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  • 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: Visual Basic .NET and Security – a few posts are required

    One of the reasons for moving to VB.NET from VB6 may be the more advanced security models available in the .NET Framework - this is particularly relevant in the ASP.NET world where many .NET applications will need a security system. In the desktop arena, there may also be requirements for security features...
  • Blog Post: In VB6 we had the API Viewer, In VB .NET you get the P/Invoke Interop Assistant

    VB6 programmers will remember a useful little utility called the API Viewer, the helped out when you needed to make a Windows API call. There is now an equivalent tool for .NET, the P/Invoke Interop Assistant ( http://www.codeplex.com/clrinterop ). Not surprisingly it does a little bit more, so as well...
  • Blog Post: Enhancing your VB6 Application with Interop

    I’ve been having a look at some of the samples on the Visual Basic Resource Center to see what’s possible when we start using interop between VB6 and .NET. Here are some of my favourites. This article, “Sharing ADO Recordsets Between Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic 2005” , looks at approaches to sharing...
  • Blog Post: Adding to the My namespace in VB .NET

    Just as an aside - after experimenting with the Interop Forms Toolkit earlier this year I wondered how InteropToolbox ended up in the My namespace – it seems like a useful thing to be able to do. I didn’t have to look far, the answer was in the ActiveXControlHelpers.vb file in my Usercontrol project...
  • Blog Post: That old friend Binary Compatibility – and a FREE eBook on COM Interop

    A favourite topic for VB6 programmers! Adding a reference to a COM component in Visual Studio adds a reference to a specific version of the VB6 component, so rebuilding the VB6 component without binary compatibility will break the .NET project (you’ll have to re-add the reference to fix it). Switching...
  • Blog Post: VB6 Migration tools are not as expensive as you might think

    How long would it take you to manually convert 50,000 line of Visual Basic 6.0 code to Visual Basic .NET. My guess is… quite a long time :-) However two of the key partners in this space have special versions of their enterprise class tools targeting 50,000 and below for a great price. Code Architects...
  • 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: About to start a weeks holiday – final post, try a VB6 migration tool for free

    Just about to start a weeks holiday but wanted to get this one last link out there. Artinsoft have released a trial version of their Visual Basic Upgrade Companion Developer Edition. The trial version will allow you to convert up to 2,000 lines of code at a time and is valid for a period of 1 month....
  • Blog Post: A random but interesting bunch of Visual Basic .NET reads

    Nothing special – just a list of good Visual Basic .NET articles I read over the last month. Enjoy: Visual Basic Lambdas are not quite the same as C# Lambdas. This article explains how to work around the differences . Visual Basic needs a hand with iterators as it has no specific syntax. Useful when...
  • Blog Post: I need to let this sink in… but interesting stuff. try/catch and filters

    Somebody posted a comment up my blog which contained something along the lines of  “and VB .NET does the clever try catch stuff that C# can’t” . That got parked at the back of my brain and I finally went off looking for what this was. Turns out there was a great post on it back in February 2009...
  • Blog Post: Visual Basic books in the UK were top sellers in the lead into Christmas

    I was looking at some statistics on developer book sales in the months leading up to Christmas 2008. Overall C# outsold VB (there are a lot of C# books to choose from!) BUT VB 2008 had three of the top five slots including the number one slot. Unfortunately I can’t share the data but I felt it was worth...
  • Blog Post: Composite Application guidance for WPF and Silverlight gets a lick of Visual Basic paint

    The Microsoft Patterns & Practices’ Composite Application Guidance for WPF and Silverlight (formerly code-named "Prism") was released with a heavy bias on C# which was a real shame for the many Visual Basic developers who are working on Xaml based user interfaces right now. The good news...
  • 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: Screencasts on the Interop Forms Toolkit 2.0

    [This is a short post to accompany the UK Secure your Visual Basic 6.0 investment with Microsoft .NET initiative and is sourced from the main VB site ] This how-to video series is focused on the Interop Forms Toolkit and working with Visual Basic .NET and Visual Basic 6 together. The Interop Forms Toolkit...
  • 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...
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