Mastering Built-In Functions in VB.NET: Your Ultimate Guide to Achieve Perfect Development (VB.NET 2023)

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Built-In Functions in VB.NET

When working with VB.NET, it is important to have a good understanding of the built-in functions. These functions allow you to format data in a specific way, making it easier to display and work with. In this article, we will explore the various built-in format functions in VB.NET, their syntax, and how to use them in your code.

Introduction

VB.NET is a popular programming language that is widely used to develop Windows-based applications. One of the key features of VB.NET is its ability to format data in a specific way using built-in functions. These functions allow you to format data such as numbers, currency, dates, and times in a variety of ways.

In this article, we will provide an in-depth explanation of the various built-in functions in VB.NET, including their syntax and usage examples. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to use these functions to format your data effectively.

Overview of Built-In Functions

There are several built-in functions in VB.NET that can be used to format data in various ways. These functions are:

  • Format
  • FormatCurrency
  • FormatDateTime
  • FormatNumber
  • FormatPercent
  • FormatString
  • FormatTime
  • FormatXML

In the following sections, we will take a closer look at each of these functions and provide examples of how they can be used.

The Format Function

The Format function is used to format a value with a specified format. The syntax for the Format function is as follows:

Format(expression[, format[, firstdayofweek[, firstweekofyear]]])
  • expression: The value to be formatted.
  • format: A string expression that specifies the format to be used. This is an optional parameter.
  • firstdayofweek:  An optional constant that specifies the first day of the week. This can be any of the following values: vbUseSystemDayOfWeek, vbSunday, vbMonday, vbTuesday, vbWednesday, vbThursday, vbFriday, vbSaturday.
  • firstweekofyear:  An optional constant that specifies the first week of the year. This can be any of the following values: vbUseSystem, vbFirstJan1, vbFirstFourDays, vbFirstFullWeek.

Here is an advanced code example for the Format function in VB.NET:

Imports System.Globalization

Public Class Form1

    Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim myDate As Date = #4/11/2023#
        Dim myFormattedDate As String = myDate.ToString("dddd, MMMM d, yyyy", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)
        MessageBox.Show("The formatted date is: " & myFormattedDate)

    End Sub
End Class

In this code, the ToString method is used to format the date myDate as a string with the format “dddd, MMMM d, yyyy”, using the CultureInfo.InvariantCulture parameter to ensure that the format is not affected by the current system culture.

To display the formatted date in a message box, you can use the MessageBox.Show method:

Run the app and click the button to check the output as given below.

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The FormatCurrency Function

The FormatCurrency function is used to format a value as currency. The syntax for the FormatCurrency function is as follows:

FormatCurrency(expression[, numdigits[, includeleadingzero[, useparens[, groupdigits]]]])
  • expression: The value to be formatted.
  • numdigits:   An optional parameter that specifies the number of digits to display after the decimal point. The default value is the number of digits specified by the system currency format.
  • includeleadingzero: A Boolean value that indicates whether to include a leading zero for decimal values between -1 and 1. The default value is False.
  • useparens: A Boolean value that indicates whether to enclose negative values in parentheses. The default value is False.
  • groupdigits:  A Boolean value that indicates whether to use digit grouping. The default value is True.

The FormatCurrency function is used to format a numeric value as a currency string, using the currency symbol and number format of the current system culture. However, you can also specify a specific culture or currency format using the CultureInfo class.

Here are some examples of how to use FormatCurrency for different countries:

  Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim amount As Decimal = 1234.56
        Dim formattedAmountusa As String = FormatCurrency(amount, 2, TriState.True, TriState.False, TriState.False)

        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formate example for USA Currency is = " & formattedAmountusa)
        Dim ukCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("en-GB")
        Dim formattedAmountuk As String = amount.ToString("C2", ukCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formate example for United Kingdom Currency is = " & formattedAmountuk)
        Dim japaneseCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("ja-JP")
        Dim formattedAmountjapan As String = amount.ToString("C2", japaneseCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formate example for Japan Currency is = " & formattedAmountjapan)
        Dim pkrCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("ur-PK")
        Dim formattedAmountpkr As String = amount.ToString("C2", pkrCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formate example for Pakistan Currency is = " & formattedAmountpkr)
    End Sub

Run the app and click the button to see the following output:

