This chapter demonstrates various techniques you can use to access eBay Web Services using Visual Studio products such as Visual C++, Visual Basic, Visual Basic .NET, and Visual C#. Most developers will select one of these languages to create most applications, but all of them work well. The choice of language depends on personal taste and existing application infrastructure as much as the techniques for accessing eBay Web Services. You also learned how to mix Visual Studio applications with SQL Server. In most cases, you'll use SQL Server for short-term storage of intermediate results, item data, current sales information, buyer data, or seller data. However, you can use SQL Server with eBay as you would any other database application. The use of a database simply makes it easier to manipulate and analyze the data.
It's time to consider how you'll use Visual Studio to create applications to access eBay Web Services. The choice of language is important because each language does excel in specific areas. Visual C++ is a great choice when application performance and flexibility are prime considerations, but Visual Basic provides the best database access for many purposes. Visual C# and Visual Basic both provide superior database access and developer productivity. However, the cost of using these products is that every machine that uses the resulting application must have the .NET Framework loaded. Because .NET is a relatively new programming technology, you can't make assumptions about the user's machine unless you have control over the machine configuration.
Chapter 9 is the first Web-specific chapter in the book. It demonstrates techniques for accessing eBay Web Services using PHP. You'll find that working with PHP is relatively easy and that support for PHP is very good. Many developers create all of their Web applications in PHP because the language is so popular and short-term costs so low. Whether PHP is the right solution for your eBay Web Services application or not depends on how you plan to work with eBay Web Services in the long term. Chapter 9 can help you make a good decision about the viability of using PHP for your eBay Web Services project.
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