Course Outline for Visual Basic Intermediate

Week 1

Lesson 1- OpenFileDialog and SaveFileDialog Classes

Sometimes it feels like everything we do in life is either dependant on or monitored by a computer. Indeed, most Visual Basic programs are all about data based on the things we do—things like the books we buy, the stores where we shop, and the restaurants where we eat. This data is stored in a file on the computer's hard drive, and these programs enable their users to locate and save changes to that data. By the time you finish this first lesson, you'll learn how to use the OpenFileDialog and SaveFileDialog classes to give your programs this functionality.

Lesson 2- Menus

The term menu may bring to mind choices of delicious food (and high prices) at an elegant restaurant. Or it may make you think of what you see in the drive-through lane at the local fast food joint. Either way, menus inform you of your choices. They perform a similar purpose in programs, giving you choices depending on what you want to do, such as to open, print, or save a document. In today's lesson, you'll discover how to use menus in your programs.

Week 2

Lesson 3- Toolbars

This lesson is all about bars, but not the kind that serve drinks. Today, we'll explore a different kind of bar—the kind that allows you to enhance your application both visually and functionally. It's called the toolbar or toolstrip, and when you finish this lesson, you'll know how to use toolbars in your applications and how to coordinate them with menus.

Lesson 4- Dialog Forms

In a movie, the leading actor or actress may be the star of the show. But rarely will one actor or actress perform all of the roles in that show. Similarly, the main form in your program may be the star, but as your applications become more sophisticated, you'll need other, helper forms. In this lesson, you'll discover an important type of helper form—the dialog form.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Owned Forms and Property Procedures

In today's lesson, you'll learn about another important helper form and how to use it in your application. We're going to discuss the modeless, or owned form.

Lesson 6- Multiple Document Interface (MDI) Applications

I take for granted that while I'm typing this in Microsoft Word, I can also have other documents open. This function allows me to go back and forth between documents without having to close any. This ability is called Multiple Document Interface, and after today, you'll know how to give this ability to your programs.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Introduction to Databases

In today's lesson, we'll begin our journey into the world of databases. Back in Lesson 1, we talked about how our whole lives are on computers—the books we buy, the stores where we shop, and the restaurants where we eat. This information is stored in databases, and they're what enable you to make sense of data and do useful things with it. You'll learn all about them in this lesson.

Lesson 8- Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)

Now that you've learned about databases, you need to speak their language. That language is called Structured Query Language, better known by the abbreviation SQL. After today, you'll not only know how to pronounce SQL, but more important, you'll understand how to use SQL to talk to your database. Of course, you won't literally talk to your database—your friends might start worrying about you if you did—but instead, you'll use SQL in your Visual Basic applications to communicate with your database.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Introduction to ADO.NET

While you've already learned a lot about databases in the previous two lessons, programming is about writing code. So, in today's lesson, you'll learn how to write code to access a database.

Lesson 10- Database Schema

Unlike people, databases don't scheme (though there's this one database I'm suspicious of, but never mind about that!). Databases may not scheme, but they do have a schema. This is the database's structure. It's very useful to know how to access this structure by code. You'll find out how to do that in this lesson.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Master-Detail Tables

The business world—the very people who pay us programmers to write programs—has great demand for programs that help them easily find the data they need to make decisions. This is called drilling down into data. This isn't like oil drilling, but it's important to your applications. When you finish this lesson, you'll know how to create master-detail tables that enable users to quickly find the data they need.

Lesson 12- Where Do I Go From Here?

This may be the final lesson, but it certainly isn't the end of your programming journey. Where do you go from here? In today's lesson, we'll go over all the options that are now available to you!

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