Visual Studio .NET and C#
The latest release of Microsoft's Visual Studio .NET provides a language-rich environment for developing a variety of applications. Programming can be done in a variety of languages, such as C, C++, C#, Visual Basic, and more. Applications can range from standalone console (command-line or DOS mode) applications to Microsoft Windows programs.
C#, although certainly one of the newest variations of C to hit the market, is just a component of this much larger package. One of Microsoft's goals, in this release of the Visual Studio .NET, is to allow seamless solutions to project demands. Solutions to a task can include components from C++, Visual Basic, and C# all rolled into one seamless executable file.
This book concentrates on the C# aspect of this package as it applies to creating Windows applications. If you are interested in a more detailed treatment of the C# language, we would recommend another of our books, C# Essentials, published by Prentice Hall (ISBN 0-13-093285-X), 2002. This is just the book if you are the type of programmer who likes to discover all of nuances of a language.
Our first task will be to learn how to use Visual Studio to create a simple C# console application. Then we'll do a quick study of the most important aspects of the C# language. Finally, we'll turn our attention to our first C# Windows application and see what is in store for us in the remainder of this book.
Building C# Applications
C# applications fall within two distinct categories: command-line or console applications and Windows applications. By using the AppWizards, you'll find that both are easy to create in terms of the template code necessary to outline a project.
For our first project we build the familiar Hello World console application. We'll name this project HelloWorld. The second application, which appears closer to the end of this chapter, is called CircleArea. This is a full-fledged, object-oriented Windows application.
Both projects are intended to introduce you to the Visual Studio AppWizards and show you how to build the basic template code that will be part of every project developed in this book. These are good places to set bookmarks and take notes in the margins.