The VB.NET versus C# decision process

18. December 2009 08:27 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

 A while ago I wrote about the decision that many people face when starting to consider a migration from Visual Basic 6.0 to the .NET platform: choosing the target language, mainly between VB.NET and C#. Today I found a great post by John Fuex on that subject, not inciting the war between both trenches but instead describing the process he and his company went through to solve the C# versus .NET dilemma. He basically used the following criteria to qualify each language: Functionality, Learning Curve, Existing Code, Developer Preferences, “Street Cred” (for both the developers and products), and Recruiting. But in the end it reinforces the notion that there’s not a standard solution, so the selection should always be made case by case.

You can read the whole post here.

5 myth-busting reasons for choosing an automatic migration against a manual rewrite

13. October 2009 10:22 by enassar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

There are still many myths out there surrounding software migrations. Through all the years we have found not only that many people still ignore that there are automatic migration tools available, but some believe that automation is just more trouble than it’s worth, and that, besides, it is just plain better to start from scratch. To concur with this idea is, for starters, to simply devalue all of the effort and thought that was put into developing the application, therefore willing to risk years of business knowledge embedded in these systems.

In any case, the truth is that a rewrite from scratch implies a much more difficult task, but due to these misconceptions, valuable resources are wasted in projects that sometimes just never get to see a successful ending. There’s no doubt that any software renewal project isn’t a simple, overnight task, but a well-planned automated migration can make the process comparatively painless. So once you learn about the availability of advanced migration technologies that allow generating code of a superior quality, with a much lower project cost, time and risk, you will definitely agree that using automated migration tools as part of an overall software renewal initiative is the most viable way to leverage the current investment in legacy applications and move them to the latest platforms.

With that in mind I just wrote a white paper highlighting the main myth-debunking reasons why an automatic migration is a far better software modernization approach than a manual rewrite, based not only on ArtinSoft’s own experience in migration projects but on all the customer and industry analyst feedback and evidence gathered over the years.

So click on the link and read or download for free the “5 myth-busting reasons for choosing an automatic migration vs. a manual rewrite” white paper.

Upcoming Webcast on VB 6 and Windows 7 Compatibility Alternatives

21. September 2009 10:23 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Last month we delivered a webcast around the different options to get applications originally developed in Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 running on the Windows 7 operating system. It also covered some of the business reasons for getting applications to work with Windows 7 and the benefits provided by that operating system and the .NET Framework. We did this with Microsoft Latinamerica, so it was in Spanish, but many people asked for an English version of the presentation. Hence, we partnered again with Microsoft to develop a similar webcast entitled “Visual Basic 6 and Windows 7: Alternatives for Application Compatibility”, scheduled for Thursday, October 15, 2009 1:00 PM Pacific Time. This live event is part of Microsoft’s “Momentum” initiative, which is designed for growing and mid-sized organizations and provides expert advice, tips, and techniques to align IT with your strategy and drive your business forward.

Register for this free VB6 / Windows 7 compatibility webcast

Leading ISV for the Insurance sector saves time and money and ensures high quality, 100% .NET code by licensing the VBUC

8. September 2009 06:33 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Recently, one of customers in the UK, an Independent Software Vendor with headquarters in Bristol, told us that they managed to save about 14 man/months by using ArtinSoft’s VB to .NET tool to migrate their flagship application, comprised by 59 VB6 projects and a total of more than 550,000 lines of code.


We are talking about a critical, comprehensive processing platform used by insurers, managing agents, third party administrators and business process outsourcers, with installations in the UK, Ireland, USA, Middle East, Far East, China and Africa, and Activus really needed to ensure compliance for these customers in the international health insurance sector.


There were definitely some time constraints, plus the value and complexity of the business logic embedded in the application didn’t favor a manual rewrite. So they licensed the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion and performed the migration in-house, and managed to maintain the current application’s architecture while moving the visual controls to .NET native controls. Additionally, coding patterns were consolidated, and data access models (ADO) were upgraded to ADO.NET.


In the end, Activus not only was able to cut down the migration time substantially, but the benefits of the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion went beyond time and cost reductions: the resulting code was far superior from the one generated by other migration tools. As Chris Routleff-Jones, Solution Architect at Activus puts it:  “We found the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion to be a very powerful, easy to use migration product. Not only did it speed up the conversion process, allowing us to save time and money, but we ended up with high quality, 100% native .NET code. In fact, we were particularly impressed by the VBUC’s ability to analyze the code and detect patterns that are upgraded to .NET-like, native structures, making the output fully readable and maintainable”.


Read the complete Activus VB to .NET migration case study


Italian ISV licenses the VBUC to quickly and cost-effectively migrate their flagship software suite

5. August 2009 08:35 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Using ArtinSoft’s powerful VB to .NET migration tool to convert their 3,000,000 lines of code Sistema Professionista to VB.NET, Wolters Kluwer Italia saved 2 years of work, while increasing developer productivity and ensuring continued application evolution.


Based in Milan, Italy, IPSOA is part of Wolters Kluwer, a leading global information services and publishing company. Their Accounting/Fiscal client/server system was a suite of applications developed in Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 that required deployment on a per-customer basis, using an installer for each workstation. IPSOA required a more sophisticated deployment approach for its thousands of clients, plus ensuring continued support from Microsoft and application evolution while maintaining the current architecture, so they licensed ArtinSoft’s Visual Basic Upgrade Companion to migrate the flagship application to VB.NET. ArtinSoft’s VB to .NET migration product was able to comply with very explicit requirements, like using COM Interoperability to interact with the libraries and controls used in the original system, mapping of the Datafield property of some controls to a new generated class, precise solutions for the conversion of the Recordset Source Property, While statement, Redim and Control Arrays, and implementing support for additional third-party controls


Through a phased upgrade approach recommended by ArtinSoft, the customer was able to reduce even further the risk and amount of allocated resources on the migration project, while keeping in parallel the development and maintenance of the VB 6.0 code. Overall, the migration to the .NET platform will strengthen the technological advantage over competing products and will open the possibilities for quick application enhancement, with highly increased developer productivity.


