Microsoft has a whole collection of Web technologies that together enable you to create sites involving attractively formatted text and graphics, animation, user interaction, and remote database connectivity. Visual InterDev serves as the workbench at which developers tie these technologies together, and Mastering Web Application Development Using Microsoft Visual InterDev 6.0
does a fine job of introducing its readers to the power of that development environment.
The authors structure their content as a self-paced class, in which they present lots of raw documentation of Visual InterDev and its capabilities in the form of detailed procedures, lists of options, code samples, and screen shots. They manage to avoid the droning style that characterizes many books about development environments, however, by interspersing their descriptive information with lab activities. The activities would be better if they allowed more variation--sometimes they're just explicit recipes that must be followed exactly--but they do provide readers with a hands-on introduction to features that might otherwise prove baffling.
The description-and-exercise approach extends beyond the authors' coverage of the Visual InterDev environment itself. Readers learn how to use VBScript--both for client-side scripting tasks and for creating Active Server Pages (ASP)--in the same manner. Coverage of the language isn't comprehensive, and neither is coverage of Component Object Model (COM) component creation, but it's enough to introduce readers to Visual InterDev's advanced features. More advanced references can build on the knowledge readers acquire from this book. --David Wall
Topics covered: Visual InterDev 6, VBScript on the client and server sides, Active Server Pages (ASP), Microsoft data-access technologies, Component Object Model (COM) components, and Microsoft Transaction Server.