Integrated Development Environment

 Integrated Development Environment

One of the most dynamic  changes in Integrated Development Environment (IDE). IDE is a term commonly used in the programming world to describe the interface and environment that we use to create  applications. It is called integrated because we can access virtually all of the development tools that we need from one screen called an interface or  Integrated Development Environment.
The Visual Basic

Integrated Development Environment is made up of a number of components

  • Menu Bar
  • Tool Bar
  • Project Explorer
  • Properties window
  • Form Layout Window
  • Toolbox
  • Form Designer
  • Object Browser

In previous versions of Visual Basic, the IDE was designed as a Single Document Interface (SDI). In a Single Document Interface, each window is a free-floating window that is contained within a main window and can move anywhere on the screen as long as Visual Basic is the current application. But, in Visual Basic 6.0, the IDE is in a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) . In this format, the windows associated with the project will stay within a single container form known as the parent. Code and form-based windows will stay within the main container form.
startup dialog box of  Integrated Development Environment

Menu Bar

This Menu Bar displays the commands that are required to build an application. The main menu items have sub menu items that can be chosen when needed. The toolbars in the menu bar provide quick access to the commonly used commands and a button in the toolbar is clicked once to carry out the action represented by it.


The Toolbox contains a set of controls that are used to place on a Form at design time thereby creating the user interface area. Additional controls can be included in the toolbox by using the Components menu item on the Project menu. A Toolbox is represented in figure 2 shown below.
Commonly intrinsic toolbox are shown in the picture

Project Explorer

Docked on the right side of the screen, just under the toolbar, is the Project Explorer window. The Project Explorer as shown in in figure servers as a quick reference to the various elements of a project namely form, classes and modules. All of the object that make up the application are packed in a project. A simple project will typically contain one form, which is a window that is designed as part of a program’s interface. It is possible to develop any number of forms for use in a program, although a program may consist of a single form. In addition to forms, the Project Explorer window also lists code modules and classes.
Project Explorer is shown below

Properties Window

The Properties Window contains  under the Project Explorer window. The Properties Window exposes the various characteristics of selected objects. Each and every form in an application is considered an object. Now, each object in Visual Basic has characteristics such as color and size. Other characteristics affect not just the appearance of the object but the way it behaves too. All these characteristics of an object are called its properties. Thus, a form has properties and any controls placed on it will have properties too. All of these properties are displayed in the Properties Window.

Object Browser

The Object Browser allows us to browse through the various properties, events and methods that are made available to us.  The left column of the Object Browser lists the objects and classes that are available in the projects that are opened and the controls that have been referenced in them. It is possible for us to scroll through the list and select the object or class that we wish to inspect. After an object is picked up from the Classes list, we can see its members (properties, methods and events) in the right column.
♣see lecture no 3 also