Migration programs launched for Visual Basic developers

ArtinSoft SA this week is launching three consulting programs designed to assist developers with migrating applications to Visual Basic .Net, the latest version of Microsoft's Visual Basic programming language.

Migrating from Visual Basic 6 to the Visual Basic .Net programming language carries its burdens, acknowledged Federico Zoufaly, ArtinSoft executive vice president, based in San Jose, Costa Rica . "Actually, .Net is a different language than VB 6. It's not backward-compatible," Zoufaly said in an interview at the VSLive conference here.

ArtinSoft's programs assist with migrating from Visual Basic 6 and previous versions of the language to Visual Basic .Net.

Visual Basic .Net is considered more object-oriented than its predecessor and offers developers the ability to build multithreaded applications, distributed computing applications, and Windows services.

ArtinSoft's programs enable customers to focus on value-added features for applications while ArtinSoft furnishes the upgrading skills, said Zoufaly. ArtinSoft previously has made available its Visual Basic 6 to Visual Basic .Net conversion tool. The company's new programs are called VB .Net Ready, VB .Net Set, and VB .Net Go.

VB .Net Ready, priced at US$5,000, features three days of customized, hands-on training to upgrade applications, including 16 hours of consulting services from a senior ArtinSoft upgrade engineer. VB .Net Set, priced at $20,000, provides support and project management for upgrading a mission-critical application, including one month of on-site consulting from a senior upgrade engineer to convert an application with as many as 20,000 lines of code. VB .Net Go features either a turnkey program for outsourcing application upgrades or a program that provides technical and/or project management support to a customer's upgrade team. The program costs $20,000 per man-month.

Each of the three programs requires that customers also pay ArtinSoft's expenses.

A Microsoft developer at VSLive, however, said he did not think his company would be interested in third-party consulting for migrating to VB .Net.

"Our code is pretty detailed and pretty specialized," said Steve Scott, director of Service Quality at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., in San Francisco . Scott said his company plans to move an intranet-based financial services application to VB .Net from VB Interdev and VB 6. Third-party tools may not help with the migration because of code specialization at Charles Schwab, Scott said.

"I'm trying to figure out how extensive an effort it's going to be" to do the migration, said Scott. He said he hopes to get improved application performance from the migration but added that the company's software already performs well.

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