VB Gets More RAD

 
  Toolbox. The Visual Studio toolbox should be familiar to any longtime user of Visual Basic; it enables developers to easily lay out the appearance of an application.     Code window. The code window lets developers write code that provides event handing and other functionality for the components placed on the design form.
 
  Design pane. The design pane provides the backdrop for the layout of the appearance of the application.     Class Designer. If used, the Class Designer displays the class structure of the application in a separate window pane. Developer can view the structure of an existing application, or begin development by designing the class structure visually.
 
  New views in the Design pane. When laying out a more complex control such as a menu strip, the design pane shows that control separately, in addition to the menu view in the pane itself.     Solution Explorer. The Solution Explorer not only shows the project structure and project files, but also it includes tabs for the data sources and Class Designer, if used.
 
  Debugger window. The debugger window shows debug output when building and running applications within Visual Studio. The exact windows and window layout remain highly customizable.     Properties window. The Properties window displays the properties of a selected control in the design window, and lets developers set default values for a wide variety of properties.
 
  The new VB Start page. The Visual Basic view incorporates a Start page that displays links to resources of interest to developers still getting used to the new features of Visual Studio 2005.  
 

Figure 2. Meet the New Boss VB.
The new VB looks a lot like the old VB, but it gets a significant upgrade in terms of its RAD features in its 2005 iteration. If anything, the inclusion of My and the return of edit-and-continue hearken back to a time when VB was all about getting things accomplished, as opposed to coding everything from scratch. A careful look at the VB IDE reveals that it’s a virtual twin of the C# IDE, and that appearance is more than skin deep: The tools remain fundamentally alike at their cores, deriving as they do from a common framework. But the team that created VB has gone some distance to reestablishing the tool as a RAD workhorse, and the new data features, while available to both, feel much more innate to the VB experience than they do to the C# experience.