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Introducing To Visual Studio.NET

Introducing To Visual Studio.NET

Microsoft Visual Studio is the main Integrated Development Environment (IDE) from Microsoft.

Visual Studio supports various languages by means of language services, which allow any programming language to be supported by the code editor and debugger, provided a language-specific service has been authored.

Built-in languages include

  • Visual C++ (C/C++)
  • Visual Basic .NET (VB.NET),
  • Visual C#(C#).

Support for other languages such as F#, Python, and Ruby among others has been made available via language services which are to be installed separately.

It can be used to develop console and GUI applications with Windows Forms applications, web sites, web applications, and web services in both native code as well as managed code for all platforms supported by Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, .NET Framework, .NET Compact Framework and Microsoft Silverlight.

Language-specific versions of Visual Studio also exist which provide more limited language services to the user. We recommed you download the free version of Visual Basic 2008 Express which is available to students free of charge under the microsoft's DreamSpark program.

Applications are now called solutions and is  developed using a developer interface called the Microsoft Development Environment

Visual Studio has a host of designers some of them are

WinForms Designer
The WinForms designer is used to build GUI applications using WinForms. It includes a palette of UI widgets and controls (including buttons, progress bars, labels, layout containers and other controls) that can be dragged and dropped on a form surface. Layout can be controlled by housing the controls inside other containers or locking them to the side of the form. Controls that display data (like textbox, list box, grid view, etc.) can be data bound to data sources like databases or queries. The UI is linked with code using an event-driven programming model. The designer generates either C# or VB.NET code for the application.

WPF Designer
The WPF designer, codenamed Cider, was introduced with Visual Studio 2008. Like the WinForms designer it supports users the drag and drop metaphor. It is used to author user interfaces targeting Windows Presentation Foundation. It supports all WPF functionality including databinding and automatic layout management. It generates XAML (Extensible Application Markup Language; pronounced "zammel") code for the UI. The generated XAML file is compatible with Microsoft Expression Design, the designer-oriented product. The XAML code is linked with code using a code-behind model.

Web designer
Visual Studio also includes a web site editor and designer that allows web pages to be authored by dragging and dropping widgets. This is a replacement for the Visual Interdeve. It is used for developing ASP.NET applications, and supports HTML, CSS and JavaScript. It uses a code-behind model to link with ASP.NET code. Visual Studio 2008 onwards, the layout engine used by the web designer is shared with Microsoft Expression Web.

Class designer
The Class Designer is used to author and edit the classes (including its members and their access) using UML modeling. The Class Designer can generate C# and VB.NET code outlines for the classes and methods. It can also generate class diagrams from hand-written classes.

Data designer
The data designer can be used to graphically edit database schemas, including typed tables, primary and foreign keys and constraints. It can also be used to design queries from the graphical view.

Mapping designer
Visual Studio 2008 onwards, the mapping designer is used by LINQ to SQL to design the mapping between database schemas and classes that encapsulate the data.

VB .NET supports different types of applications created with the above tools They are

  • Windows Forms used to create desktop applications
  • Web Forms used to create programmable Web pages
  • Web Services process client – server requests


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