Getting started with Visual Basic (VB) is easy, but for serious enterprise development, you need to master a lot more. Beginning Visual Basic 6 Application Development puts enterprise-level programming into the hands of intermediate VB users with a capable tour of every facet of multitiered development. This book is all you need to start using server-side objects and Web-based interfaces with VB.
What's best here is the comprehensive yet approachable guide to all of the Microsoft tools, APIs, and standards that are needed for using VB to create large enterprise-level applications. This means looking at the three tiers for application partitioning--user, business, and data services--along the lines of Microsoft's recommended practice. The authors cover all of the steps needed to design and code applications in today's corporate environments, along with a solid introduction to UML diagrams. Wherever possible, they make use of tools (like the VB Class Builder) to speed up development; also, the title is chock full of actual screen shots to help you along.
These project-design techniques are illustrated through an online banking application. The authors walk through all of the steps that are required to build it on all three tiers, starting from the underlying database schema (created in SQL Server 7, then accessed through stored procedures and ActiveX Data Objects), plus business objects for simulating basic banking transactions. (Here, the authors show how to create objects in VB classes by using COM and Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS)). Despite some high-level material, this text is anchored in a practical, very hands-on sample application that you can build and deploy on your own.
Later sections turn to the user interface or presentation layer. First, the application is built by using a traditional stand-alone client; then, the book presents a Web-based HTML interface that's generated with Active Server Pages (ASP pages). A final section even looks at XML for sharing data between applications.
It's hard enough to use VB with objects for the beginner, and mastering all of the standards (with such acronyms as UML, COM+, SQL, ADO, MTS, HTML, and ASP) is even tougher. Beginning Visual Basic 6 Application Development covers all of the necessary terrain and gives intermediate developers what they need to tackle serious enterprise projects by using VB. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Introduction to enterprise applications: scalability, reliability, and high availability; basics of Microsoft Distributed interNet Architecture (DNA), tour of Microsoft tools and standards (MTS, IIS, ASP, COM, MSMQ, UDA, SQL Server, and COM+), case study for an online banking application, comparison of software development methodologies (the traditional "waterfall" approach, the Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), and the Rational Unified Process), object-oriented design tutorial, Visual Basic (VB) classes and the Class Builder tool, COM, ActiveX and DCOM basics, Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), adding transaction support to VB components, deploying VB objects, Unified Modeling Language (UML) diagrams, logical and physical database design, tutorial for SQL and stored procedures, querying and updating databases by using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO), building the data- and business-services tiers, GUI design, creating VB forms for users and administrators; testing, deployment, and maintenance; HTML and ASP tutorial, and XML used with VB.