Microsoft & .NET Visual Basic Visual Basic Database Programming Multimedia Cyber Classroom

Visual Basic Database Programming Multimedia Cyber Classroom

This interactive classroom is part of the Complete Database Training Course from
Prentice Hall Professional Technical References. Also included with the Complete Database
Training Course is the book Core Visual Basic 5, which will be reviewed shortly.  The
install was quick and easy, and it was soon up and running. I was a complete novice at
databases when I started this: I had never used DAO, Jet, RDO, or anything else
Database-like previously, so I was approaching it from the point of view of a complete
novice.

The first thing that I noticed at the program got started was that it was written in
Java, so there was a nasty DOS box sitting in the background all the time that it was
running. After having a flick round through the book, I saw the the front end was not very
slick, and the font, although 12pt, was small on my display, and there was no way to
change it. The window the the book sat in was also not sizeable, so I was stuck with only
a small page-worth of writing to read before I had to continue to the next page. Anyway,
that’s enough grumbling about the interface, let’s get on with the meaningful bit – the
content.

I started at the first chapter (as most people do), and I was getting quite worried
that I was going to be out of my depth, as it started talking about the thoery of
databases, and their structure. Although this was quite heavy going, it introduced me well
to the jargon of databases, and what options there were. The second chapter was a much
easier read, as I was introduced to DAO and Jet databases through the Data Control. There
is the option at the beginning of most sections to have it read out aloud. I really liked
this feature, as it meant that I could be trying out the code, and my new ideas while it
was reading to me. As well as the basic chapter text, there are regular tips, and caveats
about database programming. There are also regular diagrams, showing relationships between
the objects, procedure paramenters, and code snippets.

Although there was a sprinkling of code and demo projects, I don’t think that there was
quite enough. The demo projects associated with each chapter were, one the whole, very
good, showing you how to do the things talked about in the chapter. However, it is very
hard to cover all the features covered in a whole chapter in just one demo, and I think
that including more would be better.

The chapter that I found most useful was the one concerning SQL queries, and using
them. This was very informative, and what was said was good. However, it only really
scraped the surface, as, after looking it up in VB Books Online, I have found out much
more about SQL. This is one place where more examples would have been much better, and,
even if they are just example SQL statements, a good explanation of how to implement them
would be good.

One feature that I liked a lot was the end of chapter quiz. This let you catch up with
your thoughts, and see how much of the previous chapter you could remember. This was a
good pointer of what to go back and have a second look at as well. The quiz involved
ticking boxes, and dragging words into spaces. However, every now and then, it got
confused, and refused to work correctly.

On the whole this is a good package which goes into a lot of good detail, which is let
down by its lacking front end, which would have been much better as a simple HTML
document. You must realise before you start that some of it is quite heavy going, and that
to get the full use out of it, you need to have SQL Server 6.5, and access to a web server
to play around with ASP.

Chapter List

1)    Introduction
2)    Acessing Data Using the Data Control
3)    Using Data Access Object
4)    Advanced Database Concepts
5)    The Remote Data Object
6)    Stored Queries and Stroed PRocedures
7)    Transaction Processing and the Microsoft Transaction Server
8)    Active Server Pages and ADO
9)    Building Client Applications Using the ODBC API
10)    Managing and Distributing your Application

>

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