Microsoft Offers Free Code, Components in VB.NET Kit
Microsoft and a few of its partners have pulled together a massive Visual Basic.NET Resource Kit CD, aimed at jump starting VB developers participation with .NET projects for Windows, web services and mobile applications. The free kit offers more than 100 code samples, 4 key end-to-end sample Web applications and a library of free components third-party partners. See more detail on what's inside, and how to get one free.
Microsoft and a few of its key partners have pulled together a massive Visual Basic.NET Resource Kit CD, aimed at jump starting VB developers participation in a broader array of .NET projects for Windows, web apps, web services and mobile applications.
The kit, available free of charge starting this week, includes more than 100 code samples, end-to-end reference applications for common Web development scenarios and a library of free components from third-party .NET partners.
"Many VB developers have been primarily creating rich client application," Christopher Flores, Microsoft's Visual Studio.NET product manager told IDN. "Now, our message to the VB community is: 'You can do many more things with your skill sets, including enterprise programming, mobile development and even more easily interact with Java and other systems."
Another key motivation behind the 300 MB kit, Flores said is "to show Visual Basic developers that Visual Basic .NET is a first class citizen in the .NET Framework. VB developers are now realizing that choosing C# or VB won't prohibit them from developing enterprise-caliber .NET applications. VB, like all of the other languages within the Visual Studio .NET suite, has great support for building and consuming web services. We think that by showing VB developers [those capabilities] as well as the Best Practices for building them, we're helping web services be a core part of where VB developers can be."
End-to-End Templates with Code, Components
A core offering in the kit are several end-to-end, real world web-based applications or "Starter Kits" as they are called, Flores said, which come with source code that VB devs are free to use as-is, share or even modify for business use.
"These kits, with components and code, are aimed to give VB developers a head start creating Web applications," Flores told IDN. "Having the code and reusable components all available, and then making it so VB developers can use, reuse or modify that code is important" to the usefulness and customization of their applications
The 4 Web Starter Kits are: Portal, Commerce, Time Tracker and Reports. Here are some details on what VB devs will receive with the end-to-end applications/templates:
The downloads are also available under Microsoft's Shared Source licensing, which allow devs to build and share both non-commercial and commercial apps with very few restrictions. The main provision is the licensing agreement requires devs to include notice where their code has been modified from the original download, and that support is not available.
More VB.NET Resources
Aside from the end-to-end apps, Microsoft has also included a variety of documentation and code samples to help VB devs with learning various aspects of .NET, and how they can apply their current skills to broader .NET development.
Among these features are:
Third-party Microsoft partners have also contributed code and other IP to the VB.NET Resource Kit. Flores conservatively estimates the kit contains more than $1,000 worth of core components software from Microsoft partners. The third-party contributions include:
The VS.NET Resource Kit is available free as a download (300 MB) at http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/vbrkit (Using high-speed DSL, the full resource kit could take less than 1 hour to download, Flores estimated.) It is also available by mail from Microsoft for a small shipping and handling charge. Also, the Resource Kit CD will be available free to VB devs at all Microsoft-sponsored events for the rest of this year and into 2004, starting with Microsoft's Professional Developers' Conference later this month, Flores said.