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Gerbil XP
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Posts: 417
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:48 pm

old VB/Access VBA programmer wants to learn - help!

Mon Mar 21, 2016 4:37 pm

Hi everyone,
Lemme give you all a little background because it is pertinent to my needs. A while back, I cut my teeth in the IT programming world coding in VB 6 accessing an MS Access Database file for a small company (circa 2000). It was an in house built inventory system with VB front end and an access database sitting on a server. At the time they wanted an "interactive" website that displayed real time inventory and so I bought a book and learned ASP programming in VB for Access Databases. All went well with that. Unfortunately things turned south for the company and I ended up working as a Network Admin for the last 16 years for another company. Every now and then I will program a simple Access database using my old VB skills for various needs that arise (A billing database, a call tracking database, etc.). I spend good portions of time maintaining these databases so my Access/VBA skills are OK, not awesome, but if someone wants something, I can make it happen... eventually, hehe.

I am being asked more and more to "develop" web based forms, even some that can access data and interact with it. Can someone suggest some resources that I can learn (using VB) how to build interactive web pages using either an Access Database back end (because thats what I know) or I guess even an SQL Server type thing (if its easy enough). I'm an old dog, and its not that I cant learn new tricks, but I do have a long history with VB and Access and if it makes what I want to accomplish easier for me, I'd like to stay around that arena.

Any ideas? (Thanks in advance, and thanks for reading all that, heh)
For with what measure you measure it will be measured to you.
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1835
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:27 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: old VB/Access VBA programmer wants to learn - he

Mon Mar 21, 2016 5:27 pm

ASP.NET is in a state of flux at the moment, there is work being done on ASP.NET Core which is a rewrite of the underlying framework from the ground up, this is basically being done for efficiency and to allow cross platform development and deployment. e.g. hosting on linux etc. So with that in mind if you're learning from scratch you could go one of two routes, with the current ASP.NET 4.6 platform which is tried and true, or you could cut your teeth on the latest release candidate for ASP.NET 5 (Core).

I've been doing a little learning in this area myself, and can say that the differences between the two are not much of a hurdle which ever way you choose to go. There are more tutorials and information and less likelihood of hitting bugs if you go with the current stable version though. Although in the long run I can see that the small improvements of the RC will add up to overall being a better platform (e.g. new version has tag helpers, vs html helpers from old, both similar but tag helpers are a little more intuitive IMO).

Some good info on the official ASP.NET website, and some tutorials that will help get you under way. I would recommend that as the best place to start

Code first development with entity framework as a backend and the automatic scaffolding for your CRUD pages is a really fast way to get up and running with a data model. Makes data access very easy and abstracted, basically you design your model around plain CLR classes and EF takes care of the data persistence for you so you don't have to worry about SQL. Anyway, the tutorials cover all this stuff in far better detail than I can so that'd be your best bet.

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