[dba-VB] Please Advise: Should I Buy "Microsoft Visual Basic .NETStandard 2003 ..."

Eric Barro ebarro at afsweb.com
Wed Dec 1 16:40:49 CST 2004


I received my copy of VS.NET 2003 Standard edition (VB.NET) and loaded it onto my home PC and the only part that I found where it was crippled in was the wizard that interfaced with SQL server databases. I got an error message indicating that I needed to use VS.NET 2003 Professional Edition in order to get that to work. Needless to say if you were already comfortable working with how to use stored procedures in SQL server to run your back end processes then there is no need for that wizard.

The best tool I've used that helped me get my feet wet in .NET is WebMatrix http://www.asp.net/webmatrix/default.aspx?tabIndex=4&tabId=46. And the best book I've used just to get my feet wet is ASP.NET, Tips, Tutorials and Code by SAMS.

WebMatrix is the poor man's version of VS.NET 2003. It comes with lots of good code examples for both VB and C# and the interface is a lot like VS.NET. It comes with ready-made templates that will help you understand the basics of .NET development. In fact when you "move up" to VS.NET you will feel right at home. It doesn't have an upload feature so you will still need standard FTP clients to upload your projects. 

I use VS.NET 2003 Pro on my work PC and I can move files and projects back and forth to my VS.NET 2003 Std version with no problems.

The only bone I have with VS.NET 2003 is that it's cumbersome for the graphical layout part (I've tried resizing the table cells in VS.NET the "graphical way" with no such luck) so I switch to Dreamweaver for that (plus Dreamweaver has an extension that allows me to take a non-.NET form (HTML or ASP) and convert all the fields to .NET server controls). The other thing I don't like with VS.NET is the dependence on FrontPage server extensions to upload your projects. For that I use a free FTP client or I use Dreamweaver's built-in FTP client.


-----Original Message-----
From: dba-vb-bounces at databaseadvisors.com
[mailto:dba-vb-bounces at databaseadvisors.com]On Behalf Of Lawhon, Alan C
Contractor/Morgan Research
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 2:15 PM
To: dba-VB at databaseadvisors.com
Cc: dba-AccessD at databaseadvisors.com
Subject: [dba-VB] Please Advise: Should I Buy "Microsoft Visual Basic
.NETStandard 2003 ..."

... or just try to learn what I can from [VB.Net] books alone?

Well, the "future" has finally arrived ...  Here at work we have a fairly significant environmental database application that we have been using (and "tweaking") for the past five years.  The application, called "EDS" - which stands for "Environmental Document System" - started off as a very simple Access 97 application.  Over time, as the capabilities of the system grew and the need to provide client/server access was realized, the front end migrated to Access 2000 and the back end [eventually] migrated to SQL Server 2000 - which is where we are now.

Well, you know how customers are ... they are always wanting changes (or "something new") and that is the case with our customer.  EDS is becoming increasingly popular with users outside our immediate organization.  So popular, in fact, that our Government manager has requested that we "web enable" EDS and make EDS accessible from a web browser - such as Internet Explorer.  Gulp !!  It didn't take too much web surfing (and research) to realize that "web enabling" EDS is going to be thirsty work ...

The EDS database consists of multiple form and report objects with lots of event driven Visual Basic code.  Most of the VBA code is attached to command buttons as Click_Event() procedures.  (There's a lot of logic testing and conditional execution for business rule implementation within the VBA code.)

The research I have done (so far) indicates that I face a steep learning curve when it comes to web programming.  I'm already looking at "HTML & XML for Beginners" (book) by Michael Morrison and I have just ordered a couple of books on databases and VB.Net programming.  (I have ordered "Beginning VB.Net Databases" by Thearon Willis and "Programming Microsoft Visual Basic .NET for Microsoft Access Databases" by Rick Dobson.)  I figure these two books will give me plenty to chew on - at least initially.

The senior programmer and I have been looking on the internet for the proper .NET development tool.  Right now it looks like we will be asking our customer to pay for a full-up version of Visual Studio 2003 - or whatever contains the full "Professional" version of MS Visual Basic .NET.  While researching the various developer tool alternatives for VB.NET programming, I came across this page at Amazon.com's web site:


The "Standard" edition of Microsoft VB.Net [2003] appeals to me for two reasons: It's (relatively) affordable - less than a hundred dollars - and the "Standard" edition might be a good "learning tool" for playing around with VB.Net on my home computer.  However, the "Standard" edition appears to have a number of ... uhm ... limitations.  (Look at Frank Spillman's "Roadblocks, Roadblocks" reader review in the above link.)

I would be grateful if some of the folks on this list who have actually done some web programming (especially with VB.Net) could offer advice and opinions with respect to the "Microsoft Visual Basic .NET Standard 2003" [web] development tool.  Basically, I'm wondering if the "Standard" edition has enough capability to serve as a useful "learning tool" - or is it so "crippled" that I would be better off simply reading .NET books?

Thanks in advance ...

Alan C. Lawhon


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