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  • Blog Post: Announcing gmStudio V9.85 for VB6/ASP/COM re-engineering

    Great Migrations has released gmStudio V9.85. gmStudio is a programmable VB6/ASP/COM re-engineering tool that enables an agile tool-assisted rewrite methodology and helps teams dramatically lower the total cost, risk, and disruption of ambitious migration projects without sacrificing quality, control...
  • Blog Post: ClickOnce and Security

    ClickOnce deployment is another area where Code Access Security needs to be kept in mind. ClickOnce deployments will often be used to deploy Visual Basic .NET (or hybrid Interop Toolkit) applications from a website or network file share. In these cases, the applications don't get the standard Full Trust...
  • Blog Post: Introducing code obfuscation

    If you recall from an earlier post, I said that the main reason for signing an assembly and giving it a strong name was to prevent it being tampered with. For example, many of the assemblies that make up the .NET framework itself are strong-named assemblies that sit in the GAC. If I disassembled one...
  • Blog Post: Code Access Security in action – calling Unmanaged Code

    The following is an example of how code access security might affect your code when calling unmanaged code. Unmanaged code is a posh way of saying “It isn’t .NET code, it is the stuff you used to write before .NET” :-) In VB6 making a call to a Windows API function wasn't affected by any security settings...
  • Blog Post: Authenticode and ActiveX controls

    For VB6 developers, one area where asymmetric keys and digital signatures cropped up was the requirement to sign downloadable ActiveX controls using Authenticode. The idea was to sign the controls using a digital signature so that the origin of the control could always be established. There are a couple...
  • Blog Post: Cryptography

    The second big security area in the .NET framework after Authentication and Authorisation is cryptography. Again, the framework contains a lot of powerful functionality, and again there is an application block that makes it all a bit easier to use. The classes and namespaces that deal with cryptography...
  • Blog Post: Authentication and Authorisation

    As promised , the first in a series of posts about security relevant to a developer new to .NET (such as a VB6 developer). These are what most people will immediately think of when security is discussed. Authentication This is proving your identity by some means, whether it's knowing your password, having...
  • Blog Post: Virtualization and Visual Basic 6.0 applications

    There may be some circumstances where upgrading a VB6 application is not feasible, for example it may rely on a control that simply does not work in the target operating system. I came across a couple of articles on MSDN that discussed the ways that virtualisation technologies can be applied to this...
  • Blog Post: Aberdeen Group report on Migrating from VB6 to .NET

    Aberdeen Group have created a new report “ Migrating from VB6 to .NET: The challenge of software agility in a volatile economy ” Some bits that stood out for me: 50% will migrate all the applications, 36% will migrate some (86% in total will migrate) “Best in class” understand the importance of external...
  • Blog Post: Visual Basic 6.0 Migration – due diligence is a good thing

    Choice in general is a good thing. When faced with moving a Visual Basic 6.0 application to .NET there is plenty of choices to be made. One of those choices is “Which tool should I go with to migrate the code?”. My advice in general is “Try as many as you can on a representative chunk of your application...
  • Blog Post: Support statement for Visual Basic 6.0 updated for Windows 7

    I have been asked many times in the last few weeks about Windows 7 and VB6. The support statement has been updated to cover Windows 7 and the news is good. Windows 7 Since the initial release of this support statement, the Windows 7 operating system has been announced.  This document has been updated...
  • Blog Post: Results of Visual Basic Survey (UK)

    In January we created a survey to understand how folks were using Visual Basic 6.0 and Visual Basic .NET in the UK. This survey was sent out to individuals we “suspected” had Visual Basic 6.0 heritage but it was also widely advertised through the UK MSDN Flash to UK developers. We got plenty of great...
  • Blog Post: Visual Basic Upgrade Wizard vs 3rd Party Migration Tools

    [If you are UK based, check out www.microsoft.com/uk/vbmigration for more information ] A question I get asked a lot is “Are 3rd party migration tools really that much better than the free upgrade wizard from Microsoft?” Lets me be perfectly candid. Whilst I always recommend people should try the free...
  • Blog Post: A mocking framework especially designed for Visual Basic .NET

