Why Consider an Upgrade Project

Before deciding to upgrade an application from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET, it is helpful to understand why you should consider upgrading at all. This section discusses why and when it makes sense to upgrade your application.

Usually, you have business requirements that compel you to upgrade an application from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET. Common reasons, or drivers, to upgrade an application to Visual Basic .NET are:

• To Web-enable the application, or enhance an existing Web-enabled application with ASP.NET features, such as tracing, flexible state management, scaleable data access, and improved performance.

• To take advantage of the improvements in developer productivity and the enhanced development features that Visual Basic .NET, the .NET Framework, and Visual Studio .NET provide — particularly if new functionality is required that is more easily implemented in Visual Basic .NET, such as Web services.

• To consolidate your company's software assets. For example, if your new applications are built in Visual Basic .NET, there is often a need to upgrade other applications built with earlier versions of Visual Basic. This improves system integration and reduces the overhead of needing experts on different platforms.

• To reduce the cost of ongoing business activity. For example, the increased scalability and performance of applications that are upgraded to Visual Basic .NET, and the increased productivity of developers, can reduce the costs of regular business activity.

• To improve the maintenance of an application in any of these situations:

• Your business does not have an in-house expert on the application.

• Your business has a high turnover of staff.

• Your business does not have enough resources to support the application.

• The available documentation is limited or outdated.

Of course, a combination of these drivers may influence your decision to upgrade. These drivers can be seen as a kind of spectrum, going from push factors (factors that compel you to upgrade the Visual Basic application to fit a new environment) to pull factors (factors that result from the business wanting to seize an opportunity to grow, reach new customers, or add products and services).

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