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VB – Bringing .NET Programming To You
Part 1: Why VB.NET?
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• Part 2: VB and .NET
• Part 3: What's about C#
• Part 4: Getting Started
 
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• Learn VB.NET
 

The Visual Basic system is clearly a winner. VB has been used to create more code than any other language. In spite of this record of success, Microsoft has completely changed much of what we know and love in this development system. The result is the (almost) all new VB.NET, a key component of Microsoft's .NET architecture. This article introduces you to VB.NET and will answer some key questions about it.

  • Why has Microsoft thrown caution to the wind with a completely re-architected version of Visual Basic?
  • What's New in VB.NET?
  • What's this about C# (C Sharp)? Will it replace VB.NET?
  • How do I get started with VB.NET?

Why VB.NET?

Why did Microsoft completely re-architect Visual Basic? The simple answer is because they had to. Cheap hardware, cheap Internet bandwidth, and expensive programmers are changing all of the development requirements. They had to invent a new development environment to match or be left in the dust. Microsoft basically decided that there just wasn't enough time to 'evolve' Visual Basic with the kind of change represented by the move from VB 5 to VB 6. Only a whole new development foundation will make it possible to meet business needs on 'Internet Time'.

Although VB 6 will create systems for the Internet as well (better, in my book) than any of the 'GUI' development environments, the kind of huge developments necessary for business needs today need more.

As an example, consider security for your system. VB 6 still assumes that security will either be programmed as part of the system (huge development costs to do it right) or implemented outside the system (equally huge costs are pretty typical). VB.NET, however, is designed to implement security provided by an Internet server using .Net Framework code. For example, you can require that code be able to perform operation 'A' but not operation 'B', such as reading a file but not writing it. Try programming that with VB 6!

One reason .NET is able to do this is because it implements something called, "hierarchical namespace". In other words, operating system objects, interfaces, and functions are now organized to stop your object and function names from colliding with those of the operating system and other developers.

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