    I was pleased to see the Typemock folks have delivered a special VB.NET API to use Typemock 5.2 for unit testing. This handles the differences in VB9 vs C# 3.0 around Lambdas (VB9 is restricted to functions where as C# 3.0 can handle statement lambdas – this will be resolved in VB10 aka Visual Basic...
  • Blog Post: New article on extending VB6.0 applications with the Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0

    I just wanted to swiftly share some useful links if you choose to extend a Visual Basic 6.0 application including a new article I commissioned in the UK – which turned out rather good. Firstly links to the toolkit download and some of the best existing articles. The Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0 which you...
  • Blog Post: Secure your Visual Basic 6.0 investment with Microsoft .NET

    [This is currently a UK only initiative but you will still find a lot of useful information on the new site and I know our partners are happy to engage worldwide] Over the last couple of months I have been working with Sarah in my group to pull together something which hopefully will help the many companies...
  • Blog Post: VB6 Interop and TlbImp vs AddRef

    I’d always assumed that creating a Runtime Callable Wrapper by adding a reference to the COM component in Visual Studio would generate the same interop code as was generated by using the command line tool TlbImp. That would seem not to be true in at least one case that I’ve discovered, take this VB6...
  • Blog Post: Heads up – The VB6 upgrade guide was written before we released the Interop Forms Toolkit

    I have been re-reading the ”Upgrading Visual Basic 6.0 Applications to Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 2005” guide lately which discusses phased migrations where individual application components are upgraded independently (which I prefer to call “Extending with .NET”). This approach relies on COM...
  • Blog Post: VS2008 Upgrade Wizard vs VS2005 Upgrade Wizard vs Code Advisor

    I thought I’d try running the latest version of the upgrade wizard and compare the results with those shown in the ”Upgrading Visual Basic 6.0 Applications to Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 2005” guide. Just for good measure I ran the VB6 Code Advisor on the source code before running the upgrade...
  • Blog Post: Estimating effort to migrate your application from Visual Basic 6.0 to .NET

    The following three tools can help you better understand what would be involved to migrate your VB6 applications to Microsoft.NET Microsoft's VB6 Code Advisor Tool This tool from Visual Basic Resource Center site, installs as an Add-In in the VB6 IDE. The tool analyses your code for potential upgrade...
  • Blog Post: Survey on the usage of Visual Basic 6.0 in UK companies

    [Survey is live from January 21st to January 26th, 2009] I have been working with my marketing colleague Sarah to create a survey to better understand the current reliance on Visual Basic 6.0 in the United Kingdom and what plans companies have to move to .NET (or not!). The survey is a little over 20...
  • Blog Post: The perfect Christmas present for your kids? A new release of Small Basic

    I have previously blogged on Small Basic and only this week snuck it into a session I was doing on Parallel Programming (It is the time of year when you can get away with that sort of stuff!). This is a great way for anyone to learn how to program - my 80 year old dad is now a huge fan. A new version...
  • Blog Post: Anybody for some free (and clever!) Visual Basic 2008 training?

    In the UK we are working with InnerWorkings to create a great offer of training to UK developers. We still have some stuff to sort out but I am hopeful that we will be able to share the details of this very early in 2009. In my previous depth role we used InnerWorking successfully to help early adopters...
  • Blog Post: Feedback appreciated on draft screencast on VB6 and the options to move to .NET

    I am working with partners to pull together guidelines, resources and special promotions on tools to help UK companies with VB6 make the right choice around moving (or not) to .NET. This will happen early in 2009. There will be a new landing page with the information and on that page will be a link to...
  • Blog Post: Co-Evolution for VB.NET and C# - and a new article on language futures in VS2010

    The following is snipped from an article I had commissioned on language futures . The article is a good summary of what to expect in Visual Studio 2010. Enjoy. "Visual Basic .NET and C# are both built on top of the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which means they both compile down into the same Common...
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