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?
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 (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/15s06t57.aspx). You might learn more than you ever cared to know about the structure of office documents.
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.