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.NET & SQL Library
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.NET & SQL Library

The object model changed so much from VB 6 to VB.NET that while studying for .NET exams in 2002, I found a lot of reading was necessary. Here are the books I read some or all of, with a few words about each one. Most continue to be valuable references.

Programming MS VB.NET
Francesco Balena (1529 pages read/1529 pages total) MS Press $60
This was the best all-around title. If you only buy one, this is it. Well-written, pertinent, and comprehensive for Windows apps, and helpful for Web apps. Balena's VB 6 book was great, too.

VB.NET and the .NET Platform
Andrew Troelsen (844/1019) A!Press $60
Deep deep deep: this is a fine book, aimed at those who want to understand EVERYTHING.

Developing Web Applications with Microsoft VB.NET & C#. NET
Jeff Webb (630/715) MS Press $70
The Self-Paced Training Kits are long on do-this, short on how-come, but are most useful for the exam itself on details like security, help, and globalization.

Advanced .NET Remoting in VB.NET
Ingo Rammer (161/392) A!Press $50
All I needed for the exam was in the first half, but like Troelsen's book there's a ton of deep stuff here.

XML Web Services for ASP.NET
Bill Evjen (355/549) Wiley $50
This was comprehensive & breezy, though I had to go to Rammer's book to understand more of what was going on.

Professional VB.NET
Fred Barwell et. al., (372/927) WROX $60
Ploddingly written, it provided depth where needed is spots on all three exams.

Programming VB.NET
Dave Grundgeiger (408/408) O'Reilly $40
A waste of time, this is a rehash of the online help.

Total Pages, .NET: 4,299/5,539

Professional SQL Server 2000 Programming
Robert Viera (1003/1281) WROX $60
This was typical WROX: great depth, roughly written.

Inside MS SQL Server 2000
Kalen Delaney (894/987) Microsoft $60
The cover says it all: this is "the definitive guide to the architecture and internals."

MS SQL Server 2000 DB Design & Implementation
Sheldon & Wilansky (521/521) Microsoft $60
Read cover to cover, it filled in some of the odd exam-related question that the other books were light on.

Total Pages, SQL 2000: 2,417/2,789
Total Pages, Overall: 6,716/8,328