Need to become instant expert in Web development

I've gotten sucked into a project that is driving me crazy.  I'm a SQL Server DBA by trade, so doing the back-end work isn't going to be an issue.  My problem is that I am NOT a web guru.

I have to convert an app that currently runs in Access into a web application using VB.net and talking to a SQL Server database.  I have Visual Studio 2010 available, but my VB.net skills have been limited to desktop apps.  I am clueless about ASP.Net, PHP, etc.

I need to become an instant expert.  Does anyone have any suggestions on where/how to start?  Better yet, does anyone have a project they can share with me that is multi-page, menu-driven data entry and reporting, so I can see what the code looks like and how to create something like that out of Visual Studio?

Thanks in advance!
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ClothahumpAsked:
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GaryCommented:
Barring a time machine...
You know vb.net so the transition shouldn't be too painful.
Maybe start here to get the gist of the difference
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa479003.aspx

Couple of places to get some ready made apps would www.hotscripts.com and www.planetsourcecode.com

There are also tools like this
http://converter.telerik.com/
But be aware they are not perfect, but may get you close enough you can ask a question here.
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COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Gary has given you the starting guidance you need, but instant Expert in Web Dev normally means a disaster in the making.  So three pieces of advice.

Keep is simple and straight ahead; don't get sidetracked trying to do a lot of special effects.

The hard part is the backend where you already have most of the skillset you will need, so do not do anything client side that you can do on the server side.

Don't get hung up on small issues.  if something does not work post a question in the appropriate topic (CSS, HTML, Javascript,) and give us as much information as you can.  If you stay engaged we will help you find a solution as long as you stay flexible.

Cd&
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
I normally tell people they can be an instant web developer in 3 years.  But with your experience, you can probably cut that down to 1 year.  Cd&'s advice is good.  Maybe one of the links that Gary posted will lead you to a 'template' that does basically what you want.
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gr8gonzoConsultantCommented:
Mr. Jones is a web developer who has no database experience, and he comes to you and says that his company has sucked him into a project where he's going to be building out their database for a project that will undoubtedly grow in size and use. He wants to become an instant database expert.

A few people give him some pointers and his work ethic tells him he should push through and complete the job, so he reads through some articles online, installs SQL Server Express ("It's the same thing and it's free, right?") onto his own workstation and proceeds to create his application that builds on top of this database.

By the time he realizes that he's built the database all wrong ("I don't know why searching is taking forever. What's normalization? I didn't use a primary key because it wouldn't let me type in the same ID twice. Sure, indexes are when Windows Search is supposed to make record searching faster..."), he's built tons of code around a foundation that is the equivalent of a rotting plank and it's nearly impossible to fix the problem without tons of rework.

Now he's in a real heap of trouble with the situation, but on top of it, his supervisors and executives are now taking notice of the problem because it's affecting them, and now HE looks bad, even though THEY pressured HIM to do the work.

There's nothing wrong with saying no. It's sometimes the best thing to do, and you're not only trying to do what Mr. Jones did, but you're also dealing with an even more public-facing situation.

Good web developers will keep malicious actions from reaching the database, but if you don't have a decent amount of experience under your belt, you will create security problems and will open up your databases to attack.

The basic fact is that you cannot become an instant expert. If there was a way to do it, there wouldn't be such a thing as an "expert" because everyone would be able to get it all quickly, right? I currently have about 8 years of experience with SQL Server and while I'm pretty good with it, I still don't consider myself an expert on the topic because I just haven't done enough different things with it to know all the caveats of different approaches, and I haven't been an official DBA.

I'm not trying to be a downer, but you -really- should push back on this project. I definitely applaud a decision to learn web development, but don't make your first project a production one. Learn it over time and you'll be able to really kick some butt with both sets of skills!
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aadihCommented:
Instant expert:  One who thinks that (s)he has become an expert -- but is a novice -- in reality.  :-(
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Kamal KhaleefaInformation Security SpecialistCommented:
w3schools would be very good as a strat

also check this book
Build ur Own [1].ASP .NET .2.0 Web Site Using C Sharp and VB 2nd Edition
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ClothahumpAuthor Commented:
King2002 - where is that book available?  It doesn't show up on Amazon.
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ClothahumpAuthor Commented:
Disregard - I found it.
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Boyd (HiTechCoach) Trimmell, Microsoft Access MVPDesigner and DeveloperCommented:
Clothahump,

I am an Access expert (Microsoft Access MVP). I am good with SQL Server as a back end to Access apps. Many years ago did a lot with VB6 and  ASP.  Had not really got into .NET yet. I needed to get one of my  Access app converted to a ASP.net app very quickly. I was basically in the same position as you. I had someone advice me to use Ironspeed ( http://ironspeed.com/ ). I was able to get my app into production in less than 10 days!  And it had a mobile version for smartphones and tables!

The great thing is that is creates a native .NET app with VB or C# code that can opened and modified with VS.

Using IronSpeed allowed me to become an expert for an instant by using there expertise.  It bought me the time to learn VB.NET.  

This may help:
DBAs Can Build Amazing Apps Too
http://www.ironspeed.com/videos/BillWhite/V92.DBAs-Can-Build-Amazing-Apps-Too.aspx
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