Getting Started with the ActiveGanttVBN Gantt Chart Scheduler Component

Friday, September 16, 2011

ActiveGanttVBN is a Gantt Chart / Scheduler component designed for Windows Forms and Visual Basic .Net. This is a complete tutorial that describes how to get started with the ActiveGanttVBN Component. It covers installing the component, as well as creating a very simple Windows Forms application with ActiveGanttVBN.

1. ActiveGanttVBN Requirements

2. Downloading the ActiveGanttVBN component.

3. Installing the ActiveGanttVBN component.

4. Examining the files created by the ActiveGanttVBN install program.

      4.1. The ActiveGanttVBN HTML Help Shortcut.

      4.2. The ActiveGanttVBN Demo Project Shortcut.

      4.3. The ActiveGanttVBN Demo Executable Shortcut.

5. How to create a simple Windows Forms application using the ActiveGanttVBN component.

1. ActiveGanttVBN Requirements.

For developing applications with ActiveGanttVBN:

For deploying your applications that use ActiveGanttVBN:


2. Downloading the ActiveGanttVBN component.

The latest version of the ActiveGanttVBN component is accessible from this page in our website:

Select ActiveGanttVBN from the drop down list and press the Download Now button, select the destination directory (this procedures varies according to the type of browser being used) and begin downloading.

The ActiveGanttVBN install program is packaged in a compressed .zip file. The file names are structured according to the following convention:

3. Installing the ActiveGanttVBN component.

Downloading will have left you with a file named AGVBN_NETXX_X_X_X(D/R).zip.

The ActiveGanttVBN install program does not contain any spyware, viruses or useless third party tools.


This .zip file contains two files: the .msi install package and a readme file in .rtf format. The readme file can be viewed using Microsoft Word or Word Pad.


Extract both files from the .zip file


Double click on the AGVBN_NETXX_X_X_X(D/R).msi file to begin the install process. In Windows Vista and above you will get a security prompt. Click on the Yes button to continue.


You will be taken to the welcome screen of the ActiveGanttVBN installation program. Click on the Next button.


You will then be prompted for the installation directory. Click on the Next button.


The install program will ask for your confirmation before beginning to install ActiveGanttVBN, click on the Next button.


Another security screen will ask you if you want the ActiveGanttVBN install program to copy software onto your computer. Click on the Yes button.


After the ActiveGanttVBN installation program finishes copying files to your computer, a browser window will open which contains all the above setup instructions plus any version specific information that might be of use.


Click on the Close button to terminate the installation of ActiveGanttVBN.


The ActiveGanttVBN component can now be uninstalled using the control panel. Always use the control panel application to uninstall ActiveGanttVBN. After uninstalling the ActiveGanttVBN component you can also erase the "C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\" directory for a complete uninstall.

You must completely uninstall the ActiveGanttVBN component when upgrading to a more recent version or when switching from the Trial to the Release version.

4. Examining the files created by the ActiveGanttVBN install program.

On a default install of the ActiveGanttVBN component, all files will be copied to the "C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\" directory.

The most important files in this directory are the following:

Path File Description
C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\ AGVBN_TR.sln The Visual Studio Solution File
C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\AGVBNCON\ AGVBNCON.vbproj The example's Visual Basic project file
C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\AGVBNCON\bin\ AGVBNCON.exe The example's executable file
C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\AGVBNCON\AGVBN\ AGVBN.dll The ActiveGanttVBN Windows Forms Control
C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\Additional Files\ AGVBN.chm The ActiveGanttVBN compiled HTML Help file


The install program will generate two shortcuts on the desktop, ActiveGanttVBN Demo Project is a shortcut to the AGVBN_TR.sln file and ActiveGanttVBN Demo Executable is a shortcut to the AGVBNCON.exe file.


The install program will also create an ActiveGanttVBN menu in Programs. This menu contains copies of the shortcuts installed on the desktop, plus a shortcut to the ActiveGanttVBN help file and a shortcut to the ReadMe file.

4.1. The ActiveGanttVBN HTML Help Shortcut.


Clicking on the ActiveGanttVBN Help shortcut in the ActiveGanttVBN menu will bring up the local HTML help file for the component.


