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Installing the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion

by John Browne, on May 3, 2013 3:55:00 PM

Perhaps because Windows 8 is pre-installed on most new desktops and laptops we're seeing a bit more confusion about how to install the VBUC. 

So I thought I'd either 1) contribute to the confusion or 2) try to clarify things a bit. My Fabulous Boss (FB) suggested #2 so here goes.

Prefers tennis balls to Visual Basic.VBUC requires both VB6 and .NET 4.0 to run. So this has created some questions by our trial users:

1. Do I install the VBUC on my old WinXP machine? If so, how do I get .NET 4.0 on it?

2. Do I install the VBUC on my new(er) Win7 or Win8 machine? If so, how do I get VB6 on it?

You can go either way. Depends on which machine you want to run the trial and/or the actual product on. 

You can install .NET 4.0 on your old XP machine, but it must be running XP SP3. You can learn more about that, and get the download link for the framework here. Once you've updated the .NET framework to version 4.0, you can install the VBUC and run it on that machine. 

If your workhorse computer is running Win 7 or Win 8, then you should be ok in the .NET version department but may be puzzled how to get VB6 to install and run. Here's a great description of how to get VB6 to install and run under Win7. I've got it running under Win8 and I believe that was the process I followed. (NB the directory where VB6 installs--at least on my machine--is under \Program Files (x86)\Visual Studio not \Program Files\Visual Studio. But it shouldn't be too hard to find.)

It should work fine, although I haven't exactly stressed it there. You may or may not get VB6 help to work (I didn't have the help files so it doesn't on my installation) but you can find everything you need on MSDN; just without the in-IDE context sensitive F1 mojo.

Another question that comes up from time to time is whether you have to have Visual Studio 2010 or 2012 installed on the same machine. The answer is no: VBUC creates a Visual Studio 2010 solution file (*.sln) and a bunch of upgraded files (either C# or VB.NET plus additional necessary files). That entire directory structure can be copied to a machine with Visual Studio 2010 or 2012 (VS 2012 will update the solution the first time it's loaded). 

The last question we see from time to time is whether, in the midst of a migration project, you can integrate new changes to the original VB6 app. This is not that uncommon on big apps that have on-going user requirements for mods and updates. The answer is yes, but the process is beyond the scope of this blog post so if you want to do this email us or call. Or fill out the "Talk to an Engineer" form and tell us what your problem is.

Topics:application migrationVBUC

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