There's no need to store file system paths in a database. Just store images in your database and then directly load them to your ASP.NET pages.
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Learn how to build a Windows Forms interface that allows you to work with your images database.
Learn how to use Zip and Unzip compatible methods with VB5 or VB6. All the code is contained in class modules that can either be compiled into an ActiveX or dropped into an existing project. The Zip/Unzip functionality is handled by the FreeWare InfoZip components from (http://www.cdrom.com/pub/infozip ) - these DLL's are included in the download.
Converting from one image format to another could not be easier!
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It's essential to know the differences in these libraries and use them correctly. This brief tutorial will guide you.
Create a response application by managing asynchronous code on your UI thread.
Learn to use FTP in VB to gain access to an AS/400's file system, read the data, and store the data into a database.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are where you have to be. It's not a matter of if as much as a matter of which.