I documented the results from the recent Visual Basic survey we carried out in the UK but decided not to include any conclusions I drew from it as I was curious to see what folks thought – which made for some good comments and emails. Thanks. I also spotted a couple of short articles:
- Tim Anderson in the UK picked up on it - and gave some useful links on our support policy for VB6. Thanks Tim.
- InfoQ also did a short article on it – essentially the summary was “There is a lot of VB6” :-)
Now my turn. What did the survey tell me:
- There is indeed a lot of VB6 left in the UK
- 2 years from now I still think there will be a lot of VB6 (and 3 and 4 and 5 years …)
- A lot of that VB6 code is in complex C/S, Internet and N-Tier applications. The type of applications most likely to benefit from .NET.
- VB.NET vs C#
- VB.NET is widely used - although other data I have confirms C# is more popular in the UK and I have posted on this before
- VB.NET is the preferred target for moving VB6 code
- Framework popularity
- .NET Framework 2.0 is the most commonly deployed framework. 3.5 SP1 is doing better than 3.0 or 3.5. (NB: Would need to ask a lot more questions in this area to really understand what is happening out there)
- And … there are a lot of myths and misunderstandings out there
It is the last point that to me is the most interesting as these “myths” are contributing to why we still have so much VB6 code given we released VB7 in 2002 and are now onto VB9. The following are a little worrying given 87% of respondents confirmed their company currently maintains VB6:
- 39% believe there are no tools to automatically convert to VB.NET. Wrong.
- 85% believe there are no tools to automatically convert to C#. Wrong.
- 75% believe believe you can not easily extend VB6 code with .NET. Wrong.
- 22% believe we still support the VB6 development environment. Wrong.
- 53% believe we do not support the VB6 runtime environment. Wrong – but that myth should be encouraging people to move :-)
And finally, based on some other work, I can add:
- Many folks still believe .NET offers little more than VB6 did back in 2001. Wrong.
I will expand on why these are “Wrong” in a future post(s) but in the meantime you might also want to check out a site we pulled together in the UK with the help of Artinsoft and Code Architects.
I wanted to also share one more slide for you to absorb. It is interesting reading – but makes perfect sense when you read it in the context of the “myths” I list above…