The Integrated Development Environment Of Visual Basic

THE INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT

Visual Studio .NET is an environment for developing Windows and Web applications. Visual Basic .NET is just one of the languages you can use to program your applications.

Visual Studio .NET was designed to host any language, and many companies are working on languages that will be integrated in Visual Studio .NET.

Visual Studio provides necessary tools for developing the applications.

The visual interface of the application isn’t tied to a specific language, and the same tools you’ll use to develop your application’s interface will also be used by all programmers, regardless of the language they’ll use to code the application.

An environment is provided that’s common to all languages, which is known as Integrated Development Environment.

The purpose is to enable the developer to do as much as possible with visual tools, before writing code.

The IDE provides tools for designing, executing and debugging your application.

THE IDE COMPONENTS

THE IDE MENU

File Menu

The File menu contains commands for opening and saving projects, or project items, as well as the commands for adding new or existing items to the current project.

Edit Menu

The Edit menu contains the usual editing commands. Among the commands of the Edit menu are the Advanced command and the IntelliSense command.

Advanced SubMenu

The options of the Edit Advanced submenu are the following. Advanced submenu is visible only in code editor.

View White Space

Space characters (necessary to indent lines of code and make it easy to read) are replaced by periods.

Word Wrap

When a code line’s length exceeds the length of the code window, it’s automatically wrapped.

Comment Selection/Uncomment Selection

Comments are lines you insert between your code’s statements to document your application. This command allows you to comment (or uncomment) large segments of code in a single move.

Intellisense Submenu

IntelliSense is a feature of the editor that displays as much information as possible, whenever possible. When you type the name of a function and the opening parenthesis, for example, IntelliSense will display the syntax of the function—its arguments. The IntelliSense submenu includes the following options.


List Members

When this option is on, the editor lists all the members (properties, methods, events, and argument list) in a drop-down list. This list will appear when you enter the name of an object or control followed by a period. Then you can select the desired member from the list with the mouse or with the keyboard.

Parameter Info

While editing code, you can move the pointer over a variable, method, or property and see its declaration in a yellow ToolTip.

Quick Info

This feature displays information about commands and functions. When you type the opening parenthesis following the name of a function, for example, the function’s arguments will be displayed in a tooltip box (a yellow horizontal box).

Complete Word

The Complete Word feature enables you to complete the current word by pressing Ctrl+spacebar. For example, if you type “TextB” and then press Ctrl+spacebar, you will see a list of words that you’re most likely to type (TextBox, TextBox1, and so on).

View Menu

This menu contains commands to display any toolbar or window (including output and command window) of the IDE.

Project Menu

This menu contains commands for adding items to the current project (an item can be a form, a file, a component, even another project). The last option in this menu is the Set As StartUp Project command, which lets you specify which of the projects in a multiproject solution the startup is.

Build Menu

The Build menu contains commands for building (compiling) the project. The two basic commands in this menu are the Build and Rebuild All commands. The Build command compiles (builds the executable) of the entire solution, but it doesn’t compile any components of the project that haven’t changed since the last build. The Rebuild All command does the same, but it clears any existing files and builds the solution from scratch.

Debug Menu

This menu contains commands to start or end an application, as well as the basic debugging tools

Data Menu

This menu contains commands you will use with projects that access data.

Format Menu

The Format menu, which is visible only while you design a Windows or Web form, contains commands for aligning the controls on the form.

Tools Menu

This menu contains a list of tools, and most of them apply to C++. The Macros command of the Tools menu leads to a submenu with commands for creating macros.

Window Menu

This is the typical Window menu of any Windows application. In addition to the list of open windows, it also contains the Hide command, which hides all Toolboxes and devotes the entire window of the IDE to the code editor or the Form Designer.

Help Menu

This menu contains the various help options.

THE TOOLBOX WINDOW

Here you will find all the controls you can use to build your application’s interface. This window contains these tabs:

Crystal Reports

Data

XML Schema

Dialog Editor

Web Forms

Components

Windows Forms

HTML

Clipboard Ring

General

THE SOLUTION EXPLORER

This window contains a hierarchical list of the items in the current solution. A solution may contain multiple projects, and each project may contain multiple items. By right clicking the component and selecting property, property of that component can be seen. You can also add items to a project with the Add Item command, or remove a component with the Exclude from Project command. This command removes the selected component from the project, but doesn’t affect the component’s file on the disk. The Remove command removes the selected component from the project and also deletes the component’s file from the disk.

THE PROPERTIES WINDOW

This window (also known as the Property Browser) displays all the properties of the selected component and their settings. Many properties are set to a single value, like a number or a string. If the possible settings of a property are relatively few, they’re displayed as meaningful constants in a drop-down list. Other properties are set through a separate window (ex. Font property). Collections are set in a Collection Editor Dialog box, where you can enter one string for each item of the collection. If Property window is not visible use view property window command to open it.

THE FORM DESIGN WINDOW

Form is a basic building block on which various control resides. The form design window is used to design the interface through which user can interact. It is used mainly to create windows based applications.

THE CODE WINDOW

This is a window used to write code associated to various forms in VB applications. It may contain variable declarations, global items, event procedures and other functions.

THE OUTPUT WINDOW

The Output window is where many of the tools, including the compiler, send their output.

Every time you start an application, a series of messages is displayed on the Output window. You can also send output to this window from within your code with the Console.WriteLine method.

THE COMMAND WINDOW

While testing a program, you can interrupt its execution by inserting a breakpoint. When the breakpoint is reached, the program’s execution is suspended and you can execute a statement in the Command window.

THE TASK LIST WINDOW

This window is usually populated by the compiler with error messages, if the code can’t be successfully compiled. You can double-click an error message in this window, and the IDE will take you to the line with the statement in error.


ENVIRONMENT OPTIONS

The Visual Studio IDE is highly customizable. Open the Tools menu and select Options where you can set all the options regarding the environment. You can set the font for various categories of items, like the Text Editor, the dialogs and toolboxes, and so on. It also provides Projects and Solutions options like saving changes automatically as soon as project is executed, or explicit saving.

USER INTERFACE CONTROLS

The user interface is what appears in the application’s window when it runs.

VB.Net provides rich set of built in interface controls. These controls are available in Tool Box of IDE. Some standard controls are:

Label, Text Box, Command Button, Option Button, Check Box, Frame, Picture Box, List Box, Combo Box, Group Box, List View, Tree View, Data Grid, Main Menu, Panel.

There are 3 main things associated with each control.

Properties:

A property is named attribute of a control that defines characteristic behaviour of particular control such as Size, Color etc. Some common properties are Name, Height, Top, Width, Left etc.

Events:

Events are various things that can happen in a program. Basically Events determine the control’s reaction to some external conditions. For e.g. Click event: Once you specify the subroutine for the control’s Click event, this subroutine is executes each time that control is clicked. Subroutines associated with different events are also known as event handler routines.

Methods:

A method is built-in procedure that can be invoked to perform an action that can be performed on controls. For e.g. Clear method clears the content of particular control.

To manipulate a control you use its properties, either on the Property Browser at design time, or though your code at runtime. To program a control, supply a handler for the appropriate events. Controls expose methods, too, which act on the control. The Hide method, for example, makes the control invisible. Properties, methods, and events constitute the programmatic interface of the control and are collectively known as the control’s members

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Akash Padhiyar

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2 Comments

  1. Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck!

  2. Dhanya A.N July 5, 2011

    Thanks fir this valuable points included in the note… It was great support for both the lecturers an dthe student.. Once again appreciating your work

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