Murach’s Beginning Visual Basic .NET

Product Description
With this book, you can learn the skills of a professional programmer in just 692 pages. Because of its self-paced approach in the first 7 chapters, you can do that whether you’re new to Visual Basic.NET or you’re upgranding from Visual Basic 6. From that point on, you’re ready for rapid progress as you learn how to develop sophisticated GUIs, how to use the .NET classes for a wide variety of purposes, how to work with XML, how to develop database appplications … More >>

Murach’s Beginning Visual Basic .NET


  1. Mike Murach has been publishing tutorials for IT professionals since the mid-1980s. Many mainframe developers learned their COBOL, DB2, VSAM and CICS skills from Mike Murach publications. These books owe their great following to Murach’s model of devoting a single book to specific topic and focusing on making it the best introductory book possible on that topic, rather than publishing a confusing array of books on the same topic with much overlap among books. Murach has continued this model with books that cover topics for today’s developers: SQLServer 2000, Java 2, Java Servlets & JSP and Visual Basic.NET.

    Murach’s Beginning Visual Basic.NET is an excellent choice for teaching oneself VB.NET. If you complete all 18 chapters and do the exercises, then you will have mastered enough to go out and get a job as a beginning VB.NET developer. The topics are ordered in a sequence that is very conducive to learning. The book uses Murach’s successful “paired page” format with each subtopic presented in 2-page chunks; text on the left hand page with examples and summaries on the right hand page.

    One of the strengths of this book is the fact that there are plenty of exercises and projects to do. In order to keep the price of the book down, rather than put all the projects and sample code onto a CD, the sample code as well as 80% of the projects are made available on their website requiring a 2 minute download (20 seconds if you have DSL or cable internet access). Just reading a book or copying sample code from a book is not going to help you remember what you learned. This book gives you projects to do as well as many exercises. This makes you learn the topics covered.

    By the end of Chapter 6 you will have covered all of the basics of VB.NET syntax, using the VS.NET IDE and the basics of coding OO applications (advanced OO topics are covered in a later chapter). Since OO is such a cornerstone of .NET development, the fact that it is introduced so early in the book is a plus! By the end of the 18 chapters you will have developed multiple non-trivial VB.NET projects. These are not trivial coding exercises but serious business applications. Each chapter has several hands-on projects. Additional projects are available for download from the publisher’s website.

    The focus of this book is on coding. Other than covering .NET classes, the book does not cover the details of .NET Framework development such as deployment, assemblies, interoperability with legacy COM components, conversion from VB6, threading, .NET architecture (CLR, CTS, and MSIL) and managed code. Once the reader has used this book to master the basics of designing, coding and debugging VB.NET programs, then he or she can move on to the clinical details of what goes on under the hood as well as thinking about the issues of enterprise development and application deployment. There are plenty of books that cover those topics. You have to learn to walk before you run. This book will have you walking in no time at all.

    Developers who put in the effort to master the topics in this book can move onto the next book from Murach, VB.NET Programming with ADO.NET (co-authored by Anne Prince along with veteran Mike Murach & Associates author, Doug Lowe).

    The 18 chapters are broken down into five sections:
    1. The “essence” of VB.NET, including language essentials, data validation, exception handling, using the IDE, OO development (1 of 2 chapters on this topic) and debugging.
    2. Windows forms, controls and multi-document interfaces.
    3. NET classes, XML, advanced OO development, arrays and collections.
    4. Database Access and ADO.
    5. Web programming, ASP.NET and web services.

    If you cannot get to a class or you just want a very well organized hands-on tutorial that is comprehensive, yet completely understandable, then this is the book for you.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. This introductory text doesn’t cover every single thing there is to know about VB.NET and the .NET Framework — and that is where its strength is.

    You can go out and buy one of the more comprehensive books (for example: Programming Microsoft Visual Basic .NET (Core Reference) by Francesco Balena). While such a book would be very important to an established VB.NET developer, other than as supplementary reference, these comprehensive books are of limited use to someone who does not know the language yet and wants to learn it.

