Aimed at the Visual Basic 6 programmer turning to .NET for the first time, Fast Track Visual Basic .NET provides a worthy, fast-paced introduction to the features and APIs working developers need to get started with VB .NET. The salient feature of this book is its compact size and fast-moving yet approachable tutorial to the new version of Visual Basic. Co-written by VB 6 expert author Rockford Lhotka, this title's focus is on what's new and improved in .NET while making a good many connections with the old VB along the way.
Early sections look at the big picture in .NET, with special attention to how Microsoft's newest platform upgrade improves on earlier COM and DNA. (Interestingly, the authors argue that the older COM standard is not going away anytime soon.) A standout section of this book is the feature-by-feature language tutorial for making the transition between VB 6 and VB .NET, with highlighted material on programming "gotchas"--with arrays and data types, for example.
Instead of comprehensive coverage of programming topics, several sections cover the basics of writing applications for Windows Forms (on the client) and later Web Forms (on the server) with added coverage of ADO.NET for database programming (including new XML support). These sections will serve to get you started on your own programs with some notably clear examples of essential APIs and concepts.
Material on the extensive object abilities of VB .NET will likely be quite daunting to many VB 6 veterans, but the in-depth tutorial here will help you master new .NET features for modeling objects. Later sections delve into some advanced topics that can be read on a need-to-know basis, like .NET remoting, threading, and building Windows services. For all readers, final sections on the deployment options available in VB .NET are a must (including how to create installation programs).
While the later sections of this text stress high-end .NET features, there's still plenty of very accessible material for those making the leap to basic VB .NET. Overall, this title is a strong choice for those many VB developers who will have to retool their skills for .NET quickly. The digestible format here can definitely simplify this transition for a good many readers. --Richard Dragan
Now that the .NET Framework and the Visual Studio .NET IDE have been officially released by Microsoft, it is imperative for developers to get up to speed with the new .NET languages quickly and effectively. The purpose of this book is to act as the tool for this task, helping experienced Visual Basic developers note the key similarities, and differences, between their current language and Visual Basic .NET.