OK so I do know some
VB and SQL. Back in '91 I was (easily) persuaded to stop programming in C on my SUN
SPARC2 and move onto this new fangled Visual Basic that had just been delivered by
Microsoft. That was the start of my long association with VB, with Sybase/SQL Server
coming along a few years later.
Well I got to VB release
6 when my past caught up with me - back to SUN and JAVA for a couple of years. This
meant that I missed the migration to .NET and only came back to VB as 1.1 came along.
Unfortunately nowadays I am considered too experienced (old) to be full time programming
and there was this project that needed full time managing ......
Yes - you guessed it,
I got rusty, very rusty. For the last 6 months I have been catching up but .NET is
so big so I found it difficult to know where to start. So I kind of just picked bits
Then in November 05
I was invited to the VS 2005/SQL Server 2005 launch (the one management perk) where
I was presented with the complimentary copy of the two products (thank you Microsoft).
Seeing the products in action made me yearn to get back to some serious programming
again - and now I have some spare time to do it.
Well I have sorted out
my home PC. It is an AMD4000+, 4Gb memory and 200Gb disk, running XP Pro. I have installed
the two complimentary products - VS 2005 Professional and SQL Server Standard. I was
pleasantly surprised to see that SQL Server Express comes as part of VS2005. I have
kept both versions of SQL Server and may get time to do some comparisons later. Only
problem I had was that my PC didn't have a DVD - and that is what MSDN comes on. Not
a problem - shared a DVD reader from another PC in the household.
Well not much progress
today - replace my wireless ADSL router - the old one had expired. Luckily I had an
ordinary router to link the computers together for the DVD drive.
However I have decided
on my course of action.
1. I am going to learn
VB from the beginning - to ensure I don't miss something later. This will be VB the
Language not ASP or uses of VB
2. I am going to learn
SQL Server in detail. At a glance SQL Server has changed beyond belief. So back to
the drawing boards there as well.
I may have to include along the way some other topics - such as ASP.NET (well most
apps nowadays seem to be web orientated),
I will also be using other (timesaving)
tools such as Enterprise Libraries - the 2005 version is now available http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/?url=/library/en-us/dnpag2/html/EntLib2.asp
Sounds a great plan
- however I need to follow a training plan so I have elected to follow the reading
plan that Wrox suggest . I used this approach before so it makes sense to go with
what you know.
So my first book will be 'Beginning
Visual Basic 2005' http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/WroxTitle/productCd-0764574019.html OK
I may find this easy (I had better) - but I feel that at the end it should give me
a good basis to move on. After this I feel that the equivalent book for SQL 2005 will
be of the most benefit, 'Beginning SQL Server 2005 Programming' by Robert
Vieira - http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/WroxTitle/productCd-0764584332.html
Being a member of VBUG
if I get stuck I can use the forums and the technical help line to get me quickly
out of trouble.
Whilst I am waiting
for my first book I thought I would do some reading to get more of an idea of the
changes that have happened with the move to VS 2005. Fortunately when I joined VBUG
I got the complimentary copy of Visual Studio (December 2005) that had a big section
on the new products. This copy of the magazine was full of the changes articles on
From the Visual Studio changes,
there are the standard promises - more controls, more RAD better layout. Not much
on VB.NET changes though. ASP.NET is one of my interests - this is where I will be
doing most of my development in the foreseeable. future. As an avid fan of CSS and
its capabilities I look forward to dynamic website design with the look and feel determined
by a CSS. This should reduced the maintenance overheads as it has already done in
my static HMTL sites. The use of CSS is a great way of separating the data from the
presentation. This is the classic website that shows how much the presentation can
be changed without changing the data - http://www.csszengarden.com/
Oh my goodness the next
version of .NET is on its way now 'WinFX' - there are a series of talks just starting
at the VBUG meetings. There was one in
last Tuesday and the next one is in
on 29th March. A bit too far for me as I live in
I have now rebuilt an
old PC. This PC is an AMD Athlon 2200+ with extra memory to bring it to 1 - 1/2Gb.
I have installed Windows 2003 to act as the DB server - performance is fine on this.
I have added my printer onto this server. Now I need to configure both PC's and add
in the extra software ready to start the journey through VB 2005.
This PC will also function
as the family server, so I am going to add two SATA 160GB drives running in RAID0
(mirroring) to store our backed up files. The new generation of motherboards all seem
to have this facility. The server PC has an ABIT AN7 motherboard that cost about #30
- the processor was given to me. The chipset is NVIDIA. To build up a mid range spec
PC can now be done for about #200 - and this will run all development environment
software very well. Forget about the top of the range Pentium's and AMD64's - for
development these are overkill. Just make sure you have plenty of memory and development
will fly on these so called 'slow' PCs.
I have ordered the first
VB2005 book - now just have to be patient and wait for it to arrive and then I can
start on the long slog.