Microsoft & .NET.NETBook Review: Building Distributed Applications with Visual Basic .NET

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Title: Building Distributed Applications with Visual Basic .NET
Author: Dan Fox (with Quilogy, Inc.)
ISBN: 0-672-32139-0
Published: November, 2001
Price: $44.99 USD
Pages: 763
Rating: 5 out of 5

Review by: Roger Roberts

This book is aimed at corporate developers and it hits the mark accurately and with style. Anyone who writes VB .NET code for a living, is going to love this book, I sure did!

Dan Fox does an excellent job of describing and relating all aspects of using Visual Basic .NET to design distributed applications with this book.

He starts by laying a solid foundation by explaining the CLR, then on through deployment, security, error handling, ADO.NET, building components, component services, web forms and services, I/O, multithreading, cryptgraphy, Windows services, XML, and active directory. I really liked the way he covered the new object oriented features. In showing these topics, he uses real world examples, walking the reader through the design and building of a useful application. The code in the book is mostly pseudo code or fragments that show off the point being discussed without a lot of fluff and overhead. The complete code can be downloaded from Sams’ web site.

The book’s stated audience is intermediate to advanced level programmers. That being the case, I didn’t expect that the first six chapters would be covering .NET architecture, development environment, language features, object oriented features, packaging and deployment, security, error handling, and debugging. I expect these areas to be addressed in a book geared at the beginner level, not this one. I realize that most of the other .NET books cover this information as well. I just don’t like it.

That said, I highly recommend this book because it fulfills two purposes. The first is that it makes a great tutorial. It is laid out logically and presented well. Secondly, it is an accurate, detailed reference manual. Filled with tips and helpful comments. I have found myself refering back to it over and over for quick answers and explanations on the best way to do the things that are new to VB .NET and the way things need to be done now. I’ve learned things from this book’s discussion about VB .NET that have made me a better VB6 programmer as well.

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