Visual Basic Express Edition

Visual Basic Express editions are free integrated development environments provided by Microsoft that are lightweight versions of the professional / enterprise product line. These are free tools you can use to develop applications that run on Windows.

Using the Express editions you can rapidly develop applications for topics you really love or for hobbies you enjoy. You can also use it to help ease your day-to-day job or school tasks. Most importantly, you can have fun with the tool while you're learning to program.

Visual Basic Express Edition 2005 was the first in this series. The standard types of application - 'Windows Application', 'Class Library' and 'Console Application' could be developed using this free tool. It was based on .NET Framework 2.0 and included almost all the tricks and features of the Visual Basic 2005 complete edition. The VB 2005 Express included features like
  • Snap Lines for alignment of components or the text inside them
  • New controls like MenuStrip, GridView and ToolStrip
  • New keywords like "My" to address the local machine
  • Intellisense Code Snippets
  • AutoCorrect with the suggested corrections for automated programming

Visual Basic Express Edition 2008

Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition is part of the Visual Studio 2008 Express. The express edition is designed to focus on productivity and rapid application development. It is easy to use, easy to learn, and streamlined. Although the express edition contains mostly the same components, it lack the full breadth of features found in the full version of Visual Basic 2008.

Most features and components in the Visual Basic Express Edition - 2008 are simplified to make the learning curve less steep and to fit the needs of a beginner level developer. It is designed with beginner programmers in mind, people who are curious about programming and who are looking for an easy way to build Windows applications while learning how to program.

The Visual Basic Advantage

Visual Basic's clear structure and readable language syntax has made it the most successful programming environment ever. Until 2002, Visual Basic 6.0 was the flagship language and millions of programmers created world class systems using it. Visual Basic 2008 is an evolution of the Visual Basic language that is engineered for productively building object-oriented applications.

Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition is a fully functional subset of Visual Basic 2008, suitable for creating and maintaining Windows applications and libraries. It's not a timed-bomb edition, a demo, or a feature-limited version, it's a key Microsoft initiative to reach more people and give them the ability to have fun while creating cool software. VB Express 2008 is based on Microsoft .NET Framework and programs written using this tool also benefit from security and language interoperability.

What can you create using Visual Basic Express Edition 2008

Windows applications

These are applications that have a graphical interface with buttons, windows, menus, toolbars, and so on, as in Microsoft Word or Windows Internet Explorer. Taking full advantage of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) you can build applications that create a rich user experience while exploiting all the power of your computer.

Console applications

These are applications that have no graphical interface and that simply use text to communicate with the user. Typically, these applications run in a command window or DOS window.

Reusable components or class libraries

These are groups of tools created to help build other applications.

What you won't be able to build are Web sites and Web services. To create any type of Web application, you will need to get Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Edition.

This generation of Visual Basic continues the tradition of giving you a fast and easy way to create .NET Framework-based applications. There is a real need and demand for a world-class, powerful product for hobbyist programmers, students and professional developers - Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition provides all of that and more.

Visual Basic 2008 Express is free.
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Recommended Book:
Microsoft Press - Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition Build a Program Now!

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