Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Web Development


Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 1 May 1999



Pasch, G. and Arias, R. (1999), "Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Web Development", Internet Research, Vol. 9 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Web Development

Visual Basic Programmer's Guide to Web Development

Martiner, W.John Wiley & SonsNew York, NY1997460 pp.ISBN 0-471-19382-8$34.99Available: 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158-0012 or

This book opens with a wake-up call ­ if Microsoft gives the 3,000,000+ Visual Basic programmers (the largest development community ever, according to the author) the tools needed to apply their previous knowledge to Web development, then this community will become dominant by sheer weight. Of course, given Microsoft antecedents, this hypothesis may prove to be correct.

The author presents a "panoramic view" of several technologies for building interactive Websites using Visual Basic. Some technologies work at the server side (e.g. Visual InterDev, Active Server Pages) and others at the Web browser or client side (e.g. Active X Controls, VBScript and Dynamic HTML). By going through each chapter and working through the simple examples, the reader will come to understand the underlying architecture of Web-based systems and the functionality and constraints of each technology.

Despite the book's breadth, some topics are neglected, e.g. how to take advantage of Dynamic HTML at the client side, and how to write an all Visual Basic server-side OLE Server using OLEISAPI. OLEISAPI provides a very simple and powerful way to add functionality to a Web site using Visual Basic, and has a much shorter learning curve that the other technologies covered.

Finally, Visual Basic 6.0's WebClasses are not covered, simply because Visual Basic 6.0 was released after press time. This is understandable, since printed books are inherently too static to follow the constant change in the Web environment. Fortunately, the book has a companion website at:, where readers will be able to access the source code for the book's examples. We hope that the author will also use this Website to provide information about important developments that Visual Basic programmers moving into the Web world need to be aware of. (At the time of this review ­ November 30, 1998 ­ it was impossible to navigate beyond the Website's home page).

Grete Pasch and Rodrigo AriasGraduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin

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