|.NET SDK fundamentals
The Meridian Enterprise COM API was originally developed for use with Visual Basic 6. With the emergence of .NET as its replacement, BlueCielo ECM Solutions provides the BlueCielo .NET SDK for those customers who want to migrate existing Visual Basic 6 user interface extension projects to .NET (using Visual Basic .NET or other .NET-compatible languages)or to develop new extensions. Another key reason for providing the BlueCielo .NET SDK is to make it possible to create 64-bit standalone applications, supplementary ActiveX objects, and extensions that work with 64-bit applications such as 64-bit Inventor, Solidworks, or MS Office 2010, which cannot be done with Visual Basic 6.
The BlueCielo .NET Software Development Kit (SDK) includes a single library (.NET assembly BlueCieloECM.InnoCielo.Meridian.dll) and a set of Primary Interop Assemblies (PIAs). The library provides a .NET alternative for commonly used classes of the Meridian Enterprise COM API. All of these assemblies are installed in the BIN sub-folder where the SDK is installed and registered in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC). The Global Assembly Cache is a computer-wide code cache provided by the .NET Framework that is used to store assemblies that need to be shared by several applications on the computer.
The library is compliant with Common Language Specification (CLS). It provides a guarantee of interoperability with a wide range of .NET programming languages (like VB.NET, C#).
The few changes to programming practices that should be considered for developing Meridian Enterprise extensions with Visual Basic .NET are described in the following topics.