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Introduction to Visual. Basic at the completion of this chapter, you will be able to 1. Describe the process of visual program design and development. 2. Is Visual Basic an Object-Oriented. Programming Language? 4. What Is Visual Basic Express Edition? 9. What Kinds of Applications Can You Build . Published just in time for the first release of Visual Basic portal7.info, Programming Visual portal7.info is a programmer's complete guide to Visual portal7.info
NET, it's become the core language for creating business applications with Windows. The latest version, VB , is even more useful -- and provides even more incentive for migrating from VB 6. All it lacks is a good book on how to harness its power. Programming Visual Basic fills the void. NET, this hands-on guide addresses the core topics of the new VB, from basic to complex, with plenty of code examples. Programming Visual Basic also examines.
It also covers all the ADO. NET data classes and how they work together, and how to bind data to all the. NET controls including controls like the DataGrid control, which can display whole tables, and those like the TextBox control, which can only display single value.
Murach s Visual Basic then moves into more advanced techniques, like parameterized queries and using the ToolStrip control to allow users to create their own queries. The section closes by detailing how to do by hand all the work that Visual Studio had been doing for us; note that most programmers creating real-world database applications do this work by hand because they need the added control over the details.
The fourth section covers object-oriented programming, from the basics to nested classes, and how to use classes to organize applications. The final section, titled Other programming skills, and has five chapters.
Chapters 21 and 22 cover reading and writing text, binary, and XML files. Chapter 23 covers the new LINQ database technologies in.
NET 3. Chapter 24 provides more information on user interfaces, including single and multi-document interfaces, menus, toolbars, and adding help to an application. The final chapter covers how to deploy an application after you ve built it, including XCopy deployment of Windows applications, and ClickOnce deployment of Web applications. It continues with creating set-up programs, and ends with deploying database applications.
This is probably the best introductory book I ve seen on programming. It is aimed at a college-level audience who know nothing about programming. It assumes nothing, but gets straight to the point with no pandering. It explains everything in detail, but never wastes time sugar-coating anything. NET tutorials. FunctionX Visual Basic.
NET : advanced Visual Basic examples. Quite interesting! NET : a Visual Basic tutorial with the focus on its object oriented natural. Probably not a good choice as a first introduction to the language. Wonder How To VB. NET : Visual basic examples demonstrated with videos. Many of the following books are parts of a series and may have editions for earlier versions of the system if that is what you are using.
Beginning Visual Basic by Bryan Newsome: geared toward people who are totally new to programming. This book has editions going back to Visual Basic Learning Visual Basic. It starts at the beginning and covers everything. It is also available in and editions. Tools Visual Studio provides all the tools that you would normally need. But there are various add-ons and extensions that you might find useful under some circumstances. Visual Basic 6 Quick Reference : a basic reference on a single sheet of paper — handy for pinning to the wall.
By version 5 of the language, it was capable of doing just about anything other major languages were capable of. With the advent of the. Due to its inclusion in. Interestingly, for as much as VBScript has expanded its reach over the last two decades, there is one place where it is no longer available: the browser.
VBScript was never available in non-Microsoft browsers. However, most VB script usage falls into a small handful of categories: Systems administration: administrators of various Microsoft systems were among the first adopters of VBScript, as it was a marked improvement over earlier alternatives. It continues to be used by sysadmins, and its use is somewhat analogous to the use of Bash or Perl among Linux administrators. VBScript and Web Development VBScript was originally targeted at web developers, both for client-side in-browser and server-side scripting.
Even though in-browser use has been scant and is no longer supported , the browser-based features of VBScript can be exploited in the context of HTML Application, a Windows app format that allows a desktop UI to be built in HTML and powered via one or more scripting languages. This approach is fairly popular among Windows sysadmins and developers, as it allows them to get a prototype up and running pretty fast.
Text figures are available electronically for use in presentations, transparencies, or handouts. These include all the illustrations, screenshots, and tables featured throughout the book. The OLC can be found at www.
Instructors also will find the OLC a useful resource. Acknowledgments We would like to express our appreciation to the many people who have con- tributed to the successful completion of this text. Most especially, we thank the students at Mt. San Antonio College who helped class-test the material and who greatly influenced the manuscript. Many people have worked very hard to design and produce this text. Our thanks also to the many people who produced this text including Marlena Pechan, and Betsy Blumenthal.
We greatly appreciate John Blyzka, Peter van der Goes, and Robert Price for their thorough technical reviews, constructive criticism, and many valuable suggestions. And most importantly, we are grateful to Dennis and Richard for their support and understanding through the long days and busy phone lines. Com- bine these for a thumbnail review of the chapter. Understanding the ter- minology is an important part of learning any new language. Stepping through existing code is also a great tool in learning new techniques.
