What Is Covered in This Book?
This book covers a wide range of Visual Basic topics. Here’s a brief sample of the subjects discussed: designing server side objects, CE development, building base code, mixed language programming, designing distributed applications, debugging, migration issues, error handling, the Year 2000 problem as it relates to Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic for Applications, software testing, re-usability successful enterprise development, recruiting great developers, developing for people with disabilities, coding conventions, and numerous other mission-critical aspects of Visual Basic development. There is really no start and end?just dip into whatever chapter takes your fancy. By the time you’ve finished reading this book, you’ll understand how to make the most of this marvelous technology.
When we originally approached Microsoft Press with the idea of writing an advanced Visual Basic book that was a bit different from the rest, we wondered what reaction we’d get. We were particularly keen on incorporating three features:
The book was to be a focused collection of the writings and opinions of many individuals. Perhaps, healthily, some of these people would disagree with one another.
By including material about advanced real-world issues, we wanted the book to be of real interest to corporate managers and developers who were trying to push the tool to its limits.
Through content and a mix of engaging writing styles, we wanted the book to be entertaining and highly readable.
We expected each author to write about a subject he or she felt passionately about. The subject had to be relevant to real-world programming issues. It also had to be drawn from practical, real-life experience gained from developing and consulting in the trenches?you’ll find no code describing how to flip a window upside down in this book!
Microsoft Press liked our ideas, and we’re pleased to say that the first edition of this book, which targeted Visual Basic 5, was a runaway bestseller. We have now written a substantially updated second edition for Visual Basic 6.
At The Mandelbrot Set (International) Limited, or just plain TMS, we’ve been committed to Visual Basic since version 1?in fact, Peet Morris did the world’s first public showing of the tool. We’re also the British company behind two successful programmer toolkits for both Visual Basic 3 and 4, including MicroHelp’s Code Complete. In our ISV position, we’ve been in on the early testing programs for Visual Basic and were the first site in Europe to have access to version 6?we’ve been using Visual Basic 6 for a long time!
What else do we do? We spend the bulk of our time on the road developing Visual Basic software and consulting for mostly blue-chip clients. Over the years, we’ve become familiar with all the issues around enterprise-level development with Visual Basic. From time to time, we also write articles for various Visual Basic_oriented publications, speak at events such as VBITS and TechEd, and run advanced Visual Basic training courses and seminars.
Because of our background and our experience, we’re in a superb position to write authoritatively on Visual Basic 6, the most significant upgrade yet.
Who Should Read This Book?
This book is geared toward two broad audiences. Technical managers responsible for planning, designing, and supporting Visual Basic applications should read it with a view to understanding what they can and can’t expect from the teams they are or will be managing and what capabilities Visual Basic 6 has. Developers responsible for designing, programming, and implementing Visual Basic applications within the corporate arena should study it to find out how other experts handle the common, yet often complex and frustrating, problems they are likely to encounter (or are already wrestling with).