Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oh My! The new My Object in Visual Basic.Net 2005

I have historically favored BASIC in its various forms as my programming language of choice, going back to the very first program I wrote on a HP/1000 teletype terminal in 1978. My one exception is a stint with Borland Delphi (circa version 3) which used Pascal as its language. It is no accident that Anders Hejlsberg, the chief architect for the Delphi product, joined Microsoft in 1996 to be a major player on the .Net development team.

So what does that have to do with the new My object in Visual Basic 2005? It continues the tradition of what has always been best about working in BASIC. While other languages have traditionally been more powerful, BASIC has always excelled at getting useful applications completed quickly. As a business applications developer, my goal has consistently been to deliver a quality application that meets the needs of the users as rapidly as possible and then move on to the next needed solution.

The My object provides much simpler access to commonly needed objects in the .Net Framework Base Class Library. It also adds easy access to functionality that previously required use of the Win32 API. This provides a significant speed improvement in many common development tasks.

The My object has five major subclasses:
  • My.Application
  • My.Computer
  • My.Forms
  • My.User
  • My.WebServices

If you want to learn more specifics about the My object, see the July 2005 article in MSDN Magazine, available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/05/07/My/default.aspx.

I mentioned earlier that prior versions of BASIC often traded power for productivity. With Visual Basic.Net 2005, this is no longer the case. The faithful BASIC developers can now have their cake an eat it too. This is an exciting time to be a developer!

Joe Kunk

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