Welcome to The VB Zone .net
Last Updated : May 11, 2005

The VB Zone .net is an online Visual Basic .net programming resource for both beginners and experts. This site provides sample code, sample projects, HOWTO lessons, programming related downloads, programming related links, tips, tricks, VB programming discussion forums and chats, and much more.

This site is meant for your use, and your benefit.  If you have any feedback, suggestions, or things you'd like added to this site to make it more useful and helpful in your programming, feel free to do so via Email at vbz@thevbzone.com.


 THE VB ZONE (VB 5.0 & VB 6.0) :  http://www.TheVBZone.com
 THE VB ZONE (VB.NET) :  http://net.TheVBZone.com
 THE VB ZONE (REALbasic) :  http://rb.TheVBZone.com






The VB Zone "10 Commandments" of coding :

1)  "Option Explicit On" is the first line in your code
2)  As little dependencies as is possible (none if you can help it)
3)  Keep the code clean and orderly
4)  Always include error checking where prudent, or needful
5)  Don't forget code documentation / commenting
6)  Keep code properly indented and aligned
7)  Always spell out ByRef / ByVal for subroutine parameters or declarations
8)  Always explicitly spell out the data types of dimensioned variables
9)  Include sample usage coded in subroutine documentation where applicable
10)  Take the time to give your project a "user friendly" look and feel

- Kevin Wilson








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The VB Zone Needs Your Help!

Please help keep this web site FREE.  I've put a lot of time and effort into making TheVBZone.net a useful, well rounded resource for Visual Basic programmers.  If you've used code or content from my web site, if you've learned from what you've seen on my web site, or if you just appreciate good VB information and content made available FREE of charge... please help by taking the time to make a donation towards this cause.

Thank you for your help and support.  I appreciate it.

Kevin Wilson





What's New

Looking for a way to add PDF  output to your program or web application?

CHECK OUT "Text Into PDF (TXT N2 PDF)" !!

This simple, yet powerful programming library will make it easy to generate dynamic PDF files on the fly.  It is ASP friendly, and is compiled under VB5, VB6, and VB.NET for your convenience.  The "Text Into PDF" library can be used within any COM aware programming environment (including, but not limited to VB, C++, Delphi, REALbasic, .NET, etc.).  With your purchase, you'll also get the source to a "NOTEPAD" like application to create PDF's manually.

Looking for a way to easily and efficiently load, manage, modify, alter, and save images such as BMP, DIB, RLE, ICO, JPEG, GIF, PNG, MNG, TIFF, TARGA, PSD, PCD, PCX, and many more?

Looking for a way to add cool effects to images dynamically at run time with one line of code?


This easy to use set of Visual Basic modules and classes will make working with and manipulating images a piece of cake compared to the hoops you'd have to jump through to do the same thing without it!


I've added two new class modules: "cCDONTS.vb" and "cCDO_NET.vb".   The first is a wrapper for the CDONTS.DLL COM object and is basically the .NET version of the "cCDONTS.cls" class module located on www.thevbzone.com.  The second has the same interface as the first, but uses the "System.Web.Mail" namespace instead of the CDONTS.DLL library.  Because this uses .NET's CLR, it is recommended you use this.

As a note, "cCDO_NET.vb" and "cEmail.vb" are very similar and both use the "System.Web.Mail" namespace.  However, the "cCDO_NET.vb" class is a little more up to date and offers a little more functionality. 

I've modified the "cSqlClient.vb" and "cOLEDB.vb" class modules in the following ways:
  • They now correctly handle timeout values for both the connection to the database, and the execution time (when executing a SQL query).
  • Added the following methods to better handle transactions: "TransactionBegin", "TransactionCommit", "TransactionRollback"
  • The "blnUseTransaction" parameter of the "ExecuteSQL" methods has been removed to make transaction usage more clear   (use "Transaction*" methods instead)
  • The "CleanUpDataReader" and "CleanUpDataTable" methods have been replaced by one overloaded method called "CleanUpDataObject"... which now cleans up DataSet objects and should make code cleaner.
  • The "IsDataReaderValid" and "IsDataTableValid" methods have been replaced by one overloaded method called "IsDataObjectValid"... which now checks DataSet objects and should make code cleaner.

I've also added a new class module named "cODBC.vb" which is the same as "cOLEDB.vb" except it uses the "System.Data.Odbc" namespace instead of the "System.Data.OleDb" namespace.  ODBC can give you access to a variety of data sources (including text files, MS Excel files, and pre-defined DSN connections).  ODBC also allows you to use the traditional "ADO method" of executing a parameterised SQL query using question marks to indicate where parameters should be (as apposed to the new .NET style of named parameters using the @ symbol plus the parameter's name).

