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SOLIDWORKS API can be used in any COM-compatible language (i.e. C++, C#, VB.NET and Visual Basic). There are different types of applications which can be developed using the SOLIDWORKS API. Please refer the comparison table below for selecting the right type of the application which suits the requirements.
|Method||VBA Macros||Add-ins||VSTA Macros||Stand-Alones||Scripts||Comments|
|Easy to start||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Average time spent for a not experienced user to start a solution|
|Easy To Deploy||Yes||No||No (should be easy but in practice usually a lot of problems)||Yes||Yes||Time spent to make your software work on another machines|
|Protected Code||No (only password protection)||Yes (binaries)||Yes (binaries)||Yes (binaries)||No||A ways to IP protect your code|
|Scope of available Utility Libraries||No (only obsolete VB6 libraries)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Availability of utility functions for working with Databases, Files, XML etc.|
|Scope of available SolidWorks functions||Limited||Full||Limited||Limited||Limited||Some interfaces will only operate within the add-in such as the ones from SWPublished library|
|Reliability||No (usually the problems with missed libraries etc)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||How much the solution is reliable across the SoldiWorks versions and PC workstations.|
|Debugging||Easy (out of process)||Complicated (in-process). Slow to restart because requiring to restart add-in/SolidWorks||Complicated (in-process)||Easy (out of process)||No||For in-process applications it is not possible to see and change SolidWorks at runtime from UI.|
|Requirement of additional software||No||Development IDE required||No (Yes for SW 2018)||Development IDE required||No||Development IDE usually consist of code text editor and compiler (e.g Visual Studio, Eclipse, CBuilder etc.)|
|User Friendly for the beginners||Yes||No||No||No||No|