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The FormatDateTime Function

The FormatDateTime function is used to format a value as a date and/or time. The syntax for the FormatDateTime function is as follows:

FormatDateTime(expression[, dateformat[, firstdayofweek[, firstweekofyear]]])
  • expression: The value to be formatted.
  • dateformat: An optional parameter that specifies the format to be used. This can be any of the following values: vbGeneralDate, vbLongDate, vbShortDate, vbLongTime, vbShortTime.
  • firstdayofweek: An optional constant that specifies the first day of the week. This can be any of the following values: vbUseSystemDayOfWeek, vbSunday, vbMonday, vbTuesday, vbWednesday, vbThursday, vbFriday, vbSaturday.
  • firstweekofyear: An optional constant that specifies the first week of the year. This can be any of the following values: vbUseSystem, vbFirstJan1, vbFirstFourDays, vbFirstFullWeek.

The FormatDateTime function is used to format a DateTime value as a string, using a specified date/time format. The DateFormat enumeration provides predefined date/time formats that can be used with this function, but you can also specify a custom format string.

Here are some examples of how to use FormatDateTime for different countries:

Imports System.Globalization


Public Class Form1

    Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim usCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("en-US")
        Dim myDate As DateTime = DateTime.Now
        Dim formattedDateusa As String = myDate.ToString("d", usCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated date for USA is = " & formattedDateusa)


        Dim ukCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("en-GB")
        Dim formattedDateuk As String = myDate.ToString("d", ukCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated date for UK is = " & formattedDateuk)


        Dim japaneseCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("ja-JP")
        Dim formattedDatejapan As String = myDate.ToString("d", japaneseCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated date for Japan is = " & formattedDatejapan)


        Dim pkrCulture As CultureInfo = CultureInfo.GetCultureInfo("ur-PK")
        Dim formattedDatepkr As String = myDate.ToString("d", pkrCulture)
        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated date for Pakistan is = " & formattedDatepkr)

    End Sub
End Class

Run the app and check the output:

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The FormatNumber Function

The FormatNumber function is used to format a value as a number. The syntax for the FormatNumber function is as follows:

FormatNumber(expression[, numdigits[, includeleadingzero[, useparens[, groupdigits]]]])
  • expression: The value to be formatted.
  • numdigits: An optional parameter that specifies the number of digits to display after the decimal point. The default value is the number of digits specified by the system number format.
  • includeleadingzero: A Boolean value that indicates whether to include a leading zero for decimal values between -1 and 1. The default value is False.
  • useparens:  A Boolean value that indicates whether to enclose negative values in parentheses. The default value is False.
  • groupdigits: A Boolean value that indicates whether to use digit grouping. The default value is True.

Here is an example of how to use the FormatNumber function:

 Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim myValue As Double = 12345.67
        Dim myFormattedValue As String = FormatNumber(myValue)

        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated number is = " & myFormattedValue)

    End Sub

The output will be as:

Built-In Functions -new 2023 - imagev4

In this example, the FormatNumber function is used to format the value 12345.67 as a number. The resulting formatted value would depend on the system number format, but for US English, it would be “12,345.67”.

The FormatPercent Function

The FormatPercent function is used to format a value as a percentage. The syntax for the FormatPercent function is as follows:

FormatPercent(expression[, numdigits[, includeleadingzero[, useparens[, groupdigits]]]])
  • expression:  The value to be formatted.
  • numdigits: An optional parameter that specifies the number of digits to display after the decimal point. The default value is the number of digits specified by the system percentage format.
  • includeleadingzero:  A Boolean value that indicates whether to include a leading zero for decimal values between -1 and 1. The default value is False.
  • useparens:  A Boolean value that indicates whether to enclose negative values in parentheses. The default value is False.
  • groupdigits: A Boolean value that indicates whether to use digit grouping. The default value is True.

Here is an example of how to use the FormatPercent function:

Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim myValue As Double = 0.12345
        Dim myFormattedValue As String = FormatPercent(myValue, 2)

        ListBox1.Items.Add("The formated percent is = " & myFormattedValue)

    End Sub

The output is given below:

Built-In Functions -new 2023 - imagev5

In this example, the FormatPercent function is used to format the value 0.12345 as a percentage with two decimal places. The resulting formatted value would depend on the system percentage format, but for US English, it would be “12.35%”.

