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  Prototyping With Visual Basic  
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Rod Stephens
$39.99, 410 pages, 2002
ISBN 0-7897-2578-9

Aircraft and auto manufacturers don't risk millions on untested designs without building prototypes first. Why should you?

Lean how to use prototypes to take the risk out of application development.


Every software project is new technology

If it wasn't, you would just copy an existing solution. While every project is new, that doesn't mean there's no way for you to predict how development will proceed.

A prototype lets you study an application in miniature before you waste a huge amount of time and money blundering in the dark, trying to implement impossible features and following development paths doomed to failure.

Prototyping can help you:

  • Increase your changes of finishing the project on time and within budget
  • Predict time, staffing, and other resource needs
  • Identify problem areas quickly before they grow into major disasters
  • Validate and improve application architecture
  • Quickly eliminate development paths doomed to failure
  • Keep a project focused on the customers' needs
  • Win customer buy-in
  • Increase the project's chance of overall success

Should you buy this book?

This book describes tried and tested prototyping techniques you can use when building Visual Basic applications. Many of the concepts apply to any programming language, though the examples here are taken from Visual Basic. [Note: The examples in the text were written using Visual Basic .NET Beta 1. Unfortunately Microsoft made enough changes in Beta 2 that some of the examples no longer work. Follow the Example Code link to find the latest updated code.]

This book spends most of its time discussing and demonstrating prototyping techniques. It does not provide a huge toolbox of source code. If you prefer books filled with source code, buy a different book. If you build only small, one-person applications, you don't need prototyping.

On the other hand, if you work in large development efforts that take significant resources, this book can help. If you want to learn how to use prototyping to help guide and control large development efforts, this book can help.

This book is primarily designed for

  • Project leaders who want to improve their development processes
  • Team members who want to learn about the development process to produce a better application and later move into a position of more responsibility
  • Customers who want to understand the development process and help build the best software possible

Readers Say

Just finished reading Prototyping with Visual Basic and very impressed. Excellent structured book which explains what could easily be a complex subject in an easy to understand way. I was pleased to learn that I had already been using some of the methods described in the book so I must be doing something right!
Peter Custance


  Prototyping With Visual Basic  
Overview Table of Contents Example Code
Related Articles

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