As Roberto Fusè, lead resource at IPSOA for the VB migration project said, ArtinSoft is a qualified company that has made of the intelligent automation one of its prerogatives of core business. By using the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion, IPSOA was able to save 2 years of work, receiving from ArtinSoft’s the support necessary to customize the tool, which allowed the evolution of the product using the features of Microsoft’s .NET Framework and the new development tools”.


Read the complete Wolters Kluwer Italia VB to .NET migration case study.

Webcast: Reasons to Migrate Visual Basic 6 to .NET and Migration Options

24. July 2009 06:11 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We have partnered with Microsoft to deliver another VB6 to .NET migration webcast next Tuesday, August 04, 2009 at 11:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada). Presented by Esteban Brenes, Migration Specialist at ArtinSoft, this 1-hour live presentation addresses concerns about the termination of all development support for Visual Basic 6 and other business and technical drivers, providing a detailed explanation on how to move ahead while preserving the capital invested in applications in the most cost-effective way.

Register now for this free VB migration webcast

New VB6 and ASP Assessment Tool

16. July 2009 05:16 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We’ve just released a new VB6 and ASP Assessment Tool, which analyzes Visual Basic 6.0 and ASP projects in order to obtain an inventory of the code, components and their relationships. It generates a group of HTML and Excel reports that can be used as the basis for further calculations related to the effort and cost of converting the application to Visual Basic .NET, C#, and ASP.NET. The tool is free to download, very simple to install and run, and you can use the results to obtain a quick ballpark for a turn-key project performed by ArtinSoft or find out how much will a license of our Visual Basic Upgrade Companion will cost  (use the number of code plus design lines in both cases).

Successfully handling a complex, highly-sensitive migration project – The Banamex/Citigroup case study

27. February 2009 06:10 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

A while ago, I blogged on the benefits of migrating from VB to .NET, based on an analysis that one of our customers did before engaging in the upgrade process. They had about 124 applications, for a total of more than 5 million lines of VB6 and ASP code that needed to be migrated to C# and ASP.NET to comply with corporate policies, while they expected more than US$40M of accumulated benefits in 5 years as a result of this investment.


Well, the migration was completed some time ago, and they’ve been including several other applications during the process, and we’ve just released the case study for the original engagement. The customer is Banamex, a leading Mexican bank, part of Citigroup, and the project implied an unparalleled methodology for collaboration between customer and provider teams, taking into account that Citigroup’s information security policies required to establish an appropriate mechanism for protection of sensitive data. Not to mention extremely tight deadlines!


The business logic and functionality had to remain intact, and dependencies with non-authorized providers, like proprietary runtimes, were just out of the question, and using ArtinSoft’s Visual Basic Upgrade Companion allowed reaching 100% functional equivalence on time and on budget. You can read the complete Banamex/Citigroup case study here.

How an ISV saved more than 3 years and $300,000 migrating from VB6 to VB.NET

17. February 2009 05:19 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We’ve just released a new case study that shows how one of our customers saved lots of time and money by using our Visual Basic Upgrade Companion tool to migrate its flagship application from VB to .NET. Based in South Africa, MDA Property Systems provides software solutions to the real state sector. Its MDA Property Manager application is a comprehensive package for rent collection, lease management, facilities management, integrated property accounting and asset management, employed by more than 1800 users across 250 companies. With more than 600,000 lines of VB6 code it encapsulated decades of business knowledge, so MDA licensed our tool to perform the conversion to VB.NET with minimal risk and using their own internal resources, after discarding a manual rewrite and the Upgrade Wizard


Also, it was very important for MDA to use the newest technology instead of just being able to run Visual Basic 6 style code inside the .NET Environment, and using ArtinSoft’s Visual Basic Upgrade Companion guaranteed that they will be getting native .NET code, without any ties to third-party runtimes. RDO was transformed to ADO.NET, third party controls were converted to native .Net controls, Component One’s True DB grid was upgraded to the latest version of that component, and coding standards that were common place when developing in Visual Basic 6.0 were also migrated to equivalents in VB.NET. It allowed MDA to save on valuable resources: total savings for this project were more than 3 years of development time and US$300,000, and they are now ready to start taking advantage of compelling new features that will extend the technological life of its product.


Read the complete MDA case study here

VB to .NET migration campaign in the UK

26. January 2009 11:31 by enassar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Starting tomorrow January 27th we will be engaging with Microsoft on a campaign aimed towards helping companies and developers in the UK move their Visual Basic 6.0 applications to the .NET platform. This is not the first time we provide migration solutions in that territory, since we have lots of customers there already (you can read some of our case studies and references here), but this is the first occasion we join forces on a massive scale effort locally with 2 of our major partners: Microsoft and Avanade. ArtinSoft will be providing tools, resources and guidance, along with limited-time offers during this campaign. For example, we’ll have a 10% discount on licenses of our Visual Basic Upgrade Companion for the enterprise level, while launching the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion Developer Edition at a special introductory price of only £199. For those who require a turn-key solution, we have also partnered with Avanade to deliver the most comprehensive, cost-effective Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET migration solution. So if you are based in the UK and still have Visual Basic 6.0 investments that need to be leveraged, click here to learn more about this campaign, and contact us as soon as possible to take advantage of this unique opportunity.