The FormatString Function

The FormatString function is used to format a string by replacing placeholders with values. The syntax for the FormatString function is as follows:

FormatString(format[, arg0[, arg1[, arg2[, arg3[, arg4[, arg5[, arg6[, arg7[, arg8[, arg9]]]]]]]]]])
  • format:  The format string containing placeholders.
  • arg0 – arg9: The values to be inserted into the placeholders.

Here is an example of how to use the FormatString function:

 Private Sub Button1_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles Button1.Click
        Dim myString As String = "Hello {0}! Today is {1}."
        Dim myFormattedValue As String = String.Format(myString, "John", DateTime.Now.ToShortDateString())
        ListBox1.Items.Add(myFormattedValue)

    End Sub

Run the app the output is:

formate-string

In this example, String.Format is used to replace the {0} placeholder with the string “John”, and the {1} placeholder with the current date in short date format. The resulting string is then stored in the myFormattedValue variable.

Conclusion

The realm of programming is significantly enriched by the array of Built-In Functions in VB.NET, where a treasure trove of pre-existing functionalities await developers’ utilization. Throughout this exploration, we’ve delved into the nuances of these functions, their significance, and the seamless manner in which they expedite development and enhance efficiency.

Built-In Functions in VB.NET serve as ready-made tools, providing solutions to common tasks without the need for elaborate custom coding. This robust library empowers developers to swiftly perform operations, manipulate data, and manage application logic, thereby streamlining the development process.

The integration of advanced functionalities within Built-In Functions in VB.NET enhances application performance and reduces code complexity. Developers can harness functions for string manipulation, mathematical calculations, date and time operations, and much more, saving time and ensuring code reliability.

Collaboration remains pivotal, and Built-In Functions in VB.NET enable seamless collaboration among developers, designers, and stakeholders. By tapping into the extensive library of functions, teams can focus on building innovative features and functionalities, confident in the underlying support provided by these tools.

In essence, Built-In Functions in VB.NET isn’t just a collection of tools; it’s a testament to the power of community-driven development, where pre-built solutions empower developers to navigate the complexities of coding with greater ease and efficiency.

Q: 1. What are Built-In Functions in VB.NET?

A: Built-In Functions in VB.NET are pre-existing tools that offer solutions for common programming tasks, enhancing development efficiency.

Q: 2. Why are Built-In Functions in VB.NET important?

A: These functions expedite coding, reduce complexity, and offer reliable solutions for routine programming tasks.

Q: 3. How can Built-In Functions in VB.NET streamline development?

A: Built-In Functions simplify complex operations, allowing developers to focus on higher-level logic and innovation.

Q: 4. Are advanced functionalities available within Built-In Functions in VB.NET?

A: Yes, functions cover a wide range of functionalities, including string manipulation, mathematical operations, and date-time handling.

Q: 5. How do Built-In Functions in VB.NET benefit collaboration?

A: These functions provide a common ground for developers, designers, and stakeholders to work harmoniously, leveraging pre-built solutions.

Q: 6. Can Built-In Functions in VB.NET be customized?

A: While they offer standardized solutions, developers can utilize them as building blocks and enhance them with custom logic.

Q: 7. Do Built-In Functions in VB.NET improve application performance?

A: Yes, using pre-optimized functions can lead to improved application performance and efficient memory usage.

Q: 8. Are Built-In Functions in VB.NET limited to specific tasks?

A: No, the functions cover a diverse range of tasks, from simple data manipulation to complex calculations and beyond.

Q: 9. How do Built-In Functions in VB.NET enhance code reliability?

A: These functions are tested and optimized, reducing the chances of errors and ensuring reliable code execution.

Q: 10. Are Built-In Functions in VB.NET only relevant for beginners?

A: No, professionals also benefit by leveraging these functions to expedite development and focus on higher-level tasks.

More Links

In the realm of programming, a function bears resemblance to a procedure; however, it fulfills a unique objective. Visual Basic encompasses an array of inherent functions designed to manipulate text, execute mathematical operations, and enable data formatting in both standardized and custom formats. VB boasts a multitude of pre-existing functions tailored for string processing. A procedure earns the label of “built-in” if it was included with the language package.