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Michael Tant February 2016

visual basic 2010 would a class or structure be better in this use case

As I mentioned before, I am hardly a programmer, so I once again need the expertise of those that are...

I am working on a program that will help me manage some data for a volunteer emergency communications group. In this program I currently have multiple different structures built for multiple different objects (if I am using the term correctly). I have a structure for Site Personnel, a structure for Members (yes they are different), a structure for Operation Info (considered its own object), and a structure for Facility. This was all fine and well, even having each element of the structure defined with <VBFixedString(nameOfConstant)> to ensure an equal record length.

And that is where I hit my problem. Each object (again I hope I'm not butchering this term as I am calling the Facility or the Site Personnel etc the 'object') is a set of fields for a random access file (I abandoned the Excel file idea, way too much headache and nothing but failures on that front, I'll use an in-house system). And, certainly to all of your dismays, I did finally decide to go with FileOpen, FileGet, FilePut, etc for my random access file management (I can already hear your teeth grinding and your skulls crackling to epic facepalms, but believe me I NEED to go simple for this presentation version and for the Version 1 Release which will be beta tested at a National Disaster Medical System exercise in May). The problem I encountered is that each file will need its own filenumber, its own position, and so on, and each one will need a Dim Temp as <structure> where <structure> is SitePersonnel, OpInfo, MemberData, or other relevant structure. Each file will also need its own file handling controls, such as GetRecord, PutRecord, DeleteRecord, NextRecord, PreviousRecord, AddRecord, and so on, and each file will need its own functions for file opening and finding the last record. The reason each structure will need i


Tgrelka February 2016

For a system like yours, to manage users and other objects, I recommend the use of classes. They usually get used for management system as they offer the abbility of hierachical variables and functions, so you don't accidentaly call an internal function or access a variable you shouldn't. Also, classes are more flexible than structurs, so you should preferable use them when you aren't sure wether a class or a structure is the better way.

As Plutonix pointed out before, this is not a platform for recommendations, it is for problems with code. So next time, please go to a VB.Net forum. The text written above is my opinion based on my knowledge about the difference between classes and structures and this msdn-article. Further internetresearch is still something you should do, maybe ask in forum or friends / other programmers you know.

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Asked in February 2016
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