Microsoft unveils VB 2005 'Power Packs'

The company has released a third Visual Basic 2005 add-in, known as a Power Pack, and is soliciting suggestions for future tools.

Microsoft this week introduced Visual Basic 2005 Power Packs, which the company described as free add-ins, controls and components for better application development with VB 2005.

So far there are two items in the Power Pack -- Interop Forms Toolkit 1.0, which eases the use of .NET WinForms in a Visual Basic 6 application, and PrintForm Component 1.0, which offers easier printing of WinForms.

There is also a suggestion center where developers can suggest future Power Pack items and vote on what folks have proposed. (To post a suggestion, one must be a member of Microsoft Connect.) "There's at least one pack already in the making, which I'm sure you already miss -- The Line and Shape Controls," blogger Andrej Tozon reported here.

Bloggers Jesse Gaylord and Maurice de Beijer also offered their thoughts on the Power Packs. De Beijer provided screen shots that showed the add-ins in action, while Gaylord described both add-ins as "very cool."

(UPDATED April 1, 2007) -- A third Visual Basic 2005 Power Pack is available. The Printer Compatibility Library 1.0 allows developers to add a reference to the library, declare a printer and make some syntax changes so that projects upgraded from Visual Basic 6.0 will not need to undergo a printing logic rewrite.

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