After the publication of "Set Sail with Visual Studio .NET," February 2002, InstantDoc ID 23457, I received lots of questions from DBAs and developers who realized the importance of Visual Studio .NET to the next release of SQL Server, Yukon. Here are my answers to the seven most common questions I received.

7. Is Windows XP required for developing with Visual Studio .NET?


No. Visual Studio .NET can also run on Windows 2000 Professional and Windows NT 4.0. With NT, you can't develop ASP.NET or COM+ applications. Visual Studio .NET programs can run on XP, Win2K, NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a, Windows Me, and Windows 98.

6. Can I use Visual Studio .NET to modify VB applications?


No. Visual Basic .NET, which is included with Visual Studio .NET, is incompatible with Visual Basic (VB) 6.0 source code. You need to continue using Visual Studio 6.0 or modify your VB applications to make them into Visual Basic .NET applications.

5. Can I run Visual Studio .NET on the same system as Visual Studio 6.0?


Yes. The two development environments can coexist and can even run at the same time if your system is sufficiently powerful. To run the tools together, I recommend at least a 700MHz system with a minimum of 256MB of RAM—and more is better.

4. Do I need a full-time Internet connection to use Visual Studio .NET?


No. But some of the newer Help features won't work unless you have an available Internet connection. For example, the Start page won't connect to the Online Community, Headlines, Search Online, or Downloads links, and the Help system won't search out the online Knowledge Base.

3. Do different editions of Visual Studio .NET come with different languages?


No. Visual Studio .NET language support is the same for all editions. Microsoft supplies languages through the .NET Framework. Visual Studio .NET is a development tool, and the .NET Framework is the runtime and class library. If you install Visual Studio .NET, you also get the .NET Framework.

2. I installed Visual Studio .NET, but I don't see the database tools that your article mentions. Did I get the wrong version?


No. To get the Visual Studio .NET database tools on your development system, you must have previously installed the SQL Server client tools by using the SQL Server installation CD-ROM or your network install share.

1. Where do I find ADO.NET?


ADO.NET is part of the .NET Framework Class Library and consists of four namespaces (i.e., groups of classes): System.Data, System.Data.Common, System.Data.SqlClient, and System.Data.OleDb. The System.Data namespace contains the DataSet objects. System.Data.Common contains the base classes that the .NET Data Providers share. The System.Data.SqlClient and System.Data.OleDb classes are the .NET Data Providers that you use to connect to the database server.