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Grimes Fergal. Microsoft .NET for Programmers

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Grimes Fergal. Microsoft .NET for Programmers
Paperback: 386 pages
Publisher: Manning Publications; 1st edition (January 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1930110197
ISBN-13: 978-1930110199
As the title suggests, this book is written for programmers who want to learn about the Microsoft
.NET platform. There is a lot to learn. .NET development embraces many areas including:
Windows desktop development
Web-based development
Component development
Development of remote objects and services
Development of XML Web services
In addition, programmers need to become familiar with an extensive new class library and a
new runtime environment. Even for seasoned Windows developers, this almost amounts to a
fresh start.
About this book
The purpose of this book is to explore the many parts that make up .NET, to assemble them into
a meaningful whole, and to do so within the confines of a compact and readable publication.
Although many of the topics we’ll explore, such as XML Web services, Windows Forms, or
ADO.NET, are worthy of separate books in their own right, all are just pieces of the .NET jigsaw
puzzle. I felt there was a need to examine each of the individual pieces, and to show how they
relate to one another, and how they fit together. This book is the result.
The scope and size of .NET make it impossible to cover everything in a single book. So I’ve
taken some shortcuts. In particular, I’ve tried to impart the essentials while avoiding unnecessary
handholding, repetition, or padding. In general, the documentation, online help, and samples,
which come with the .NET software development kit (SDK), are comprehensive and complete.
So, armed with the knowledge gleaned from this book, you should be able to consult the docu-
mentation for supplementary information.
This book’s audience
This book is written for intermediate and advanced programmers who plan to develop applica-
tions, components, or services for .NET. The typical reader will have some experience
programming with Visual Basic, C++, or Java. This is not an absolute requirement, since I’ve
included an appendix which provides an introduction to C#, the language used for the examples
in the book.
To get the most out of chapter 4, Working with ADO.NET and databases, you should have
some knowledge of SQL database objects including databases, tables, and SQL queries. Likewise,
chapter 8, Creating the Web Forms user interface, assumes a basic understanding of the Web
including HTML, HTTP, and forms processing.
Choosing a .NET programming language
.NET is a language-neutral platform, and comes with a huge set of class libraries that are acces-
sible to all .NET-compliant languages. Therefore, you can code equally powerful programs
using C#, Visual Basic .NET, JScript .NET, or a host of third-party languages. So which lan-
guage should you choose?
The obvious candidates are C# and Visual Basic .NET since most Windows developers will be
coming from a Visual C++ or Visual Basic background. At the outset, I considered including
examples using both C# and Visual Basic .NET. However, it quickly became clear that the result
would be a repetitious book, which might shortchange both groups of readers. I settled on C#
since it was designed for use with .NET and carries no legacy baggage. Being designed with .NET
in mind, it could also be argued that C# provides the most natural fit to .NET’s object model.
It is worth noting that there is less difference between C# and Visual Basic .NET than you might
think at first glance. Programmers from both camps will need to get comfortable with assemblies,
namespaces, types, classes, structs, enums, interfaces, methods, properties, events, delegates,
threads, and more. These are features of .NET, and not the preserve of a particular programming
language. So the differences between C# and Visual Basic .NET are mostly syntax-related.
Ultimately, you’ll choose the language(s) with which you are most comfortable. This book
teaches .NET, not C#. I hope that, by placing the C# introduction in a separate appendix, it will
help to distinguish the C# language from the (language-neutral) .NET platform.
Depending on the level of interest, I hope to be able to provide a Visual Basic .NET edition
of this book in the future. Stay tuned.
Organization of this book
This book contains eight chapters and three appendixes:
Chapter 1 Introduction. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the .NET architecture and intro-
duces application development using the .NET Framework class library.
Chapter 2 Understanding types and assemblies. In chapter 2, we look at fundamental .NET
features including types, assemblies, and the Microsoft Intermediate Language, or IL. Also, to
illustrate reflection, we develop a simple language compiler.
Chapter 3 Case study: a video poker machine. The video poker case study is introduced and
described in chapter
3. We develop simple COM-based and Internet Explorer-based versions of
the game.
Chapter 4 Working with ADO.NET and databases. Chapter 4 introduces ADO.NET and
the new disconnected architecture for data access via the Internet. We also look at XML serializa-
tion, and we implement a data tier for the case study.
Chapter 5 Developing remote services. In chapter 5, we explore the .NET remoting architec-
ture and the activation models it offers. We also look at Windows Services and Microsoft Mes-
sage Queuing, and we use what we learn to develop several new versions of the case study.
Chapter 6 Developing XML Web services. Chapter 6 describes .NET’s features for developing
XML Web services. We look at SOAP , WSDL, and UDDI, and we present a Web service-based
implementation of the case study.
Chapter 7 Creating the Windows Forms user interface. We explore Windows Forms, the
new class library for the creation of Windows GUI applications, in chapter
7. We examine the
Windows Forms programming model, and we see how to design a GUI using the Visual Studio
.NET forms designer. We also implement a Windows Forms-based version of the case study.
Chapter 8 Creating the Web Forms user interface. Chapter 8 explores ASP .NET and the Web
Forms classes for the creation of browser-based applications. We examine the new server controls and we learn how to create our own user controls. We also look at designing Web Forms inside
Visual Studio .NET, and we develop a Web Forms-based version of the case study.
Appendix A Introduction to C#. Appendix A provides an introduction to the C# program-
ming language. For readers who have no exposure to C#, this material provides all you need to
follow the book’s examples.
Appendix B The poker engine listings. Appendix B contains the C# code for the classes that
make up the Poker.dll assembly.
Appendix C The WinPok.cs listing. Appendix C presents the C# listing of the Windows
Forms-based video poker machine.
Each chapter builds on previous material. So the chapters are best read in the order presented.
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