Chapter 13. Building Windows Applications

The previous chapters have used console applications to demonstrate Visual Basic .NET and the Common Language Runtime (CLR). Although console applications can be implemented simply, it is time to turn your attention to the reason you’re learning the Visual Basic .NET language in the first place: building Windows and web applications.

In the early days of Windows computing, an application ran on a desktop, in splendid isolation. Over time, developers found it beneficial to spread their applications across a network, with the user interface on one computer and a database on another. This division of responsibilities or partitioning of an application came to be called two-tier or client-server application development. Later, three-tier or n-tier approaches emerged as developers began to use web servers to host business objects that could handle the database access on behalf of clients.

When the Web first came along, there was a clear distinction between Windows applications and web applications. Windows applications ran on the desktop or a local-area network (LAN), and web applications ran on a distant server and were accessed by a browser. This distinction is now being blurred as Windows applications reach out to the Web for services. Many new applications consist of logic running on a client, a database server, and remote third-party computers located on the Web. Traditional desktop applications such as Excel or Outlook are now able ...

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