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Visual Basic 2013 Application

Posted on 2014-09-24
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Last Modified: 2014-09-25
To develop an application using Visual Basic 2013 and Access 2013 what do I need?
I already have the following:
MS Visual Studio 2013
MS Access 2013

What is needed (along with the exe, dll(s) and *.accdb files) to deploy the application?

Where can I download those additional items?
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Question by:Ray Turner
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Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40342770
MS killed VB some years ago.  VB 6 or 7 was the last version so there is no Visual Basic 2013.  Are you looking at VB.net?  Or Visual Studio?  Access uses VBA which is the embedded version of VB.

The way your question is phrased, you are not using Access at all.  You are using some language (unknown) at this point but probably something supported in Visual Studio and ACE which is the desktop database engine.  Access is the rapid application development tool that is used to create applications.  ACE is the database engine.  The two are frequently confused and people who don't understand the difference call them both Access.  But ACE is a separate product and is a free download from the Microsoft site.  It is a database engine that can be used by any language that can use ADO.Net.  Access requires ACE (or Jet for older versions) because the desktop database engine is used to manage all the objects created by Access to build an application such as forms and reports and code.  Access, however, can use data stored in ANY database that offers an ODBC driver.  So your Access application can use data in SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, etc.  And ACE can be used by Java, C++, ASP, Access, etc.

Given that.  Can you restate your request?  If you are not actually using Access, you should probably include other zones because although you might find C++ or VB.net folks lurking in this forum, the typical Access user will not be able to help.
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LVL 84
ID: 40343541
I'm not sure I'd use Access to work with VB.NET (I'm assuming that's what you mean, given that you include Visual Studio in your question). Instead, use SQL Server, either the Express edition or any other that you have available. The Express edition is free and fairly simple to deploy, and Visual Studio is very nicely integrated with SQL Server (not so much with JET/ACE, however)

Regarding what you need - the .NET framework provides everything the end user needs to work with your VB.NET program, assuming you use only native .NET controls (and those work very well for many applications). You would have to insure your target machine has the correct version of the .NET framework and SQL Server installed, but as long as you stick to the basics, that'd be about it.

However, the items needed to install on the target machine would depend entirely on how your VB.NET application is created. If you create a single .exe file, then all you'd need to do would be deploy that to the end user and make sure the target machine is configured in regard to SQL Server. If your application makes use of .dll files you've created, images, etc then you'd need to deploy and install those as well.

If you need to deploy an actual database with your application, then you'd have to include that as well, and create code to restore or attach that database after you move it to the target machine and install SQL Server (if needed).

Note too that VS also includes Installshield LE, which can help you with your deployment. It can verify the target environment to insure that machine has SQL Server (and the right .NET framework). It's somewhat limited (but it is the Limited Edition - re: LE), but it'll get the job done for most simple deployments.
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Jacques Bourgeois (James Burger) earned 500 total points
ID: 40344245
@PatHartman

There is a Visual Basic 2013. Just open the About box in any copy of Visual Studio 2013 that has VB installed and you will see it listed along with the other languages and add-ins.

@rgturner

As stated by previous experts, I would use SQL Server instead of Access. But if everything is already built, you can go with the following.

If your do not have Access on their computer, they will have to install the database engine, available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13255.

The, you have everything you need. If you have Visual Basic 2013, you have Visual Studio 2013. And Visual Studio provides you with tools to deploy your applications. Things can be different depending on whether this is a web application or a Windows application, and whether everything is installed in the same directory, in different places on the same station, or in different places on different stations. But basically, for a Windows application, you have 3 choices.

If everything is in the same directory (with possibly subdirectories), you can simply copy the directory. The default of that approach is that the user will have to manually create the shortcut to launch the application, and if they want to uninstall it, they will have to manually delete the directory.

Deploy through ClickOnce. This is available through the Publish tab of the project's Properties windows (bottom of Project menu). F1 from that page will give you a rundown of how to use it and what ClickOnce is.

The other one is through the light edition of InstallShield , that you can install from File...New...Project...Other Project Types...Setup Deployment.

These are relatively simple tools that do the job for many deployments. If you have some specific requirements, they might not be enough however. One has to see what these requirements are, and you might need a more complete deployment application such as the commercial version of InstallShield.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Ray Turner
ID: 40344370
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:PatHartman
ID: 40344703
@James,
Visual Basic was murdered ~ 2002.  VB.Net was born ~ 2001.  What Microsoft now seems to be calling "Visual Basic some year" is apparently the current version of VB.net.  They have not really resurrected Visual Basic, they are simply recycling the name to cause confusion.
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LVL 40
ID: 40345282
I am well aware that Visual Basic classic and Visual Basic .NET are 2 different beasts. For you, they are different, and I concur, but for someone who is beginning, he does not care. What he sees is called Visual Basic 2013. It's not Microsoft that causes confusion when you say that "there is no Visual Basic 2013", it's you.

The term Visual Basic .NET has been dropped out after only a few versions. Visual Basic 2013 is the official name of the current version of Visual Basic. Like it or not. Telling rgturner that "there is no Visual Basic 2013" is wrong, because this is the way he sees it through Microsoft marketing, not only in the software itself as stated in my last post, but also from Microsoft Press at https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/book.aspx?ID=16477.

Yes, they are confusing, sometimes, most of the time. But you simply add to the confusion by not going along with it. Somebody who starts programming today sees Visual Basic 2013 all over the place. Telling him that it does not exist does not help him one bit.
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