You have probably already learned that the best way to learn how to program is to actually sit at a computer and write code. There is also a glossary at the end of the text where you can look up the definition of the terms. With that in mind.
The review questions at the end of the chapter can test your understanding of the topics. Please feel free to load the programs. There are several tools in this text to help you on your way.
Each of those terms is in boldface within the chapter. If you run into a problem. Use the singleton design pattern to create a class that should be instantiated only once. NET Framework Companies. Create an MDI project with a parent form. Identify and understand the purpose of each of the files listed in the Solution Explorer.
Understand what happens at compile time. The Framework is composed of the common language runtime. Any code that is compiled to run in the CLR is called managed code. Not only did. NET are the Microsoft. The Class Library All of the. These products introduced significant changes into program development for Visual Basic VB. NET classes and interfaces are stored in a library known as the. The CLR also manages memory used by. Your code can be integrated with classes and methods of managed code written in other programming languages.
The library is organized into sections or groups known as namespaces. NET Framework provides a platform for developing and running applica- tions and Windows Communications Foundation WCF services written in mul- tiple languages on multiple platforms. The IDE is used to develop programs and the Framework runs the programs. The metadata include data types.
NET Framework The. A common language runtime portable executable PE file con- tains the metadata along with the code. NET applications. The CLR has standards for data types that allow you to pass an instance of one of your classes to a method created in a different language. Objects that are no longer being used are automatically removed from memory by the gar- bage collector component of the CLR.
NET Framework Microsoft revolutionized the programming for Windows applications and be- came a bigger player in the development of Web applications with the introduc- tion of the. You should be familiar with some of the common. NET bring true object orientation to the language.
Although you can manage application memory yourself. The two major parts of. NET Framework class library. Although we will not be doing any cross-language pro- gramming in this text. Note that it is also possible to integrate methods and components created in unmanaged code.
It provides services for tasks such as integrating components developed in different languages. The managed code automatically contains metadata. When you allow the runtime to handle the garbage collection of objects.
NET architecture used to access databases. Data ADO. Security Base classes for permissions. Threading Classes for multithreaded programming. If you want a program to in- teract with programs and components written in other languages.
Types The. IO Types for reading and writing data streams and files. Table 1. XML is a standard for transferring data. Collections Definitions of collections of objects such as lists. Forms Classes for creating graphical components for programs that execute in the Windows operating environment.
The rules for CLS compliance can be found in the. NET Frame- work class library. Each namespace contains classes. NET documentation uses the general term types to refer to the classes. Selected Namespaces from the. The difference between the two determines how the runtime will. Services Classes for building and using Web Services.
You can think of a type as any element that you can use in the As clause of a declaration: For example.
A value type always holds a value. A reference type may or may not hold a value. ToString ' Reference types. Compiling to Intermediate Language The program code that you write is referred to as source code. Reference types include class types. Any changes that you make to either variable are made to the one object in memory to which both variables refer.
VB reference types include more types than the more restrictive object variables. Text Can you predict the debug output from the two groups of statements above? Follow the logic and write down your answer. Of SecondForm?
In some previous versions of VB. NET Framework treat the variables when you assign one variable to another. The system defines many attributes of your assembly.
The classes are stored in many files with the ex- tension. COM objects are components written in versions of VB prior to. Attributes Attributes are tags containing information about parts of a program such as types or methods. An assembly is similar to an. The two types of reference objects are assemblies and COM objects.
Recall that the. Each of the DLLs in the class library is one assembly. The attributes are part of the meta- data in a. An assembly has an assembly man- ifest that contains metadata about the version.
Later in this chapter. Figure 1. NET assembly. As your program begins execu- tion. A reference to another project is an assembly reference and is called a project- to-project reference. MSIL is a platform-independent set of in- structions that is combined with the metadata to form a file called a portable executable PE file. NET Framework class library is not one big file but rather a collection of files. The References Collection A reference object is used to connect a Visual Basic project to external com- ponents.
Each of your applications will be contained in a single assembly. When your program runs. When you want to use a type that is not already referenced. This chapter introduces writing Windows applications. This means that the benefits of the common language runtime and managed code are available for developing Web applications.
NET Another big part of the. Chapters 8 and 9 cover accessing databases from ASP. When you create a new project. When you exit VS or choose to begin another project. If you want to always save new projects. This can be both good and bad: Temporary Projects You can create temporary projects for testing.
