Taking an application to the whole world (Series 1 of 3)

27. December 2006 03:59 by Mrojas in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Recently I was asked by some fellows some help to make a new version of their VB6 application in Spanish, but at the end we end up migrating the application to VB.Net and taking advantage of the .NET internationalization features.


VB6 did not provided and out-of-box support for multiple cultures, but the .NET framework provides the developer with utilities to create applications that allow users in multiple regions use their applications according to their “Culture”.


The .Net Framework is able to handle different cultures. These “cultures” are used to localize certain aspects of the application for particular geographic zones.

When an application is not created with any cultural considerations it is said to use a Neutral Culture. It implies that independent of the machine configuration it will behave and display components in the same way.


The Culture is assigned automactically using the machine settings or it can be altered programmatically. You can use the property System.Globalization.CultureInfo.CurrentUICulture for that purpose.


Cultures have two elements: language and region. For example for Argentina where Spanish is spoken la culture will be es-AR (es is for Spanish: ESpañol and AR for Argentina)


If no information is found at all for an language then the neutral culture is used.


The information for user display is handler in assemblies usually called “satellite assemblies” which are loaded depending on the culture of the environment where the application is executed.