Microsoft's DCOM is the key technology for enterprise development for the Windows platform. Written for the working Visual Basic developer or project manager, Programming Distributed Applications with COM and Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 introduces the basics of DCOM objects in a clear style. All examples are written in Visual Basic, and the reader learns about new Microsoft BackOffice technologies such as Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) (for transaction processing) and Microsoft Message Queue Server (MSMQ) (for message queuing). If your shop uses Microsoft tools, Visual Basic 6 stands ready to write today's scalable distributed applications using DCOM. This well-organized text shows you how DCOM works and what advantages it offers for today's enterprise developer using Visual Basic 6. --Richard Dragan
In order to create scalable, distributed objects with Visual Basic, a programmer must understand the underlying architecture and complexities of Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM)-information that until now has been primarily available in resources aimed at the C++ programmer. PROGRAMMING DISTRIBUTED APPLICATIONS WITH COM AND MICROSOFT VISUAL BASIC 6.0 teaches COM fundamentals in language Visual Basic programmers understand, and explains how to exploit the significant COM-based capabilities in Visual Basic 6.0. Businesses that can leverage existing VB proficiency to develop business objects in the middle tier can realize tremendous gains in their enterprise development strategy.
I believe that COM is the most important thing that a Windows programmer can learn. Whether you're creating a desktop application that relies on ActiveX controls or an MTS application that runs business objects in an N-tier architecture, COM ties it all together. Whatever programming language or languages you're using, understanding COM is a prerequisite. However, learning about COM isn't easy. Just ask anybody who's taken the time to really get up to speed.
The creators of COM claim that they made it as simple as possible and no simpler. For a programmer with an IQ of 184 and a ponytail who spends 14 hours a day writing software, COM might seem simple. To the rest of us, COM looks like several challenging high-level concepts and thousands of grungy details. People who learned COM using C++ in the early days speak of the six months of fog they walked through in search of the light. Visual Basic has whittled down the required details from thousands to merely hundreds, but as you read through this book, you'll find that every time you peel back another layer, another daunting level of complexity appears.
The early days of COM are now fondly remembered as the days of pain and suffering. The brave developers who became productive in COM between 1993 and 1995 had to hack their way to productivity by studying the few available resources. Only the most hardcore C++ programmers became COM-literate by reading and rereading the COM Specification and Kraig Brockschmidt's Inside OLE. Today several development tools and frameworks enable you to benefit from COM without having to ride the intense learning curve that was required only a few years ago.
A thriving community of C++ programmers now eats, breathes, and sleeps the ways of COM. Some C++ programmers write COM code by hand, while others use a productivity framework such as the Active Template Library. You can find excellent books such as Essential COM by Don Box, and Inside COM by Dale Rogerson, which explain the critical aspects of COM that you need to understand to be productive.