# Nothing and Strings in Visual Basic

The Visual Basic runtime and the .NET Framework evaluate Nothing differently when it comes to strings.

## Visual Basic Runtime and the .NET Framework

Consider the following example:

    Dim MyString As String = "This is my string"
Dim stringLength As Integer

' Explicitly set the string to Nothing.
MyString = Nothing

' stringLength = 0
stringLength = Len(MyString)

' This line, however, causes an exception to be thrown.
stringLength = MyString.Length


The Visual Basic runtime usually evaluates Nothing as an empty string (""). The .NET Framework does not, however, and throws an exception whenever an attempt is made to perform a string operation on Nothing.