The following sections describe four articles I wrote for InformIT
to promote this book.
Tales from the Trenches
Prototyping with Visual Basic describes a bunch of my prototyping
experiences to illustrate key points. This article contains some of the
funniest, rewritten slightly so they make sense out of the context of
Making a Splash
First impressions can make or break a prototyping effort. This article
shows how to quickly and easily make an interesting splash screen that:
- Displays cut out text
- Displays outlined text
- Can act as an About dialog
- Provides a link to a Web page
Query By Example
This article shows how you can build an instant query-by-example form so
users can easily compose queries in your prototype. In many applications
I have built, the users liked this type of form so much that it became
part of the final application design and we didn't need to build query
capabilities from scratch.
Reasons to Prototype in Visual Basic
This article is an excerpt from the book. It explains the reasons why
you might need to build a prototype.
A prototype is a miniature version of the final application to be
created. By building a prototype, you can better define an application's
features, narrow the customer's needs, test untried technology, and
refine the development team's skills. Even more important, building a
smaller version of the program enables you to learn about the larger
application in a shorter amount of time-and to make mistakes in
miniature that are more easily fixed at this point.
Not all applications need a prototype. If you are building a
quick-and-dirty file sorter that you expect to take 2 hours to build, it
probably won't bankrupt you if it actually takes 3 hours. On the other
hand, if you are working on an application that will take 20 programmers
3 years to build, a prototype can save you millions.
If you're not sure whether you need prototypes, read this article and
learn what they're good for.