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Getting the Most Out of Microsoft's Latest IDE: O'Reilly Releases "Mastering Visual Studio .NET"

April 2, 2003

Sebastopol, CA--With start-up templates for projects ranging from Windows applications to web services, and extensive help and on-line documentation, Visual Studio .NET 2003 might be mistaken as a tool for unsophisticated users. This is hardly the case. Thoroughly detailed in Mastering Visual Studio .NET by Ian Griffiths, Jon Flanders, and Chris Sells (O'Reilly, US $39.95), Microsoft's latest integrated development environment (IDE) brings together every feature from the company's previous IDEs--including Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Visual Interdev--and introduces a host of new features. For those looking to adopt the .NET platform, getting the most out of this new IDE may be tricky, says coauthor Ian Griffiths.

"Most experienced developers will be able to perform the basics of Visual Studio .NET, like creating a project, typing some code, compiling, and debugging. 'Mastering Visual Studio .NET' covers these topics, but that's just the jumping off point," explains Griffiths. "The primary focus of the book is on topics that intermediate and advanced programmers really need, such as advanced window functionality, macros, advanced debugging, and add-ins, etc. We go beyond the documentation by offering hints and recommendations that we and the community at large have found highly useful."

"Mastering Visual Studio .NET" speaks to millions of Windows developers who, analysts expect, will actively start using the .NET platform in the next twelve-to-eighteen months. That includes more than five million Visual Basic 6 developers worldwide, two million Visual C++ developers, and roughly one million Visual Interdev Web developers. All of them will be moving from earlier development platforms to an environment that offers them many more possibilities. "With Microsoft's previous generation of development tools, each language had its own IDE," Griffiths says. "Now there is just one unified environment."

This new book is designed to help these Windows developers, and those new to Microsoft tools such as former Java programmers, realize the full scope of what Visual Studio .NET 2003 offers. Divided into two major sections, "Mastering Visual Studio .NET" begins with fundamental ways to maximize the power of Visual Studio .NET as it comes out of the box, covering projects and solutions, files and various file editors, debugging, web projects, database projects, and setup projects. "The book's practical depth and detail shows developers how best to put these features to work," Griffiths says. "The second section is about extending VS.NET to suit their specific needs."

Chapters on integrating controls and components with VS.NET, the VS.NET automation object model, macros and add-ins, custom wizards, and the Visual Studio Integration Program (VSIP) round out the book's advanced section. Also provided are several reference appendices on project types, project item types, keystroke shortcuts, source code control, solution and project file formats, and text editor settings. "Developers who are serious about using the VS.NET toolkit will want this book close by," Griffiths says. "With it, they'll learn this development environment from top to bottom."

Additional Resources:

Mastering Visual Studio .NET
Ian Griffiths, Jon Flanders, and Chris Sells
ISBN 0-596-00360-9, 397 pages, $39.95 (US), $61.95 (CAN), 28.50 (UK)
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

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