Facebook Fan Page: Francesco Balena on VB6 Migration

clock January 27, 2010 22:32

Alive and kicking.

We just opened Francesco Balena's fan page on Facebook  (yes, FB on FB!), where I'll publish news about VB6 and migration experiences, including useful technical information, tips, whitepapers, and other resources.

The easiest way to always stay up-to-date on VB6, how to convert your legacy code to .NET, and how to recycle your skills in a more modern programming environment.

Migration reports and ease of customization

clock January 19, 2010 06:24

One of the most powerful weapons to win the migration war is to produce significant and detailed reports both before and after the migration.

You need good reports before you even start the migration process to plan your effort, size your team, and provided a reasonable set of deadlines. You need them after you run the conversion software on a given VB6 project because you need to estimate the time needed to fix each individual compilation error and migration warning.

VB Migration Partner is quite versatile on the report side. In fact, it generates as many as seven different types of reports, including:

  • Migration issues and warnings – can be sorted by location or warning number
  • List of compilation errors - VB Migration Partner can automatically compile the generated VB.NET and display the compiler’s results inside the VB Migration Partner’s IDE
  • Assessment report – in the form of a customizable Excel spreadsheet that allows you to estimate the time and money needed to fix all migration warnings.
  • Code metrics – with information such as the size of each project/file, number of forms/controls, percentage of remarks, down to more sophisticated stats such as cyclomatic index (which gives you a measure of how long it takes to test the migrated code)
  • XML report – list of migration warnings and compilation errors in XML format, which is then easily imported in external program for further analysis, converted to HTML using a custom format, and so forth.

For a thorough description of each report, please read our “Migrating a VB6 application in 10 easy steps” whitepaper.

We are aware that the value of reports is even greater to companies who offer migration services based on our VB Migration Partner, because a comprehensive report is essential to prepare a detailed offer for the end user. For example, XML reports can be run in batch mode over all the VBP projects that make up an application. One of our largest customers is migrating an application with 1200+ projects, thus this report is a real lifesaver.

The beauty of XML reports is that they are produced by means of an extender DLL, written in plain VB.NET and whose source code is freely available to all registered users. Unlike other VB6 migration tools which are based on proprietary languages, VB Migration Partner can be easily extended by any .NET developer. This feature allows any developer to easily create custom reports that contain exactly the information they need.

Recently, one of our customers asked to extend XML reports to include code metrics and thus provide a mix of the last two report types outlined above. Well, it took less than one hour to tweak the extender’s source code and have the job done. This is what we mean by ease of customization.