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.
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.
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.
for this free VB6 / Windows 7 compatibility webcast
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
the complete Activus VB to .NET migration case study
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
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”.
the complete Wolters Kluwer Italia VB to .NET migration case study.
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
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
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
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
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
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.