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» OOP Basics - Property Validation and Exceptions
by Ged Mead | Published 11/07/2009 |  | Rating:
In this article, Ged Mead explains how to include validation in properties of a Class, how to throw and exception and how to use a Try-Catch block to handle the exception. [read article...]
» How to Ask the User for Input
by Larry Blake | Published 10/27/2009 |  | Rating:
Visual Basic provides three easy ways to ask for input: MessageBox, InputBox and custom forms.  I'll talk a little about all three. [read article...]
» Object Oriented Programming Basics - Methods
by Ged Mead | Published 08/11/2009 |  | Rating:

In the previous articles in this series, we covered basic Constructors, Fields and Properties.

In this article, we will look at the ToString method, introduce the concept of Inheritance, use the Object Browser and learn about Overrides and Overridable. 

[read article...]
» OOP Basics - Constructors
by Ged Mead | Published 08/01/2009 |  | Rating:

In the previous Part, I created four fields and four corresponding properties in the Person class.

In this Part we will look at Constructors.

[read article...]
» Object Oriented Programming (OOP) - The Basics
by Ged Mead | Published 07/15/2009 |  | Rating:

This is the first article in a series that will cover the very basics of OOP.  It is based on a course I used to run.   When I first wrote this I wanted to create something that I would have found useful in my very early VB.NET days.  A really from-the-bottom explanation that assumed I knew nothing about OOP which would walk me through the basics.

   I hope I have managed to achieve this in this series.

Part 1 covers Properties and Fields

[read article...]
» Objects and the ListBox
by Larry Blake | Published 06/05/2009 |  | Rating:

In this article, I introduce some Object-Oriented Programming concepts while creating a Custom Object.  I then fill a ListBox with the Custom Objects, and demonstrate some interesting features of the ListBox.

[read article...]
» Windows Presentation Foundation: FlowDocuments (Part 1)
by Ged Mead | Published 04/01/2008 |  | Rating:
When WPF first came on the scene, one of the features that got a lot of air time was the display of documents.  Leading edge projects like the NY Times Reader and the British Library manuscript display raised a lot of awareness of the possibilities.  Strangely though, since VS 2008 shipped there doesn't seem to have been a lot of mention of this part of the package.  So I thought I'd take a look at how easy (or not) document handling really is in WPF. [read article...]
» Passing Values Between Forms
by Colin Mackay | Published 04/07/2007 |  | Rating:
I wrote this article in response to an almost overwhelming number of requests on forums on how to pass a variable from a one Windows Form to another. In fact, saying that it is going between one form and another is somewhat of a misnomer because this will work for any type of object not just Forms. This seems to be one area where beginners in VB.NET often get stuck. So, rather than having to repeat myself often in forums I wrote this article so that I could point people at it so that they will have the benefit of a full explanation as well as the answer to their problem. The code examples that come with this article is available for VB.NET. If you develop software in any of the other languages available for .NET then you can probably follow on too. The techniques are the same for all .NET languages the only difference should be in the language syntax. [read article...]
» OOP: Create, Collect, Sort, Save and Retrieve Objects
by Ged Mead | Published 03/18/2007 |  | Rating:

  Several recent posts in the VBCity Forums made me realise that it might be useful to have an article that dealt with some of the basic requirements when it comes to creating your own classes and objects.  

   Many beginners start by creating a simple game and this is often a good learning project so we will use this approach in this article.  Two key elements of a game application like this will probably be a way of creating Players and keeping a record of their High Scores . Users can log in to the game using their Player name and see their last score.

   As they play again in this session they might increase this score or start over from zero. They might even want to see how their score rates against other Players.    So we would need a way of creating a collection of Players and their Scores.  And as we usually want to see the Scores listed from highest to lowest, there will have to be a way to sort those Score values that are stored in the collection.

   Finally, it wouldn't be much use if the Scores were all lost each time the application ends, so we should also build in a way of saving the latest data to the hard drive and of course a means of retrieving  them when you need them.

   This article for beginners uses VB 2005 and shows you how to meet all these requirements.

