When full-featured IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) were just becoming the standard for rapid application development for Windows applications, the size of the IDE's control toolbox determined whether the language was the best tool for the job. For example, when comparing Delphi and Visual Basic, Delphi's library of reusable UI controls was not only larger, but many developers considered the VCL (Visual Control Library) to be faster and easier to use. Visual Basic users often had to resort to third-party ActiveX controls to obtain rich user interface programmability.
With the advent of Windows Forms, the library of controls is written for the .NET Framework. As a result, any .NET language has complete access to the base library of Windows Forms controls, whether that language is C#, VB.NET, or even Delphi for .NET.
With Visual Studio 2005, the toolbox of Windows Forms controls has grown significantly. New controls have been added and old controls have been modified and improved. This chapter takes you through a whirlwind tour of every single control available in the Visual Studio 2005 Windows Forms control Toolbox. As you progress through the book to other Windows Forms chapters, many of these controls will be used again with more detailed explanations and code samples.