Stand-Alone Computer Application Language?

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to come up with a stand-alone computer application at my job that will give the user an interface to enter which files to use (up to 4 right now) and work with Excel data and PowerPoint for the final output. Can someone please suggest which programming language I ought to be looking at?

Currently I’m looking at VB.NET. Does anyone have any experience with deploying a stand-alone computer application at a major company? Was it a problem?

Thanks for any information.

Since your program is exporting to Excel, you could use the in Excel developer tab (VBA) and develop the program as an Excel file that launches the user interface when opened.

VB.Net or C# are going to be your best options. You’ll want to learn WPF and XAML to create a simple desktop application with file dialogs and the like. See this similar question:

Also, depending on what you plan to do with those files, Excel and PowerPoint integration can be pretty involved. You are going to be working with the Microsoft.Office.Interop libraries ( You might learn more than you ever cared to know about the structure of office documents.

If you decide to use Python I’ve had good luck with pyExcelerator. I’ve never tried working with PowerPoint files in Python though.

Just a little something from left field :slight_smile:

or the FIRST answer: LabView. I thought I saw at least xls r/w VI’s lying around.

I have to admit this much: I didn’t much like LabVIEW in the past (for its deploy time mostly, roboRIO might improve that by a lot, but I digress…), but the knowledge is good for being a mechanical engineering major (since we use LabVIEW in one of the labs). It’s funny being an ME doing a computer science minor.

Visual programming (of which LabView is a glorious example) is a mash of what system designers once called DataFlowDiagrams and ControlFlowDiagrams (just dated myself badly). I love LabView as a teaching language; I end up drawing DFD’s all the time, anyway. Might as well compile the design from the picture (spec:). Step through the data manipulations, showing the intermediate results along the way? Priceless. Most of the youngster robot projects use some form of visual programming for good reason; 6 year old’s can do it.
I suspect your ME mindset was amenable to learning how to program in LabView. The latent software engineer in you has pressed on from there.