Microsoft Interop Forms Toolkit 2.1

I meant to post this page along time ago and forgot I made it. So here it is, even though its quite late. Anyways, Below is a preview of the new Interop User Controls that can make it much easier to deal with and interop with the Classic versions of Visual Basic 5.0 and Visual Basic 6.0. Here is the link to the msdn page…

Bring the Power of .NET to Visual Basic 6

The Interop Forms Toolkit provides tools and components that simplify the process of building forms and controls with Visual Basic .NET that can be easily consumed from Visual Basic 6. All the required COM interop components can be created with the click of a button, allowing you to quickly create powerful hybrid applications. The Toolkit makes it easy to expose .NET form methods, properties, and events to Visual Basic 6. In addition, functionality is provided to share application state and signal application-level events.

New in Version 2.0 – Interop UserControls

Interop UserControls allow you to host any .NET control on a Visual Basic 6 form as if it was a real ActiveX control.  This means you can extend your existing Visual Basic 6 applications by taking advantage of the rich library of controls that .NET has to offer.

In the image below, you can see a standard Visual Basic 6 form hosting a .NET ToolStrip and a MenuStrip. Creating these controls in Visual Basic 6 would be extremely time-consuming, but by using .NET these controls can be added in seconds!

These controls can also be placed on MDI forms, which the previous version of the Toolkit did not support. Other new features include a redistributable package for easier deployment, RegFree COM support for Interop UserControls, and substantially improved documentation.

Interop Forms

Here we see a Visual Basic 6 Application (Orders) that launches a .NET form as a Customer lookup screen. The .NET form was quickly created using drag and drop from the Data Sources window, and can easily make calls to a Web service.

Leverage Your Visual Basic 6 Investments

The toolkit allows you to preserve your Visual Basic 6 applications and add functionality to them through additional .NET forms. For example, you could provide more dynamic content by adding a WinForm that accesses Web services or RSS feeds. You could create lookup dialogs faster using .NET’s Data Sources Window. ClickOnce Deployment allows you to deploy the entire application (both the Visual Basic 6 part and the .NET part).

Wrap Existing .NET Projects

Although the toolkit provides templates to get you started, you can also expose your existing .NET Forms to Visual Basic 6. Just load your forms into a Class Library, and click on “Generate InteropForm Wrapper Classes” and the tool will create the required COM wrappers.

Fully Extensible

With an extensible architecture and Full Source Code Available, it’s easy to customize the toolkit to your specific requirements.

  • Interfaces: All of the core toolkit services have interfaces defined which you can use to create your own implementations
  • Inheritance: All of the core toolkit services are inheritable and the behavior is overridable
  • Partial Classes: The add-in generated code can be extended via partial classes

If your interested in these Interop UserControls, then head over to the MSDN page. Have fun!


Revised: 2015

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