    If, on the other hand, you are looking to teach yourself VB.NET and do not have the time or the cash to take a formal class, then the Murach book is the one for you — whether you are new to programming or you are someone who is familiar with a legacy language like C, Perl or VB6. This book doesn’t ask you to bite off more than you can chew. Once you complete the material in this book you will have a very strong foundation for learning the more advanced topics of VB.NET.

    The author put a great deal of thought into the organization of this book. She selected the right topics, put them in the right order, and explained each topic well (with good examples).

    Another strength is the availability of programming exercises. It’s not enough to just follow along with the code in a book (especially if you are beginner). You need to write some original code on your own. Hands-on practice is the only way to really learn and this book provides plenty of it.

    This book is very thoughtful and well laid out. Rather than use a lot of color and razzle-dazzle (which both distracts attention from the content as well as adds to the cost of other books), the author gets right to the point with the subjects you need to learn to obtain the minimum knowledge to start coding in VB.NET at a professional (that is, salaried) level.

    Feel free to buy additional books for reference purposes. But if you want to LEARN VB.NET on your own, this book provides sufficiently comprehensive introduction. It’s the best introductory tutorial for the price.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Murach’s Beginning Visual Basic.NET by Anne Prince is by far the best book on the market for us beginners! Had I bought this book first, I would have saved myself lots of dollars and several months time. This is a job well done!

    Anne has selected a terrific range of material and presented it in a sequence and method that is perfectly suited for beginners. Starting with the basics of the Visual Studio development environment right on thru the coding of windows and web-based database applications, you’ll learn how to produce real-world solutions.

    She starts each topic from the beginning, with code samples and their clear and concise explanations written on the same, or facing page. Thus this book is easier to learn from than any other programming book I have worked with.

    Each new topic requires only previous topics to understand. You don’t have to jump chapters ahead to search for references on the current topic. Such a logical progression builds the reader’s confidence, avoids frustration, and saves time.

    Solutions to the end-of-chapter exercises require both a review of the topic lessons and some user creativity; just the right mixture of confidence building and mental challenge. And the additional downloadable problems offer more mental workout.

    Whenever I emailed Anne for help, she quickly responded with articulate solutions to my inquiries.

    I’ve read plenty of programming books…………..cursed at, and wondered why I bought many of them! This is the only one that I feel so good about that I’m willing to take the time to write a signed review.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  4. I’m a software developer with several years of experience developing applications for the web. However, to my surprise, I’ve recently been instructed to develop a non-web, desktop application. Once I got the deer in the headlights look out of my eyes, I headed straight to the bookstore to find a book to help me make the transition. This book saved me.

    Murach’s Beginning Visual Basic.NET not only does a great job introducing the reader to creating Windows desktop forms and learning the VB.NET language, but it also provides thorough exposure to Visual Studio, commonly used .NET classes and the most commonly used properties and methods associated with these classes. This book also provides a great introduction to object oriented programming and how to create your own business classes. The information and exercises provide exposure to real world scenarios in bite-sized chunks that anybody can comprehend.

    I know this review includes terminology that beginners might not be familiar with yet, but don’t worry, this book’s author doesn’t expect you to have any previous experience. My experience with this book has definitely wet my appetite to check out some of Murach’s other information technology publications.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. This book is very well written, and the facing page style of instruction is a great method.

    I found no errors; there was no evidence of “author fatigue” towards the mid-end of the book; and Ms. Prince is able to anticipate and address the logical questions that come next in the student’s mind.

    Beginning with the basics, this book then progresses (very logically) to more difficult concepts such as multi-dimensional arrays, structures and collections, and parsing and reading/writing data to/from files; including xml. The final six chapters deal with databases and web projects.

    I highly recommend this book… but be ready to work because the chapter exercises, though sometimes difficult, really drive home the concepts.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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