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

Lawhon, Alan C Contractor/Morgan Research alan.lawhon at us.army.mil
Tue Dec 7 11:06:57 CST 2004


Thanks for the .NET links & info - which I am now diligently research-
ing.  I need a bit of clarification concerning one of the links you
provided.  First, some background ...

We are in the process of coming up with a recommendation for our customer
concerning what software (and development tools) should be purchased in
order to facilitate conversion of our environmental database application
to a "web enabled" environmental database application.  I also have a
secondary goal of obtaining an "affordable" .NET integrated development
environment so that I can "play around" with VB.NET, ADO.NET, ASP.NET,
(and whatever-else .NET is required), on my home computer.  (I have a
feeling I can learn more at home versus all the constant "distractions"
and interruptions here at work ...)

I have visited the link you provided to Microsoft's download site for
the (free?) ".NET Framework SDK Version 1.1" IDE.  According to info
at this MS site, the 106 MB download contains "everything developers
need to write, build, test, and deploy .NET Framework applications -
documentation, samples, and command-line tools and compilers."  I
presume this means that this download includes the VB.NET compiler,
ADO.NET, ASP.NET and other .NET development tools - in other words
just about everything that is bundled with Microsoft's full-up version
of Visual Studio .NET?

What has me scratching my head is this: I went to Microsoft's "Product
Information" page for Visual Studio .NET 2003 "Professional" Edition.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/products/info/product.aspx?view=22&pcid=

and the "full up" (not upgrade) version of Visual Studio .NET lists for
$1,079.00 direct purchase from Microsoft.

So, why is Microsoft, in effect, "giving away" the .NET Framework SDK,
(Version 1.1) "free" at one of their download sites while charging
$1,079.00 for [virtually] the same product at another Microsoft site?
Either I'm missing something here, or I'm totally confused, or something.

There has to be a "catch" here, because Microsoft doesn't "give away"
anything for free - or anything that is not "crippled" (or a woefully
lacking subset) of the full product.

Have you actually downloaded (and used) the ".NET Framework SDK,
Version 1.1" product?  (We are leaning toward recommending that our
customer buy a copy of the full up version of "Visual Studio .NET 2003
Professional" edition.)

Alan C. Lawhon

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Lawrence (AccessD) [mailto:accessd at shaw.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 5:18 PM
To: dba-vb at databaseadvisors.com
Subject: RE: [dba-VB] Please Advise: Should I Buy "Microsoft Visual
Basic .NET Standard 2003 ..."

Hi Alan:

I am currently following the same route, a little further ahead but if you
look sharp I can be seen just up the trail a bit. Following are a few of the
options out there. The actual portion of the .Net application suite that
generates the web code is ASP.Net but the full .Net studio has ASP.Net

Here is the pointer to the Asp.Net webmatrix editor and appropriate
tutorials...and it is free.

Sharpe Develop is IDE has Asp.Net, C#.Net and Vb.Net (Open source)...and it
is free.  http://www.icsharpcode.net/OpenSource/SD/

The SDK can be downloaded from M$...and it is free.

Nothing like fair pricing and a good place to start. The best OS platform to
develop the coding and testing is on an XP or 2000 server as they have IIS
built in and applications can test immediately.

Good luck and have fun.


-----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
.NET Standard 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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