Although WPF applications are introduced in Chapter CLR b. You should already be familiar with the various windows in the environment as well as the basic debugging capabilities. NET- compatible language including Visual Basic. So even when you compile and run the project. MSIL d. Visual Studio provides an environment to make your devel- opment task easier.
You will begin working with ASP. CLS c. NET Framework? What are the meaning and function of each of these terms? This section introduces you to more details about the parts of a project and changes to the VS environment. It is a Web development environment that can compile applications written in any.
NET in Chapter 7. What is the difference between a reference type and a value type? Why is it important to know the difference? Visual Studio Although you could write your programs in any editor and then use the VB com- piler to compile them. What is meant by the term. NET world is the improvement in Web development. You may want to spend some time exploring the various options.
By default. Setting Environment Options The Options dialog box provides several useful features. If you are sharing a computer with someone developing in a different language.
Setting the Location of Project Files You can change the default folder that VS uses to store and retrieve project files. In the wizard. This text is based on choosing the Visual Basic Development settings.
Next you can choose to save the current settings or just overwrite them likely the best choice. Before setting this option. Blue snap lines appear when the edges of controls are aligned. The visible grid does not appear on a Windows Form by default. In the Windows Forms Designer section of the Options dialog box.
When you click on the Show All Files button. You also can add references in the Project Designer. The debug versions of the compiled proj- ect are not optimized for release. In Figure 1. If you compile a program for release. You may need to add a refer- ence if you want to refer to objects in another assembly or components written in a different language.
These are the references included by default for a new Windows application. The Bin and Obj Folders Notice the organization of the bin and obj folders: You can add a reference by right-clicking on the References folder and select- ing Add Reference from the context menu.
The executable Debugging information. To show the solution name. The My Project folder holds several files for project configuration. You will learn to view and set con- figuration options in the Project Designer. Note that the solution name does not display by default. You can expand each of the nodes to see more details. References In the References folder.
You will want to always show solu- tions so that you can edit solution names. Project Resources The Resources folder holds resources that you add to your project. At times you may find extra. Any graphic elements that you add to the form. Each form in your project also has a resource file.
If you are distributing your application. You also can add resources from the Properties window. The ProjectName. At design time. The graphics are those used in Windows so that you can make your applications use the standard images. Visual Studio provides several ways to add resources to the folder and to access those resources.
You can add resources in the Project Designer. Re- sources object. The default location for. If you rename your form file in the Solution Explorer. Programmer-written VB code Designer-generated VB code Resource file for the form The file that holds the designer-generated code includes the class inheri- tance information: Partial Class Form1 Inherits System.
You can double-click a filename to see the contents of the file. Click on Show All Files to see these normally hidden files. Form The partial class instantiates the form and the visual components for the form as well as stores property settings.
In its simplest form. Partial Classes Partial classes.
Public Class Form1 The compiler uses the statements in both files to create the compiled class. You may have to unzip the files to use them.
The References Tab The References tab displays the names and paths for the project references. You can add and remove references to Windows or Web library components.
My Extensions. You also can alter the settings for Option Explicit and Option Strict and specify which errors should be flagged by the compiler and which should be ignored.
The Compile Tab On the Compile tab. The Resources Tab The Resources tab allows you to easily add and remove the graphic files that you use for picture boxes and toolbars.
Assembly information The Application Tab The Application tab is the default tab that appears on top when you open the Project Designer. The Project Designer includes tabs for Application. On the Application tab. NET Framework Redistributable installed. XCopy deployment simply means that you copy the necessary files from the development machine to the target machine.
Deployment is covered in Appendix C. To run a. My gives you easy access to information about your application and its resources. Microsoft Windows Installer is a separate application that ships with Win- dows. This technique is not very robust but can work for a simple installation. Using ClickOnce deploy- ment. The installer creates. This technique is primarily used by large organizations to facili- tate deploying applications to many users. It is easy to discover the available objects using IntelliSense Figure 1.
NET Framework or the. NET Windows application. You can choose from several methods for deploying your Windows applica- tions: Deploying a compiled Windows application can be as easy as copying the.
You can edit the entries to the values of your choice. Application to retrieve the assem- bly information about an application. If you want to know the name of the user. Info Figure 1. Name In the following section. Type appropriate entries for your applications. Double-click the filename to display the file in the editor. Info object.
On the form. Title The following program displays the assembly attributes in labels on a form. Click on the Assembly Information button to open the Assembly Information dialog box and enter the information Figure 1. The properties of the object include many items that describe the application. Your output should be similar to Figure 1. Info NameLabel. Title DescriptionLabel. Info object to retrieve the attributes. EventArgs Handles MyBase.
