Author Topic: The learning path to ARX through Visual Basic?  (Read 2771 times)

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C. Alan

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The learning path to ARX through Visual Basic?
« on: October 27, 2006, 02:46:55 PM »
I'm a bit confused, and I hope some of you will help clear my mind up.

I have written a few VBA macros for Land Desktop 2004, and this experience has lead me to down load and create a few simple windows applications with Microsoft's Visual Basic 2005 Express.  I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised as to how easy it was to put together an application, and deploy it with Visual Basic Express, plus the software was free from Microsoft.

Now, I understand Visual Basic 2005 is built on .Net 2.0, and ObjectARX can be used with .Net 2.0, but in order to complie ObjectArx projects easily, I would be required to purchase Visual Studio 2005 Standard edition.

With regards to the Visual Studio--> ObjectArx combination, I have the following questions:

  • 1.  Will  I  have to switch languages over to C++ from Visual Basic?  I know you can produce windows apps with Visual Basic in Visual Studio, but can I write ObjectArx apps in Visual Basic?
  • 2.  Will ObjectArx work with Autocad 2004?  Or will I have to downgrade my Visual Studio purchase to Version 2003 in order to create Arx apps that will work with Autocad 2004.  Will an Arx application written for autocad 2004 work with autocad 2006?  Compatibility seems to be the issue here...

Thanks for your help.
--C. Alan


  • Water Moccasin
  • Posts: 1501
Re: The learning path to ARX through Visual Basic?
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2006, 03:12:45 PM »
ObjectARX is the SDK from AutoDesk that includes C++ libraries to use with AutoCAD in unmanaged C++.
This would require VS2005 for AutoCAD 2007+ and VS2002 for AutoCAD 2004-6.


There are .Net managed classes which wrap these libraries that you can use. Your only compatibility issues would be with the managed dll's I believe.

They are two different animals entirely.

Soli Deo Gloria


  • Newt
  • Posts: 30
Re: The learning path to ARX through Visual Basic?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 07:53:51 PM »
I also, seem to be on a similar path.  Started years ago writing, learning and rewriting lisp.  Then graduated to VBA recognizing the cross application and document specific limitations of lisp.  Was happy with VBA and yet started tinkering with .net and saw the rest of the API and the limitations and work arounds required under lisp and VBA. 

The one drawback I saw with net is it managed code.  By that, not capable to operate using forms from a network share unless each work station was configured showing it as trusted.  Started playing in arx and to that end I am still learning.  I was happy running in VBA, but IMHO I see the handwriting on the wall for MS continued support.  Probably 5 years from one site that I don't readily recall.   Just think what was available five years ago and the lack of stability we enjoyed then.  So figured it was time to start to learn something new.

So, learning C++ and other facets of the autocad API.  The one item that I always took for granted is memory management.  It is a real pain cleaning up afterwards.  But it is truly powerful.  The best part is that it compiles to arx so it would appear that you would't have issues updating on a share, and other tinkering.  Apparently 2007 supports unicodes, so it seems to have made things more difficult on the string side of the house.  Had to learn more about w_char, TCHAR and ACHAR then I really ever wanted to know.  Basic understanding and not much more at this point. 

Language syntax is syntax.  Some are easier than others.  I have really learned alot from this site and others.  There is quite a talent pool in this community. has an excellent how to configuring VC 2005 for legacy support.  Also additional info I have found at .  They don't spoon feed you, but it will definately teach you to fish.