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Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training
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Creating a console application


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Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training

with Walt Ritscher

Video: Creating a console application

Since the dawn of computer programming, there have been command-based applications. The Windows operating system still supports command-line applications, and you won't be surprised to learn that Visual Studio has a console application template. The main reason I see for creating console apps is when you have a utility program that doesn't need a fancy user interface. I'm inside Visual Studio, and I've opened up a solution called CreateConsoleApplication, which contains two sample apps. I'm going to start by looking at the standard Program.cs that came from the Visual Studio console template.
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  1. 2m 3s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 1s
  2. 7m 19s
    1. Understanding the Visual Studio versions
      3m 51s
    2. Setting up your developer computer
      3m 28s
  3. 58m 2s
    1. Creating a Visual Studio project
      4m 58s
    2. Working with Solution Explorer
      6m 32s
    3. Working with big projects
      3m 53s
    4. Taking a tour of the Integrated Developer Environment (IDE)
      8m 36s
    5. Introducing drag-and-drop UI design
      7m 38s
    6. Working with the Properties window
      6m 44s
    7. Looking at Server Explorer
      7m 4s
    8. Exploring the new Help engine
      6m 41s
    9. Setting options for the IDE
      5m 56s
  4. 39m 25s
    1. Creating a simple WPF application
      1m 32s
    2. Building the UI with the editors
      9m 14s
    3. Working with the application code
      3m 37s
    4. Communicating with the web site
      7m 15s
    5. Connecting your data
      8m 4s
    6. Binding to an RSS feed
      5m 4s
    7. Packaging and deploying the application
      4m 39s
  5. 39m 46s
    1. What languages are supported in Visual Studio 2010?
      1m 17s
    2. Exploring basic settings for the Code Editor
      5m 35s
    3. Writing a C# program
      6m 48s
    4. Writing a VB program
      6m 29s
    5. Working with C++
      6m 38s
    6. Working with F Sharp
      6m 9s
    7. Font and color options
      6m 50s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Formatting your code
      6m 43s
    2. Navigating your code
      7m 44s
    3. Using the Task List
      2m 26s
    4. Commenting your code
      2m 45s
    5. Documenting your code
      8m 26s
    6. Using IntelliSense effectively
      7m 0s
    7. Working with code snippets
      6m 25s
    8. Refactoring your code
      5m 15s
    9. Understanding code generation
      2m 10s
    10. Generating code with T4
      6m 29s
    11. Using the Class View, Class Designer, and Class Diagram tools
      5m 51s
    12. Refactoring VB with CodeRush Xpress
      4m 33s
  7. 1h 11m
    1. Working with project and item templates
      8m 38s
    2. Creating a console application
      7m 5s
    3. Creating a class library
      6m 26s
    4. Creating a web site with ASP.NET
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a rich internet application with Silverlight
      6m 57s
    6. Creating a classic Windows application with Windows Forms
      10m 31s
    7. Creating a dramatic Windows application with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF)
      4m 41s
    8. Creating a WCF service
      9m 1s
    9. Using an existing WCF service
      6m 38s
    10. Navigation UI designs with the Document Outline view
      3m 41s
  8. 33m 18s
    1. Creating a data project with SQL Project
      6m 24s
    2. Clarifying the confusion on .NET Data
      3m 31s
    3. Using ADO.NET in your application
      6m 50s
    4. Creating typed datasets
      7m 55s
    5. Using the data binding tools
      8m 38s
  9. 30m 13s
    1. Debugging code
      9m 32s
    2. Working with the Watch and other debug windows
      7m 46s
    3. Other debugging techniques
      6m 50s
    4. IntelliTrace historical debugging in Visual Studio Ultimate
      6m 5s
  10. 17m 56s
    1. Understanding Visual Studio editions and test tools
      2m 22s
    2. Verifying your code with unit tests
      8m 58s
    3. Running performance and load tests
      6m 36s
  11. 34m 5s
    1. Building your application
      4m 19s
    2. Customizing the build process with MSBuild
      6m 36s
    3. Setting assembly information
      2m 12s
    4. Deploying a basic Windows application
      2m 19s
    5. Creating an installer with Visual Studio
      7m 39s
    6. Creating a ClickOnce application
      5m 13s
    7. Setting up IIS for deploy
      2m 9s
    8. Deploying a Silverlight or ASP.NET application
      3m 38s
  12. 14m 0s
    1. Understanding source control
      2m 9s
    2. Setting up Team Foundation Server source control
      3m 5s
    3. Using Team Foundation Server source control
      8m 46s
  13. 17m 31s
    1. Understanding the .NET Office integration
      4m 16s
    2. Making a Word 2010 application
      7m 54s
    3. Making an Excel 2010 add-in
      5m 21s
  14. 31m 34s
    1. Understanding the extensibility model in Visual Studio
      2m 17s
    2. Adding external tools to the Tools menu
      4m 42s
    3. Creating macros
      7m 16s
    4. Using the Extension Manager
      5m 1s
    5. Creating an MEF add-in
      7m 9s
    6. Deploying and installing an add-in with VSIX
      5m 9s
  15. 25m 34s
    1. Working with configuration files
      5m 37s
    2. Using the Settings Editor
      7m 30s
    3. Using the Resources Editor
      6m 59s
    4. Localizing your resources
      5m 28s
  16. 1m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 17s

