Product Reviews

Automate the VB Build Process

A tool for the serious Visual Basic developer.

Although some stubborn proponents of other languages refuse to admit it, there’s a lot of serious software development going on using Visual Basic these days. However, VB developers have long had to do without many of the conveniences of modern software development. For example, there’s no good way built into the product to manage dependencies between multiple Visual Basic projects.

G7x Build Manager aims to fill some of this gap. This tool allows you to select a group of VB projects (and, optionally, HTML and ASP pages that use components developed with VB) and then scans them for dependencies. It then allows you to handle your entire build process with a single mouse click. For example, if Project1.vbp uses a control from CP1.vbp, and you change one file within each project, G7x is smart enough to rebuild CP1 before rebuilding Project1.

G7x is perfect for small projects, but it can easily be used to simplify the process for large, corporate development teams.

Other features in the current version (2.0) include the ability to set VB project options from within the G7x interface and a fast way to fix up missing references by dragging and dropping files. They’re working on another version that will also integrate with source code control, which should make this a serious contender for automating the build process in large organizations. Meanwhile, I’d recommend it to any individual developer who has a substantial development effort distributed among multiple Visual Basic projects.

About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.

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