What's New in International Applications
Visual Studio .NET was designed from the start to make developing for an international audience easy by taking advantage of services built into the .NET Framework. In Visual Studio, there are two parts to creating an international-ready application. Globalization is the process of designing applications that can adapt to different cultures. Localization is the process of translating resources for a specific culture.
What's New in Visual Basic .NET 2002
Visual Basic .NET 2003 includes the following features, which were introduced in Visual Basic .NET 2002.
- A culture is composed of settings related to the user's language, environment, and cultural conventions. In applications that use the common language runtime and the .NET framework, culture takes the place of the National Language Support-based locale, which uses a system of LCID (Locale ID) codes. An LCID property of the CultureInfo class provides interoperability and eases integration with NLS-based software. There are two culture settings in Visual Studio: the UI culture setting determines which resources will be loaded, and the culture setting determines formatting of values such as dates, numbers, currency, and so on. For details, see Setting the Culture and UI Culture for Windows Forms Globalization or Setting the Culture and UI Culture for Web Forms Globalization.
- XML Resource Files
- Visual Studio resource files contain localized resources such as strings and images that are appropriate for particular cultures. For localization, you would typically create fallback resources for the culture where the application was originally developed and an additional resource file for each culture you wish to localize the application for. For details, see Introduction to International Applications in Visual Basic and Visual C#.
- Main and Satellite Assemblies
- When you build a project, the resource files are compiled and then embedded in satellite assemblies, or assemblies which contain only the localized resources. The fallback resources are built into the main assembly, which also contains the application code. For details, see Introduction to International Applications in Visual Basic and Visual C#.
- Fallback System of Resources
- Because the main assembly always contains the fallback resources, if a resource is not found in the localized satellite assembly, Visual Studio will attempt to load it in a hierarchical manner, eventually falling back to the resources in the main assembly. For details, see Hierarchical Organization of Resources for Localization.
- Localization Project Support
- Visual Studio provides project system support for editing and building localizable applications. The project system can create resource files for you, or you can manually create and edit them. For details, see Walkthrough: Localizing Windows Forms and Walkthrough: Localizing Web Forms Pages.
- Full Unicode Support
- Visual Studio resources are fully Unicode-based. The .NET Framework handles platform differences for you. It is no longer necessary to write separate code for different platforms such as Windows NT and Windows 98. For details, see Encoding and Windows Forms Globalization.
- Support for International Web Applications
- Visual Studio supports the development of globalized and localizable Web applications by providing resource management in Web applications, encoding Web pages in UTF-8, and allowing the layout of Web pages with relative sizing. For details, see Walkthrough: Localizing Web Forms Pages.
- Deployment Localization
- You can create localized setup projects in many languages. For details, see Deployment and Localization.