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Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training
8h 9m Intermediate Nov 16, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training, author Walt Ritscher demonstrates how to use Visual Studio 2010 Professional to develop full-featured applications targeting a variety of platforms. Starting with an overview of the integrated developer environment, the course covers working with code editors, navigating and formatting code, and deploying applications. Also included are tutorials on running performance and load tests, and debugging code. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating a Visual Studio project
  • Building the user interface
  • Binding to an RSS feed
  • Coding with IntelliSense
  • Creating rich Internet applications with Silverlight
  • Building Windows applications with Windows Forms
  • Integrating with SQL Server
  • Working with Microsoft Office applications
  • Understanding extensibility in Visual Studio
  • Working with data, ADO.NET and datasets
  • Using source control
Subject:
Developer
Software:
ASP.NET Silverlight Visual Studio
Author:
Walt Ritscher

Creating a console application

Since the dawn of computer programming, there have been command-based applications. The Windows operating system still supports command-line applications, and you won't be surprised to learn that Visual Studio has a console application template. The main reason I see for creating console apps is when you have a utility program that doesn't need a fancy user interface. I'm inside Visual Studio, and I've opened up a solution called CreateConsoleApplication, which contains two sample apps. I'm going to start by looking at the standard Program.cs that came from the Visual Studio console template.

I'm going to double-click on Program.cs. This file has a static void Main, which is the entry point for all .NET applications. Now, console applications have standard inputs, standard outputs, and standard errors. If I want to do the standard output, I use Console.Write or Console.WriteLine. The main difference between the two is that Console.WriteLine will output text and then move to a new line. The text that I want to print to the Console is going to say, "Type a file name." I want to run the application at this point.

To do that, in Visual Studio, I can choose Debug > Start. Now since I have a really short application, it's not going to stay on the screen for very long. Watch what happens. The screen shows up and then immediately disappears. To mitigate that, Visual Studio has this menu called Start Without Debugging. Now, my text shows up, and I'm given an opportunity to watch the last results before closing the window. I'll press the Spacebar to close this window. If I want to control that situation myself, I can use Console.ReadLine, and while I'm doing this, I might as well use this to grab the file name.

So I'm going to create a variable called fileName =. There are some fun things you can do with the console. I'm going to copy this little bit of text down here at the bottom of the screen. I'll copy this and then paste it right up here. I'm going to change the ConsoleColor before I output the text. Let me show you what that looks like. Debug > Start Debugging. As you can see, I now have yellow text in my command window. I've seen some interesting console applications that use characters and colors successfully.