[read article...]
» Application Settings in VB 2005
by Ged Mead | Published 11/09/2006 |  | Rating:

   There may be times when you would like to give your users the opportunity to save various settings (and they would probably appreciate having the facility too!).   In the past, the SaveSettings and GetSettings methods were the usual avenue, but in VB 2005 you have some more flexible choices at your disposal.

  Ged Mead looks at these new tools.

[read article...]
» How To Validate ASP.NET Pages
by Manjushree Das | Published 10/17/2006 |  | Rating:

Validation is pretty much necessary in almost all kind of applications. The simple fact is that humans are prone to make mistakes while entering data. In order to build a fully fledged application which is free from errors and not susceptable to crashes we should pay attention to input validation. Input validation is the process of making sure that the user provides the accurate type of data because “prevention is better than cure”. If an application requires certain specific data and we feed another type of data then definitely the result is an error. So care must be taken to enter data in a particular format. This can be better explained with the help of an example.

[read article...]
» GDI+ Chart Success Part 7: Printing Charts
by Ged Mead | Published 10/16/2006 |  | Rating:

   In previous articles several variations of simple charts were created.   These could be viewed on screen but at some time or other you may need to print out hard copies.

   This article shows you how.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Murach's Visual Basic 2005
by Ged Mead | Published 10/12/2006 |  | Rating:

   Murach have been producing technical books for more than 20 years and have developed their own special style and a quite substantial, loyal readership .   Their latest offering is "Murach's Visual Basic 2005".

   Ged Mead offers an overview of this book.   

[read article...]
» GDI+ Chart Success Part 6: Dynamic Line Chart
by Ged Mead | Published 08/22/2006 |  | Rating:

   The static line chart we created in Part 5 could be useful in lots of situations, but what happens when you want the chart to be continuously updated and the line redrawn in real time?

   This article looks at some ways of doing this.


[read article...]
» Practical XML Usage
by Gaidar Magdanurov | Published 08/20/2006 |  | Rating:

Practical XML Usage

This article is a small step-by-step guide for .NET/XML beginners. The sample application was written in Visual Basic .NET, but main aspects in the code are shown also in C#. This article can be considered as a reference of XML, schemas or XML transformation. The code was written in Visual Studio 2005 for .NET Framework 2.0.

[read article...]
» ADO.NET for Beginners Part Two
by David Jeavons | Published 07/18/2006 |  | Rating:

Part two of this series will look at managing your data by showing you how to update, add and delete records from the Contacts table. In this section we will look at the OleDbCommand object which we will utilise quite a bit when it comes to running "Action" queries against the database.

We will also look at how we can filter the data using the DataView object.

[read article...]
» ADO.NET for Beginners Part One
by David Jeavons | Published 07/12/2006 |  | Rating:

This series of articles aims to introduce you to the use of ADO.NET. However, unlike other tutorials, I will concentrate on showing you how to communicate with your database programmatically (i.e. no wizards). This article will make use of an Address Book program to take you through the various aspects of database programming and who knows, by the end of it, you may decide to make use of the program to store all of those hundreds of contacts that you have.

Part one will look at the basic outline of the user interface and will include the necessary code to connect to the database and retrieve all of your contacts for displaying on the form.

Part two will go further and show you how to filter the data and modify the data including saving new contact information and deleting existing contact information.

Part one and two will make use of an Access database. However, Part three will use an SQL Server database and show you how to use Stored Procedures to access and modify the data. The user interface and functionality will remain the same, only the database used will change.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Murach's C# 2005
by Scott Waletzko | Published 06/15/2006 |  | Rating:
A review of Murach's C# 2005 tutorial and reference book, written by Scott Waletzko (Skystone Software). [read article...]
» Chart Success Part 5 - Line Graph
by Ged Mead | Published 06/06/2006 |  | Rating:

   In previous articles, we have looked ways of creating various Pie Charts and Bar Charts.  In this Part of the series, we are going to take a first look at another common type of chart, the Line Graph.


   As is often the case in VB.NET, there are several ways of achieving the end result.   Although I haven't chosen the easiest route this time, the journey takes us into some interesting GDI+ territory.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition For Dummies
by Ged Mead | Published 06/05/2006 |  | Rating:

    "Visual Web Developer 2005 Expression Edition For Dummies" by Alan Simpson is a recent publication in this ever-popular, long running series of books.

