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     Overview of Visual NPL

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Introduction to "Vinny"

Niakwa’s Visual NPL (Vinny) is a development tool that provides a flexible, interactive link between Niakwa Programming Language(NPL) applications and Microsoft Visual Basic (VB) applications.

This product is designed to enable developers to use existing NPLcode as a logic engine and use Visual Basic forms as a user interface tool to create state-of-the-art Windows programs.

Microsoft’s Visual Basic is a graphical user interface design tool thatworks by creating forms controlled by code written in the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language. Niakwa’s Visual NPL product creates a link between NPL and VB so NPL code can be used to control the VB forms. As a result the NPL developer can add a fully functional Windows user interface to time tested NPL code thus benefiting from the strengths of both NPL and VB!

Visual NPL developers have the advantage of using any controls available in the third-party OLE control (OCX) marketplace. These controls do everything from drawing dice to providing full spreadsheet or word processing capabilities and access to the many facets of the Internet.

Visual NPL can help you get from here...

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To here...

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Components of a Visual NPL Application

A typical Visual NPL application consists of the following parts:

  • VB programs contain several forms and a small amount of VBA code to transfer control to the NPL program
  • the VB form, VBA code and OCX facilitate communication with the NPL program
  • the NPL program performs the underlying logic functions of the application and controls the VB forms
  • an NPL external, dynamic-link library (DLL) and disk image facilitate communication with the VB program

The code required on the VB side is remarkably simple and requires very little knowledge of the VBA language. However, in order to create professional Windows programs, it is necessary to become fairly knowledgeable about the Visual Basic form-design tools. Fortunately, this feature of Visual Basic is easy to learn and understand.

Developer Knowledge

Visual NPL is intended for developers who have attained a good understanding of Microsoft Windows.  In order to develop polished user interfaces in Windows, it is necessary to be familiar with many of the features available in this environment. However, it is not necessary to know anything about Windows programming in the traditional sense. The Visual Basic environment hides the many complexities of native Windows programming and presents a greatly simplified forms-based approach.

In addition, the developer should have a good understanding of the NPL Release IV features. Visual NPL makes heavy use of modules, long variable names, functions and procedures, structured programming techniques and practically every other Release IV feature.

Hardware Requirements

Visual NPL does not require specific hardware requirements over and above those of NPL and VB, although you may want to add or change your existing hardware to achieve the best results in the Visual NPL environment. For example, you may want to upgrade your video monitor for doing form design. This is a screen intensive activity, therefore a bigger monitor works best. Although 15" monitors are adequate, 17" monitors enhance the shine of the Visual Basic environment. For highly graphical work, a fast video adapter can make a significant difference, surpassing performance gains derived from a processor upgrade.

Software Requirements

Visual NPL and Instant Visual NPL now support 32-bit Windows.

  • MS-Windows 3.1, Windows 95,98 or Windows NT
  • NPL for MS-Windows RunTime 5.0 for 32-bit
  • Microsoft Visual Basic version 5 for 32-bit
  • High resolution VGA monitor (development purposes)

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