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VB.Net and C# default property woes

Posted on 2006-12-01
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
The project I'm working on is to replace the Excel COM object with a .NET COM wrapper.  This will then allow for 3rd party spreadsheet applications (like OpenOffice) to emulate Excel for 3rd party applications that use Excel's API.

Now, I know AutomateIT has already started doing this, but I feel .NET is a better platform for developing this on, since it now becomes rather easy to implement this library on Linux platforms (thanks to projects like Wine, Mono and DotGNU.)

So far, I have suceeded with wrapping a few of the objects, but I'm having a particularly hard time with default properties in any .NET language.

For example, let's say that I have the following property defined in VB.NET, and have the classes DefaultProperty pointed at this (this is a function from a class named CollectionBase, which is what I'm using as a base for all collections I define):

    Public ReadOnly Property Item(ByVal index As Object) As Object
      Get
        Try
          Dim i As Integer = 0
         
          If (index.GetType().Name = "Int16") Or (index.GetType().Name = "Int32") Then
            Dim indexValue As Integer = Integer.Parse(index.ToString())
            For Each key As String In objColl.Keys
              If i = (indexValue - 1) Then
                Return Me.objColl(key)
              End If
             
              i += 1
            Next
          ElseIf index.GetType().Name = "String" Then
            Return Me.objColl(index)
          End If
        Catch e As Exception
          System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show(e.Message)
          System.Windows.Forms.MessageBox.Show(e.StackTrace)
        End Try
       
        Return Nothing
      End Get
    End Property


If I do the following code in a WSH batch file:  Set wb = Application.Workbooks.Item(1)
It will return the first workbook in the collection.  But, if I do:  Set wb = Application.Workbooks(1)
It will give a scripting exception.

If you do the same two commands using the original Excel COM object, they both do exactly the same thing: return the first workbook.

I have tried doing the above, as well as defining default properties in C# code (by defining the "this[object index]" property)...but the WSH script still doesn't work.


Does anyone have suggestions on how I can get "Set wb = Application.Workbooks(1)" to work from WSH through my implementation of the Excel COM object?
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LVL 85

Accepted Solution

by:
Mike Tomlinson earned 295 total points
Comment Utility
I don't work with COM but try adding the Default keyword in there.

So make:

    Public ReadOnly Property Item(ByVal index As Object) As Object

This:

    Default ReadOnly Property Item(ByVal index As Object) As Object

See:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/se6z814t(VS.80).aspx
0
 

Author Comment

by:Lost_In_JavaScript_Land
Comment Utility
Unfortunately, that didn't work.  I also did a simple experiment where I exposed a Hashtable to COM (since a Hashtable uses default properties to access each object by it's key):

Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices
Imports System.Collections
Imports System.Reflection
Imports System

Namespace MyAssembly
    <ComVisible(True)> Public Class MyVBClass
        Private objHash As Hashtable

        Public Sub New()
            objHash = New Hashtable()
        End Sub

        Public ReadOnly Property myHashTable() As Hashtable
            Get
                Return objHash
            End Get
        End Property
    End Class
End Namespace

Then, using the following VBS script (which is just a text file with a .vbs extension):

set xapp = WScript.CreateObject("MyAssembly.MyVBClass")

xapp.myHashTable.add "abc", 1
MsgBox "Call #1: " & xApp.myHashTable.Item("abc")
MsgBox "Call #2: " & xApp.myHashTable("abc")


This code will execute the first message box fine, but the second one will throw an exception:
Wrong number of arguments or invalid property assignment: 'xapp.myHashTable'

Any thoughts?  Thanks! :)
0
 

Author Comment

by:Lost_In_JavaScript_Land
Comment Utility
I guess the solution that I was trying to implement was rather complex for my specific situation.  All I had to do was create an Application object which inherits Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.ApplicationClass, and I was able to do what I needed to do (although Excel has to be installed on the system.  blah.)

But, Idle_Mind, since your solution above did help me to eventually find a solution, I will award you the points.  :-)
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