The Belgian Developer & IT-Pro Days 2006 are only over since a couple of days, and we're already announcing another technical event! On April 3rd the Visual Basic Tour will visit Belgium in Kinepolis, Brussels.
Registration is free of charge but mandatory. The number of seats for this session is limited.

The Speakers Paul Yuknewicz and Todd Apley, both members of the VB Team, will cover:

Agenda Visual Basic Tour:

Morning Session:
  • Introduction (15 minutes)
  • Keynote: What's New In Visual Basic 2005 (30 minutes)
  • Smart Client Development Using Visual Studio Tools for Office and Windows Mobile (75 minutes)
  • Top Ten Tips and Tricks From the Visual Basic Team (75 minutes)
Lunch
Afternoon Session:
  • Windows Forms 2.0 Development and Deployment (90 minutes)
  • Introduction to ASP.NET 2.0 using Visual Basic 2005 (90 minutes)

All info and registration for this event can be done here at msdn.be.

After having learned a lot on the new functionalities of Visual Basic 2005 you can put your gained knowledge into practice at the Visual Basic 2005 Hot Labs on Thursday April 27th or Friday April 28th. This is an excellent opportunity for ISVs developing in Visual Basic 6 to get some practical experience in Visual Basic 2005.

This thorough technical training on Visual Basic 2005 will take place in "Congres & Meeting Center Diependael 't Plein 1 (Zoutwerf) 2800 Mechelen" on preconfigured PC's. Price is 80 EUR (VAT excl.) and the number of seats for this session is limited. Register here.

 

Agenda Visual Basic Hot Labs:

  • Overview 15 minute PPT (presenter/teacher)
  • Pre-requisites
  • Overview of Visual Basic 2005
  • Objectives
  • Business Value

HOL Agenda:
 
Morning Session:
  • Introduction (15 minutes)

  • Visual Basic Lab 1: Consoles and Components (60 minutes)
    This lab introduces you to the Visual Basic command line compiler, the Intermediate Language Disassembler and Visual Studio 2005. First, you will create a console application and class library using Notepad and the Visual Basic command line compiler. Then, you will use ILDASM to examine the binary files created.
    Finally, you will create a Visual Studio solution that contains a Visual Basic console application and a Visual Basic class library. The class library will contain routines to search for files and raise events when those files are found. The console application will support command line arguments and print the name of files found to the console window.

  • Visual Basic Lab 2: Working with Databases (60 minutes)
    This lab introduces you to the Visual Database Tools, SQL Server Express 2005, and ADO.NET. You will create a class library that will contain the necessary code to manage and store photos in a SQL Server Express database. Then, you will use a feature of Visual Studio 2005 to build the database and add it as an item in the PhotoDataLib project. You will also create a table to store your photos and information about them using the Visual Data Tools inside Visual Studio 2005.
    You will create stored procedures to manage photo and photo information in the database. With the database objects defined, you will configure the data set using the Data Source Configuration Wizard. Finally, you will write code to use TableAdapters to add a photo to your database.

  • Visual Basic Lab 3: Building GUI Applications (60 minutes)
    This lab introduces you to Windows Forms. In this exercise, you will create a Windows Application that uses the previously created data access class library to display information from the MyPhotos database. In addition, you will use the class library created in the previous lab to search for JPEG files and add them to the database.
    In this lab, you will perform the following tasks:
    o Retrieve data from the database and bind the data to the main form
    o Use the DataGridView control to make the grid more visually appealing
    o Provide the capability to browse for a file
    o Provide a feature so that an image can be viewed without adding it to the database

Lunch

Afternoon Session:
  • Visual Basic Lab 4: Windows Services (60 minutes)
    In this lab exercise, you will create a Windows service to monitor a specified directory for new photos and when new photos arrive, load them into the MyPhotos database. In addition, you will experiment with debugging the service, and will use the InstallUtil.exe application to install and uninstall the service.

  • Visual Basic Lab 5: Building Web Applications (60 minutes)
    This lab introduces you to building web applications using ASP.NET. In this exercise you will create a web site that lets a user browse the photos database.
    In this lab, you will perform the following tasks:
    o Add a pair of dynamic queries that will be used to create a “photo of the day” feature
    o Add methods to return images from the database as bytes so that they can be streamed to web clients
    o Build a class that retrieves an image from the database and writes it to the HTTP response stream
    o Provide a feature so that all of the database photos can be browsed using a grid
    o Customize the Thumbnail Item Template to display the photo thumbnails
    o Use the GridView control so that as images are browsed, they can be viewed full size

  • Visual Basic Lab 6: COM Interop (60 minutes)
    Writing code in Visual Basic 2005 is great. However, you’ve got tons of existing code in Visual Basic 6.0 components that work great. You just want to be able to use the code from Visual Basic 2005. In this lab you’ll do just that.
    This lab uses an existing Visual Basic 6.0 ActiveX DLL (a COM Component). The component is designed to build a slide show using PowerPoint 2003. While you could re-write the code in Visual Basic 2005, you wouldn’t gain much since PowerPoint 2003 itself is just a large COM object. Instead you’ll use the existing Visual Basic 6.0 component as if it was a .NET Class Library. In addition, you’ll see that you can debug across Visual Basic 2005 and Visual Basic 6.0.

