Book Review: Murach's Visual Basic 2008
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Published: 18 Jul 2008
Abstract
Visual Basic 2008 contains more new features than its previous version. In this review, Anand voices his opinion about the book Murach's Visual Basic 2008 by examining the content provided under each section. He also provides suggestions and recommendations to improve the quality of the book.
by Anand Narayanaswamy
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Introduction

Microsoft continues to release new versions of development tools and many publishers and writers have already started to update the previous books they have authored. "Murach's Visual Basic 2008" is one such book which looks similar to that of its previous edition. The chapter titles are almost the same when compared to their VB 2005 book except the inclusion of LINQ.

Inside the Book

Section 1 provides a brief introduction to Visual Studio, designing, coding and testing of a Windows Forms application. Section 2 delves deep into the essential concepts of Visual Basic language, such as data, code control structures, code procedures, exception, usage of arrays, collections, dates and strings. The section concludes with a brief discussion on the creation and usage of classes and the steps involved to debug an application.

The chapters in section 3 examines the core aspects of database programming with special reference to the usage of data sources, data sets, bound controls and parameterized queries. The final chapter teaches you to write your own data access code using ADO.NET which I hope will be helpful for advanced developers.

The author has covered the concepts of Inheritance, Interfaces and Generics in section 4 along with the usage of properties, events and operators using a sample application. From my point of view, this chapter should be placed after section 1 as a developer should be familiar with these fundamental concepts initially. The entire book examines the concepts using a single sample application which I feel will not only help a developer to master the concepts, but also will be able to learn the development of a Visual Basic 2008 project.

The final section helps you to master files, streams, LINQ, and usage of XML files in the development in addition to the steps involved in the deployment of a Visual Basic 2008 project. The author has examined the different ways to enhance the user interface of an application and also devoted an entire chapter to discuss LINQ and its usage with the help of detailed explanation and source codes.

It would have been great if the author had used a new application to examine the features of Visual Basic 2008 since the current project has already been covered in the 2005 edition of the book.

Recommendations

I would recommend the author includes multiple choice questions at the end of each chapter so that computer training centers can use the book as course material for imparting training for their students. However, the author has provided exercises at the end of each chapter and I hope it will be of great benefit to students. I feel that a CD, along with the Express Edition of Visual Basic 2005 and the relevant code files, would be an additional bonus for readers. However, you can download the code files for all the sample applications directly from the website of the publisher. "Murach's Visual Basic 2005" only analyzes the development of Windows Forms applications. If you would like to learn ASP.NET 3.5 using Visual Basic 2008 then you should wait until the publisher releases "Murach's ASP.NET 3.5 Web Programming with VB 2008" in July.

Conclusion

Even though the author has provided lot of content to discuss each concept in various chapters, I hope it will definitely help those students who spend 6 to 8 months to learn Visual Basic 2008. Moreover, the book will be a big asset for experienced developers due to the unique writing style and layout.

About the Book

Title

Murach's Visual Basic 2008

Author

Anne Boehm

Publisher

Murach Publishing

ISBN

978-1-890774-45-5

Edition

First

Pages

820

Price

US $52.50

Rating

*****

Related URL

http://www.murach.com/books/vb08/index.htm

 



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