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Learn to Program with Visual Basic 6 Databases [Paperback]

4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book if you are CLUELESS Nov. 5 2003
By Mike
The "classroom atmosphere" of this book is far too excessive. For a beginner that has no idea what computer programming is, this book is ok. The concepts and methodologies in this book are great. The part that annoys me the most is that EVERY SINGLE term that is brought into this "class" generates like 5 dumb questions from the class members.
Professor: "..this recordset must be set to 'updatable' for you to be able to update it"
Student 1: "so it can't be updated if it is 'read only'?
Professor: "Thats correct Johnny. Boy you are catching on quick"
Student 2: "why can't it be updated if it is 'read only'?
Professor: "Well Suzie, once upon a time...."
In summary, this book could be great if they took out all the redundant mundane questions shortening the page count to about 50. Also, I don't need to read: " 'ok students, next class we will talk about more recordsets'. I then allowed the class to go home early so they can go to the movies to see spider man.' "
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Foundation - Great Support! May 17 2003
This is the third book I'm working through in John's Learn to Program with Visual Basic series. I recommend you follow the course by starting with Learn to Program with Visual Basic followed by Learn to Program Visual Basic Examples before taking on this book. These are not the first Visual Basic books I've worked through, but John's series immediately revealed some bad programming habits that I had to break.
John begins this series, as well as each book, by teaching the fundamentals of good programming. By using a make-believe university classroom as the backdrop to this book, John is able to cover many of the basic questions and problems of beginner and intermediate programmers while avoiding the usually dry format of other computer books.
This book and this series is also backed up with great support. When I became stuck with a version conflict problem, I emailed John with a question and got a fast response that solved my problem. If you're a beginner and want to get a solid start in programming fundamentals, I recommend this book and this series!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Foundation for Database Concepts March 28 2003
This is actually a pretty good book once you get around its conceit: that the author is in the classroom talking with his students. Had he refrained from the classroom conceit, he would have required only half the paper for the information that was in the book.
But okay, assume you can get past that. How is the book? Well, in terms of content, it's excellent. The author takes you through the phases of building a database, showing you each step and explaining each aspect. He starts with database theory and then takes the reader through the design of an Access database. Then he teaches how to connect to and manipulate the database using the Visual Basic programming language objects. He talks about the data control explaining its main methods, events, and properties and then spends 3 chapters on creating and updating recordsets. The book doesn't give you enough information to make you an expert (you would need books on DAO and ADO for that). What it does is step methodically through each of the basic sequences of building a database, giving you a good foundation to continue learning.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent-as far as it goes Jan. 11 2002
Personally I prefer the class-room style of John Smiley to the many books that are little more than a rehashing of VB documentation. John intuitivly knows when to have one of his students ask for something to be repeated, or to be explained in more detail. However, this style means that MUCH less ground is covered than in the more traditional approach.
Neverthess, I find that I have a THOROUGH understanding of each topic.
One complaint is that his example program uses the same style and the same techniques exclusively. This becomes obvious when he designs a form to display transactions. He uses the same designs for this as he does for data entry!
A data entry form usually consists of several labels and text fields. A history of transaction would normally be displayed in a spreadsheet like table. So, not only is this form redundant (in terms of learning--because we have already designed similar forms 3 times in this book), but it produces a form that no end user would accept.
However, the real loss is that he does not cover the use of the dbGrid! He uses the excuse that because many of his (imaginary) students are using the Learning Edition of VB6 they don't have that control! Kinda weak! I can't see any of these people getting jobs unless they are using either the Professional or Enterprise versions.
Nevertheless I have ordered his next book--on Objects. I am one of those thicked-headed-ex-Clipper programmers for whom objects are a mysterious--and frightening--realm. Hopefully John will lead my safely by the hand.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to databases Dec 9 2001
I have used 2 of Professor Smiley's books (His Intro and Objects books) and they provided a wealth of information as does this book. It's set up in a university classroom setting where his students get to do a real world project for a china shop owner (really modifications to an existing program). The original program is first introduced in the Intro book, but you can go to the publisher's website to download the project as it stood in the Intro book. I have done database programming for years, but was looking for using VB 6 with Databases. It was very informative but I can't rate it 5 stars like his other books because I felt there wasn't enough coverage of DAO and hardly any about ADO. As for using Access, it will give you just enough to use Access for simple table creation and such. If you're looking for heavy duty use between Access and VB, this book isn't for you. If you are looking to be led by the hand for introductory Visual Basic with Databases, by all means get this book. For the ADO and DAO, use the O'Reilly nutshell books - they're excellent.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal service, immediate response
I don't usually write reviews of books but this book is exceptional. I consider myself a near expert with Microsoft Office VBA but struggled with Visual Basic (the application). Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Jim Stevens
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Database Book
This book is an excellent tool for beginners, and intermediate level programmers. The way it reads is as close to being in the classroom as you can get without paying tuition.
Published on Jan. 21 2004 by Jeff Webb
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
We'll what could I say, John Smiley does it again! This is the best database book. If you never done databasing with visual basic 6.0 then this is thee book for beginners. Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2004 by Perry Klefsky
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book for a quick learning experience
I found this book difficult to use and written in a poor manner. It seems that all he did was record a class that he taught, and then transcribed every word to paper. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2003 by "syates88"
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Beginners or 'Teach Yourself-ers'
After getting my feet wet with John Smileys 'Learn to Program with Visual Basic 6' I very much wanted more. 'Learn to Program Visual Basic Databases' was the most logical choice. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2003 by Danny
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Garbage
The amount of actual information on database programming in this book would fit on less than 100 pages. Read more
Published on March 19 2003 by ms patricia kelliher
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the book for ADO information
Maybe this was my fault, but I bought this book after reading the review and topics covered and thought that ADO would be covered. Read more
Published on Dec 13 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Learn to Program Visual Basic Databases
This book should be the 2nd or 3rd book in a series of books from John Smiley. Start with the "Learn to Program Visual Basic 6" and then follow it up with either "Learn to Program... Read more
Published on Oct. 22 2002 by Darrell Nungester
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual Basic Databases
Most "How to Program" Visual Basic publications take you into individual procedures without giving you the larger picture of programming . Read more
Published on July 30 2002 by craig
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