Do I use Add-Ins or make a regular (non-Add-In) .NET project?

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06-10-2011 06:29 AM
JacobCoble
New Contributor
I am transitioning from Arc9.3 to 10 and am trying to understand what I can and cannot do with Add-Ins. I have a rather complicated VBA/ArcMap9x editor application. It has a custom form with lots of text boxes for displaying and editing tables, and it has toolbars and buttons that launch various functions, etc. It was really too much for a VBA application but that is what it is. I first thought of rewriting it as a traditional ArcObjects/VB.NET applications but then I learned about Add-Ins.

From reading documentation about Add-Ins, it seems that you can make toolbars and dialog boxes but you cannot really use Add-Ins for an application that has a complex custom form, such as my editor application (see attached image). Is this correct? Can Add-Ins help with my application re-write or should I stick with straight ArcObjects/VB.NET?
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JeffreyHamblin
New Contributor III
Hi Jacob,

Add-Ins can easily use custom forms of any complexity that you build in Visual Studio. And while the conversion from VBA might be tedious, you will have better dev tools going forward.

I recommend building  a simple test Add-In to familiarize yourself with the basic workings.

I put together a tutorial on converting a simple VBA utility to an Add-In (it uses C#, but the concepts are quite similar even if you go with vb.net):
VBA to C# Add-in

-Jeff
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