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  1. #1
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    What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Excuse my ignorance, but is VB.NET a replacement of VB6?

    Do you use it standalone as inn VB6?

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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Hi Pat,

    You are correct - VB.NET is the next version of Visual Basic. The ".NET" part of the name indicates that it makes use of Microsoft's .NET Framework - essentially a new standard API. One of the neatest features of the .NET framework is the fact that you can use a number of different higher level programming languages to build applications that all generate the same lower level code. Visual Basic.NET is an entirely new development platform that is a complete upgrade over VB6. In that sense, it is standalone. However, the IDE that you use for VB.NET is the same IDE that you can use to develop with C#, C++, and J# (all new flavors of the Microsoft .NET platform). Most hardcore developer have chosen to work with C#.

    There are too many "new" features of VB.NET to mention here (new is in quotes because it's been out for about 4 years and is already on its second release - Visual Studio 2005). One of the biggest culture shocks for most VB6 developers is the Object Oriented nature of .NET. That took me a while to learn, but it's absolutely the best way to go!

    If you're considering upgrading, I would highly recommend skipping the first .NET releases (1.0 and 1.1) and going straight to .NET 2.0 (the 2005 software). You can download a "lite" version of the software for free: Visual Studio Express Editions

    Hope this helps...

  3. #3
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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Thanks you for the explanation.

    Can VB.NET be used with Access or is it standalone?

    What would you suggest, get the "lite" version (is this Visual Basic Expresss?) or buy a book to learn this language, or maybe both?

    What book would you start with?

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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    <hr>Can VB.NET be used with Access or is it standalone?<hr>
    I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you're asking whether .NET is the new programming language in Access, the answer (at least with Access 2003) is no. There is a new .NET-based toolset called Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). I'm not very familiar with this, so you'll want to read up on the MSDN site for more details.

    If you're asking whether you can interact with an Access database using .NET tools, the answer is absolutely yes! You also get to take advantage of the new funtionality of the ADO.NET objects (like ADO on steroids).

    I'm not too familiar with the Express editions, but I imagine you can learn nearly all of the new language features with it. However, I'm pretty sure that the high-end Enterprise features are disabled in the Express editions.

    I'm sure there are some books written for VB6 developers who are first learning .NET. I believe O'Reilley has one.

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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Basically, you can't program Access in VB.Net, it still uses VBA in the current versions. You can use an Access backend with VB.Net quite nicely. The controls and tools are more similar to VB than to Access, but the power is amazing. I find that when I get dragged back into Access projects (kicking and screaming, of course) I pine for the ease and flexibility of .Net. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> As Mark says, the object-oriented nature of .Net takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, look out!
    Charlotte

  6. #6
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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Thanks for the info.

    On the site you gave me, it seems there are only vb express as well as sql express that you can download, is express the same as .net?

    I noticed also that you need to download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 before installing SQL express. I have Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 installed currently, do I need to uninstall this before installing Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0?

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    Re: What is VB.NET (VB.NET)

    Express indicates the licensing of the software (as opposed to Standard, Enterprise, etc). Express is about the same as "lite" in my mind. There should also be C# express and Web Developer Express as well.

    The new versions (all part of the 2005 product offerings) are built around the .NET 2.0 framework. The .NET framework versions are independent and you'll need the specific version required by the software you're running. So the .NET 1.1 does not need to be uninstalled in order to install and use 2.0.

    I haven't played with the Express editions yet - I'm curious to hear your impressions. How capable is it? Do you feel comfortable learning using this version, or do you feel that the full version is needed for what you would like to do?

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