It was great to see an announcement from Francesco Ballena today that his VB to VB.net conversion tool has finally hit the market. It’s at www.vbmigration.com and looks like the sort of tool that was needed when VB.NET was first released. It sure would have avoided a lot of angst in the community. I was particularly impressed by the quote at http://www.vbmigration.com/Blog/default.aspx. I’d have to say I could definitely relate to the sentiment expressed in it. Congratulations Francesco!
After 15 years of developing our application in VB3, VB4-16 bit and VB6, I was disappointed to discover that we could not move to VB.Net. Our application was too large to rewrite into the new syntax. In spite of edits made to follow the new rules, such as omitting the lower bound on Dim statements, the migration tool available ran for 5 hours and gave 1947 errors to fix; and that was just on our main application program. Using VB Migration Partner, we converted that same code to .Net in 9 minutes and had 3 compilation errors to fix, all having to do with a third-party OCX. After commenting out those lines, the application started up and ran just fine, displaying dialogs that invoke our VB6 COM servers to perform calculations and print reports. Amazing! We need to keep developing our code in VB6 for our current clients, but the batch processing and code-test-fix methodology will allow us to convert a changing code base without making the same changes twice, once in VB6 and again in VB.Net.