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What's New for Visual Basic 6.0 Users 

If you are an experienced user of Visual Basic 6.0, you will find a multitude of features in Visual Basic 2005 that are new or significantly improved, making development with Visual Basic easier and more powerful than any previous version. The following list highlights some of the biggest changes and provides links to in-depth information.

What's New in the Visual Basic Language

Visual Basic has many new and improved language features—such as inheritance, interfaces, and overloading—that make it a powerful object-oriented programming language. As a Visual Basic developer, you can now create true multithreaded applications. Other new language features in Visual Basic 2005 include structured exception handling, custom attributes, and common language specification (CLS) compliance.

Visual Basic 2005 supports many new or improved object-oriented language features such as inheritance, overloading, the Overrides keyword, interfaces, shared members, and constructors.

For more information on what's new in the Visual Basic language, see What's New in the Visual Basic Language for Visual Basic 6.0 Users.

For a discussion of features and functionality that have changed from earlier versions, see Language Changes for Visual Basic 6.0 Users.

Visual Basic Development with My

Visual Basic 2005 provides new features for rapid application development that aim to improve productivity and ease of use while delivering power. One of these features, called My, provides access to commonly used functionality provided by the .NET Framework, as well as information and default object instances that are related to the application and its run-time environment. This information is organized in a format that is discoverable through IntelliSense and logically delineated according to use. For more information, see Development with My.

What's New in Forms and Controls

Windows Forms is the new object-oriented framework that implements the .NET Framework. Windows Forms, in combination with the Windows Forms controls, provide a robust architecture for Windows-based application development in Visual Basic.

For more information on what's new in forms and controls, see What's New in Windows Forms for Visual Basic 6.0 Users.

If you are familiar with forms in Visual Basic 6.0, see Forms Tasks for Visual Basic 6.0 Users for an introduction to the new concepts.

What's New in the Visual Basic IDE

At first glance, the Visual Basic 2005 integrated development environment may seem unfamiliar, but as you start to use it you will find that it has many new features that make you more productive.

For more information, see What's New in the Visual Studio IDE for Visual Basic 6.0 Users.

What's New in Data

Visual Basic 2005 includes several new features to assist in developing applications that access data. The Data Source Configuration Wizard simplifies connecting your application to data in databases, Web services, and user-created objects. The new Data Sources Window provides a central location to view the data available to and associated with your project, and it reduces the complexity of data binding by allowing you to drag items from the window onto forms to create data-bound controls. Filling datasets, running queries, and executing stored procedures can now be accomplished using the new Visual Studio-generated TableAdapter Overview object. The new local data feature allows you to include Microsoft Access database files and Microsoft SQL Server Express database files directly into your application. For a complete list of new features, see What's New in Data.

What's New in Setup and Deployment

Deploying applications created in Visual Basic 2005 is easier and more powerful than ever, thanks to new technologies such as ClickOnce deployment.

ClickOnce deployment allows you to publish self-updating Windows-based and console applications that can be installed, updated, and run as easily as Web applications. The new Security, Signing, and Publish tabs on the Project Designer allow you to customize your ClickOnce deployment. Use the new Publish command on the Build menu (and shortcut menu in Solution Explorer) to get to the Publish Wizard, a tool to step you through publishing your application. For more information, see ClickOnce Deployment.

In addition, the Setup and Deployment wizard in Visual Basic 6.0 is replaced by Windows Installer-based Setup and Deployment projects in Visual Basic 2005. For more information, see Setup and Deployment for Visual Basic 6.0 Users

Upgrading Applications Created in Visual Basic 6.0

Visual Studio 2005 provides the ability to upgrade applications created in Visual Basic 6.0 so that you can continue development, taking advantage of the benefits of the .NET Framework. When you first open a Visual Basic 6.0 project file (.vbp), the Upgrade Wizard appears. A command-line tool is also provided for upgrading projects outside of the development environment. For more information, see Upgrading Applications Created in Previous Versions of Visual Basic.

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