By Imran Salahuddin | January 20th, 2015 |
Microsoft stopped supporting VB 6 language a while ago and now only provides a small bit of assistance. For instance, there’s the upgrade forum where you can ask questions, but without doubt, you will have to abandon VB6 someday. It’s better to plan for a VB6 migration to .NET now than to be forced to do it in the emergency mode before it’s too late.
But for now, you do have choices
1. Your business can continue running its VB6 programs and even develop using VB6 on even the latest version of Windows. (If you can find a VB6 system.) Just beware that there won’t be any new fixes or support coming your way from Microsoft and the resources to help are dwindling.
2. There are a number of commercial VB6 to .NET migration methods available. Everyone wants to use the fastest, easiest, and highest quality conversion tool. We evaluated a number of them. The main commercial competitors are ArtinSoft and VB Migration Partner. ArtinSoft prices their product by lines of code while VB Migration Partners won’t quote a fixed price; they like to give you a bid after looking at your project. The problem with both is the fact that neither will support maintenance nor staff training.
3. You can redevelop your software internally, using your own business’ resources and expertise, however, this will pull staff away from their normal responsibilities and may require retraining in new technologies to the point where they are comfortable redeveloping applications. If you do decide to undertake a VB6 to .NET migration, I suggest that you plan to accomplish it in two steps if you only use Microsoft products. It is my experience that straight conversion projects of complex VB6 systems usually run into a wall after the easy part is done. The differences between the two environments are just too great.
4. You can outsource to a reputable team with experience migrating to the .NET framework. Just make sure that they are fully qualified to work with both VB code and the .NET environment, can provide a written plan of approach, and can provide support once the project is completed.
So, while Microsoft no longer supports VB6, they have invested significantly in .NET and you can be sure that this technology can sustain your business applications for a very long time. However, as I mentioned above, eventually, you will need to move away from VB6 and it is better to plan to do so on your own terms than to have to do so out of necessity or emergency.
Thinking of upgrading? Watch my video blog on the MigrateTo.NET website first!