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Difference Between C# and VGL

November 13, 2015

As is sometimes my practice, today I’m writing this post with regard to a search that brought someone to my blog. Today’s search phrase is:  what is difference between c# and vgl

To begin with, there’s not much the same about them except that they’re programming languages. C# is a language from Microsoft that is available to the world and used for a variety of applications. VGL (Vacuum Generator Language) is a proprietary language developed for use with the Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS.

Proprietary languages such as VGL tend to be developed to make programming its system somewhat easier. They often comes with functions that specifically do things that the system needs to do, such as log samples. Common languages such as C# do not come with these types of functions, of course. However, there will be provisions within SampleManager to make such calls from C#.

Using VGL is easier than using C#. If a non-programmer user wanted to write a small program, they’d find it much easier to do with VGL. However, the trap with VGL is that, because you can fairly easily write small amounts of code, it appears easy to write much larger and more complex code, as well. This can be a problem because VGL is kind of like a “real” programming language in that it has object-oriented programming and other tools that can be quite complicated to use.

To fully develop for SampleManager, regardless whether the person is using VGL or C#, the person needs to be a “real” developer. I mean to say that they understand data-typing, object-oriented programming, and other such programming concepts.

Then you might ask, “Which is better?” The concept of using C# is that companies doing development can pull from a wider variety of people in the marketplace. The gotcha on this is that they actually do need to understand the application to do this programming which means that these people still typically come from the SampleManager community. Additionally, many customers have decades of investments in VGL programming and their people focus on those particular skills. Training their people to know both VGL AND C# isn’t necessarily an easy task. Determining which tools to use for C# development isn’t straightforward, the first time you set it up, because there are a variety of choices.

In any case, the choice between VGL and C# is more obvious in some places than others. Where you want to write server programs, these days, you’ll use C#. If you’re writing user screens, depending how slow your network is, you might still use your old VGL LTEs over the slicker-looking but slower forms. You just need to try it and make a decision on it. Have your users try some of the screens, pay attention to whether they report any performance issues, make a decision, and work from there. To me, it’s no more difficult than that, despite the drama some will projects turn this into.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises


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