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Professional Visual Basic 6 XML Paperback – January, 1999

3.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Even though XML is still very much a standard in motion, it is nevertheless freely available for implementation today. Professional Visual Basic 6 XML explains the basics of XML and illustrates how to use the most popular development language, Visual Basic, to drive full-featured XML applications.

This book introduces XML concepts using step-by-step code examples. Don't skip past the first part, since its descriptions of XML basics build a foundation for the rest of the book. An up-to-date snapshot of where the various pieces of the XML puzzle stand in the standardization process, and where the technology is likely to head, greatly aids the reader in understanding the discussion about schemas. For example, it's probably not a good idea to learn the syntax of the XML Schema, because the standard is still rapidly evolving.

The discussion of the Document Object Model, the programming tool for manipulating XML data structures, is excellent, with code examples that turn XML concepts into reality with useful VB utilities for controlling XML trees. As the book progresses, the reader will be directed to build an XML editor and explore distributed objects, data transformation, and much more. All of the sample application code is available from the publisher's Web site. --Stephen W. Plain

Topics covered:

  • XML
  • DTDs
  • MS Schemas and XML Schemas
  • Document Object Model
  • XML Queries
  • XSLT
  • XPath
  • XPointer
  • XLink
  • Simple API for XML (SAX)
  • SOAP
  • XML data manipulation
  • Distributed objects
  • Data transformation
  • Microsoft Word-to-XML conversion

From the Publisher

Online discussion of the topics in this book available at Wrox's P2P site.

Book Overview

This book covers:

--XML theory explained from the ground up
--Programming with the XML Document Object Model
--Validating XML with Schemas and DTDs
--Transforming data to and from XML with XSLT
--Querying and linking data using XPath, XPointer and XLink
--Storing and retrieving data in SQL Server 7 using XML
--XML and VB in a distributed object architecture: using SOAP, MTS, MSMQ
--Performance tips and tricks

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Product Details

  • Series: Programmer to Programmer
  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Peer Information Inc.; illustrated edition edition (January 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861003323
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861003324
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.3 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,995,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Higgins on April 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
From beginning to end, this book extensively covers the XML interface to VB. This book incorporates the fundamental ideas behind XML and gives thorough examples of how and where Visual Basic comes into the picture. I've read some other books on the market that just briefly touch on topic's that this book ends up disecting and, in the process, actually EXPLAIN to you just what is taking place in the code. I recommend this book for a moderate to experienced programmer in VB - they'll teach you the XML you need to know in order to be truly knowledgable.
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Let's face it, there aren't many Visual Basic/XML related books out there right now. My best suggestion is really think about why you want this book. I bought it because I'm primarily a Visual Basic programmer and I had been working with XML over the web, and I wanted to pick up this book and see what ideas these authors had for integrating XML in to their VB app projects. I wasn't working on a relevant project myself and that was part of the reason I lost interest in this book so fast.
This book definitely is not for beginners of Visual Basic and in fact, I would definitely suggest having some prior knowledge of XML even though the first two chapters provide a quick intro to XML. Perhaps this isn't a comment so much about the book as it is about using XML in VB, but having to learn and use the Microsoft XML DOM 3.0 library reference within Visual Basic meant there were tons of examples and lots and lots of code to type up. In fact, the authors actually create a VB program that parses XML code and it is somewhere along the lines of 10 pages of code!
This book has its moments, I liked the sample application chapter to see how it all tied together and if you love examples, you will see TONS of them throughout this book -- if you are familiar with Wrox, half the text in this book is in grey shading (meaning code example). But overall, as other reviewers have also pointed out, it covers a great deal of stuff without doing one particular thing exceptionally well (sample application withstanding). If your boss has definitely said "Mix XML into your VB app!", this book is probably your best choice. But if there was one thing I learned from this book, it's that I'd rather continue to use XML over the web than in my desktop or distributed VB applications right now.
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Of all the XML books I have, this one certainly takes the cake. The chapter on DOM is excellent. The SOAP chapters are a real gem. I had some problem with one the XSLT sample working, I contacted the author and got a response within few hours with the latest source code. The other Wrox book, Professional XML by Stephen Mohr et al is great too. These red books rock.
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Format: Paperback
The following is a sentence from page 131 paragraph 1 of this book: "After declaring a generic Node object to serve as the parent node for the new node, and a variable to hold our function response, which we optimistically set to True - which will be changed if our attempt at adding the node fails, we check to see if the node index is within bounds, using IsNodeIndexOK, described just after this function."
The logical flow to the entire book in not much better.
This makes learning anything about XML and VB difficult. I have spent more time attempting to determine what the authors are tring to say than I have learning about XML.
I was able to work with the sample code to some extent. But even the sample code was incomplete and more difficult to follow than necessary.
With a complete rewrite this could possibly be a good book.
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Format: Paperback
I read a 1/3 of the book (the sections I bought the book for). So far the book has been invaluable for the project I am working on. However, this is NOT an easy book: the material is complex no matter how you present it and I had to go over it again and again to gain sufficient understanding of it.
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Format: Paperback
I purchased this book to learn to do DOM programming, not to use the code provided by the authors. I was hoping for clear examples, instead I got a book that expects me to download their sample code or type it all in (and there is ALOT) in order to easily follow the samples. Typically this would be fine, but a majority of the functions and classes you can download are poorly explained, or not explained at all. This book is more like instructions on how to use a lot of code written by the authors to manipulate XML.
I own two other WROX books, these book were easy to follow and gave just the right amount of code to get me going. This book does neither. Big disappointment.
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By A Customer on October 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of only two books on the market presently that attempt to describe how you can integrate XML into your VB project. The only chapters I found useful, however, were 1 through 3. This book alone was insufficient to teach me the basics of XML and how I could integrate it with my VB project. I had to do a great deal of research on the Web to supplement the information provided in this book. The authors quote extensively from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which can be read directly and more up-to-date on the Web.
The most useful information I derived from this text was the introduction to XML covered in Chapter 1 and the understanding that there are two ways to parse XML in a VB project: using either the Document Object Model (DOM) or Simple API for XML (SAX). The authors describe how to use the Microsoft XML parser (MSXML), and at the time this book was written, MSXML supported only the DOM. As of July 2000, however, it also supports SAX. Therefore, the text covers only MSXML's support of the DOM interface.
The editing of this book is sloppy, so it was a challenge to match the references in the text to what actually appears on the accompanying CD. Once I located the appropriate files, however, I did find it useful to work through the DOM examples. The SAX examples, though not supported by the MSXML at the time (I had to download a third-party tool to work through the examples) were useful insofar as I gained a clear understanding of the differences between manipulating XML using the DOM and SAX interfaces.
Once I mastered XML, I haven't found any need to reference this book again.
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