Update: The recommended Visual Studio edition is now Visual Studio Community.
The recommended version is now Visual Studio Express for Desktop. This can be downloaded from
Microsoft is constantly changing the download point, so if the above link no longer works, search for “visual studio express desktop”. It is IMPERATIVE that you select the DESKTOP edition.
Unlike earlier Express editions, which had VB.Net (or other single language) only, you can now work in VB.Net, C#, C++, or other supported language. But we do recommend VB.Net as the most accessible, with seamless access to the Ruby libraries, the least-cluttered code, and the fewest “glitches”.
For full documentation on how to install and setup for use with Ruby, see the document Job Update Using the Ruby BEST Libraries.pdf, accessed from the Help tab:
Although you can use any COM-enabled language to drive Ruby, the most common is VBScript, which is virtually identical to VBA, the MS Office macro language. Using VBScript in Ruby has been made quite a bit easier by our proprietary #include (proprietary because VBScript itself has no equivalent functionality), which allows libraries to be ‘included’ with your calling code, but the default scripting environment – AutoEdit.exe – is basically just a dumb editor with a Run button.
We can now offer an alternative which gives all the modern development environment bells and whistles – debugging break points, code completion, intellisense, variable and expression watches, etc.
The environment is the free VB Express (it costs you your email address). The programming language is VB.Net. VB.Net is a bit fussier than VBScript – you have to declare all variables, and use parentheses around all method or function call parameters, but this not a bad thing.
The Ruby libraries have been ported to VB.Net. The extension is *.vb, to not conflict with the standard libraries.
We have had a few clients using VB Express for quite some time now, so the libraries are reliable.
If you want to move up to VB Express, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting the install docs and demonstration scripts.
If the VB.Net libraries are present in the Ruby subdirectory, then they will be auto-updated.
If anyone prefers C#, then the VB.Net libraries should port without much effort. There are many online converters.