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Our main development tools are MS Access and .NET. But when we need classic dll's we work with PowerBasic.
PowerBasic is a language similar to Visual Basic, but it compiles to real dll's.
We have been working with PowerBasic on a large project. In this project, the calculationpart had to be used both in MS Access and in a C program. Also, dll's are very fast compared compared to VB.
Some interesting links:
First of all the site of PowerBasic itself. If you are looking for something about PB, I recommend starting on this page.
A program developed with PowerBasic, a dll or an exe, cannot access databases directly. To do so you need 'SQL Tools' of PerfectSync. It is a set routines to access an ODBC datasource. You can see 'SQL Tools' as a userfriendly interface to the ODBC API.