Let's migrate VB6 to .NET 5
by John Browne, on Nov 10, 2020 6:00:00 AM
How crazy has this month been, eh? Well, allow me to divert your attention for a few moments of respite.
Announcing VBUC for .NET 5
Today you can download the latest version of the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion and easily migrate old VB6 apps to C# using .NET 5 and Windows Forms. (Note: you can also migrate to .NET Core 3.1, .NET Framework 4.x, or VB.NET/Winforms also using the Framework).
We've also made it possible to include the helper files as nugets, instead of just source code. The nugets option keeps the output code package a little cleaner, and it also speeds up the migration time.
New with this version is a complete set of online documentation, which you can read here. Other enhancements are in the release notes, which is included with the install package.
What's .NET 5?
Until today, developers had to choose between using the .NET Framework (which only ran on Windows), or .NET Core, which is open source and cross-platform. .NET Core has been gathering steam as Microsoft and the community put more and more emphasis on developing it out into a fully-featured application development framework.
With .NET 5, the two different frameworks are merged into one, which is the only one going forward that will be developed. .NET Framework apps will continue to work on Windows, and you can keep developing using the .NET Framework, but (since the Framework is not open source) Microsoft won't be improving it, with the possible exception of fixing critical issues that may arise. I'm speculating here, but I can imagine that while they might fix a problem that surfaces with the crypto library, they won't be adding new features to handle future stuff like quantum cryptography. That would happen in the open source libraries.
New features and extensions will be destined for .NET Core, now renamed .NET 5 (or just .NET if you want, plus a version number).
.NET 5 is open source, and cross-platform, so you can develop a few kinds of apps that will run in a variety of platforms, including Windows, Linux, MacOS, iOS, Android, and more. That doesn't mean your old C#/Winforms app will run on WatchOS or even Linux, as there are no UI libraries to make that happen. But--and this is a big but--since .NET is heretofore open source, it isn't out of the realm of possibility. Things that CAN run today cross-platform are console apps and even ASP.NET Core server-side apps, which use web components like HTML and Angular for their user interface.
Our commitment to .NET 5
At Mobilize.Net, we're fully committed to .NET Core, now just known as .NET. We offered targeting for .NET Core 3.1 in VBUC 8.3 and are now targeting both it and .NET 5 in VBUC 9. Our WebMAP product line produces a server-side architecture with ASP.NET Core at the center (and HTML5 and Angular on the client side). With WebMAP, customers can efficiently modernize C# or VB.NET Winforms code, PowerBuilder, or ASP.NET Webforms directly to ASP.NET Core with a native web architecture. This allows developers to remove technical debt in the form of legacy codebases and get modern architectures built on modern tools, platforms, and libraries. We will always allow customers the ability to migrate from VB6 to .NET Framework if they choose, but what I hear in the field is that people want to stay current with Microsoft's latest and greatest.
Learn what to burn
If you're thinking about getting on the .NET 5 wagon, you can begin by building an inventory of all your legacy source code using our RapidScan tool. RapidScan counts lines of code, blanks, and comments for a long list of known programming languages and show you what it found. Check it out today.