The Visual Basic Upgrade Guide produced by the Patterns and Practices group at Microsoft and authored mainly by ArtinSoft consultants can now be downloaded in its integraf form from GOTDOTNET (http://www.gotdotnet.com/codegallery/directory.aspx enter the VB6 to VB.NET migration guide gallery).
You can also download the Visual Basic Assessment tool that will help you understand the effort required in a migration and it will also help you with the planning of a migration project.
I'd like to hear your comments. Is this new tool/guidance useful? Are you looking at migration projects with a different perspective?
Early feedback is very encouraging!
A picture from my backyard!
Episode 2 of the VB6 to VB.NET Cast is now ready and published at DDJ. Here are the links:
.NET Cast Site
Episode 2 MP3
The following is an extract of an announcement that went public yesterday. It shows again the momentum around migrations. I am currently at PDC in Los Angeles and talking to ISVs, that are current VBA licensees, about how to approach the transition to the new technology. They all seem to like the automated migration approach in which they provide their customers with tools to help automate the process. What do you think? Let me know, let's explore the issue...
“ VSTA consists of an IDE used by ISVs to build VSTA support into an object model they can expose in their application, a runtime engine, and an end-user IDE which communicates with the object model. It includes a software development kit (SDK) for integrating a customer interface object model into the ISV application and an end-user IDE incorporating VB .NET and C#. The application then uses the .NET Framework Common Language Runtime (CLR) for development and production.
Recently, the level of investment made by VBA partners in their .NET applications has increased considerably. Many will decide to integrate VSTA into their existing VBA-enabled products and that, in turn, will create a strong demand among their customers for the migration of their VBA code to the .NET Framework.
ArtinSoft now provides its migration technology and expertise to ISVs who have integrated Microsoft VBA into their products and choose to integrate VSTA into their .NET applications. We have designed this new solution to meet the migration needs of VBA partners worldwide. The core of the solution is a recasting of the ArtinSoft VB Upgrade Companion in order to process VBA projects effectively and then efficiently convert them into fully natural VSTA solutions through the migration and restructuring of their original code. Summit Software , which has supported hundreds of VBA partners since 1996, has provided invaluable input into the design of our new solution. We are currently working closely with Summit to deliver this support program to the VBA community. “
This is the third article in the series. The first one focused on the differences between VBA and VSTO, the second Article showed how to migrate a VBA application and obtain functional equivalence on VSTO.
This third article shows you how to maximize the return of the migration by incorporating new .NET features:
We have at Artinsoft performed migrations for several years, enabling clients to preserve the value of their applications. In the last months it has been interesting to help clients evolve their applications applying an interesting new concept: SOA.
Service Oriented Architecture is not just a buzzword, it is a methology that empowers bussiness by teaching them to focus in goals instead of means. Migrate a legacy application to a SOA architecture is more valueble because it allows an incremental aproach and provides means to get an immediate return on investment.
Another pointer to valuable resources that can show you how to expand the life of your VB6 code while learning about VB.NET 2005.
Experience firsthand the latest advances in Visual Basic 2005. Brian A. Randell, a senior consultant with MCW Technologies and a Visual Basic MVP, will demonstrate how to create smart client applications that understand when they're connected to the network and when they're not; how to deploy these smart clients with just a click of your mouse; how you can make a smooth transition from Visual Basic 6.0; and much more.
The Patterns and Practices group at Microsoft is working on a VB6 to VB.NET Migration Guide. This guide is “ the bible” of VB migrations and it contains a lot of best practices around how to move applications. I definetely recommend you visit this site to get early access to the guide. ArtinSoft is writing most of the content in the guide so, as always, feedback is highly appreciated!!!
Here is another article that shows how to do migrations of VBA code for Office to .NET and VSTO (Visual Studio Tools for Office). I highly recommend reading the article:
This is another proof point around the viability of automated Visual Basic Migrations.
During Tech Ed in Orlando next week there will be a session on migrating VB6 to VB.NET. If you are going to Tech Ed and reading this BLOG you will probably find it very interesting. Details can be found here: http://weblogs.asp.net/kpleas/archive/2005/06/01/410028.aspx Tuesday night from 6:30 to 7:30
Consider this hypothetical question posed to a career advisor:
I've been working with Visual Basic on application development at a company that is considering a migration to .NET. The new IT environment involves Web-enabled applications. Do you have suggestions to help me take advantage of this transition? - Thrilled VB Developer
Managers need to understand the challenges of migrating applications when they're changing their businesses environments. Right now, your value lies in being a bridge to the new entity, helping in the task of migrating applications and moving the data from one entity to another.
Your knowledge of the original code, plus your understanding of the business logic and business processes of your current company, are the skills that will probably help you climb the job ladder and give you some breathing room to learn new technologies. Once you understand how the older technologies map to the new ones, you could be quite helpful, not just to your company but to other companies and government entities involved in similar projects.
From the developer's perspective it makes a lot of sense to embrace Visual Basic .NET while still leveraging as much as possible the value embedded in the application written in Visual Basic 6.
