How to declare a fixed-length string in VB.NET?

Use the VBFixedString attribute. See the MSDN info here

<VBFixedString(256)>Dim strBuff As String

It depends on what you intend to use the string for. If you are using it for file input and output, you might want to use a byte array to avoid encoding problems. In vb.net, A 256-character string may be more than 256 bytes.

Dim strBuff(256) as byte

You can use encoding to transfer from bytes to a string

Dim s As String
Dim b(256) As Byte
Dim enc As New System.Text.UTF8Encoding
...
s = enc.GetString(b)

You can assign 256 single-byte characters to a string if you need to use it to receive data, but the parameter passing may be different in vb.net than vb6.

s = New String(" ", 256)

Also, you can use vbFixedString. I'm not sure exactly what this does, however, because when you assign a string of different length to a variable declared this way, it becomes the new length.

<VBFixedString(6)> Public s As String
s = "1234567890" ' len(s) is now 10

To write this VB 6 code:

Dim strBuff As String * 256

In VB.Net you can use something like:

Dim strBuff(256) As Char

Use stringbuilder

'Declaration   
Dim S As New System.Text.StringBuilder(256, 256)
'Adding text
S.append("abc")
'Reading text
S.tostring

You can use Microsoft.VisualBasic.Compatibility:

Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic.Compatibility

Dim strBuff As New VB6.FixedLengthString(256)

But it's marked as obsolete and specifically not supported for 64-bit processes, so write your own that replicates the functionality, which is to truncate on setting long values and padding right with spaces for short values. It also sets an "uninitialised" value, like above, to nulls.

Sample code from LinqPad (which I can't get to allow Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic.Compatibility I think because it is marked obsolete, but I have no proof of that):

Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic.Compatibility

Dim U As New VB6.FixedLengthString(5)
Dim S As New VB6.FixedLengthString(5, "Test")
Dim L As New VB6.FixedLengthString(5, "Testing")
Dim p0 As Func(Of String, String) = Function(st) """" & st.Replace(ChrW(0), "\0") & """"
p0(U.Value).Dump()
p0(S.Value).Dump()
p0(L.Value).Dump()
U.Value = "Test"
p0(U.Value).Dump()
U.Value = "Testing"
p0(U.Value).Dump()

which has this output:

"\0\0\0\0\0"
"Test "
"Testi"
"Test "
"Testi"

This object can be defined as a structure with one constructor and two properties.

Public Structure FixedLengthString
     Dim mValue As String
     Dim mSize As Short

     Public Sub New(Size As Integer)
         mSize = Size
         mValue = New String(" ", mSize)
     End Sub

     Public Property Value As String
         Get
             Value = mValue
         End Get

         Set(value As String)
             If value.Length < mSize Then
                 mValue = value & New String(" ", mSize - value.Length)
             Else
                 mValue = value.Substring(0, mSize)
             End If
         End Set
     End Property
 End Structure

https://jdiazo.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/getting-rid-of-vb6-compatibility-references/

Try this:

    Dim strbuf As New String("A", 80)

Creates a 80 character string filled with "AAA...."'s

Here I read a 80 character string from a binary file:

    FileGet(1,strbuf)

reads 80 characters into strbuf...

Have you tried

Dim strBuff as String

Also see Working with Strings in .NET using VB.NET

This tutorial explains how to represent strings in .NET using VB.NET and how to work with them with the help of .NET class library classes.

ByongSub
Dim a as string

a = ...

If a.length > theLength then

     a = Mid(a, 1, theLength)

End If

This hasn't been fully tested, but here's a class to solve this problem:

''' <summary>
''' Represents a <see cref="String" /> with a minimum
''' and maximum length.
''' </summary>
Public Class BoundedString

    Private mstrValue As String

    ''' <summary>
    ''' The contents of this <see cref="BoundedString" />
    ''' </summary>
    Public Property Value() As String
        Get
            Return mstrValue
        End Get

        Set(value As String)
            If value.Length < MinLength Then
                Throw New ArgumentException(String.Format("Provided string {0} of length {1} contains less " &
                                                          "characters than the minimum allowed length {2}.",
                                                          value, value.Length, MinLength))
            End If

            If value.Length > MaxLength Then
                Throw New ArgumentException(String.Format("Provided string {0} of length {1} contains more " &
                                                          "characters than the maximum allowed length {2}.",
                                                          value, value.Length, MaxLength))
            End If

            If Not AllowNull AndAlso value Is Nothing Then
                Throw New ArgumentNullException(String.Format("Provided string {0} is null, and null values " &
                                                              "are not allowed.", value))
            End If

            mstrValue = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Private mintMinLength As Integer
    ''' <summary>
    ''' The minimum number of characters in this <see cref="BoundedString" />.
    ''' </summary>
    Public Property MinLength() As Integer
        Get
            Return mintMinLength
        End Get

        Private Set(value As Integer)
            mintMinLength = value
        End Set

    End Property

    Private mintMaxLength As Integer
    ''' <summary>
    ''' The maximum number of characters in this <see cref="BoundedString" />.
    ''' </summary>
    Public Property MaxLength As Integer
        Get
            Return mintMaxLength
        End Get

        Private Set(value As Integer)
            mintMaxLength = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Private mblnAllowNull As Boolean
    ''' <summary>
    ''' Whether or not this <see cref="BoundedString" /> can represent a null value.
    ''' </summary>
    Public Property AllowNull As Boolean
        Get
            Return mblnAllowNull
        End Get

        Private Set(value As Boolean)
            mblnAllowNull = value
        End Set
    End Property

    Public Sub New(ByVal strValue As String,
                   ByVal intMaxLength As Integer)
        MinLength = 0
        MaxLength = intMaxLength
        AllowNull = False

        Value = strValue
    End Sub

    Public Sub New(ByVal strValue As String,
                   ByVal intMinLength As Integer,
                   ByVal intMaxLength As Integer)
        MinLength = intMinLength
        MaxLength = intMaxLength
        AllowNull = False

        Value = strValue
    End Sub

    Public Sub New(ByVal strValue As String,
                   ByVal intMinLength As Integer,
                   ByVal intMaxLength As Integer,
                   ByVal blnAllowNull As Boolean)
        MinLength = intMinLength
        MaxLength = intMaxLength
        AllowNull = blnAllowNull

        Value = strValue
    End Sub
End Class