Together with the Visual Basic 2005 Hot Labs we also host the ASP.NET 2.0 Hot Labs. The ASP.NET 2.0 Hot Labs take place at the same location (Congres & Meeting Center Diependael 't Plein 1 (Zoutwerf) 2800 Mechelen) at the same dates (April 27 & 28). The hands-on will be practices on preconfigured PC's. Price is 80 EUR (VAT excl.) and the number of seats for this session is limited. Register here.

 

Agenda ASP.NET 2.0 Hot Labs:

Morning Session:

  • Introduction (15 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 1: Create a Web Site (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 2: Data Access (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 3: User Interface Enhancements (60 minutes)

Lunch

Afternoon Session:

  • ASP.NET Lab 4: Membership and more (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 5: Profiles and Localization (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 6: Site Navigation (60 minutes)

Self-Paced Session (Self paced (non-presented) – for advanced students):
These labs are provided for those who have an advanced knowledge of ASP.NET and want a more in-depth look.

  • ASP.NET Lab 7: Providers (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 8: Configuration and more (60 minutes)
  • ASP.NET Lab 9: Personalization (60 minutes)

    HOL Abstracts:

  • Create a Web Site (60 minutes)
    ASP.NET is loaded with new features designed to make building sophisticated Web sites easier than ever before.
    In this lab, you’ll build a Web site which is designed to acquaint you with some of the ASP.NET 2.0 features and provide a taste of what’s to come.
    This HOL set’s up a new project, introduces Master Pages, introduces SQL Data Source control, and see how post-backs work.
    This is a very fast Lab that introduces a lot of concepts that will be reinforced and elaborated on in Labs 2-6.

  • Data Access (60 minutes)
    Access to back-end databases and other data stores is an important element of data-driven Web applications.
    ASP.NET 2.0 makes building data-driven pages easier than ever before by providing data controls such as GridView and DetailsView to render data into HTML, and data source controls such as SqlDataSource and ObjectDataSource to declaratively bind data controls to data sources.
    Thanks to these controls, data access chores that required hundreds of lines of code in ASP.NET 1.x can often be accomplished with little or no code in ASP.NET 2.0.

    In this lab, you’ll begin building a Web site named MyComics that serves as a virtual catalog for comic books.
    You’ll create a Web site to front the MyComics database and build a page that permits users to browse through the comic books in a GridView.
    Next, you’ll add a page that shows comic book details in a DetailsView.
    Finally, you’ll add an admin page that permits comic books to be inserted, updated, and deleted.
    In addition to learning how to create a Web site with Visual Studio and use the IDE to add pages, controls, and data components, you’ll get an in-depth look at SqlDataSource and ObjectDataSource controls and gain first-hand experience with the editing capabilities of GridView and DetailsView controls.
    Once the pages are up and running, you’ll enable caching in the data source controls to maximize performance by minimizing database I/O.
    And to top things off, you’ll use SQL cache dependencies to ensure that you’re always serving up fresh data to your users—even if the underlying data changes.

  • User Interface Enhancements (60 minutes)
    ASP.NET 2.0 provides a wide range of new features to simplify the development of user interfaces, from master pages, themes, and skins to more than 50 new controls designed to make short work of implementing common user interface elements.
    In this lab, you’ll get first-hand experience using these new features by giving the MyComics application you started in Lab 2 a face-lift.
    First, you’ll add a master page to the site.
    Next, you’ll theme the site using a custom theme.
    Finally, you’ll use a MultiView control to offers users a choice of ways to view comic book data, and you’ll combine DataList controls and custom HTTP handlers to implement a new view of the comic database.

  • Membership and more (60 minutes)
    Forms authentication is a popular means of securing Internet applications.
    In ASP.NET’s brand of forms authentication, you designate a login page for logging in unauthenticated users and use URL directives to specify which pages require logins and which ones do not.
    When an anonymous (that is, unauthenticated) user attempts to access a page that’s only available to authenticated users, ASP.NET automatically redirects them to the login page.
    ASP.NET 1.x simplified forms authentication by introducing declarative means for designating login pages and specifying authorization rules.
    ASP.NET 2.0 further simplifies forms authentication by providing the following facilities:
    A membership service for managing users and user credentials
    Login controls for logging in users, creating new users, and more
    A role management service for enacting role-based security
    In this lab, you’ll use all three to build a secure administrative interface for the MyComics application.
    You’ll begin by creating a login page.
    Then you’ll secure the admin page you created in Lab 2 so that only authenticated users can access it, and add links to the master page for navigating to the admin page and logging in.
    Finally, you’ll use role-based security to tighten permissions on the admin page so that only administrators can access it.

