Review: AppDev Visual C# 2005: Developing Applications
 
Published: 15 Aug 2006
Unedited - Community Contributed
Abstract
In this review Brendan describes his likes and dislikes about "Visual C# 2005: Developing Applications," a DVD-based learning solution from AppDev.
by Brendan Enrick
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Overview

Microsoft's .NET Framework has been a popular environment in which to develop for the past few years.  Visual C# 2005 is a language commonly used by developers who work with the .NET 2.0 Framework.  This course is a quick and easy way to pick up the basics of what you will need to know when developing Windows Applications.  The course uses a series of samples with at least one Visual Studio Project per Module of the course.  The samples are given to you on the discs and you can install on your computer.  This makes it easy to follow along as well as go back to reference bits of the code.

The Lessons are grouped into modules of which there are sixteen.  Each one of these has some common topic, making them like the chapters of a book.  As the lessons progress, they build more and more upon previously learned skills.  Because of this, I do not recommend skipping lessons unless they are topics you are familiar with already.

Navigation in the course is easy to work with because each lesson is grouped into logical sections.  These sections can be selected and viewed at any time which makes it easy to skip to a future or back to a previous lesson.  While I was following along with the AppDev course, I found it convenient to know what was coming up next.  There were topics with which I was already familiar and this ease of navigation allowed me to get past these sections.

The format of this course is designed more towards teaching these lessons than to be used as a reference, but the navigation I spoke of earlier allows it to be used as such as well.  The collection of sample applications that come with the course is a good place to look when referencing something.  I found it easy to look in these samples to find a simplified version of what it was that I was trying to create.

Also included on the discs are over one thousand pages of coursework and hands-on labs to help you learn the material taught in this course.

Lessons

In this section I will talk a little bit about some of the sections which I believe are interesting or should be mentioned.  There is too much good content in this course for me to cover it all and considering that there are usually 3 or more lessons per module, it would be not be very smart of me to talk about every single one of them.  If you really want to find out about each chapter, just buy the course and watch it.

·         Introduction to Windows Forms - This lesson in the course is pretty much just an overview of basic .NET development and how to work with Visual Studio 2005.  If you are already familiar with Visual Studio 2005 this might be a chapter to skim through, but if not then surely you should start here.

·         Exception Handling - In this section of the course a lot can be learned about exception handling in C#.  This is one of the do not miss sections of this course.  In here Ken will teach you not just how to work with and handle exceptions, but some good practices.  You will also learn about some of the features in Visual Studio which help with exception handling.  Some very good practices for exception handling in general are discussed in here.  I would say the biggest problem with this section is that it does not have its own module.

·         Data Access - Databases have gotten much easier to work with in recent years and this section covers how to use ADO.NET to access data.  A few ways of reading data are shown in this section.  This section also explains how to choose an ADO.NET provider, but not many data providers are shown in depth.  In the lessons after this one a lot about data binding and working with the data is shown.

·         Debugging Applications - This section explains fairly well how to debug an application written in Visual Studio 2005.  This section could save you a lot of valuable time if you are not familiar with the debugging tools provided by Visual Studio.  This is another one of my highly recommended sections of this course.

·         Complex Windows Forms Controls - In this lesson you will learn about the controls that you will likely not use on a regular basis.  Some of these controls have amazing uses and they are very powerful controls.  Since the controls in this section have more specific uses they are not as common as the ones discussed earlier.  This still will not cover every control you have ever wanted to know about, but it covers some very interesting ones.

·         Creating Custom Controls - It probably will not be often that you need to create custom controls, but the two lessons on custom controls will show you the basics.  Two ways of creating controls are covered by these lessons.  The easy way is to inherit from an existing control and the hard way is to inherit from the base control class to create an entirely new control.  Reasons for why someone might use each one of these methods are explained in this section of the course.

·         Publishing - Once you have completed writing your application you will want to remember what you have learned from this section.  In here you will first learn the basics of how to use click-once deployment and after learning the basics a much more in-depth lesson on publishing applications is given.  This is where you will learn how to deploy the application you have just written.

Pros

·         This course is a quick and very easy way to learn how to develop applications using Visual C#.

·         The lessons are small enough to be manageable and large enough to be worth watching one at a time.

·         The lessons are kept fun by Ken Getz who really adds a lot to the course.  His teaching style makes even the seemingly boring topics more interesting.

·         Each lesson starts with an introduction that gets your attention and explains what will be taught and each lesson ends with a summary briefly reminding the viewer of what he or she has just learned.

Cons

·         I believe that too much time is spent in design mode.  Sometimes I would just rather be seeing the code that creates a control than what the visual interface of the control is.  For this reason I suggest keeping the samples open while you learn because this will allow you to follow along in the code.

·         Some of the lessons are quite long and should be broken up into a couple of separate lessons.

Conclusion

Overall this course is well made and includes a broad range of material about windows application development.  The topics are usually well covered and well explained.  Materials for the lessons are easily obtained from the discs and they enhance the learning experience offered by this course.  I would recommend this course to anyone wishing to quickly learn how to develop windows applications using Visual C# 2005.  For anyone who wants to be taught how to write windows applications without having to read through a lengthy book, this course is for you.  It is because of its great educational value and ease of use that I gave this course a five star rating and recommend it for future C# developers.

 

About the Course

Title

C# 2005: Developing Applications

 

Instructor

Ken Getz and Robert Green

Publisher

AppDev

Run Time

24 hours

Price

US $1,795.00

Rating

*****

Related URL

Visual C# 2005: Developing Applications

 



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