Many of you have been asking about this and here is the good news: VB PowerPacks has been released in Visual Studio 2010 Beta2 (Download) and will be part of VS2010 RTM! It was also released in VS 2008 Service Pack 1, but if you’re still working on VS 2008, this post shows where to download the VB PowerPacks on the web.
Just like its earlier releases, VB PowerPacks contains the DataRepeater control, Line and Shape controls, PrintForm component, and Printer Compatibility Library which are primarily designed to help Visual Basic developers build great VB applications much easier. You can use these controls by opening Toolbox and finding the controls under Visual Basic PowerPacks category just like you used to.
What if I’m developing C#/C++ projects?
If you are C# or managed C++ developers, you probably have noticed that these controls are also shown in the toolbox for C#/C++ projects if you happen to have VB installed as well. We don’t block you from using these controls in C#/C++ projects if you find them particularly useful (in fact, we have done basic testing for these scenarios even though they are not major scenarios); however, there is one thing you should be aware of if you want to do so:
Don’t be surprised or get upset when you see references to Microsoft.VisualBasic and Microsoft.VisualBasic.PowerPacks.Vs are added to your C#/C++ project after using these controls. This is due to the nature of PowerPacks being designed for Visual Basic primarily and its implementation relies on these VB assemblies.
When you Publish the application…
When you publish the applications that use controls in VB PowerPacks, please make sure that VB PowerPacks component is selected as one of the prerequisites as it is *not* included in the .Net Framework. Please follow these steps to do so –
1. Open Project Properties page by right clicking on Project node and selecting Properties.
2. Switch to Publish tab.
3. Click on Prerequisites… button.
4. In the Prerequisites dialog, check Microsoft Visual Basic PowerPacks 10.0 and click OK. This will make sure the machine where your application is deployed downloads the component automatically from the web site.
Before I stop talking:), I have one question for you – how many of you think these controls are also very useful to C#/C++ projects? This will help us decide what we should do moving forward (things like provide C#/C++ developers a better named reference:)).
Please also let us know your comments/suggestions on VB PowerPacks to help us make it even better for you developers!