Jay Roxe is the VB Product Manager at Microsoft. He also has at his heart the topic of Visual Basic Migrations. Check out his BLOG to see what I mean! http://blogs.msdn.com/JRoxe/
A related topic around Visual Basic 6.0 migration is the migration of VBA code. This article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/office/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/odc_vsto2005_ta/html/OfficeVSTOLanguageMigrationFromVBA.asp refers to the low level approach of VBA migrations for Microsoft Office. This article is relevant to the topic of this blog because VBA code is essentially Visual Basic code with a special Object Model to access Office elements. Most of the strategies around VB migrations can be applied to the migration of VBA. Soon there will be 2 other articles that will go into more high level details around the VBA application migration.
Again, more support to destroy the Myths around VB Migrations!
Let's comment it!
I recommend the following article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/appmigrationstrat.asp. It contains a holistic view around Visual Basic migrations and how to approach the migration task. Please read it and let's comment it here!
Well, x64 Windows XP and Server 2K3 versions have long been awaited and they are finally here. Two days ago, at the WinHec convention, Bill Gates introduced these two versions into the Windows OS family. Now we only need Whidbey and Yukon on 64-bit and the rest will follow. You can watch a webcast at the following url:
I received the feedback forms from the Paris event a while back and noticed the comments from Gilles Vollant
in which he suggested we touched a bit more on the 64-bit alignment issues.
After exchanging mails back and forth a bit, it seems that it is possible enable x64 exceptions on an x64 machines (by default, these machines handle the exceptions in-hardware and only suffer a performance hit). Why on Earth would you like to change this? Well, if you are a developer writing software for 64-bit systems and would like to rid your software of alignment faults, it would be quite difficult to do so without knowing where/when they occur.
Here is an excellent article Gilles Vollant
wrote about alignment on both architectures:
I have not yet tested this and once I get my hands on some machines next week at the Canada event next week, I’ll investigate some more and post any issues I may find.
"Do not sleep during the day, that will only make your jetlag worse!". That's what I've been told numerous times - I wished I had given attention to the advice. It is now midnight here in Copenhagen, a day prior to the event and I am nowhere close to falling asleep.
So I thought I should make something productive and that will quickly send me to bed, which is why I am going to talk about imaging an x64 workstation.
Many, if not all, imaging programs out there will not work under Windows-64 bit at the time of this writing. We have booted from floppies that used Drive Image in DOS mode in the past, but this method is super slow and I personally have something against floppies – no one should use them anymore!
In order to automate the imaging process for our workstations, I decided to install a secondary OS on these images – Windows-32 bit. Once this was done, I used Macro Express to automate the restoring procedure with Drive Image once the machine was booted in 32-bit mode. The process takes now 5 minutes (vs. the 60 that it took before) and requires no floppies.
Some may ask why not use TrueImage or Ghost instead of the discontinued Powerquest Drive Image. It’s just a matter of preference – I have found Drive Image’s installation and usage a lot simpler than its competitors. Feel free to use your personal image restoring procedure, your outcome should work just the same.
It really takes no culinary experience to discern what the following ingredients are a recipe for:
-24 Missing Power Cords
-1 Faulty Projector
-26 Missing Booklets
-2 Tons of Stress (1 per presenter)
It certainly sounds like a perfect recipe for disaster. The first day at Paris has been the most stressful – no doubt about it. It would seem that with the aforementioned ingredients, we would be destined to fail miserably, but thanks to very hard work and support from a lot of people, we managed to find solutions for every one of the problems we faced in the time required. .
Au contraire to most events, we had a Microsoft speaker who has been involved with Route64
for some time – Christophe Lauer
. Mark from HP and Laurent from Intel (who kindly helped us with power cable issues) followed with their respective keynotes that presented the HP offers and information on Intel’s commitment to their customers who are porting to 64-bit.
The C++ was of particular interest to the presenters. Even Gilles Vollant
(Microsoft C++ MVP) mentioned that had learned quite a bit, specifically in the alignment/padding section. Many people were interested with VAS and had a plethora of questions which were correctly addressed.
It seems as in every event there is something unique - in the case of Paris, it was the fact that the hotel almost burned down - and no, our machines were not the ones responsible :) The fire alarm went off during the last day at 3:00 p.m; it seems a room on the third floor was on fire. Firemen came over to the Marriot at Champs Elysee and managed to put the situation under control. Make sure you check out the Paris gallery to see the pics of the firetruck in front of the Marriot, quite an unusual site!
Two weeks ago we had the great opportunity of flying across the Atlantic and head out to London for the 3rd Route64
event. We flew on a Sunday and arrived Monday completely jet-lagged. The people from WinGear
had some issues finding power cables for the 24 machines that we needed for the event. Fortunately for us, the people at Microsoft Chertsey
had plenty of spare ones and made our life a lot easier.
We were astonished on how punctual the English lads are - some were waiting at the venue 1.5 hours before the event started! The Microsoft Chertsey
training center was amazing. We had three projectors that simultaneously displayed our presentations – this made it possible for all attendees to have a perfect view of what was going on. The projection system was created by Barco
Designs, which coincidentally had sent one of its employees to the Route64
event. He had most of his code ported and reached brick wall when he found that he did not have some required libraries for his project.
Overall, the labs went extremely well. We received great comments such as “information provided was clean and concise” to “well structured examples with enough ideas and examples for relative novices to grasp the fundamentals of porting 32-bit to 64-bit. Thanks!” We really enjoy receiving positive feedback at the events, it makes everything worthwhile. Make sure you check out the London Gallery Section of pictures of the event!