language and, as such, has (except for legacy reasons) almost identical technical functionality as the new C# language and Managed Extensions for C++. Using VB.NET, you can develop a dynamic Web page, a component of a distributed application, a database access component, or a classic Windows desktop application. In order to incorporate Visual Basic into the .NET Framework, a number of new features have been added to it. In fact, the changes are so extensive that VB.NET should be viewed as a new language rather than simply as Visual Basic 7. However, these changes were necessary to give developers the features that they have been asking for: true object orientated programming, easier deployment, better interoperability, and a cohesive environment in which to develop applications. What does this book cover? In this book, we cover VB.NET virtually from start to finish: We begin by looking at the .NET Framework, and end by looking at best practices for deploying .NET applications. In between, we look at everything from database access to integration with other technologies such as XML, along with investigating the new features in detail. You will see that VB.NET has emerged as a powerful yet easy to use language that will allow you to target the Internet just as easily as the desktop. This book explains the underlying philosophy and design of the .NET Framework and Common Language Runtime (CLR) and explains the differences between Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic .NET. You will learn how to Develop applications and components using Visual Studio .NET Effectively apply inheritance and interfaces when designing objects and components Organize your code using namespaces Handle errors using the Try...Catch...Finally structure Access data using ADO.NET and bind controls to the underlying data sources Create Windows applications and custom Windows controls Interoperate with COM and ActiveX components Create transactional and queuing components Use .NET Remoting to send serialized objects between clients and servers Create Windows Services Use VB.NET to access information on the Web Create and consume Web Services Secure your applications and code using the tools provided in the .NET Framework SDK Arrange your applications and libraries in assemblies and deploy them using Visual Studio .NET Who is this book for? This book is aimed at experienced Visual Basic developers who want to make the transition to VB.NET. What do you need to use this book? Although it is possible to create VB.NET applications using the command lines tools contained in the .NET Framework SDK, you will need Visual Studio .NET (Professional or higher), which includes the .NET Framework SDK, to use this book to the full. Here are some additional notes on what you may need: Some chapters make use of SQL Server 2000. However, you can also run the example code using MSDE (Microsoft Data Engine), which ships with Visual Studio .NET. Several chapters make use of Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS ships with Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP, although it is not installed by default. Chapter 18 makes use of MSMQ to work with queued transactions. MSMQ ships with Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Professional, and Windows XP, although it is not installed by default.
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