The Win32 API, or Application Programming Interface, is of immense use in extending the power of Visual Basic. The Win32 API is the collection of functions and subroutines that provides programmatic access to the features of the operating system. It allows Visual Basic programmers far greater access to the inner workings of the Windows operating system without having to suffer through the steep learning curve associated with Visual C++ style Windows programming.
The book is designed for users with an intermediate-level (or higher) knowledge of Visual Basic version 4 or later and a desire to stretch VB into the realm of Windows system programming. Users do not need any background in Visual C++, nor do they need any previous experience programming the Win32 API.
This book teaches users how to do relatively simple tasks, such as adding tab stops to a list box and gathering system information (i.e., which version of Windows is running on a system and the number of buttons on the user's mouse). It also teaches users about several advanced programming techniques such as synchronizing two VB applications so they can work in cooperation with each other and how to extract data from controls that belong to another application.
Win32 API Programming with Visual Basic also spends a good deal of time describing the basic operations of the Windows NT and Windows 95/98 operating systems. Microsoft's documentation seldom takes into account what the reader knows or does not know. Hence, a solid grounding in the basics of the Windows operating systems will help VB programmers to better understand Microsoft's documentation.
This book helps VB programmers eliminate the trial and error process that is usually associated with calling the Win32 API from Visual Basic and does so in a practical, straightforward fashion that is the hallmark of author Steve Roman's style.