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Professional Visual Basic® 2008 by Bill Sheldon, Kent Sharkey, Bill Evjen, Billy Hollis

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Chapter 13. Visual Studio 2008

It's possible to work with Visual Basic without Visual Studio. In practice, however, the two are almost inseparable; without a version of Visual Studio, you're forced to work from the command line to create project files by hand, to make calls to the associated compilers, and to manually address the tools necessary to build your application. Thus, while it is possible, Visual Studio 2008 is the preferred environment for developing Visual Basic applications.

With the release of Visual Studio 2005, Microsoft expanded on the different versions of Visual Studio available for use. Unlike the early versions, they've expanded what we'll call the high-end and low-end packages associated with Visual Studio. At the low-cost end, currently free, is Visual Basic Express Edition. This tool enables you to build desktop applications with Visual Basic only. Its companion for Web development is Visual Web Developer Express, which enables you to build ASP.NET applications. At the high end, Microsoft offers Visual Studio Team System, available only with a high-cost MSDN subscription, which includes many tools that extend Visual Studio beyond the core Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to help improve design, testing, and collaboration between developers.

Of course, the focus of this chapter is how Visual Studio enables you to use Visual Basic to build applications geared toward "better, faster, cheaper" business goals. To this end, we'll be examining features of ...

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