Learn event-handling basics
Learn Visual Basic .NET data types
Learn to create procedures and classes
Use the StringBuilder class
When you start coding using the .NET Framework, you will find yourself faced with many new concepts. Even if you are moving to .NET from the Visual Basic 6 programming environment, you will find that many familiar features now behave slightly differently, and these differences all have enough of a twist to them that you will need to take some time to learn how the new and modified features work.
Of course, one of the most important programming concepts in Visual Basic is that of events. You need to learn about how events happen, as well as what the parameters that the .NET Framework passes to event-handling procedures are used for. Event handling is probably the most important concept in any .NET application, whether you are writing a desktop application or a Web application. Much of what you do as a developer revolves around writing code in response to the user performing some action. It is up to you to create the code that runs in response to these user actions.
Manipulating data is another key area that you should understand before you get too far along with your .NET programming. There are many different types of data such as text, numeric values, and objects that you will need to work with in your code. VB .NET supplies specific data types to help you distinguish between all the different types. It is important you understand what you can store into each data type and how you can convert one data type to another.
Another important concept is that of classes and objects and their use. Although classes are not new to most Visual Basic developers, the techniques you employ to create and use them is somewhat different in VB .NET than in Visual Basic 6. In this chapter, you will learn the basics of creating a class, and you'll apply those concepts to the Northwind solution that you have been building so far in this book.