One common misconception regarding .NET development is the belief that programmers must purchase a copy of Visual Studio in order to build their VB applications. The truth of the matter is that you are able to build any sort of .NET program using the freely downloadable .NET Framework 3.5 Software Development Kit (SDK). This SDK provides you with numerous managed compilers, command-line utilities, white papers, sample code, the .NET base class libraries, and a complete documentation system.
Note The .NET Framework 3.5 SDK (dotNetFx35setup.exe) can be obtained from the .NET download website (http://msdn.microsoft.com/netframework).
If you are indeed going to be using Visual Studio 2008 or Visual Basic 2008 Express, you have no need to manually install the .NET Framework 3.5 SDK. When you install either of these products, the SDK is installed automatically, thereby giving you everything you need out of the box. However, if you are not going to be using a Microsoft IDE as you work through this text, be sure to install the SDK before proceeding.
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