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Oct 30, 2012

Class View

The Class View is displayed by selecting the Class View option from the View menu. The Class View shows all the classes that apply to the project, including those in the project’s References and Web References, as well as classes that the project itself owns (each Web Form is in itself a class).

The Class View is a powerful tool and provides a constructive and useful overview of a solution. Members of classes, such as methods and properties, are represented as child nodes in the Class View treeview, and their respective scopes are shown through the use of icons.

The Class View also shows bases and implemented interfaces. Bases are largely related to inheritance and refer to the class from which a particular class descends. This information has a variety of uses, such as knowing what type of functionality a class provides based on what the class uses as a starting point to extend upon. The concept of interfaces has not been dealt with, but simply, an interface is a template for what a class should provide. If a class implements an interface, it provides all the members and associated functionality that is defined in the interface definition.


The Toolbox in Visual Studio is the primary means of adding components to Web Forms using the drag-and-drop paradigm. Although the Toolbox provides essentially the same functionality it did in previous versions, it has been given a major overhaul.

Although divisions between types of components in the Toolbox was previously available, it was rarely used and not a default feature. VS .NET’s Toolbox is split into five sections:

  • Web Forms
  • HTML
  • Data
  • Components
  • Clipboard Ring
  • General

The VS .NET Toolbox, although very similar aesthetically, is actually drastically different under the hood from previous versions. In VB 6.0, the Toolbox was a collection of ActiveX controls from various ActiveX libraries. .NET has its own

component model, and COM, COM+, and ActiveX have all been replaced in the .NET Framework.

NOTE Although ActiveX/COM technologies and components are not part of the .NET Framework in any way, tools have been provided to convert COM components to .NET and create COM wrappers for .NET components, so a certain level of interoperability and backward compatibility still exists.

This is particularly pertinent to Windows Forms development, as all controls, although very similar at first appearance, are .NET classes and not controls from ActiveX libraries, such as the Windows Common Controls library. In Web Forms development, the controls available are also all .NET classes.

Web Forms

The Web Forms section of the Toolbox includes visual components that you can place onto Web Forms pages—that is, the components are used for building the UI of the application, along with the items in the HTML tab of the Toolbox. The actual relationships among these components, the .NET classes, and the HTML elements that are generated when the Web Form is viewed in a Web browser.

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