Thom Robbins .NET Weblog

A blog of the technical and only sometimes uneventful side of programming in .NET and life within Microsoft

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  • Blog Post: Windows Forms – Creating an access key

    Question: I am new to Visual Basic and wanted to create an access key for my Windows Form application. How can I do that? Answer: By definition an access key is an underlined character in the text of a menu or the label of a control. The idea of an access key is that the user can activate the control...
  • Blog Post: Creating an icon in the system tray

    A standard part of many Windows forms applications is the system tray icon. Most commonly it is used to provide an application or event status. Tray icons are added to an application using the NotifyIcon control. It includes properties that simplify displaying a System Tray icon and the notification...
  • Blog Post: Setting the Tab Order with Visual Studio 2005

    Tab order is used to determine which control gets focus and can accept keyboard input. It’s called tab order because you can change focus from control to control using the TAB key in a Windows form or the soft input panel in a mobile application. Tab order is an important aspect in making sure that you...
  • Blog Post: Dynamic controls and event handlers

    Question : I am trying to create an ASP.NET 2.0 Web site with dynamic controls. Really what I am looking for is basically to have a label and a button on the page. When the user clicks the button I need to set the text field of the label to some value. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to figure it out. How...
  • Blog Post: Looking at the Report Viewer Control

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 includes a report designer functionality and a new set of ReportViewer controls that can be used to build and display reports within custom applications. Reports may contain tabular, aggregated, and even multidimensional data. The ReportViewer controls are used to process...
  • Blog Post: The Occasionally Connected Application

    The occasionally connected application is becoming an important part of many enterprises. The goal of these types of applications is to provide a consistent and reliable experience for users regardless of their current network status. Of course for developers this means monitoring the current network...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the Data Sources Window

    One of the new features for Windows forms development using Visual Studio 2005 is the Data Sources window. This window allows developers to add and manage a variety of sources using typed DataSets. The Data Sources window displays the schema of these objects and provides the ability to drag and drop...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the Class Designer

    The Class Designer is a new visual tool in Visual Studio 2005 that is used to examine and manipulate the structure of classes and other types. The Class Designer provides a synchronized editing relationship between the visual palette and the applications code. This is one of the many new features of...
  • Blog Post: Quick Overview of ClickOnce

    I was talking with a local customer the other day that was in the process of designing their next generation enterprise architecture. Their current architecture was really a mix of applications and data silos spread across many different systems. As part of the requirements discussion we hit on one of...
  • Blog Post: What is an Assembly?

    What is an Assembly? Every time you create any kind of application or service using Visual Basic.NET you are building an Assembly. That is because Assemblies serve as the basic building blocks of the .NET Framework. They help to define versioning, code reuse, scoping rules and security permissions...
  • Blog Post: Quick Topics with Visual Studio 2005

    I am finding that video is really cool in what you can do with it. I have been playing with some of the clips that I took during the recent Web Services Conference here in Boston and came up with what I thought might be an interesting idea. Basically, I created three short clips to show some of the new...
  • Blog Post: Smart Client with Visual Studio 2005

    Thanks to everyone that attended the recent Edge Conference. For those that asked I have posted the slide deck here from my tutorial this morning on Building Smart Client with Visual Studio 2005.
  • Blog Post: The Edge Conference Session

    As promised you can download the slides and code samples here from my session today at the Edge Conference. .NET Track - Techniques with Visual Basic.NET How You Can Amaze Your Friends And Co-Workers With Amazing OO Techniques Who says VB.NET programmers can't develop object-oriented applications? This...
  • Blog Post: Introducing the XMLTextReader

    The .NET Framework provides a variety of classes and methods to manipulate XML. However, many times an application requires read only access to an XML Data file. This is the perfect situation for the XMLReader. This abstract class provides a fast forward only cursor for XML files and is used in both...
  • Blog Post: What is a GUID and how to create one?

    Question: I am trying to create a unique identifier. I know that I want to create a GUID for this from what I have been reading. What is a GUID and how can I create one? Answer: By definition a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) is a 128 bit integer that is considered statistically unique. They are perfect...
  • Blog Post: Forcing a User to Logoff

    Question: I am developing a Windows Form application and need to force the user to logout. I have been through the various namespaces of the .NET framework and don’t see anything that will help me. Any ideas? Answer: You are correct that the .NET Framework doesn’t provide a way to do this. However, by...
  • Blog Post: Creating and Moving Controls Dynamically within .NET

    Question: I understand that .NET offers inheritance and I think that that may help with a project that I am currently working on. Let’s say that I have a single control. I want to use that control across multiple tabs on a form. How would I go about that? Answer: Absolutely, the Framework offers the...
  • Blog Post: Adding the Browser Control with VS 2003

    Question: I am in the middle of writing my first Windows Form application using Visual Studio .NET 2003. So far the application is going well. I am struggling with a few of the design requirements. I have one that I am hoping you can help me with. Part of the application requires the display of HTML...
  • Blog Post: Base 64 Format Conversion

    Recently, I was working with an InfoPath solutions prototype. The idea behind the solution was that a user would be taking a digital photo (JPEG). As they downloaded the pictures to their local machines, they would be able to include these camera shots into an InfoPath form that contained additional...
  • Blog Post: Using XSLT and Example

    I really like how I can use an XML document to separate the storage of application data from its presentation. The XML document contains a self describing set of data structures that I can define using my own vocabulary definitions. One of the major advantages of these documents is how easy they can...
  • Blog Post: What is an Interface?

    Interfaces help to define the various properties, methods and events that classes are able to implement. For developers these fine a small group of closely related properties, methods, and events. Additional feature and functionality can be added at any by adding additional interfaces and implementations...
  • Blog Post: XPath and .NET

    An XML Document is modeled as a tree as of nodes that contains a variety of different data types. Each data type can include elements, attributes, and even text. The XML Path Language (XPath) is an expression based language that is used to identify and select these different data types from an XML document...
  • Blog Post: DataSet, DataRow and other things

    Question: I am trying to understand the dataset and how I can use it. It looks like a really powerful feature but it has an incredible amount of objects. It seems to me that I should be able to do simple things like create and edit values. But for the life of me I can’t seem to figure out how it works...
  • Blog Post: Welcome Back

    Welcome to the new site! I am working on moving the older content back. Stay Tuned
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