Explore the Latest Updates to WinForms Visual Basic Application Framework

The recent updates to the WinForms Visual Basic Application Framework are covered in detail in a blog post published by Microsoft. The original blog post explains the benefits that users can expect from updating their applications to the latest .NET versions and provides in-depth information about the new features and improvements.

One of them is the ability to convert legacy .NET Framework-based Visual Basic apps to .NET 6, 7 or 8+, which is one of the main benefits of the update. This allows developers to take advantage of the variety of new features and performance improvements that ship with the updated runtime environment.

In addition to the migration benefits, the new Windows Forms Out-of-Process Designer for .NET has been modified and improved. The designer now has better support for object data sources and provides a streamlined user experience.

Upgrading to newer frameworks creates opportunities to support modern technologies that were previously incompatible with the .NET Framework. One such example is Entity Framework Core, a modern data access framework that allows .NET developers to manipulate database backends using .NET objects. Although EFCore is not natively supported by Microsoft for Visual Basic, it is designed to facilitate its extension by the community who can provide code generation support for additional languages ​​such as Visual Basic.

Several improvements were made to WinForms with the introduction of .NET 5, including the addition of the TaskDialog control, improvements to the ListView control, and improvements to the FileDialog class. Additionally, there was a significant improvement in performance and memory usage for GDI+. Additionally, in .NET Core 3.1, the default font for WinForms Forms and UserControls has been changed to Segoe UI, 9pt to give the traditional WinForms UI a more contemporary look.

Building on these improvements, .NET 6 allows users to set any font they want as the default font for the entire WinForms application. This is accomplished in the Visual Basic Application Framework through an additional application event called ApplyApplicationDefaults that was introduced during the .NET 6 timeframe. This event allows developers to set values ​​for HighDpiMode, the application’s default font, and the minimum display time for welcome dialogs.

The latest stable release of .NET 7 and the introduction of command binding in WinForms, .NET 7 simplifies the implementation of a UI controller architecture based on the MVVM pattern for WinForms apps and the incorporation of unit tests in WinForms apps. In addition, WinForms received improvements such as rendering in HighDPI-per-Monitor V2 scenarios and has repeatedly improved accessibility support from .NET 5 to .NET 7 through the Microsoft UI Automation pattern to work with accessibility tools such as Narrator, Jaws and NVDA works better.

Regarding the Visual Basic Application Framework experience, Microsoft has introduced changes for a new Project Properties UI in Visual Studio that now matches the Project Properties experience for other .NET project types. The updated user interface offers design and search features with a focus on improving productivity and providing a modern look and feel. Also, the authors of the original blog post suggest that users who are new to the updated Project Properties experience are encouraged to read the introductory blog for more information.

Finally, developers interested in learning more about the WinForms Visual Basic Application Framework updates can visit Microsoft’s official developer blog for more information and very detailed documentation on updates, changes, and new features surrounding the WinForms Visual Basic Application Framework to obtain.


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