Welcome to the latest in the series of Doing Objects books. This series started in 1995 with Visual Basic 4.0, when VB could first do objects. At that time, little had been discussed about using object-oriented design and development techniques with Visual Basic. To help improve that situation, almost half of each book in the series was dedicated to helping developers think in object-oriented terms and design an object-oriented application. The other half presented a full-featured solution for building an object-oriented application.
As with each of the other books in this series, this book is about designing and developing great applications for Visual Basic using object-oriented principles. However, today's Visual Basic developer is much more versed in design concepts, so only one chapter of this book is dedicated to design. The remaining chapters provide techniques for building an object-oriented application and a reusable application framework.
Unlike other books that provide reference-type information and short examples with no context, this book presents each topic in a logical sequence, illustrating the techniques by designing and developing a full-featured application. This allows you to readily see how each technique fits into your development activities.
This book also demonstrates how to build an application framework you can reuse in every application you build. With an application framework you can significantly increase your productivity and that of your team.
This new edition of the book was completely rewritten to use the features of Visual Basic 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and the .NET Framework. It makes no assumptions about your experience with .NET. It provides tips for experienced .NET developers and those new to .NET. There are even some tips specifically for developers moving from VB6 to .NET.
The goal of most Visual Basic developers is to get the job done. You have existing code to maintain, enhancements to implement, and new applications to write—all with limited time and other resources. You need to be as productive as possible. Learning a new version of your programming language and development environment takes away from that productivity. So you need a way to learn the new tools and techniques as rapidly and efficiently as possible.
This book is for developers who need to quickly learn the key features of Visual Basic 2005, Visual Studio 2005, and the .NET Framework and incorporate the new techniques into their daily design and development activities. Specifically, if you are interested in learning how an object-oriented approach and these new tools and techniques can minimize the complexity of software design and development and improve your productivity, this book is for you.
I have many opportunities to talk with software developers at conferences, via newsgroups and e-mail, and through my consulting company. The key concern for many developers is how to come up to speed quickly on the many new features. Bookstores have shelves full of books, but it is hard to know where to begin, how the features interrelate, or even how to find time to do that much reading. The goal of this book is to provide details on the key features in one place and all within the context of designing and building a full-featured application.
This book assumes you are familiar with some version of Visual Basic, even if it is only a classic version like VB3 or VB6. It assumes you know how to write programming logic and put controls on forms.
This book is not for people new to programming. Nor is it for developers who have never used a visual programming tool, such as Visual Basic. After you learn the basics, come back to this book to learn best practices for building great Visual Basic 2005 applications.