This appendix takes a look at the Visual Basic Power Packs Tools. These tools are a set of off-cycle release packages that focus on helping developers who are maintaining traditional Visual Basic 6.0 applications begin the process of transitioning to Visual Basic .NET. Additionally, they contain a set of features intended for developers with years of Visual Basic experience to replicate tasks and behaviors that were easy in Visual Basic 6.0 in Visual Basic .NET.
This appendix briefly examines the two installation packages that are currently available. These packages were released targeting Visual Studio 2005, but they are fully compatible with Visual Studio 2008. Moreover, elements of the Visual Basic Power Packs 2.0 package for printing have been fully integrated with, and ship as part of, Visual Studio 2008. It is hoped that additional portions of this package will be included in Visual Studio 2008 as part of a future update such as a service pack.
This appendix focuses on three areas:
Power Packs background, including goals and installation
The Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0
The Visual Basic Power Packs 2.0
These tools are available as free downloads; however, due to licensing restrictions on the Express Editions, Visual Basic Express and the other Express Editions do not support any add-ins. Thus, to leverage the Power Packs, you need a licensed version of Visual Studio Standard or above. Why you would want to leverage the Power Packs is a question ...