  • Profiles and Localization (60 minutes)
    Personalizing content for individual users and persisting per-user data has always been a non-trivial undertaking in Web apps, in part due to the stateless nature of HTTP.
    Sites that authenticate users often store personalization data in back-end databases and key it with user names.
    Sites that don’t authenticate users use cookies to round-trip personalization info or keys that can be used to look up personalization info.
    Either way, most platforms leave the coding to you.
    ASP.NET 2.0’s profile service simplifies the task of storing per-user data.
    It works with authenticated and unauthenticated users, and it uses the ASP.NET provider model for flexible data storage.
    You define a user profile; ASP.NET compiles the profile and provides strongly typed access to it. Moreover, ASP.NET persists data written to profiles.
    In this lab, you’ll use ASP.NET’s profile service to add a Favorites feature to the MyComics application you started in Lab 2.
    Users can use the Favorites feature to create personalized lists of their favorite comics.
    After implementing Favorites, you’ll add an international flair to MyComics by making it locale-aware.

  • Site Navigation (60 minutes)
    Easy site navigation is an important element of modern Web applications.
    Because much of the time spent developing a site is devoted to building menus, tree views, and other navigational aids, and because changes to a site’s structure require commensurate changes to the navigation UI, ASP.NET 2.0 addresses the issue of site navigation head-on.
    Menu and TreeView controls simplify the task of building navigation UI’s;
    SiteMapDataSource controls enable changes to a site’s structure that automatically propagate to the navigation UI;
    and SiteMapPath controls make short work of implementing “bread-crumb” elements showing the path to the current page.
    In this lab, you’ll put these features of ASP.NET 2.0 to work building a modern navigation UI into the MyComics Web site.
    By applying a combination of Menu controls, SiteMapDataSource controls, and SiteMapPath controls, you’ll create a data-driven navigational system that automatically adapts to changes in site structure.
    Moreover, you’ll get first-hand experience with the navigational aids in ASP.NET 2.0 so you can later apply them to sites of your own.


    Self paced – for fast students

  • Providers (60 minutes)
    The provider model used by ASP.NET 2.0’s state management services makes state storage infinitely flexible.
    If the providers shipped with the system aren’t sufficient for your needs—if, for example, you want to store membership data or session state in an Oracle database rather than SQL Server—then you can plug in custom providers that target Oracle data stores.
    You can write custom providers yourself or purchase them from third parties.
    In this lab, you’ll write a custom site map provider that retrieves site map data from the MyComics database rather than an XML file.
    The custom provider will enable site map data to be stored in the MyComics database alongside the comic book data itself.
    The purpose of this lab is twofold: to give you first-hand experience building and deploying custom providers, and to deepen your understanding of the ASP.NET provider model.

  • Configuration and more (60 minutes)
    ASP.NET 2.0’s configuration API fills a hole in ASP.NET 1.x by providing an easy-to-use and extensible API for reading and writing configuration settings.
    Applications can now read their own configuration settings without parsing raw XML, and they see a merged view of those settings that includes settings inherited from configuration files higher in the directory hierarchy.
    Moreover, writing configuration settings is as easy as reading them, and implementing custom configuration sections requires little more than deriving from System.Configuration.ConfigurationSection.
    Health monitoring, sometimes called “Web events,” is another notable addition to the platform.
    Thanks to the health monitoring subsystem, a few simple statements in Web.config can configure an application to write an entry to the Windows event log when a login fails, e-mail a system administrator when an unhandled exception occurs, and more.
    In addition, you can extend the health monitoring subsystem by defining Web events of your own.
    The purpose of this lab is to acquire first-hand experience with both the configuration API and health monitoring.
    You’ll begin by enabling Failure Audit events in the MyComics application you’ve been working on since Lab 2 and seeing what happens when someone tries to log in with an invalid user name or password.
    Then you’ll use the configuration API to allow administrators to turn Failure Audits on and off from MyComics’ admin page.
    Next, you’ll implement a custom Web event and modify MyComics to fire that event when comics are deleted from the admin page.
    Finally, you’ll use the SQL Server Web event provider to record custom Web events in a SQL Server database.

  • Personalization (60 minutes)
    Web Parts is a framework for building highly customizable portal-style pages.
    You compose Web Parts pages from “Web Parts,” which can be Web controls, user controls, or custom controls.
    End users can customize Web Parts pages by changing the page layout, adding and removing Web Parts, editing Web Parts properties, establishing connections between Web Parts, and more.
    Changes made to a Web Parts page are persisted by the Web Parts framework.
    Web Parts pages exhibit a degree of sophistication seldom seen in Web applications today, and they do it without requiring you to write reams of code.
    In fact, as with many of the other new features in ASP.NET 2.0, the vast majority of what you can accomplish with the Web Parts can be accomplished declaratively.
    In this lab, you’ll build a Web Parts page and use it to familiarize yourself with the Web Parts infrastructure built into ASP.NET.