Real Visual Basic: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Development in the Corporate World

Book Review

Real Visual Basic: A Practical Approach to Enterprise Development
in the Corporate World
by Dan Petit
Copyright 2000
Addison-Wesley Publishing Company

Real Visual Basic Find out more about this book,
or purchase it, from Amazon.com

So what is a book review about Visual Basic doing on a website devoted to SQL Server performance? This is a good question, and one that is easy to answer. One of the things I preach over and over on this website is that much of SQL Server’s performance depends on the application accessing it. And as VB is one of the most popular programming languages used to access SQL Server, reviewing this book makes a lot of sense. The better the design of the VB application, the faster SQL Server will perform.

This is not a book that teaches you how to program in VB. In fact, you should already have some experience as a VB developer before you read this book. What this book is, is a wonderful collection of practical advice on how to write VB applications for the real world. It is a high-level look at how VB applications should really be designed and written.

The author’s premise is that there are many misconceptions about VB, and that they can get in the way of developing real world solutions. He dispels these misconceptions and teaches you how to develop both small and large software projects using VB. For example, one of the misconceptions he says about VB is that “Visual Basic projects do not require serious design”. I couldn’t agree more. VB development is often considered “easy” because it is easy to learn its fundamentals. But this is itself a deception, because any large real world VB application requires considerable design, especially if it is using SQL Server as its backend, and assuming you want any kind of performance. Every company I have ever worked in that uses VB has this same misconception, and I wish I could give this book to all the VB developers who just don’t know better.

The topics covered in this book include:

  • Rapid Application Development with Visual Basic

  • Software Lifecycle Models

  • Requirements Gathering and Documentation

  • Analysis

  • Architecture and COM

  • User Interface Design: UI Concepts

  • User Interface Design: Forms and Prototyping

  • Object Design: Concepts

  • Object Design: Relationships and Design

  • Database Design

  • General Coding Practices

  • VB 6: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  • Data Access

  • OLE DB and ADO

  • Creating ActiveX Controls

  • Advanced Topics in Visual Basic

  • Debugging and Error Handling

  • Quality Assurance

  • Coding Standards

  • Distribution of Software

Another reason I like this book is because it includes a lot of information on how to access back-end databases. In addition, the book includes many performance-related tips and advice, although they are not located in any one special section.

I highly recommend this book to all developers who develop in VB. While you may already know some of the information found in this book if you have been developing in VB for a while, I can assure you will still find a lot that you didn’t know. This book is a must addition to your VB book library.




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