Creating Windows Services Creating Web Services Deploying Applications Immediate Solutions: Using the ServiceBase Class Using the EventLog Class Using the ServiceProcessInstaller Class Using the ServiceInstaller Class Creating a Windows Service Creating a Windows Service Installer Using the WebService Class Creating a Web Service Using a Web Service Deploying Applications And That's It!
In this chapter, we'll take a look at creating Windows services, creating Web services, and deploying Visual Basic applications. These are all powerful techniques, and they'll add a lot to your Visual Basic arsenal.
Windows services are programs that don't usually support a user interface (although you can display a notify icon in the Windows taskbar and handle events for that notify icon—see "Creating Notify Icons and Using Icon Designers" and "Handling Notify Icon Events" in Chapter 8). They run in the background, providing services, and are often tied to device drivers, such as those that handle printers, audio devices, CD creation, and so on.
Web services are Web components that can be called by other applications to perform a particular function and return data, from working with complex calculations to returning data from data sources. What makes these components useful is that they do their work on servers on the Web, which lets you create business objects to implement the custom logic—such as checking credit cards before accepting payment—on the Web. Web services can be used to provide a "middle-tier" business object to work with data from a Web server in three-tier database applications.
When you're done creating an application, the next step is to deploy it in the field. Visual Basic .NET applications (both Windows and Web applications) are designed to be installed with the Windows installer program, which use Microsoft Installer (.msi) files. We'll see how to create .msi files for applications in this chapter; to actually install an application, all you have to do is to copy the .msi file and double-click it, and the Microsoft Installer does the rest.
That's our agenda for this chapter. I'll start with Windows services.