Countdown to Extinction

25. January 2008 03:32 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

 .... and so we reached 2008. This may seem like any other "average" year - the price of gas keeps going up, everybody talks about global warming, and will be an election year in the US (so we have one more reason to stop watching TV). However, for a large group of IT departments around the world, 2008 is a BIG year. 2008 is the year when Microsoft officially kills support for Visual Basic 6.0.

It took a while, but as in Chronicle of a Death Foretold, everybody knew it was coming. Microsoft's Product Family Life-Cycle Guidelines for Visual Basic 6.0 details the different support stages VB has gone through:

Mainstream Phase
The Mainstream phase will be in effect for six years after the product's general availability date. Visual Basic 6.0 was generally available in January 1999. Mainstream support will end March 31, 2005.

Extended Phase
The Extended phase will be in effect from seven to nine years after the product's general availability date. Extended Phase support begins in April 2005 and ends March 2008.

Non-Supported Phase
Visual Basic 6.0 will no longer be supported starting March 2008.

If you are still using Visual Basic 6.0, however, there is no need to despair. According to the Support Statement for Visual Basic 6.0 on Windows Vista, the VB6 runtime will be supported in Vista for at least 10 more years (5 of mainstream support + 5 of extended support). The IDE, however, will be unsupported from April 8, 2008. And you will be missing all the new technology shipping with the .NET development tools - web services, WPF, managed code, etc. There is, however, an easier way to move away from VB6 quickly...

You can use the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion to move your application quickly and effectively from VB6 to either Visual Basic .NET or C#. Our experience in migration projects shows that by using the VBUC, you can drastically reduce the time it takes to move your application to the .NET Framework, reducing the risk vs. a complete rewrite, and keeping all your business rules, but in a modern platform that will allow you to use the latest technologies moving forward.

You can find more information on the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion here.