   Although not the usual 600+ page  coder's book, don't be too quick to write this one off as of no use, advises DevCity reviewer Ged Mead.  It may be more useful than you think.




[read article...]
» Creating, Using and Saving My.Settings Default Values in Visual Basic 2005
by Dave Barr | Published 05/29/2006 |  | Rating:

This is a short and very basic tutorial about creating, using and saving My.Settings default values in Visual Basic 2005. By completing this tutorial you will learn the basic steps involved in creating Settings that can be saved and re-loaded the next time your application is run...

[read article...]
» Using the “Code Snippet Editor for Visual Basic 2005”
by Dave Barr | Published 05/24/2006 |  | Rating:

This is a short and very basic tutorial about using the very powerful, yet easy-to-use FREE "Code Snippet Editor for Visual Basic 2005" download that is available at By completing this tutorial you will learn the basic steps involved in creating custom snippets, and using them from within Visual Studio's Code Window...

[read article...]
» Book Review- "Visual Basic 2005 Express: Now Playing"
by Ged Mead | Published 05/14/2006 |  | Rating:

 If you are a complete newcomer to programming, you should seriously consider getting a copy of this book.  It never loses sight of the fact that beginners don’t always “get it” first time, every time and it uses non-technical explanations and good learning reinforcement techniques to show you the skills in the easiest, least complicated way possible.

    In the Preface to the book, author Wallace Wang sets out his philosophy:

“This book is dedicated to everyone who didn’t have the “right” education, test scores or job skills, but wound up succeeding at their chosen goal anyway.   If you want to learn or do anything in your life, such as learn to program a computer, go ahead and do it and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.”


[read article...]
» Book Review: Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Web Programming With C#
by Scott Waletzko | Published 05/02/2006 |  | Rating:


A review of Murach's ASP.NET 2.0 Web Programming With C# tutorial and reference book, written by Scott Waletzko (Skystone Software).

[read article...]
» A Simple Photo Browser
by Chris Mills | Published 04/14/2006 |  | Rating:

In this article my aim is to guide a relative Visual Basic .NET "newbie" through the process of creating a simple Photo Browser application.  We will gradually build up the application, examining a number of the techniques available to you in Visual Basic .NET including creating a custom thumbnail control and creating instances of it at run-time. 

This article is written using Visual Studio .NET 2003 and .NET framework Version 1.1.

[read article...]
» Refactoring for Everyone Part 1
by Dmytro Lapshyn | Published 02/23/2006 |  | Rating:
The word “refactoring” is quite well-known nowadays. However, I guess there are many developers who believe it is something they have never tried to do and if they have to, there’s yet another new concept to learn. Still, all of you are very likely to have refactored your code a number of times in your programmer’s career. Surprised? Read on. [read article...]
» Windows Services for VB.NET Developers
by Scott Rutherford | Published 12/20/2005 |  | Rating:
Learn about Windows Services, how they work, and what they are for.  Build your first Windows Service and end up with a reusable template with which to create many more.  Tips for use, development, and deployment of a Windows Service. [read article...]
» Introduction to Remoting - Remoting Part 1
by Venkatarajan Arthanari | Published 10/17/2005 |  | Rating:
Introduction to Remoting
In this article we are going to learn the basics of Remoting, Marshalling, Channels , Formatters, Activation and Lifetime leases.

[read article...]
» Text Techniques (1)
by Ged Mead | Published 03/30/2005 |  | Rating:

Sometimes plain old standard horizontal text just won’t do the job.Maybe you need vertical text...

