The latest version of Visual Basic is VB.NET, and it's focused like a laser on Microsoft's.NET way of implementing Web Services and other distributed applications. The Book of VB.NET
shows how to use the latest version of Visual Basic to satisfy customer requirements of this sort, using.NET capabilities not for their own sake, but as a means of writing better applications that result in happier customers.
However, most of the people who crank up VB.NET aren't so much interested in using.NET as they are in satisfying their customers' requirements. More often than not, these have to do with accessing a database across a network and providing users--probably a couple of different kinds of them--with an attractive, speedy, and easy-to-use client interface.
Designed for people with an understanding of how things used to be done in Visual Basic, some exposure to the .NET excitement, or a combination of the two, this book assumes less background knowledge than you might think. Matthew MacDonald is tremendously careful to introduce concepts (such as three-tier design of applications, custom exceptions, or ActiveX controls) with a combination of code and explanatory text. Combinations like this help ensure that the reader develops a practical understanding of the subjects at hand--a result of entering and compiling samples--as well as an academic understanding of why things are done as they are. He keeps one eye on the practical aspects of everything, as well, so trust his advice if you're designing your first VB.NET applications for customers. --David Wall
Topics covered: The VB.NET way of building software applications, including coverage of user interface design, VB-style object orientation, database access via ADO.NET, flat data files (including XML files), and deployment of distributed applications. The coverage of multithreading is particularly nice.