Since their introduction, the MCSD certification exams have been enthusiastically received by VB programmers who consider certification very important to their professional credibility.
Programmers tend to be specialists--they tend to do the same kind of programming over and over. The MCSD exam is targeted at technical generalists--developers familiar with a broad array of Microsoft technologies and development approaches that are incorporated into Visual Basic. With its comprehensive overview of core technology areas, MCSD in a Nutshell is the perfect study guide and resource to help developers master technologies that are less familiar to them. In fact, its thorough review of Visual Basic-related development technologies also makes this an excellent tutorial for experienced VB programmers who wish to get up to speed on speed on some technology with which they work infrequently, if at all.
Most certification books are really tutorials in disguise. In contrast, this book focuses on the advanced topics about which developers are actually tested on the exam.
Creating ActiveX Code Components
Creating ActiveX Controls
Creating and Using ActiveX Documents
Creating Internet-Aware Applications
Testing and Debugging
Integrating Help with an Application
Optimizing an Application
Package and Deployment
Incorporating Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS)
Incredibly, most certification books appear to assume that the reader has no prior experience with VB programming. In contrast, this book assumes an intermediate to advanced programmer who is concerned with learning more about each of the core technologies that are covered by the exam. And unlike some certification books,
MCSD in a Nutshell is written by an author who has successfully passed the certification exams.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of MSCD in a Nutshell: The Visual Basic Exams is a purple-capped, or purple-naped, lory (Lorius domicellus). Lories constitute one third of all parrots, an order of birds characterized by their brilliantly colored feathers, zygodactylous feet (two toes pointing frontward, two pointing backward), and hooked beaks. Parrots dwell in tropical forests, where they feed on fruit, buds, seeds, and pollen, furthering forest propagation.
Each lory species' distinctive coloring provides its common name. The purple-capped lory sports a red body with a yellow breast, green wings, violet thighs, reddish-brown tail, orange bill, and an identifying purple streak on the back of its head. Purple-capped lories live nomadic lives-singly or in pairs-over the Indonesian Moluccan islands Seram and Ambon. Almost all parrot species are in danger of extinction due to habitat loss and trapping for trade as pets. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) helps to protect parrot species, but the purple-capped lory may already be extinct on Ambon Island. Only breeding programs can save the purple-capped lory now. Jeffrey Holcomb was the production editor for MSCD in a Nutshell: The Visual Basic Exams. Ann Houska was the copyeditor. Sarah Jane Shangraw proofread the text. Catherine Morris and Leanne Soylemez provided quality control. Molly Shangraw, Mary Sheehan, and Ann Schirmer provided production support. Pamela Murray wrote the index.
Edie Freedman designed the cover of this book. The cover image is a 19th-century engraving from the Dover Pictorial Archive. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.
Alicia Cech and David Futato designed the interior layout based on a series design by Nancy Priest. Mike Sierra implemented the design in FrameMaker 5.5.6. The text and heading fonts are ITC Garamond Light and Garamond Book. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Rhon Porter using Macromedia FreeHand 8 and Adobe Photoshop 5. This colophon was written by Sarah Jane Shangraw.
Whenever possible, our books use a durable and flexible lay-flat binding. If the page count exceeds this binding's limit, perfect binding is used.
It is best book I found to learn for what was required in the exams. If you want a book that cuts to the chase instead of not getting straight to the point like some of the books I have read, I recommend that you get it.
Although there are a lot errors on the exam questions at the end of each chapter, I would still rate this book as one of the best VB certification books I have ever read. It's well written and easy to understand for experienced developers - definitely not for beginners.
This book is great. Unlike those very thick books, the author deals with the topics that you REALLY need in order to pass the exam. I recently passed the desktop exam and I give a lot of credit to this book. It is also indispensible reference after you used it as a reviewer. To James Foxall, I really admire your writing style. To those who want to pass the exam, you'll be sorry if you don't have a copy of this book.
I have purchased a number of certification books and have now passed both VB exams. This book is unquestionably the best. It doesn't try to teach you how to write VB code - you should already know! However it gives details of all those obscure features you've probably never used that may well come up on the exam. It's also the only certification book I kept after passing the relevant exam.
This book is BY FAR the best VB book, for all-purpose general VB knowledge and also for preparing for the Microsoft tests. This book is well-written and thorough. It is not a beginner book... only one chapter on overview topics. But then, if you need someone to explain to you how to draw a form, perhaps you are not ready for the exams. I have looked at a handful of "exam cram" style books for the VB tests. I can't believe anyone could rely on those books and actually pass the tests. Foxall is right on!
I have little experience in using VB except for registering dll's and creating class modules. I have to say that after reading through the Exam Cram book and the official Microsft Book for the VB exams, MCSD in a Nutshell is by far the most informative and useful book I've read for the VB exams. Aoar tfro being in the UK and it only costing around £20 it covers both exams at once which is a great idea and is wriiten by a guy who has sat and passed the exams himself.
Five out of five - the only computer book I've ever read cover to cover.