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M B # 79

Marketing Bulletin No. 79
March 31, 1997 

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VISUAL NPL (Vinny) Version 2.0 Has Arrived!

Your software does the job, and does it well. You know it, we know it, your current users know it. But what about that new customer down the road? They only know what they see (or don’t see.) If your software doesn’t "look" up-to-date with today’s standards, then it won’t be perceived that way. It’s time to update your image. And Visual NPL (Vinny) 2.0 delivers the tools to reach that end in a timely fashion.

With Visual NPL incorporated into your design, your software will take on a whole new personality! Without rewriting your core logic, you will have an application that runs with a Visual Basic "front-end" seamlessly incorporated into your programs. Now, more than ever, creating high-sizzle Windows screens - whether you’re building a new user interface or updating an old one - is a few mouse clicks and lines of connecting code away.

In addition, any (16-bit) OCX on the market is now a candidate to be a building block in your application. And Vinny’s simple, efficient functions let you "control the controls" with unparalleled ease. You will have a product which now appeals to the first time viewer, as well as one your existing customers will recognize as worthy of an upgrade fee. You win on both ends. 


Vinny 2.0 continues and significantly expands the mission of our original Vinny: to link the world-class GUI builder in Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) to world-class applications written in NPL.

By using Vinny to handle the user interface, the developer can take advantage of the powerful Visual Basic form designer. The NPL developer can use VB to design the forms while the logic of the application stays in NPL.

The most significant new features in Vinny Version 2.0 are:

  • NEW! Event driven programming is now completely supported in both directions:
    • Any method of any VB object can now be called from NPL.
    • NPL procedures may now be called from VB.
  • NEW! VB object variables can now be accessed and treated as variables from within NPL.
  • NEW! Support for Visual Basic 4.0 and OCX/OLE is now standard. 
  • NEW! Font translation for foreign languages has been added. 
  • NEW! The Vinny 2.0 manual has been rewritten from the ground up. According to a valued customer, "it’s the best manual that Niakwa has ever produced. It starts with an extremely well organized overview of Visual BASIC and describes what you really need to know about VB."
  • COMING SOON! INSTANT VINNY! Instant Vinny works with Vinny to provide a way to deal with the 80% of your screens which are only occasionally viewed by the end-user. Instant Vinny lets you deliver your existing screens in a Windows container without having to delay your product release to update every single screen.

Topping the list of additional enhancements are:

  • Performance of the most commonly used operations (such as setting and getting property values) has been greatly improved. 
  • Any type of VB property (not just numbers and strings) may now be retrieved or set from NPL.
  • The ability to create user defined VB commands has been added.
  • The "controls-on-the-fly" routines have been rewritten to make them faster, much more flexible and highly stable. 
  • The demo programs have been greatly expanded to provide better coverage of the new and existing features.
  • The file structure has been simplified by combining several files into one.


  • MS-DOS 5.0 or greater
  • MS-Windows 3.1, Windows 95 (recommended), or Windows NT
  • NPL for MS-Windows 4.20 or greater
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 4.0 (Professional Edition, 16-bit)
  • High resolution VGA monitor (development purposes)
  • 1.5MB of free disk space
  • Note: Visual Basic 5.0 is not supported until 32-Bit Vinny becomes available (later this year)


Visual NPL will be sold as a development product. For a single programmer, order the economical 1-Pak. For multiple programmers, order our volume priced 2-Pak or 4-Pak. The price for first time Vinny users has not changed. Previously licensed Vinny 1.0 users will receive a 50% credit of their previous license towards a Vinny 2.0 license.


The beta period has now concluded. Final Release is scheduled for April 1997. We anticipate making available training opportunities and periodic updates to further enhance the combined power of NPL and VB. Vinny 2.0 2-day training is currently scheduled June 10 - 12 in Vernon Hills, IL. For further information, and to order, please contact your authorized Niakwa Representative.


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