By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/23/2018
Posted: 6/11/2018
Topics/Keywords: #Computers #Organica #Programming #VB.NET Page Views: 145
How to get the current user account's info with VB.NET.

The next step in creating our File Explorer replacement (Organica) is to automatically move to the folder of the currently logged-in user.

But, wait—how can we find out where that is?

In fact, there's a lot of user account information to which we might like access. And that's what the ThisUser class will be for.

There are two primary sources in VB.NET for locating user account folders and information. The ThisUser class basically encapsulates both of them.

So, in our Organica project, add a new class module called "ThisUser" and enter the following code:

Creating the Class

The built-in WindowsIdentity class already encapsulates some pieces of the information we want.

Imports System.Text Imports System.Drawing Imports System.Runtime.InteropServices Imports System.Security.Principal Imports System.IO Public Class ThisUser Private i_Nickname As String Private Myself As WindowsIdentity Public Sub New() Myself = System.Security.Principal.WindowsIdentity.GetCurrent() i_Nickname = Myself.Name.ToString Dim i As Int16 i = i_Nickname .IndexOf("\") If i > 0 Then i_Nickname = i_Nickname .Substring(i + 1) End If Photo = Image.FromFile(GetPhotoPath()) End Sub Public ReadOnly Property Nickname As String Get Return i_Nickname End Get End Property End Class

The class' New() subroutine sets the WindowsIdentity object and then extracts the username from it. However, this username is the network username, which includes the computer's name. For example, on my development computer, my full username is "RENDERING\Paul". But this isn't quite what I want, because the name of the user (in this case, Paul) is all I need as long as I continue to hunt for folders on the same computer. So the piece of code that follows the assignment to i_Nickname strips off the computer identifier, leaving me with just "Paul".

The user Nickname cannot be changed by this app, so the internal property i_Nickname is exposed through the ReadOnly property code Nickname.

Accessing the User Photo

The Photo property is to return the photo the user has selected to represent themself. Now, this photo is the very devil to locate. Obviously the system knows where it is, to use it on the Windows menu and other places it appears. But the system seems to extract it as needed, and then places the bitmap in a temp folder in the hidden User\AppData folder.

Again, in my case, the file will be named "Paul.bmp". The following function will calculate and return the full pathname of the photo file.

Public ReadOnly Property PhotoPath As String Get Dim BasePath As String BasePath = Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.LocalApplicationData) & "\Temp\" Return BasePath & Nickname & ".bmp" End Get End Property

Which then makes it simple to return an actual image from the photo, in case we should need to do that.

Public ReadOnly Property Photo() As Image Get Return Image.FromFile(PhotoPath) End Get End Property

Testing the Class

The easiest way to test the class is to add an About box to the Organica app, and use it to display the information we've obtained. And to do that, we must add another button to the ToolStrip to make the About box appear.

Private Sub cmd_About_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles cmd_About.Click About.ShowDialog() End Sub

Then we can add a Windows Form, name it About, and place a PictureBox control and a Label control on it, as well as the obligatory OK button. The following code will make it work:

Public Class About Private Sub About_Load(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load Dim U As New ThisUser PictureBox1.Image = U.Photo Label1.Text = U.Nickname End Sub Private Sub cmd_OK_Click(sender As Object, e As EventArgs) Handles cmd_OK.Click Me.Close() End Sub End Class

Start the app and click the About button to see the result. (Your result should be your photo and name, not mine!)

User Profile Directory

Our last (for now) addition to the ThisUser class is to provide a read-only property that returns the official user directory. That's the folder under Users with your name. (Mine is "c:\Users\Paul".)

Public ReadOnly Property Directory() As String Get Return Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.UserProfile) End Get End Property