Visual Basic Express 2012 is the latest version of Visual Basic launched by Microsoft in 2012. Visual Basic Express 2012 is almost similar to Visual Basic Express 2010 and Visual Basic 2008, but it has added many new features. The most distinct difference is that Visual Basic Express 2012 no more comes as a stand alone program, it is now integrated with other Microsoft Programming languages C# and C++ in a package called Visual Studio 2012. Further, Visual Studio Express 2012 now come in five editions, they are:
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop
- Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
- Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2012
Right now we shall concentrate on learning Visual Basic 2012 Express for Windows Desktop , so you will need to download the free software from Microsoft site below:
Like Visual Basic Express 2010 and Visual Basic Express 2008 , Visual Basic Express 2012 is also a full fledged Object-Oriented Programming(OOP) Language, so it has caught up with other OOP languages such as C++, Java,C# and others.
The Integrated Development Environment when you launch VB2012 Express is shown in the diagram below.
Figure 1.1: Visual Studio 2012 Start Page
To start a new Visual Studio Express 2012 project, simply click on New Project to launched The Visual Studio New Project page as shown below:
Figure 1.2: Visual Studio 2012 Project Page
The New Project Page comprises three templates, Visual Basic, Visual C# and Visual C++. Since we are going to learn Visual Basic 2012, we shall select Visual Basic. Visual Basic 2012 offers you four types of projects that you can create. As we are going to learn to create windows Applications, we will select Windows Forms Application.
At the bottom of this dialog box, you can change the default project name WindowsApplication1 to some other name you like, for example, MyFirstProgram. After you have renamed the project, click OK to continue. The following IDE Windows will appear, it is similar to Visual Basic 2010. The Toolbox is not shown until you click on the Toolbox tab.When you click on the Toolbox tab, the common controls Toolbox will appear.
Figure 1.3:Visual Basic 2012 IDE
Visual Basic Express 2012 IDE comprises a few windows, the Form window , the Solution Explorer window and the Properties window . It also consists of a toolbox which contains many useful controls that allows a programmer to develop his or her VB programs. The toolbox is shown in Figure 1.4.
Figure 1.4: Visual Basic 2012 Toolbox
Now, we shall proceed to show you how to create your first program. First, change the text of the form to My First Program in the properties window, it will appear as the title of the program. Next, insert a button and change its text to OK. The design interface is shown in Figure 1.5
Figure 1.5: The Design Interface
Now click on the OK button to bring up the code window and enter the following statement between Private Sub and End Sub procedure, as shown in Figure 1.6:
MsgBox(“My First Visual Basic 2012 Program”)
Figure 1.6: The Code Window
Now click on the Start on the toolbar to run the program then click on the OK button, a dialog box that displays the “My First Visual Basic 2012 Program″ message will appear,as shown in Figure 1.7:
Figure 1.7: The Message Box
The function MsgBox is a built-in function of Visual Basic 2012 and it will display the text enclosed within the brackets.
Now you have created your first program, we shall learn more VB2012 programming techniques in coming lessons.