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How To: Determine ArcView's state from a Visual Basic application

Summary

While Visual Basic and ArcView are communicating through DDE, and because they are running independently, you can change the state of ArcView. If you send an Avenue request to ArcView from Visual Basic to, for example, get the active view, there's no guarantee the active theme will be the view you want, even though it was when the Visual Basic application started.

You must program your Visual Basic application to handle this situation.

Procedure

One approach is to evaluate, in the VB application, the string returned from ArcView. This string would tell you what the active document is. For example, if the string is NIL, which would happen if you sent a request to a view but a view is not the active document, you could terminate your application and display a message indicating that the operation could not be performed because the state of ArcView changed.

Another approach is to pass the name of the active document, and whatever other state information your application requires, to Visual Basic and store it in a hidden control on the form. Then, as part of the request you send to ArcView, you could restore ArcView's environment to the appropriate state. For example, if your application requires an active view and an active theme within that view, you could poke data from ArcView to Visual Basic:

  1. In ArcView, open a new script window.

    A. Activate the Project window.
    B. Click the Scripts icon.
    C. Click New.

  2. Copy the following code into the new window:

    Code:
    '-- Connect to a Visual Basic application as a destination
    aDDE = DDEClient.Make ("SomeApp","SomeTopic")
    '-- Poke information into a hidden text field on the VB side
    theView = av.GetActiveDoc
    theTheme = theView.GetActiveThemes.Get(0)
    '-- txtHidden is the name of the text box control in Visual Basic
    aDDE.Poke ("txtHidden",theView.asstring+","+theTheme.asstring)


    Note:
    Change the text strings SomeApp, SomeTopic, and txtHidden to items in your application.

  3. Click the Compile button.
    [O-Image] Script compile button
  4. Click the Run button.
    [O-Image] Run compiled script button