AssemblyName TitleLabel. CompanyName ProductLabel. With My. ProductName VersionLabel. Description CompanyLabel. Load ' Retrieve the assembly information. The code uses the My. ToString CopyrightLabel. Notice in Fig- ure 1. The selected menu bar also shows a smart tag arrow.
The designers are pretty smart. Visual Studio also includes designers that simplify creating menus. The components are MenuStrip. Drop down the list for a menu item to see the choices Figure 1. When you use the visual menu designer to create menus and menu items. A menu item also can contain a collection of items. Referring to Figure 1. The items listed in the Members list are the top-level menus. You can easily add a new item or a separator bar in the menu.
But if you add a menu item in the Items Collection Editor. Both top-level menus and the items below the menu names are considered menu items. If you select that collection. Sort properties in alpha order Object type MenuStrip1 is selected You can edit any of the items by selecting it in the Members list.
NET Framework Figure 1. Also notice in Figure 1. You create context menus in nearly the same way that you create menus. Add a ContextMenuStrip to a form and add menu items using the visual menu designer Figure 1.
You can easily assign a single event handler to both a menu item and a context menu item. Notice that the smart tag arrow appears on the component in the component tray. If you assign your own context menu to a text control. You assign the context menu to the form or control by se- lecting its name in the Properties window.
When it is selected. Note that you can add multiple context menus to the component tray and assign each to a different control. The form and each of the controls that you add to the form has a Context- MenuStrip property.
You can click on the buttons to display the properties in alphabetic order or categorized view. Add the second item to the Handles clause of the event handler. In the following example. If you assign a context menu to a form. Creating Context Menus with ContextMenuStrips Context menus are the shortcut menus that you display by pointing to an item and right-clicking.
You can select Edit Items from the smart tag or select the Items property in the Properties window to edit the individual menu items. You should plan your applications to include context menus for all operations that the user might want to perform.
A context menu does not include a top-level menu name. You can drop down the list for the types of buttons and controls that you can add to the ToolStrip. You will use ToolStrip components to create toolbars. TIP which you display from the smart tag. In fact.
Exit class inherits from the ToolStrip class and shares many of the same properties as any code in the FormClosing and behaviors. Click ' Exit the program. Note that the menu designer named the context menu item with the same name as the menu item. You will need to give the toolbar buttons Set the ToolTipText property of each meaningful names.
After you add the buttons to the ToolStrip container. Generally you will want to case the meaning of each graphic is place an image on the button and set the ToolTip text to indicate the purpose of not perfectly clear. NET Framework event of both the menu item and context menu item.
You also can set a StatusLabel to appear at the left end of a status bar and fill the status bar. Creating Status Bars with StatusStrips Status bars generally appear at the bottom of a form and supply information to the user. You will want to give StatusLabel objects meaningful names since you will refer to the labels in code. Image property appears above ToolTip Name the button. Some applications display error messages in status bars.
ToolTip text. Load ' Set the date and time in the status bar. StatusStrip compo- nents.
To display text on a status bar. VB uses StatusStrip components to create status bars. You can set the display value of StatusStripLabels in any procedure. EventArgs Handles Timer1. Displaying the Date and Time You use the properties and methods of the DateTime structure to retrieve and format the current date and time. The actual display format of each method depends on the local system settings.
Then in the Properties window. Add the Timer component from the Components section of the toolbox. The In- terval is measured in milliseconds. Tick ' Update the time in the status bar. The Now property holds the system date and time in a numeric format that can be used for calculations. Using a Timer Component To use a Timer component. Using SDI. When you close the parent window. VB allows you to have forms that act independently from each other.
One of the rules for MDI is that if a parent form closes. For an example of MDI. You may have a parent form and several child forms and some forms that operate independently. VB also allows you to create a mul- tiple document interface.
One feature of MDI is that you can have several child windows open at the same time. You can open multiple child windows.
The menu bar generally contains a Window menu that allows you to display a list of open windows and move from one active window to another. MDI Applications In this section. With MDI. Show End Sub Our example application allows the user to display multiple child windows. We can accom- plish this by appending a number to the title bar before displaying the form. In a single project. This is very much like Microsoft Word. Creating a child is almost as easy.
Of course. You make a form into a child window in code at run time. Before displaying the child form from the parent. Click ' Display Child Two form. To make a form into a parent. The Window menu lists the open child windows and allows the user to switch between windows Figure 1.
ByVal e As System. TileHorizontal You can use one of the three constants: In the Properties window. Click ' Display open windows tiled vertically. Click ' Display open windows tiled horizontally. Click ' Cascade open windows. LayoutMdi MdiLayout.