Sets the compiler to target the .NET Compact Framework.




The -netcf option causes the Visual Basic compiler to target the .NET Compact Framework rather than the full .NET Framework. Language functionality that is present only in the full .NET Framework is disabled.

The -netcf option is designed to be used with -sdkpath. The language features disabled by -netcf are the same language features not present in the files targeted with -sdkpath.


The -netcf option is not available from within the Visual Studio development environment; it is available only when compiling from the command line. The -netcf option is set when a Visual Basic device project is loaded.

The -netcf option changes the following language features:

  • The End <keyword> Statement keyword, which terminates execution of a program, is disabled. The following program compiles and runs without -netcf but fails at compile time with -netcf.

    Module Module1
        Sub Main()
            End   ' not valid to terminate execution with /netcf
        End Sub
    End Module
  • Late binding, in all forms, is disabled. Compile-time errors are generated when recognized late-binding scenarios are encountered. The following program compiles and runs without -netcf but fails at compile time with -netcf.

    Class LateBoundClass
        Sub S1()
        End Sub
        Default Property P1(ByVal s As String) As Integer
            End Get
            Set(ByVal Value As Integer)
            End Set
        End Property
    End Class
    Module Module1
        Sub Main()
            Dim o1 As Object
            Dim o2 As Object
            Dim o3 As Object
            Dim IntArr(3) As Integer
            o1 = New LateBoundClass
            o2 = 1
            o3 = IntArr
            ' Late-bound calls
            o1.P1("member") = 1
            ' Dictionary member access
            o1!member = 1
            ' Late-bound overload resolution
            ' Late-bound array
            o3(1) = 1
        End Sub
        Sub LateBoundSub(ByVal n As Integer)
        End Sub
        Sub LateBoundSub(ByVal s As String)
        End Sub
    End Module
  • The Auto, Ansi, and Unicode modifiers are disabled. The syntax of the Declare Statement statement is also modified to Declare Sub|Function name Lib "library" [Alias "alias"] [([arglist])]. The following code shows the effect of -netcf on a compilation.

    ' compile with: /target:library
    Module Module1
        ' valid with or without /netcf
        Declare Sub DllSub Lib "SomeLib.dll" ()
        ' not valid with /netcf
        Declare Auto Sub DllSub1 Lib "SomeLib.dll" ()
        Declare Ansi Sub DllSub2 Lib "SomeLib.dll" ()
        Declare Unicode Sub DllSub3 Lib "SomeLib.dll" ()
    End Module
  • Using Visual Basic 6.0 keywords that were removed from Visual Basic generates a different error when -netcf is used. This affects the error messages for the following keywords:

    • Open

    • Close

    • Put

    • Print

    • Write

    • Input

    • Lock

    • Unlock

    • Seek

    • Width

    • Name

    • FreeFile

    • EOF

    • Loc

    • LOF

    • Line


The following code compiles Myfile.vb with the .NET Compact Framework, using the versions of mscorlib.dll and Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll found in the default installation directory of the .NET Compact Framework on the C drive. Typically, you would use the most recent version of the .NET Compact Framework.

vbc -netcf -sdkpath:"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio .NET 2003\CompactFrameworkSDK\v1.0.5000\Windows CE " myfile.vb

See also