Visual Basic.NET Features
Visual Basic .NET provides the easiest, most productive language and tool for rapidly building Windows and Web applications. Visual Basic .NET comes with enhanced visual designers, increased application performance, and a powerful integrated development environment (IDE). It also supports creation of applications for wireless, Internet-enabled hand-held devices. The following are the features of Visual Basic .NET with .NET Framework 1.0 and Visual Basic .NET 2003 with .NET Framework 1.1. This also answers why should I use Visual Basic .NET, what can I do with it?
Powerful Windows-based Applications
Visual Basic .NET comes with features such as a powerful new forms designer, an in-place menu editor, and automatic control anchoring and docking. Visual Basic .NET delivers new productivity features for building more robust applications easily and quickly. With an improved integrated development environment (IDE) and a significantly reduced startup time, Visual Basic .NET offers fast, automatic formatting of code as you type, improved IntelliSense, an enhanced object browser and XML designer, and much more.
Building Web-based Applications
With Visual Basic .NET we can create Web applications using the shared Web Forms Designer and the familiar "drag and drop" feature. You can double-click and write code to respond to events. Visual Basic .NET 2003 comes with an enhanced HTML Editor for working with complex Web pages. We can also use IntelliSense technology and tag completion, or choose the WYSIWYG editor for visual authoring of interactive Web applications.
With Visual Basic .NET we can build applications more rapidly and deploy and maintain them with efficiency. Visual Basic .NET 2003 and .NET Framework 1.1 makes "DLL Hell" a thing of the past. Side-by-side versioning enables multiple versions of the same component to live safely on the same machine so that applications can use a specific version of a component. XCOPY-deployment and Web auto-download of Windows-based applications combine the simplicity of Web page deployment and maintenance with the power of rich, responsive Windows-based applications.
Powerful, Flexible, Simplified Data Access
You can tackle any data access scenario easily with ADO.NET and ADO data access. The flexibility of ADO.NET enables data binding to any database, as well as classes, collections, and arrays, and provides true XML representation of data. Seamless access to ADO enables simple data access for connected data binding scenarios. Using ADO.NET, Visual Basic .NET can gain high-speed access to MS SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, Microsoft Access, and more.
You can code faster and more effectively. A multitude of enhancements to the code editor, including enhanced IntelliSense, smart listing of code for greater readability and a background compiler for real-time notification of syntax errors transforms into a rapid application development (RAD) coding machine.
Direct Access to the Platform
Visual Basic developers can have full access to the capabilities available in .NET Framework 1.1. Developers can easily program system services including the event log, performance counters and file system. The new Windows Service project template enables to build real Microsoft Windows NT Services. Programming against Windows Services and creating new Windows Services is not available in Visual Basic .NET Standard, it requires Visual Studio 2003 Professional, or higher.
Full Object-Oriented Constructs
You can create reusable, enterprise-class code using full object-oriented constructs. Language features include full implementation inheritance, encapsulation, and polymorphism. Structured exception handling provides a global error handler and eliminates spaghetti code.
XML Web Services
XML Web services enable you to call components running on any platform using open Internet protocols. Working with XML Web services is easier where enhancements simplify the discovery and consumption of XML Web services that are located within any firewall. XML Web services can be built as easily as you would build any class in Visual Basic 6.0. The XML Web service project template builds all underlying Web service infrastructure.
Visual Basic .NET 2003 and the .NET Framework 1.1 offer integrated support for developing mobile Web applications for more than 200 Internet-enabled mobile devices. These new features give developers a single, mobile Web interface and programming model to support a broad range of Web devices, including WML 1.1 for WAP—enabled cellular phones, compact HTML (cHTML) for i-Mode phones, and HTML for Pocket PC, handheld devices, and pagers. Please note, Pocket PC programming is not available in Visual Basic .NET Standard, it requires Visual Studio 2003 Professional, or higher.
You can maintain your existing code without the need to recode. COM interoperability enables you to leverage your existing code assets and offers seamless bi-directional communication between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET applications.
Reuse Existing Investments
You can reuse all your existing ActiveX Controls. Windows Forms in Visual Basic .NET 2003 provide a robust container for existing ActiveX controls. In addition, full support for existing ADO code and data binding enable a smooth transition to Visual Basic .NET 2003.
You upgrade your code to receive all of the benefits of Visual Basic .NET 2003. The Visual Basic .NET Upgrade Wizard, available in Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition, and higher, upgrades up to 95 percent of existing Visual Basic code and forms to Visual Basic .NET with new support for Web classes and UserControls.