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Upgrading Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to Microsoft Visual Basic .NET
by Ed Robinson, Robert Ian Oliver, Michael Bond, and Ian Oliver
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Ideal for any project manager or developer working in Visual Basic, Upgrading Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to Microsoft Visual Basic .NET delivers an admirably lucid and valuable guide to porting legacy VB code to the new .NET framework. This book offers some indispensable advice on making this transition go smoothly.
The text is notable for its clear-sighted presentation style, useful for both project managers (who must plan when to upgrade code) and working VB developers (who must cope with a host of new APIs and language changes in VB .NET). The authors first establish the reasons why Microsoft chose to break literally millions of lines of code with the new .NET. They explore old and new VB languages and pay attention to features that have been dropped in the new version.
The heart of this text examines the Visual Basic .NET Upgrade Wizard in excellent detail, starting with a simple VB6 project upgraded to VB .NET. As the authors suggest, the wizard handles 95 percent of the port to .NET for your VB code. Much of the text explains what do about the remaining 5 percent of features that don't make the cut. One standout chapter here looks at which VB6 systems to upgrade first. (Not every legacy system will need to be upgraded, the authors prudently observe.) Another valuable section examines the "errors, warnings and issues" generated by the upgrade wizard, with specific suggestions on how to rewrite code that isn't translated automatically.
Later chapters look at specific areas of .NET that can "add value" to your projects, including the advantages of ADO.NET and Windows Forms versus the older ADO and ActiveX standards. There's plenty of useful advice for getting the old and new VB to interoperate, too, notably using ActiveX, COM, and COM+ controls within .NET (a perfectly acceptable strategy). Final reference sections list changes between VB6 and VB .NET, highlighting which language features are no longer supported.
Sanctioned by Microsoft Press, this title gives you the proverbial inside track on upgrading VB6 to VB .NET in an admirably well-organized text that's filled with practical advice. With millions of VB developers out there facing .NET for the first time, this title provides a worthy resource for moving old code into the future as smoothly and as cheaply as possible. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Overview of upgrade issues between Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET (why Microsoft broke compatibility), advantages of VB .NET, the .NET Framework versus ActiveX compared; overview of the Visual Studio .NET IDE, language differences between VB6 and VB .NET (including obsolete language elements), planning for upgrades (guidelines for project managers, prioritizing project upgrades), best practices for writing VB6 code that ports well; a sample VB6 project upgraded to .NET, comprehensive guide to the VB .NET Upgrade Wizard (plus the VB snippet wizard and command-line tool), debugging and troubleshooting in the VS .NET IDE (including the System.Diagnostics library), detailed guide on upgrading specific VB6 features (including controls, ActiveX, and database APIs); comprehensive guide to errors and warning messages, overcoming specific upgrade issues, guide to COM and .NET interoperability, 10 common upgrade problems explained; hints for overcoming language issues (including using Windows APIs in .NET), forms in VB6 versus VB .NET, using ActiveX components in .NET, ADO.NET database programming (including bound controls), redesign issues (rewriting OLE containers, paint, and clipboard code); upgrading COM+ components, upgrading VBA wizard projects, adding value to software with .NET features (new file and directory APIs, using the registry and Windows XP controls), xcopy deployment, guidelines for upgrading ADO and ADO.NET code, upgrading distributed code to Web services, and reference to VB6 in VB .NET changes.
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