I am one of the moderators of the JavaRanch forums. Here on JavaRanch, we have a naming policy. We want the users of JavaRanch to use a real-sounding name as their display name.
Unfortunately, your name "tuff time" does not comply to the naming policy. Your display name should consist of a real-sounding first name, space, and a second name. Not only a first name, no obviously fake nickname, no initials only for the second name.
Please read the naming policy carefully and change your display name. You can change your name by editing your profile.
Please note that we are taking the naming policy seriously. If you do not change your display name, your account on JavaRanch might be locked.
"interact" is vague enough to leave lots of choices.
The most seamless would be if VB made COM objects and Java talked to them. Java can't do that out of the box, but Google for "java com bridge" and you'll find lots of libraries, some free, some very expensive. JACOB is the only one I've tried but I never took it to production.
Java has a Java Native Interface API that lets you do bi-directional calls between Java and C/C++. I suppose you could generate the "native" side with other languages, but VB is probably too high level.
After that you could think about network protocols - raw sockets, HTTP, etc. Messaging with JMS on the Java side and something comparable on the VB side would work, too.
There's a small industry around integrating desktop applications. We looked at Jacada and EGlue and a couple others that can script robotic keyboard actions and screen scraping. That can be a cost effective way to reduce desktop navigation and duplicate entry.
Any of that sound useful?
A good question is never answered. It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of the idea. John Ciardi