Although it is possible to create Visual Basic applications using the command-line tools contained in the .NET Framework, you'll want Visual Studio 2010 (Standard Edition or higher), which includes the .NET Framework 4, to get the most out of this book. You may use Visual Basic Express Edition instead, but in some cases the exercises won't work because functionalities and capabilities are not available in this limited version. In addition, note the following:
V You'll need .NET Framework 4, which is installed with whatever version of Visual Studio 2010 you select.
V Some chapters make use of SQL Server 2008. You can run the example code using Microsoft's SQL Express, which ships with Visual Studio 2010.
V Chapter 7 makes reference to the Unit Test tools, which are included with Visual Studio Professional Edition or higher.
V Several chapters make use of Internet Information Services (IIS). IIS is part of every operating system released by Microsoft since Windows XP, but on newer operating systems you'll need to run as administrator to develop against it. Alternatively, you can leverage the development server that ships with Visual Studio 2010.
V Chapter 18 makes use of Expression Blend 3.0. Blend is available with upper-tier MSDN subscriptions, but you should be able to leverage a trial version to explore the capabilities described in that chapter.
V Chapter 24 looks at SharePoint development. SharePoint services ship with Windows Server versions. The full Microsoft Office SharePoint Server is a product that requires a license, although MSDN owners can get access to a development server.
V Chapter 25 looks at Visual Studio Tools for Office, so in order to leverage products built against the Office suite, you'll need a copy of the specified product(s).
V Appendix D makes use of MSMQ to work with queued transactions. MSMQ also ships with Windows, but it is not installed by default.
V Appendix E looks at the online services that are accessible to Microsoft developers. Azure has a trial period so that you can work with the examples in that chapter.
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