> My goal is to build a GUI for mapinfo with limited functionality so
> that our clients can make their own maps.

> Q.  I'm pretty sure that is one of mapbasic's primary functions
> (correct me if I'm wrong)...however, can i do this without mapbasic
> at all?  Can I do it all in VB or C++???

A. Yes, you can do this completely in VB or C++ or any other programming
language that supports OLE.  However, it will help enormously to know a
little bit about MapBasic as the way that the MapInfo OLE Automation Server
works is by passing MapBasic commands to it.  On the positive side, the
Automation Server was designed to allow you to include only the
functionality you want to see in your program, while MapBasic was designed
to add functionality to the existing set of MapInfo functionality.

> Q.  If I can do it without mapbasic...are there any advantages to
> using mapbasic or not using mapbasic (ie VB and Mapinfo)?

A.  I can think of a few off the top of my head.  First, by using MapBasic,
you are utilizing a single process as opposed to creating a separate
executable with VB or C++ which will have its own process as well as the
MapInfo OLE Automation Server process.  This ties up more system resources
and is slower due to cross-process communication.  Additionally, it is
somewhat more complicated to utilize the Automation Server than it is to
write a MapBasic program.  However, if you are hoping to create a
sophisticated UI, you will have a tough time doing it in MapBasic.  Its
really a matter of weighing the pros & cons based upon what's important to
you.  A quick look through Chapter 13 (at least that's what it was in
version 4) of the MapBasic User's Guide will show you the basics of what's
involved in using the Automation Server.

I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions, feel free to let me


PS.  By the way, have you considered looking at MapX?  It's much easier to
use with VB and C++, includes much of the functionality of MapInfo, and can
be a less expensive solution if you are deploying over many seats.

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