... of one kind or the other. The DrawString method of the Graphics Class holds the answers to both of these little problems.Read on to see how it can be done.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: Second Helpings of Pie. Part 3
by Ged Mead | Published 03/23/2005 |  | Rating:

The first two articles in this series introduced some basic graphics skills which were used to create a Pie Chart in Part 1 and a Bar Chart in Part 2. Both charts were elementary, but served their purpose. As the series progresses we will look at ways of building on these early steps and creating more challenging displays. In both of those articles the data was created in advance at design time and hard coded  into the project. In this article,  data will be taken from the user and used to create a pie chart. This project also introduces HatchStyles - a range of predefined patterns - to replace the solid colors used in the first Pie Chart example.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: GDI+ Graphics At Work. Part 2
by Ged Mead | Published 03/16/2005 |  | Rating:

In this series of articles, designed for newcomers to graphics in VB.NET, you will see how to create various kinds of charts. Charts are a great way of  displaying data in a way that is easy to understand, as well as being a useful way to become familiar with many of the core drawing methods which are available in the Graphics Class. In this article, we will build a Bar Chart from the ground up using double buffering to create a chart to display in a PictureBox control.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: GDI+ Graphics at work. Part 1
by Ged Mead | Published 03/06/2005 |  | Rating:

Charts are a great way of displaying data in a format that is easy to understand. A chart is a pictorial representation of your data. If it is true that a picture is really worth a thousand words, then a chart must surely be worth a thousand lines in a DataGrid. In this series of articles, we will look at various ways you can use the GDI+ tools in .NET to create a range of charts for a wide variety of uses. In Part 1, we will look at one of the easier options, the Pie Chart.

[read article...]
» Exception Handling in Enterprise Applications
by Scott Rutherford | Published 02/28/2005 |  | Rating:
This article includes eight suggestions for Best Practices in exception handling in .NET, with code examples.  Learn how to properly catch, identify, raise, log, and respond to errors encountered by applications of all types. [read article...]
» Windows never forgets a file: Using the CreationTime attribute of Windows Files
by Scott Rutherford | Published 02/22/2005 |  | Rating:
Have you ever created a file twice with the same name?  Do you use the CreationTime property of files to perform some task such as logging, or time-keeping?  You may be interested to know that CreationTime may not really be the time that a file was created.  In fact, it can be off by months. [read article...]
» Why and How to build a Continuous Integration Environment for the .NET platform
by James Kaplewicz | Published 01/18/2005 |  | Unrated

This guide is a learning tool and also a detailed manual to reference for executives, managers and developers on 'Why and How to build a Continuous Integration Environment for the .NET platform'. It covers everything from the basics of Continuous Integration to significant business advantages, as well as overview diagrams to detailed setup. Documentation included covers requirements, processes, procedures, references and example code involved in setting up an environment.

[visit site...]
» The Hidden Power of the DataGrid Control - Part 1
by Dmytro Lapshyn | Published 01/13/2005 |  | Rating:

Data Grid is one of the most widely used types of controls among developers. Many kinds of data have a tabular nature and are best represented as a grid on a computer screen. The importance of providing users with really consistent and intuitive user interface can hardly be underestimated, and a well-tailored grid could play a primary role in many user interface concepts.

Windows Forms developers are lucky, as Microsoft has included a ready-made DataGrid control into both of the Windows Forms and Web Forms sub-systems of its .NET Framework. However, many developers who have used the Windows Forms DataGrid control might have had a feeling of it being somewhat rigid or even limited. In other words, while some customization can be achieved with several mouse clicks or keystrokes, and some others can be done with just a few lines of code, there are amendments which either require significant efforts or cannot be implemented at all. For example, there is no way to alter column header appearance other than taking over painting of the whole grid exterior.

Having bumped into several such limitations myself, and having spent long hours on searching the Internet and digging the MSDN Library, I have decided to share my DataGrid experience with the developer community in the hope of saving valuable time and even more valuable nerve cells for those who accept the DataGrid challenge in a quest for better user interface experience.