Recently Microsoft announced that they are dropping support for Visual Basic 6.0 (obviously to force VB users to VB.NET).  I personally don't think this is a smart business move on their part, and I believe it demonstrates a lack of interest in their customers and what their customers want/need.  I look at companies like IBM who still supports COBOL and FORTRAN... and Microsoft wants to shift you off the last "new thing" and onto their current "new thing" every one or two years.   Why?  Not because it's the best thing for their customers, but rather because it will force customers in a direction that Microsoft thinks is best (and more importantly because it will deepen their pockets).  I've never had a respect for Microsoft's business practices because they put themselves and their earnings first, and what's the right thing to do or the best thing for their customers second.  This is completely backwards in my opinion.

If you would like to help keep Visual Basic 6.0 alive (for support reasons, for personal preference reasons, or simply for the principle of what Microsoft is doing), then go to the following URL and sign their petition:


By the way, if you are frustrated with Microsoft's decision to do this, or simply are looking for an alternative to going to VB.NET, you might consider going to REALbasic.   REALbasic is a software development package similar in many ways to Visual Basic 6.0.  It uses a very VB6 like code syntax and its IDE is very close to VB6's.   It offers much of what VB6 does, with some object oriented features that are only available in VB.NET (like function overloading, custom object constructors, and inheritance).  And the two biggest advantages (in my opinion) it has over VB6 and VB.NET is when you compile your program, it has no run-time / dependencies / framework, and you can compile one code base to Windows, Mac, and/or Linux.

For a limited time (expires April 15, 2005), you can get a FREE copy of REALbasic 5.5 for Windows Standard Edition.  CLICK HERE to get your copy before its too late!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've added new RSS feeds under the "VB NEWS & INFO" section.  There's quite a bit of information out there on VB.NET (compared to VB5/6 or RB).  Note that the "KB" ones are Knowledge Base monitoring RSS feeds.   Good idea to keep track of those.
With love we remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives September 11 to faceless cowards.  Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones that day. 

With reverence and respect we remember and honor those who gave their lives in service of their fellow man.   We thank you.



I've added new RSS feeds under the "VB NEWS & INFO" section.  I figure the more information the better.   =)

I've also cleaned up the "VB Links" page under the "VB RESOURCES" section.  Some links had either changed or become invalid.

I updated the "VB Links" page under the "VB RESOURCES" section to add a set of links to several videos Microsoft has put out to help Visual Basic developers.   These are very informative... definately worth watching.

Also, Microsoft must have pushed the "SHUFFLE" button on their web site again... all the .NET Framework File links I had were invalid.  I fixed those.

I've desided to break the "Advanced Imagery Library" away from "The VB Zone" and give it its own web site.  I think this will be in the best interest of those who use it.  The new web site is:


Check it out!

Get a FREE copy of VB.NET development software!

I recently discovered a REALLY neat tool for developing VB.NET applications!  It's called "SharpDevelop" and it is an open source (GPL) IDE for C# and VB.NET projects.  It looks like Visual Studio .NET, it acts like Visual Studio .NET (even has intellisense), it allows you to code just like you were in Visual Studio .NET... but the big difference is it's FREE!

Keep in mind that there are some differences.   Microsoft Visual Studio .NET is a professional grade tool which has all kinds of neat coding tools like auto syntax checking while you code, indepth intellisense and object browsing capabilities, indepth built-in help systems and syntax prompting, professional grade database connection creation and management tools, etc.  If you are just getting into VB.NET, MSVS.NET will be much easier to use to learn it.   However, if you're already familiar with VB.NET or C# and just don't have a few thousand dollars laying around to buy "the real deal"... this is a great alternative that has most of what MSVS.NET has.

Give this tool a try and see what you think!   You've got nothing to loose.  :)

I've added a new section called "VB NEWS & INFO".  This is a page that is rendered dynamically based on an XML "RSS" feed.  The subject matter of the RSS feed is "Visual Basic".

I've also added a "Feedback" section under the "ABOUT THE AUTHOR" section.  This allows you to quickly, easily, and privately submit feedback or comments without going through your Email client (since the submittion for is web-based).

Microsoft is offering everyone a FREE copy of Visual Basic .NET !

Here's how it works:

1) You go to Microsoft's new "VB @ The Movies" web site

2) You watch 5 of the available FREE training videos on how to use VB.NET.  Video topics include "how to better use .NET controls", "data binding and data access", "exporting DataSet information to XML", "reading XML files", "writing XML files", and more...

