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Globalizing and Localizing Applications

If you plan on distributing your application to an international audience, there are a number of things you'll need to keep in mind during the design and development phases. Even if you don't have such plans, a small effort up front can make things considerably easier should your plans change in future versions of your application. Services built into the .NET Framework make it easy to develop a single application that can adapt to different locales using managed development with Visual Basic or Visual C#.

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. The following topics will help introduce you to the internationalization features built into Visual Studio .NET.

In This Section

Introduction to International Applications in Visual Basic and Visual C#
Introduces the concepts related to developing software for an international market using Visual Basic .NET or Visual C# .NET.
Localizing Applications
Provides links to topics about customizing applications for a given culture.
Globalizing Applications
Provides links to topics about creating applications that support multiple cultures.
Bi-directional Language Features in Visual Studio
Discusses the bi-directional features in Visual Studio, which support Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi, Urdu, and other languages that are written right-to-left.

Related Sections

Deployment and Localization
Describes deployment tools in Visual Studio that allow you to distribute multiple versions of your application for different locales.
Planning World-Ready Applications
Provides background information on programming for an international audience.
Introduction to the .NET Framework Class Library
Introduces the classes, interfaces, and value types that expedite and optimize the development process and provide access to system functionality.
Globalization and Localization Namespaces in Visual Studio
Lists the major namespaces for this area and provides links to .NET Framework reference topics about the types (classes, structures, enumerations, delegates, and interfaces) in the namespaces, as well as links to topics about using them in Visual Basic and Visual C# applications.
System.Globalization Namespace
Points out the classes in this namespace, which define culture-related information, including the language, the country/region, the calendars in use, the format patterns for dates, currency and numbers, and the sort order for strings.
System.Resources Namespace
Points out the classes and interfaces in this namespace, which allows developers to create, store, and manage various culture-specific resources used in an application.
Decision Chart
Provides a graphical, linked guide to decisions about designing your application.
Visual Basic Code Example Topics
Lists quickstart-like code examples that help you perform common tasks in Visual Basic .NET.