What you will study
The module is presented in four blocks. Each contains three printed units and one web-based unit. The web-based unit contains the practical work associated with the three printed units. The practical work uses an Integrated Development Environment (IDE), namely the Visual Basic Express Edition, which will be supplied on a DVD. Other module-based software will be downloadable from the website.
Whereas the web-based units implement the practical work in VB, the printed units use a slightly abstracted design code, allowing greater emphasis to be placed on generic programming issues.
The main contents of the four blocks are:
Block 1 introduces the IDE, designing simple graphical user interfaces and writing simple code for the interface using supplied code. Issues such as usability and accessibility are discussed.
Block 2 develops VB syntax and discusses designing and writing the code that is behind the user interface. You’ll finish by designing a complete application for simple encrypting of pieces of text that consolidates the ideas in Blocks 1 and 2.
Block 3 looks at handling text, graphics and sound. It deals with fonts and colour as well as more complex graphical ideas. The contents include discussion of saving and loading files and a short discussion of printing. The final unit looks at ideas about animation and designing simple games. Several complete applications will be developed in the practical work.
Block 4 mainly concerns databases, one of the most common uses of software today. It teaches enough about databases to enable the development of simple applications making use of an existing database. It does not teach design of databases but how to use them. The final unit gives an overview of the module and revisits many of the ideas. It also shows how the design language used is a portable skill by translating a simple class design into C#.
The module emphasises good code design and documentation for portability and ease of maintenance. There’s also an emphasis placed on the need to keep the design and coding of the underlying model separate from the design and coding of the user interface.
Designing applications with Visual Basic is one of the modules listed as a possible prerequisite for the Accreditation of Certified Practitioners 2 (TM227).
You will learn
After studying this module, you’ll be able to design and write small software applications. Application design will be in two parts: the user interface and the underlying model that does the work of the application.
This module is relevant if you already work, or would like to work, with computing and IT systems and are looking to improve your grasp of the principles of software-based technologies. It is also a module of various qualifications that build skills in designing, developing and deploying IT systems.