Where would be a good place for a rookie programmer / experienced Acad user to begin the learning process for .Net for Autocad? Is this the direction autocad is headed? What about ActiveX? Is that still a major player in the customizing arena?
for one person's take on where AutoCAD is headed with regards to .NET.
It's no secret that Microsoft is strongly pushing .NET and de-emphasizing
unmanaged code and COM. VB6 (perhaps the biggest consumer of ActiveX) is no
longer on main-stream support, and VBA is being replaced with VSTA.
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Where would be a good place for a rookie programmer / experienced Acad user
to begin the learning process for .Net for Autocad? Is this the direction
autocad is headed? What about ActiveX? Is that still a major player in the
The future of autocad customization will likely provide these plus VSTA (which is like the VBA of .net).
Active X is microsofts may of allowing software and APIs (VBA/VB/.net) communicate. Browse the autocad object model in the autocad help files. This is the model you will use to have your code interact with autocad. If you use a vertical product, such as land desktop it will have an object model as well.
I would recommend learning Visual Basic to start out with. Then you can program in VBA and vb.net, plus it's a good starting language.
Use VBA in autocad, and also download VB.net express edition for free from microsoft. This will allow you to create stand alone applications.
It seems like I learned the most visual basic by creating a stand alone application. Start by making a simple solver, take an equation or formula that you use often and make a form with text boxes and a solve button. If you get stuck post to one of the dot net disccusion groups for help.
Discussion groups are a great resource for learning programming.
Lisp is good for really simple customizatoin, but as you get more proficient with VBA you'll shy away from LISP.
Depending on what version/platform of autocad you are using you should have some .net sample files located in a directory similar to: