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Visual Basic .NET and XML: Harness the Power of XML in VB.NET Applications

ISBN: 978-0-471-12060-5
528 pages
March 2002
Visual Basic .NET and XML: Harness the Power of XML in VB.NET Applications (047112060X) cover image


An accessible and step-by-step approach to using VB.NET and XML enterprise application development

XML is a tool for interacting with, describing, and transporting data between machines across networks and across the Internet-perfectly suited for Microsoft's .NET plan to fully integrate the Internet into distributed computing. By using real-world and fully-functional examples, this book quickly brings Visual Basic programmers and developers up to speed on XML for enterprise application development. The authors include an overview of XML and how it works with VB.NET, then explain how to use it to manipulate data in distributed environments.

Companion Web site at www.vb-helper.com features the complete working code for all the examples built in the book.

Microsoft Technologies
.NET Platform: The next big overhaul to Microsoft's technologies that will bring enterprise distributed computing to the next level by fully integrating the Internet into the development platform. This will allow interaction between any machine, on any platform, and on any device.

Visual Basic.NET: The update to this popular visual programming language will offer greater Web functionality, more sophisticated object-oriented language features, links to Microsoft's new common runtime, and a new interface.

ASP.NET: A programming framework (formerly known as Active Server Pages) for building powerful Web-based enterprise applications; can be programmed using VB.NET or C#.

C#: Microsoft's new truly object-oriented programming language that builds on the strengths of C++ and the ease of Visual Basic; promises to give Sun's Java a run for its money.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xvii

PART ONE XML in Visual Basic .NET 1

Chapter 1 XML Overview 3

Elements and Attributes 7

Comments 10

Using Namespaces 10

Using the XML Editor in Visual Studio .NET 13

Validation 15

Conclusion 25

Chapter 2 DOM 27

DOM Objects 27

Wrapping Object Creation 48

Navigating the DOM 59

Finding Nodes 68

Moving Nodes within Trees 76

Moving Nodes between Trees 78

Other Examples 81

Conclusion 82

Chapter 3 Forward-Only XML 83

Writing XML Documents by Hand 84

XmlTextWriter 87

XmlConvert 110

XmlTextReader 112

XmlNodeReader 142

SAX 146

Conclusion 163

Chapter 4 Serialization 165

Serialization Basics 166

Arrays 170

Attributes 174

Subitems 177

Binary Serialization 179

Binary Data 183

SOAP Serialization 185

SOAP Serialization of Binary Data 186

Networks 188

Improved Control 194

Interprogram Communication 197

Conclusion 204

Chapter 5 Schemas 205

The Purpose of Schemas 205

DTD and XDR 206

XSD 208

Editing Schemas in Visual Basic 233

Validating XML 241

Validating the DOM 244

Building Schemas Programmatically 246

DataSet Schemas 255

Conclusion 259

PART TWO XML on the Web 261

Chapter 6 XSL 263

The Pieces of XSL 264

Using XPath within XSL 265

XSLElements 277

XSL Flow of Control 293

XSLExamples 302

A Visual Basic Transformation Engine 321

Conclusion 325

Chapter 7 ASP.NET 327

IIS 327

ASP.NET Basics 328

Data Islands 334

Client-Side Data Islands 334

Server-Side Data Islands 340

Web Forms 354

Conclusion 357

Chapter 8 Web Services 359

Implementing Web Services 360

Creating Clients 376

Visual Basic .NET Clients 387

Not .NET Web Services 390

Discovery 392

Conclusion 395

PART THREE XML in Other Applications 397

Chapter 9 Microsoft Office 2000 399

Word 401

Excel 422

Access 431

Outlook 440

Conclusion 442

Chapter 10 Internet Explorer 443

Built-in Capabilities 444

Internet Explorer’s XML Utility Plug-in 445

Conclusion 451

Chapter 11 SQL Server 2000 453

Configuring XML Support in IIS 454

Executing Queries 462

Using an HTML Form to Call Data 471

Using Schemas to Retrieve Data 475

Conclusion 484

Index 485

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Author Information

ROD STEPHENS is a contract software engineer and president of Rocky Mountain Consulting, specializing in graphical user interfaces, algorithms, and database systems. He has published numerous articles and nine books (all with Wiley). He hosts www.vb-helper.com.
BRIAN HOCHGURTEL is a software development engineer for Rogue Wave Software. His current project involves implementing the servlet standard in C++. Previous projects include creating Web interfaces for enterprise databases, proto-typing XML-based products, and creating Web-based applications for cancer research studies, environmental education, and software documentation.
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