1. Introducing Visual Basic and Databases
In this first chapter, we will do a quick overview of what the course entails. We will discuss what you need to complete the course. We’ll take a brief look at what databases are, where they are used, and how Visual Basic is used with databases. And, we’ll review the Visual Basic development environment and the steps followed to build an application in Visual Basic.
1. Understand the benefits of using Microsoft Visual Basic to build a ‘front-end’ interface as a database programming tool 2. Learn database structure, terminology, and proper database design 3. Learn how to connect to a database using the Visual Basic DAO (data access object) control 4. Use the ADO (ActiveX data object) data control and data environment to connect to a database (Visual Basic 6 only) 5. Learn the use of Visual Basic data bound controls
6. Learn to make database queries using SQL (structured query language) 7. Understand proper database search techniques
8. Learn how to use the Visual Basic Data Manager to create a database 9. Learn database management techniques
10. Learn to create and produce database reports
11. Learn how to distribute a Visual Basic database application 12. Understand connection to remote databases
13. Introduce multiple-user and database security concepts
An obvious requirement is a Windows-based computer with Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT installed, as well as Visual Basic. The student should be familiar with the basics of using the Windows operating system.
Visual Basic and Databases requires some edition of Visual Basic 5 or Visual Basic 6. There are two controls used by Visual Basic to interact with databases: the DAO (data access object) control and the ADO (ActiveX data object) control. Both controls will be discussed in this course. You should be aware, however, that the ADO control is available only with Visual Basic 6
Most examples presented in the course notes are done using the Professional Edition of Visual Basic 6. Hence, if you are using Visual Basic 5 or another edition of Visual Basic 6, some of your screens may differ from the ones seen in the notes.
No knowledge of databases or how to work with databases is presumed. Adequate introductory material is presented. Even if you’ve worked with databases before, it is suggested you read through this introductory information to become acquainted with the nomenclature used by the author for databases and their component parts.
This course does not teach you how to build a Visual Basic application. It is assumed that the student has a basic understanding of the Visual Basic development environment and knows the steps involved in building a Visual Basic application. You should feel quite comfortable with building the example application at the end of this first chapter. If not, our company, KIDware, offers several tutorials that teach this information. Please visit our web site or contact us for more information.
What is a Database?
A database is a collection of information. This information is stored in a very structured manner. By exploiting this known structure, we can access and modify the information quickly and correctly.
In this information age, databases are everywhere:
When you go to the library and look up a book on their computer, you are accessing the library’s book database. When you go on-line and purchase some product, you are accessing the web merchant’s product database. Your friendly bank keeps all your financial records on their database. When you receive your monthly statement, the bank generates a database report. When you call to make a doctor appointment, the receptionist looks into their database for available times. When you go to your car dealer for repairs, the technician calls up your past work record on the garage database. At the...