OPC tools and help vb.net?

Hello,
I am interesting in learning all I can about OPC and vb.net.  Does the net framework provide any classes for building OPC clients?  I have visited plenty of sites and there are  a lot of tools to choose from.  I am having a hard time deciding which ones are the best.  So far I have visited the OPC Foundation which requires a 600 dollar membership fee.  Matrikon, which has plenty of tools, but they dont provide support for costum developing.  The best one I have found so far is Metadynamics, they have provide me with a handy dll file that contains all the com and wrappers to read, write to opc servers, the problem with them is they cost 200 dollars for every machine; that I wish to install an app on, that can get spendy.  Mainly I am just looking for some experienced developers who have used OPC before and know what the best tools are for developing custom apps in vb.net.
tentavariousAsked:
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Mikal613Commented:
never did it but i like the learning part :)

http://www.opclabs.com/easyopc/Release/EasyOPC-DA%202.01.exe
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Mikal613Commented:
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
I should have been more clear in my question,  I was actually looking for more of a opinion on a good tool.  What a developer from this site may have used in the past and is cheap and efficent.
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
I actually referenced these two com objects,I am not real sure what they do, any ideas?

Imports OpcEnumLib.OpcServerListClass
Imports OpcTimeDLL.OpcServerClass
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Mikal613Commented:
now do a Dim blah as Op  and as you wite youll see the opc options...
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
i found this block of c# code, when I reference the class there is no method for server.connect
 Dim server2 As OpcTimeDLL.OpcServer
        server2 = New OpcTimeDLL.OpcServer
server2.connect ' this wont work


server = new OPCServerClass();
server.Connect( "?????????????", null );

// this cast fails:
// OPCGroupsClass ogrps = (OPCGroupsClass) server.OPCGroups;

object tmpg = server.OPCGroups;
OPCGroupsClass ogrps = (OPCGroupsClass) Marshal.CreateWrapperOfType( tmpg, typeof(OPCGroupsClass) );
tmpg = null;

int ct = ogrps.Count;
OPCGroupClass og = (OPCGroupClass) ogrps.Add( "MyNewGroup" );
ct = ogrps.Count;
int ur = og.UpdateRate;

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Mikal613Commented:
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
Looks like this would work, but i cannot find the dll file to reference in my project
Imports EASYOPCDALib
I downloaded the files and this is not a part of the download.
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
Have you done opc communication before?  If so how did you do it?
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tentavariousAuthor Commented:
Yep, thats the same package.  I went through every folder and I couldnt find the dll file.  I did a system search for the file name and found nothing.  The package doesnt contain any vb.net examples just vb and c++ no .net examples.
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