This help file is also available online from this link:

4.2. The ActiveGanttVBN Demo Project Shortcut.

Clicking on the ActiveGanttVBN Demo Project shortcut will generate an elevated permissions prompt in the operating system. Click on the Restart this application under different credentials option.


You will then get a User Access Control prompt. Click on the Yes button.


You will then get the AGVBN_TR.sln Visual Studio solution file.

The Visual Studio solution file contains all the source code for the ActiveGanttVBN example. You can press the F5 key to begin debuging.

4.3. The ActiveGanttVBN Demo Executable Shortcut.


Clicking on the ActiveGanttVBN Demo Executable will bring up this screen.

The ActiveGanttVBN Demo has two main examples:

Both examples have three modes:

Additionally the ActiveGanttVBN Demo has three examples on how to read Microsoft Project 2003, 2007 and 2010 XML files.

All the code used to generate the demo is included in the AGVBN_TR.sln Visual Studio Solution.

*Microsoft has not released and does not intend to release an ODBC driver for Access databases for x64 systems and therefore, the Access data source mode is not available when running the demo in 64 bit mode on a 64 bit system.

5. How to create a simple Windows Forms application using the ActiveGanttVBN component.

Start a new instance of Visual Studio.

Select   File -> New -> Project....


In the New Project dialog select   Installed Templates -> Visual Basic -> Windows -> Windows Forms Application. Leave the solution's name as the default: WindowsApplication1.


The template will generate a Windows Forms application with a single Windows Form named Form1.


Select the Toolbox tab on left. Right click on any control and from the drop down menu select the Choose Items... option.


The Choose Toolbox Items dialog will pop-up. Click on the Browse button in the .NET Framework Components tab.


Select the ActiveGanttVBN component (AGVBN.dll). In a default installation it will be located in "C:\Program Files\Boötes Systems SAS\ActiveGanttVBN\AGVBNCON\AGVBN\AGVBN.dll". Then click on the Open button.


The ActiveGanttVBNCtl is now included in the Choose Toolbox Items dialog. Click on the OK button to exit the dialog.


After exiting the Choose Toolbox Items dialog, the ActiveGanttVBNCtl component will now be present in the Toolbox.


Resize Form1 to an appropriate size, the default is too small. Then drag the ActiveGanttVBNCtl from the Toolbox onto Form1 and resize the ActiveGanttVBN accordingly.

In the trial version of the ActiveGanttVBN control you will be presented with a nag screen, click the OK button to continue.

In the trial version of the component the nag screen will pop-up when:

  • You are adding a new control from the Toolbox onto a Form.
  • You are opening a Form in design view that contains an ActiveGanttVBN control.
  • You are building the project.
  • You are opening a Form during runtime that contains the ActiveGanttVBN control.


Press the F5 key to begin debugging or alternatively you can go to the  Debug -> Start Debugging  menu.


At this time you will only have an ActiveGanttVBN control with no functionality. The watermark on the lower right hand side will only be present in the trial version of the ActiveGanttVBN component.

Close the form to exit debugging. You will again have Form1 in design view. Double click on any empty space (avoid double clicking on the ActiveGanttVBNCtl) to add code for the form's Form1_Load event.

    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Dim i As Integer
        ActiveGanttVBNCtl1.Columns.Add("Column 1", "", 125, "")
        ActiveGanttVBNCtl1.Columns.Add("Column 2", "", 100, "")
        For i = 1 To 10
            ActiveGanttVBNCtl1.Rows.Add("K" & i.ToString())
    End Sub

The above code will create two Columns and ten empty Rows. Notice that every Row has to be identified by a unique key, "K1", "K2", K3", etc. Press the F5 key to begin debugging.


Press the F5 key to begin debugging.


You can add Task objects by clicking and dragging over any Row in the Client Area of the ActiveGanttVBN control.

The examples included in the demo cover almost every piece of functionality present in the ActiveGanttVBN component, but if you need further assistance please read our ActiveGantt support options. Important: if you are sending an e-mail you have to specify that you are referring to the ActiveGanttVBN component, otherwise you will inevitably experience delays in having your query answered.


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