What You'll Find in This Book
Visual Basic .NET Unleashed covers the new Visual Basic .NET language, the unified Visual Studio IDE, Web programming with WebForms, ADO.NET, Web Services, GDI+, and much more.
Visual Studio .NET is an enterprise tool. To demonstrate the power of the tool in the context of Visual Basic .NET, you will encounter some coverage of macros and the Automation Extensibility Model for customizing your Visual Studio experience.
To help you derive the greatest benefit from programming in an object-oriented language, Refactoring, an aspect of Extreme Programming (XP), is employed to provide you with code that is practicable in the real world.
Finally, all of the code listings from the trivial to the complex are available for download from www.samspublishing.com. The code examples are organized by chapter.
The New Visual Basic Language
Some of the keywords and statement-level aspects of Visual Basic remain in Visual Basic .NET, but this is where most of the similarities end.
Comprehensive coverage of the Visual Basic core language as implemented in Visual Basic .NET is presented in Visual Basic .NET Unleashed.
Advanced Object-Oriented Programming
Classes in Visual Basic 6 support interface, or COM, inheritance. Interface inheritance is orthogonal to object-oriented inheritance. With classes in VB6, you define public methods and attributes in a class, and then implement them in another class. This works moderately well but is not as powerful as the superclass and subclass relationship afforded in object-oriented inheritance.
In Visual Basic .NET, you get methods and attributes from the superclass, or parent class, and extend them in subclasses. The benefit is a greater degree of code reuse. The idioms for OOP in Visual Basic .NET and the grammar supporting them are different. You will find comprehensive coverage and examples of the revised object-oriented idioms contained in this text.
Besides fundamental OOP idioms, this book covers and demonstrates the effect OOP revisions have in Visual Basic .NET on interface design, using namespaces, defining classes, implementing delegates, inheritance, polymorphism, encapsulation, and shared methods. All theoretical discussions are backed by examples demonstrating the techniques.
After you have mastered new OOP idioms, Visual Basic .NET Unleashed goes on to demonstrate advanced concepts like reflection, attributes, multithreading, and Web programming.
Code examples will be refactored as the book progresses to demonstrate how to achieve optimum reuse and benefit from your code.
Common Language Runtime
Visual Basic .NET Unleashed will demonstrate a multitude of classes in the CLR, including the expanded System.Diagnostics class that affords you a greater measure of testing and debugging capabilities.
Other aspects of the CLR will be introduced where it is appropriate to do so. For example, when we are discussing interface design and forms, we will work with Windows Forms and GDI+.
Client/server programming is still a mainstay in programming. A moderate amount of ADO.NET programming can be found in Chapter 19, which discusses ASP.NET and Web applications.
Database programming needs a lot of coverage, and I am diligently working on a new book to provide you with more information on Web programming and ADO.NET. Check out the www.samspublishing.com Web site for more information about that book.
Programming for the Web
Visual Basic .NET is an excellent choice for programming for the Web. ASP.NET uses code-behind modules that can be implemented with the same Visual Basic .NET as used in Windows Applications. Chapter 18 demonstrates Web Services and Chapter 19 introduces ASP.NET Web applications and server controls. The topic of extensive control of programming for the Web really needs its own book. I am hopeful that by the time you have digested this book, I will have a comprehensive book on Web programming available for you.