Check out the Heroic Adventure application in the exercise folder to see an example. I'm now going to press any key. Sometimes you don't want to output your information to the standard console out. You'd rather output it to another area on your computer. A common example here is to output to a file stream. So, I'm going to take this code down here and copy it, and paste it right here-- Ctrl+V to paste--and then I'm going to uncomment the code by pressing Ctrl+K, Ctrl+U. Now, this little bit of code I just wrote, it says, "Get the current output," which is a TextWriter, "and store it in this variable.

Now switch to a new StreamWriter based on this file name that the user is going to type in." Then I'm going to set the console to use the StreamWriter to that file. Now we'll no longer write to the standard output, but we'll write into the file. So I write a line of code here, which goes into the file. I flush the file so that the information is stored in the file. I switch back to the old output on this line of code, and then I want to see the results. So what I'm going to do on line 25 is I'm going to start a process.

.NET has a class called Process, which I can use to launch any application. Here I'm launching an app based on the file name that I send. So if I chose the file name mydemo.xls, it would open up Excel. Let me show you this application running. Debug > Start Debugging. I'm going to type a file name Demo.txt, which is a text file. So when it launches the process, it's going to run in notepad. There is Notepad.

As you can see, my output successfully ended up inside the file. Close Notepad. Press the Enter key to close this window. Next, let me switch over to this second project. I'm going to set this as my Startup by right-clicking and then choosing Set as StartUp. Then I'm going to double-click on Program.cs. Here's the standard pattern you see quite often. You go out to your file system and you type in "xcopy" and then a file name and a location.

This utility will take this file and copy it to this secondary location. So you see what I'm doing is I'm passing two arguments into this application. So if I want to mimic this in my application, I can do that by having a String array as a parameter on a static void Main. So what I'm going to do in this example is I'm going to check the argument array up here to see if there's any data in it. So I check if args.Length is greater than 0.

Then I know there's at least one item in the array. I then loop over to all the items in the array and I check to see if it starts with a -file name:. If it does, then I'm going to split off the backend of it, whatever text comes after the colon. That's what I'm doing here. I'm splitting on this colon, and then I'm grabbing the second part of this array that was just generated here. Arrays in C# always start at zero. So this is second part of the array. I'll then compile the application, and then I would go out to the command prompt and then run the application and pass the parameters in.

For convenience sake, Visual Studio has this nice little feature where I can go to my Properties, double-click here, go to Debug, and what I'm saying here is whenever you run a Debug session, here is the arguments I want to pass into the application, which means I don't have to go out to a command prompt to do this. So you see I'm passing an -file name: and then file.txt, and then I'm passing in a second argument right here. So now when I come up here and I choose to Debug > Start Debugging, it's going to pick up those parameters, pass them into my program-- I will kill the application-- and then what did it do? Then it used that file name to change the standard output and write to that file.

You can see that file if you go over here and choose Open Folder in Windows Explorer, and go to the bin folder and then go to the Debug folder, there is the file that was created for me, file.txt. So let me review. The main reason you create a console application is when you are creating a utility that doesn't need a UI, except for a standard console screen.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Visual Studio 2010 Essential Training.


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Q: Which edition of Visual Studio 2010 do I need to follow along in this course?
A: The course is taught with Visual Studio 2010 Professional, but can also be used with the Premium or Ultimate editions. The Express editions of Visual Studio, including Visual Basic 2010 Express, Visual C# 2010 Express, and Visual C++ Express, are not covered in this course.
Q: I'm attempting to download the exercise files for this course, and my virus protection is blocking me from unzipping the downloaded file. Are the files corrupted?
A: The alert is a false-positive message. Your antivirus software is detecting the active code included in the exercise files, which in some ways resembles viral code. There is nothing to be alarmed about and you can ignore the warning. This is common among coding courses and environments.
 
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