Microsoft's Visual Studio Express editions are one of the quickest (and cheapest: free) ways to get started developing software for the .NET platform. We will use the C# edition to get you up to speed using the MetNet# library.

After firing up the IDE, create a new Console Application project and name it MetNetTrial.

Make sure that you have the MetNetSharp.dll and MySql.Data.dll files ready on your hard-disk somewhere. If you don't, please take a moment to download them on store them both on your hard-disk. Note that you will require the MySql.Data.dll file that we provide in order for the library to work.

Now that you have both libraries, add a reference to them through the Solution Explorer. Once again: make sure you use our MySql.Data.dll file. Even if you have MySql's own Connector/NET installed in the GAC, it will most likely not work with our library. If you do get it to work somehow, please let us know and we'll be happy to mention your name on these pages!.

Can you see both the MetNetSharp and MySql.Data references in the Solution Explorer? Great! Add a reference to the Edu.Iastate.MetNet namespace. Since all database interaction is encapsulated within the library, your probably does not need to reference the MySql library explicitly.

Within the main class of your MetNetTrial program, enter the following Main() procedure:

Note that as you type, you should get IntelliCode support for the new datatypes. If you don't, you should check the references to the external libraries.

After you've completed entering the code, you should make sure that there are no errors. Now you're ready to run your test-program. You should see how many organisms are in the database, and see the names of each. If you see fewer than 3 organisms or the number of organisms listed does not equal the number of organisms reported, you should contact us.

This concludes the MetNet# tutorial.