[read article...]
» Custom Message Box
by George Poth | Published 01/30/2004 |  | Rating:
Have you ever wondered whether it is possible to show a colored message box with customized texts on the buttons? Sounds difficult, doesn't it? Actually, it's just as easy as designing any other form, maybe even easier. [read article...]
» A Practical Introduction to OOP. Part 1 - You ARE an OOP Programmer!
by Mike McIntyre | Published 01/22/2004 |  | Rating:
(updated) Microsoft.NET raises the bar on what you need to know to be a good VB programmer. The simple use of OOP (object oriented programming) you learned using previous versions of VB and the simple things you have learned to do with VB.NET are not enough to master the .NET Framework Class Library or to create powerful objects of your own. However, there is good news. It is not hard to increase your OOP programming skills. You will need to learn a just a few new concepts, study some examples, and put what you learn to work. Let's get started … [read article...]
» My First Access Database Program. Part 2
by George Poth | Published 01/21/2004 |  | Rating:
Database applications are quite popular among programmers. At the beginning, however, it seems so awfully complicated. While I can't and don't want to answer all the questions you might have, here's something to get you started. [read article...]
» My First Access Database Program. Part 1
by George Poth | Published 01/20/2004 |  | Rating:
Database applications are quite popular among programmers. At the beginning, however, it seems so awfully complicated. While I can't and don't want to answer all the questions you might have, here's something to get you started. [read article...]
» The Making of Help
by George Poth | Published 01/14/2004 |  | Rating:
Most people don't include help files in their programs because they don't know how to make one. They assume it must be difficult because it's related to programming. Ah, really? You wouldn't believe how simple it actually is. [read article...]
» The Installer
by George Poth | Published 09/20/2003 |  | Rating:
Making an installer is not necessarily a difficult thing. It's just that you have to know how. [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Part 5 - Approaching the End
by George Poth | Published 07/20/2003 |  | Rating:
It's about time we finished our address book - with a real installer! With data access, making an installer can be a very tricky thing. But there's news: with a little imagination and some improvisation we will get it done without much trouble. Before you install this on another computer, some things need to be done... [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Part 4 - Finishing Touches - The Ugly Duckling's Striking Back
by George Poth | Published 07/08/2003 |  | Rating:
Correcting errors is probably the toughest job in programming, but it's also very rewarding and interesting. It will make our very simple address book a complete and real application. Maybe you will think that our address book is not quite that simple anymore ... [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Part 3 - Address Book 2
by George Poth | Published 06/05/2003 |  | Rating:
Our address book from Part 2 is getting into shape. Tab stops are getting into order, a new icon appears, aside from multiple-line tool tips. Message boxes for simple error handling come into the game. Wow! And even fun handling! Huh? What's that? Let me explain: fun handling is … [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Building a Custom Control
by Ged Mead | Published 05/14/2003 |  | Rating:
In this article in the 'Simple Steps in VB.Net' series vbCity Leader XTab shows you how to create a simple custom control. You are taken through the procedures needed to enhance the functionality of the VB.Net standard Button control by incorporating features which will make your button more eye-catching. The article shows you how to create the user control by adding customised properties and events. The attached solution includes additional enhancements not covered in the step by step guide and also demonstrates how you can take the basic idea much further. [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Part 2 - Address Book
by George Poth | Published 05/05/2003 |  | Rating:
Although this project is also intended for the absolute beginner, it builds on knowledge from Part 1. This time, our project is a real user application and will take a bit longer to complete. It carefully introduces skills you might want to use for your own project. By the time we finish this project, you will be able to independently produce your own application of this type. It's mainly a simple address book, but there will be other things as well. [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Part 1 - TheButton
by George Poth | Published 04/24/2003 |  | Rating:
Books for beginners usually teach isolated functions. If you want more than that, a more advanced book is necessary. The problem is that isolated functions don't make a program, which in turn is necessary for the feeling of success. More advanced books are usually too complicated to start with. This article proves that functions don't have to come in isolated form. It also shows that a simple program with essential functions doesn't have to be difficult. You don't need any previous knowledge on VB.NET programming to complete this exercise. [read article...]
» A Practical Guide to VB.NET for Beginners
by Michael Stahle | Published 01/20/2003 |  | Rating:
When I first started working with VB.NET, the true Object Oriented Programming (OOP) threw me for a loop. This guide will explain to you what OOP is, and how to build your first program. [read article...]
» A Beginner's Guide to VB.NET and Database Programming - The Recipe Application
by Charles Profitt | Published 12/28/2002 |  | Rating:
I am a beginner. I wanted to share some experiences with other beginners. The next few articles that come from my keyboard will be about my experience with teaching myself to develop applications in VB.NET. [read article...]