Murach’s Visual Basic 2008

Dennis Hayes

October 30, 2009

4 Min Read
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Murach s Visual Basic 2008

The first thing to note about this book and its C#companion title, Murach s C# 2008 byJoel Murach, is that the books have more differences than most books that comein both VB.NET and C# versions. Thedifferences are not great the examples are the same, and the text is mostlythe same but the organization is a bit different. For instance, in the VB.NETversion, database programming is covered before object-oriented programming,but in the C# version, the order of these topics is reversed. Rather than simplyconvert the samples between VB.NET and C#,it is clear that the authors gave some thought as to the different needs of VB.NETand C# programmers.


This is an excellent book for beginners. Section One startswith the basics of working with Visual Studio and getting a simple programworking and builds from there. Murach sVisual Basic 2008 even has an appendix that describes how to install VisualStudio and SQL Server Express, and how to download and connect to the sampledatabase used in the book. It has lots of detailed instructions, and doeseverything in a step by step manner. The book also very thorough. Even as anexperienced VB.NET programmer, I picked up anew trick every few pages. This section also covers the Visual Studio SmartCompile Auto Correction and the VB.NET My features, both VB.NET-specific.


The second section covers the basics of the VB.NETlanguage, then expands into arrays and collections. I especially like that itcovers strings and dates at a level that is useful for everyday programming, explainingthe differences between the .NET DateTimefunctions and the VB.NET language-specificDateTime functions. I may keep this book handy just for the information it hason formatting dates, which I still find difficult to get just right. Thissection also covers the basics of creating and using classes, including how touse Visual Studio to automatically create class diagrams. This is where Boehmintroduces debugging using Visual Studio, again covering details many books neglect.I like how this book teaches not only VB.NET,but Visual Studio as well. This is important, because for most programmers, .NETprogramming is as much about Visual Studio as it is about .NETor VB.NET.


The third section starts with a quick overview ofclient-server databases and then shows how to query data from a single tableand from multiple joined tables. The section continues by demonstrating how toconnect to databases and retrieve data by having Visual Studio do the hardwork. It also covers all the ADO.NETdata classes and how they work together, and how to bind data to all the .NETcontrols including controls like the DataGrid control, which can displaywhole tables, and those like the TextBox control, which can only display singlevalue. Murach s Visual Basic 2008 thenmoves into more advanced techniques, like parameterized queries and using theToolStrip control to allow users to create their own queries. The sectioncloses by detailing how to do by hand all the work that Visual Studio had beendoing for us; note that most programmers creating real-world databaseapplications do this work by hand because they need the added control over thedetails.


The fourth section covers object-oriented programming,from the basics to nested classes, and how to use classes to organizeapplications.


The final section, titled Other programming skills, andhas five chapters. Chapters 21 and 22 cover reading and writing text, binary,and XML files. Chapter 23 covers the new LINQ database technologies in .NET3.5 (you ll need a book just on LINQ to really get an understanding of this,but this book provides a good introduction). Chapter 24 provides moreinformation on user interfaces, including single and multi-document interfaces,menus, toolbars, and adding help to an application. The final chapter covershow to deploy an application after you ve built it, including XCopy deploymentof Windows applications, and ClickOnce deployment of Web applications. Itcontinues with creating set-up programs, and ends with deploying databaseapplications.


This is probably the best introductory book I ve seen onprogramming .NET. It is aimed at a college-levelaudience who know nothing about programming. It assumes nothing, but getsstraight to the point with no pandering. It explains everything in detail, butnever wastes time sugar-coating anything. This book is not for advanced .NETprogrammers, but it doesn t try to be. It simply tries to be the bestintroductory book on VB.NET, and it may wellhave reached that goal.


I write software for psychologists. Though they are notprogrammers, many have some experience with VB6, and would like the ability tomake small changes to the programs I write for them. At this point, this is theonly book I am recommending to them.


Dennis Hayes



Title: Murach s Visual Basic 2008

Author: AnneBoehm

Publisher: Murach

ISBN: 978-1-890774-45-5

Web Site:

Price: US$52.50

Page Count: 820



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