by Mark Trescowthick - GUI Computing

As you read this, VB4 is finally released. I think it - or, more precisely, it and the Win32 API - is the most significant release of Visual Basic to date.

This is the first time we’ve done an additional issue devoted to one product. I hope you find it a worthwhile read. The issue was put together so as to have it to you as soon after September 12th as we could manage without risking breaking what ever's left of Microsoft’s "NDA". My thanks to the GUI staff, who put in some hours to get this out the door on time.

I think the issue represents a fairly balanced look at VB4. Perhaps all the new features - or all the bugs - aren’t covered but it provides an interesting view of what the future might be. Of necessity, all the work was done using beta versions (TR6 and RC2) so things might change before the product ships. With some "things", you can but hope...

Still, whatever bugs or inconveniences VB4 might bring, it still represents a Great Leap Forward.

For Corporate application developers, the Enterprise Edition, which includes the exciting Remote Data Objects, is obviously a huge plus. If the benchmarks and feedback I’ve seen provide a guide, the performance looks quite amazing.

And there’s the ability to create OLE Servers. This represents a real opportunity for all VB developers... one I hope they’ll grasp with both hands.

Microsoft’s introduction of the Enterprise Edition could have provided a good excuse to take VB into the pricing stratosphere, but happily that’s not the case.

Australian upgrade prices are $89 from Standard to Standard (watch out here - VB4 Standard is only 32 Bit); $149 for Professional to Professional and a pretty reasonable $739 from Professional to Enterprise. Given that you get SourceSafe as part of Enterprise, that represents good buying, even leaving to one side the Remote Data and OLE components of EE.

And, just to tempt all those non-VB developers into the fold, there’s a special $449 Crossgrade to the Professional Edition from just about anything : Excel and Access qualify, as do Delphi, dBase for Windows and Powerbuilder and the full range of MS development environments.

Upgrades (to both Pro and EE) will be available at Visual Basic Australia ‘95, at about 30% less than the prices above.

And, of course, VBA ‘95 is well positioned to provide a far better, in depth, look at VB4 and its place in the computing world.

Not just VB, either. Also making its Australian debut at VBA ‘95 will be Visual C++ 4.0. We have scheduled two new sessions on VC++, with a special emphasis on building OCX components. And an extra session on Jet 3.0...

See you there.

Written by: Mark Trescowthick
Aug 95