Why upgrade from VB6 to .NET – Part 1: Compelling reasons to migrate

7. August 2007 11:42 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)
One of ArtinSoft’s most recent customers performed a thorough analysis around upgrading all their critical Visual Basic 6.0 and ASP applications, accounting for about 5 millions of lines of code, to C# and ASP.NET 2.0. End of Life for Visual Basic 6.0 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) played a big role on their decision. The end of extended support for VB 6.0 in March 31, 2008 means that there will not be access to new technologies that allow to take full advantage of the company’s hardware investment, and that the business will find it hard to react to market changes. Plus their own corporate IT management policies state that all business areas should only use software and operative systems supported by an approved provider and have an appropriate patch/upgrade configuration mechanism.

A migration aligns with the corporate strategies in many ways. Business wise, they highly value any investment in initiatives that contribute to improve customer royalty, increase employee productivity and reduce costs, and it was estimated that improving system performance will increase user productivity between 0.04 – 0.05%. And regarding their systems, they look forward to minimizing the learning curve and required trainings, procuring an extensible and easy-maintainable code base, and maintain knowledge through the preservation of business rules, comments and cross references.

But why chose ArtinSoft’s VB to .NET automated conversion solutions and Microsoft’s .NET as the target platform? Well, they listed several reasons.

I’m not going to evangelize on the benefits of .NET, but I would like to mention a couple of our customer’s motivations. The .NET platform is the base of a complete strategy that integrates all Microsoft’s products, from the OS to market applications. It is a response to a growing market of web-based business processes. On the long run, it seems that Microsoft intention is to replace API Win32 or Windows API with the .NET platform. This could be because their lack of detailed documentation, uniformity and cohesion between its components, causing issues when developing Windows-based applications. .NET addresses most of these issues by providing a single, easily extensible group of interconnected blocks that eases the development of robust applications. In general, the .NET framework has a lot of advantages for increasing productivity.

On the other hand, they chose ArtinSoft’s solution basically because it proved to have a much lower risk and overall cost than other alternatives. They’ve been developing most of their applications since 1990, and an automated migration allows preserving all the business rules that exist in a core-business application.

On my next post I’m going to provide more details about the expected benefits for this specific migration project.