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Sams Teach Yourself Visual Basic 2008 in 24 Hours: Complete Starter Kit 1st Edition

30 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0672329845
ISBN-10: 0672329840
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In just 24 sessions of one hour or less, you will be up and running with Visual Basic 2008. Using a straightforward, step-by-step approach, each lesson builds upon a real-world foundation forged in both technology and business matters, allowing you to learn the essentials of Visual Basic 2008 from the ground up. Step-by-step instructions carefully walk you through the most common questions, issues, and tasks. The Q&A section, quizzes, and exercises help you build and test your knowledge.


By the Way notes present interesting pieces of information. Did You Know? tips offer advice or teach an easier way to do something. Watch Out! cautions advise you about potential problems and help you steer clear of disaster.


Learn how to…

  • Use the powerful design environment of Visual Studio 2008
  • Design feature-rich interfaces using components such as tree views and tabs
  • Create robust applications using modern error-handling
  • Draw fast graphics using GDI+
  • Build a database application using ADO.NET
  • Distribute a Visual Basic 2008 Application
  • Manipulate the Windows Registry
  • Create, read, and write text files
  • Use event-driven techniques to build responsive applications

DVD Includes: Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition

On the Web: Register your book at for access to author code, examples, updates and corrections as they become available.

About the Author

James Foxall is vice president of Tigerpaw Software, Inc. (, a Bellevue, Nebraska, Microsoft Certified Partner specializing in commercial database applications. He manages the development, support, training, and education of Tigerpaw CRM+, an award-winning CRM product designed to automate contact management, marketing, service and repair, proposal generation, inventory control, and purchasing. At the start of 2008, the current release of Tigerpaw CRM+ had more than 16,000 licensed users. Foxall’s experience in creating certified Office-compatible software has made him an authority on application interface and behavior standards of applications for the Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office environments.


Foxall has been writing commercial production Visual Basic code for more than 14 years, in both single-programmer and multiple-programmer environments. He’s the author of numerous books, including Practical Standards for Microsoft Visual Basic and MCSD in a Nutshell: The Visual Basic Exams. He also has written articles for Access-Office-VBA Advisor and Visual Basic Programmer’s Journal. Foxall has a bachelor’s degree in management of information systems (MIS). He is a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer and an international speaker on Microsoft Visual Basic. When not programming or writing about programming, he enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, listening to amazing bands like Pink Floyd and OSI, and playing computer games. You can reach him at

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Sams Publishing; 1 edition (May 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0672329840
  • ISBN-13: 978-0672329845
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Foxall, President & CEO of Tigerpaw Software, has been involved in commercial software development for over 20 years and was instrumental in the development and creation of Tigerpaw's award winning product suite, serving over 35,000 users in 28 countries. In the 20+ years since joining his family's company full time, James has helped transform Tigerpaw Software from a small "garage" business to one that employs more than 45 people and produces business automation software servicing the IT/Networking, Telecommunications, and Systems Integrator industries. In his current role, James provides the vision and management to keep Tigerpaw focused on its customers and properly serving its markets.

James has a Masters degree in Business Administration and a BS degree in Management of Information Systems. These two degrees dovetail perfectly as James is devoted to creating better businesses through technology. James has written 14 books on technology which have been published in over a dozen languages around the world. He is considered an authority on application interface and behavior standards of Windows applications and serves the business community as an international speaker on Microsoft technologies and best practices for automating business processes in the SMB environment. Viewed as a business and technology expert, James has been featured on several television news shows, as well as in various trade publications and newspaper articles. James' goal for the future is to grow Tigerpaw by continuing to provide software and services that allow customers to not only meet their challenges, but to excel in a constantly changing market.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By J. Carlino on July 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I love this book! The only programming I had had was Basic back in 1984-85 so obviously I am starting from the beginning. I needed basics (like general definitions, logic of how programming works, and specifics for how the Visual Basic works) so I could understand the programmers I work with. After reading and going through the exercises in this book, I can speak the same language and I've even been able to do automation for my quality assurance testing.

