If you've just started out with Visual Basic and SQL Server, you might be in need of some assistance.
Here to help out is one of the latest titles from Wrox Press, 'Beginning Visual Basic 6 and SQL Server 7', by Thearon Willis.
Let's open the book...
This guide starts out with a good general introduction, highlighting what the publication covers and briefly checking out important concepts. At numerous points, it does a good job of giving the 'big picture' before getting bogged down with intricacies.
Next, the book takes us from installation, right through table creation, security and query tools, straight onto Visual Basic connection code.
And all that by page 150 of a whopping 800. A neat introduction.
Now the main focus has passed, the book starts to delve into the nitty-gritty of such technologies, whilst still thankfully maintaining its light writing style. Stored procedures, front-end applications and component creation are all well covered.
The final 300 pages of this book deal with three believable case studies, great for those wanting to get their hands dirty with real-life scenarios. You'll also find a boring list of ADO constants, which undoubtedly no one will ever read.
Those first two case studies centre on people connected with Wrox Auto Works, an originally christened car manufacturer. Pretty standard hands-on stuff covering Visual Basic, T-SQL, stored procedures, the Data Report Designer and more.
The third case study however is something few books cover, English Query. Shipped with SQL Server, English Query allows your users to ask questions in English and have your database return the appropriate information. It's very powerful but can be a little confusing to setup, so this chapter is most definitely welcomed.
On the good side, this book packs everything you should want to know about using Visual Basic and SQL Server, plus a whole lot more. Its light writing style is easy to read and the author often presents more than you'd expect. A good example of this can be found whilst covering business components, where Willis briefly describes how to create a help file for other developers.
On the bad side, it's worth pointing out that this book is a guide. Its a course that should be followed through, in whole or parts, and digested slowly. If you're simply wanting to pick it up and find a list of data types and matching descriptions ... sorry. Such information is accumulated as the course progresses.
Overall, this guide is a brilliant course-style book for those just starting out with Visual Basic and SQL Server. Well written, thorough and taking you right through to expert level, this is one review book that will definitely be staying on my bookshelf.
Review by Karl Moore