Thursday, March 17, 2005

Do we still need support for VB6?

With the announcement that Microsoft will stop support for VB6 from the end of this month (Extended support will still be available for the next 3 years) , it has caused some stir on the MVP community as well as VB classic developers. There was a petition launched recently as well to support this with a lot of VB MVPs signing it.
Well personally i dont think there is a need for this. It's true that a lot of systems have been developed in the past in classic VB and they are still up and running but the fact that the language has matured with good features is something we have to accept. I dont think there is any point in supporting VB6 for future developments. I am not sure It's such a good thing to do.
Microsoft has made an investment on the .NET platform and it's a great platform to work with. If a company has made significant investment on software products developed using VB6 it should just run as it is. But still that does not justify a reason for the support for VB6 to go on and there will be more problems if VB6 and VB.NET do co-exist.
The right way of approaching this is to start migrating the VB6 applications slowly. The major problem will be if the VB6 applications were not architectured properly into business objects and data objects and so on. In that case i do accept the fact the migration process of the application will be a pain, but we got to understand that is a fundamental flaw.
Still there are clipper or cobol systems running and if it is serving the business process perfectly let it run. But lot of companies started revamping their system knowing they will come to a point where the system might not be able to adapt to their changing business process. So the number of systems running on clipper or cobol or similar languages started to diminish. I feel that should be the same thing that should happen here as well.
Then again this is my personal opinion on this issue and maybe i am not seeing it from the point of view of someone who feels Microsoft should continue support on VB6. But one of the first thing you do learn in this industry is the fact that the only thing constant here is change. Requirements, business processes and technologies all change with time, so the key here is software applications, developers and users all need to change as well.
But if any do have supporting or opposite views on this i'd be glad to know.

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