Developing Assemblies

There are two ways to create VB.NET applications. One way is to use the next version of Visual Studio, Visual Studio.NET. Visual Studio.NET is a development environment built on top of the .NET SDK. The .NET SDK is packaged separately from the Visual Studio.NET environment. The SDK includes a C# command-line compiler, a VB.NET command-line compiler, and the DLLs and EXEs necessary to run your .NET applications.

I have decided that in order to make the information in this chapter last, I am not going to use the Visual Studio.NET designer. One reason is that the product has not been released yet. Another reason is that the product is not yet stable. A third reason is that, for the first time, Visual Basic has a true command-line compiler that can be used in conjunction with NMAKE and MakeFiles. You may be familiar with MakeFiles if you have ever worked with C++. MakeFiles are text files that tell NMAKE.EXE how to build your program. For all these reasons, I have decided to use the second most widely used development environment in the Windows platform, Notepad.EXE. So for the next set of examples, you will need three things: the .NET SDK downloadable from Microsoft, Notepad.EXE, and a command prompt. Let’s start with a simple Hello World application to get a taste for how to use the command-line compiler.

Run Notepad.EXE and enter the following text:

Public class HelloSupport Shared Public Function GetGreeting(ByVal sName As String) As String return "Hello " + ...

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