3) You rate the videos you watched (1 to 5 scale) and give feedback on them

4) You get an Email with your "registration code"

5) You go to the specified URL and fill out your information (feedback on the experience, and your shipping address)

6) YOU GET A FREE COPY OF "Visual Basic .NET Standard Edition"  (not for resale).  Allow 4-6 weeks for shipment.

P.S. - I got my copy in late June... LOVE IT!

I have added a link to the "ASP WebMatrix" tool from Microsoft to the menu system under "VB RESOURCES".  This is a FREE ASP.NET development environment very much like Visual Studio .NET.  The only thing it really lacks is "code auto-complete", "auto code syntax checking", and "code intelli-sense".  Other than that, it's pretty full featured!  It even comes with it's own ASP.NET server for debugging and has an object browser built into it for finding classes and functionality.  One thing to keep in mind is that ASP WebMatrix is not project oriented like VS.NET... instead it is file oriented.  You work on one file at a time, or several files at a time but they are not "grouped" into a project.

I have added several sample ASP.NET pages (which were written in ASP WebMatrix, but can be opened using Visual Studio .NET) to demonstrate how to do different things within ASP.NET:

- Sample__Repeater.aspx
- Sample__DataGrid.aspx
- Sample__DataList_Simple.aspx
- Sample__DataList_Complex.aspx

- Sample__Form_via_ASP_Style.aspx
- Sample__Form_via_NET_and_HTML.aspx
- Sample__Form_via_NET_Only.aspx

You can download these via the "ASP.NET Samples" under the "SAMPLE CODE" section in the menu.

I've updated the "cOLEDB.vb" and "cSqlClient.vb" class modules to make them more robust, and to give them more functionality.  They can now properly execute SQL queries (or stored procedures) and return results via a DataReader, DataSet, or DataTable.  Note that the the interfaces to the methods within these class modules has changed, so you can't just pop the new versions into your project... you'll have to make a few modifications to existing code.

I've added the "modCompress.vb" module and the "cDownload.vb" and "cDownload1.vb" class modules.  The modCompress.vb module uses the ZLIB library to compress a file, string, or byte array.  The cDownload.vb class module uses native .NET CLR functions to download a file, and the cDownload1.vb class module uses the MSXML v2.0 (MSXML.DLL) COM interface to download a file.

I have combined the technologies contained within the "Advanced Bitmap Processing" module and the FreeImage library (modFreeImage.bas) to create a new and improved library.  It is called the "Advanced Imagery Library" (or AIL for short).  It has several ways to make use of it including COM DLL interface, class module interface, or direct access via modules

By combining the "modFreeImage.bas" module with the "modBitmap_Adv.bas" module and then wrapping everything in an easy to use class or DLL interface... quicker, easier access was given the user along with the advantages and power of both in one location.  Also, because they are now compiled into a couple of COM DLL's, you can use the AIL within all "COM-Aware" development environments, including (but not limited to):

VB 4.0 (32-bit), VB 5.0, VB 6.0, VBA, VB.NET, REALbasic 5.5, DELPHI, VC++, C++, C++ .NET, C# .NET, J# .NET, Java, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, JavaScript, VbScript

Also it has the ability to work with the following memory-based image formats:

- Native AIL "Image" format
- Device Dependant Bitmap (Win32 BITMAP)
- Device Independent Bitmap (DIB)
- OLE StdPicture Object

as well as the following file-based image formats:


For more information, CLICK HERE

"The VB Zone" has a new addition!  I've added a new section to this site dedicated to REALbasic (A development environment created by "REAL Software" which is very similar to Visual Basic both in syntax and style).  You'll notice that now the site lists three sub-domains:

http://www.thevbzone.com    (VB5 and VB6)
http://net.thevbzone.com      (VB.NET)
http://rb.thevbzone.com        (REALbasic)

It is interesting to note that "The VB Zone" is the first "Visual Basic" web site to add "REALbasic" to the content of the site.  Adding it makes sense though since the languages, the development environments, and a lot of the technologies are so similar.

I will be adding more REALbasic information and content as time goes on.  Stay tuned!

I've updated the links page, and have updated this page.  I will soon make some more changes, but I think I'll call it a nite at this point.  Stay tuned for more.
I've updated the VB.NET BUGS section so it reflects Visual Studio 2003 (.NET 1.1) instead of the initial release of .NET 1.0.
I've updated the "cOLEDB.vb" class module, and I've added the "cSqlClient.vb" class module.   The cSqlClient.vb class module is the same as the cOLEDB.vb class module, only it uses the System.Data.SqlClient interface instead of the System.Data.OleDb interface... so it is optimized for MS SQL Server and will perform better.  If you are using any data source other than MS SQL Server, use cOLEDB.vb.  Otherwise, you should use cSqlClient.vb.
To see previous news, CLICK HERE !