BTW - took me about 2 1/2 weeks to get through it all ;-)
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Keith Williams on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I would classify myself as a "hobby" programmer. I enjoy programming, but aside from a few courses taken years ago, I have little formal training. I frequently write programs for myself, my clients, and my friends (I'm a computer technician). Although I know a little about OOP (object-oriented programming), I find it to be overkill for many of the programs I like to write. Most of the time good, old-fashioned procedural programming does the trick, and although maybe if I choose to revisit my code twenty years from now, I will regret not having laid out my code using a proper class hierarchy, I sort of doubt it.

If the preceding paragraph somewhat describes you as well, you may enjoy this book. To me, it takes VB2008 and makes it simple and enjoyable like VB6. The author, James Foxall, doesn't try to cover everything, but he covers enough to be able to actually use VB2008 to solve real problems, and along the way he teaches the fundamentals of Visual Basic (even a blessedly short chapter on custom classes).

When done, you can use VB2008 to: develop and use forms (dialog boxes), manipulate the objects that VB and .NET provide, work with the keyboard, manipulate graphics within your own windows, manipulate files and directories, read/write text files, databases, and the registry. You can use automation to manipulate other applications, and even package your creation for distribution using Microsoft's "ClickOnce" technology.

The book is a good size, large enough to cover major areas, but not so large as to intimidate. I only wish there was more coverage of common .NET classes such as the print / print previewing classes. Overall, I would say this is a great book for all us old VB6 types wanting to "modernize."
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bob M. on May 12, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Clear, concise, understandable and (a little bit) humorous. As a mainframe assembler programmer of almost 40 years and a former VB6 hobbyist, this book allowed me to make the leap to .NET and OOP. I also recommend it for first-time programmers.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
It is obvious that no subject as complicated as Visual Basic can actually be taught in 24 lessons, each of which is designed to be completed in an hour. Therefore, to criticize any book on that basis is to miss the point. These books should be called "Teach Yourself the Fundamentals ..." but that of course is not as catchy a title. When I examine such books, my standards of evaluation are based on the topics covered in the context of what is a reasonable set of necessary knowledge.
In that area, Foxall succeeds at a high level. The fundamental GUI objects, their properties and methods are covered as well as the events that they are associated with. Variable, functions, subroutines, arrays and most importantly, objects are introduced to significant depth. Control constructs such as the if - then and loops are covered as well the basics of error handling via the catching of exceptions.
If you are interested in getting a quick and effective introduction to Visual Basic and do not want to take a formal class, then this is the book for you. All you need is the motivation to learn, as the Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition is included with the book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By MTCampbell on September 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
VB 2008 in a month

Alright, 26ish hours divided into the span of 30-someodd days. Not bad for me!

I am a beginner, absolutely no programming history (well except for BASIC when I was a kid and made a G.I. Joe dB program that flashed "ACCESS DENIED" if you didn't enter the correct password). This book is for beginners. James Foxall takes you through the steps toward making your own functional, publishable windows form by taking a sometimes blah, but mostly humorous journey.

To start, the book comes with a DVD of VB 2008 Express. It's a simple install. The program is also available from Microsoft Developers Network as a free download (all express editions are free, but lack some advanced functionality from what I can tell). The biggest headache I had with this book is that it doesn't mention until page 16 that you need source files that are available from the Sams Publishing website. It would be nice to have, perhaps in the intro, all of the things laid out that one needs to do before starting the Hour 1--I know it may sound remedial to most, but like I said, I have NO programming experience and this book IS directed to an audience that has no experience.

Source files...oh man! It was absolutely frustrating trying to peruse Sams Publishing site to find this book, register it and then find where you're supposed to download these files that accompany the book. I literally couldn't find out the info from the Sams site. Then I noticed in the little by the way section of the book that James has a link to his site and POOF! The files were easily available and downloadable.

I have to say, that most of the time I was just going through the motions to achieve what needed to be done.
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