I work at a mid-sized company where an update is needed to an piece of the application due to an addition to the environment. The part that needs updated has been in place for 13 years, is fairly mission critical, runs very smoothly each day, and was written using the VB6 language. The program runs through an executable and I recently got my hands on the source code and saw what needs to be updated. The code itself is about 4 files for a grand total of roughly 1300 lines. No one on my team has a VB 6 compiler so I would have to get one from our company or find it?

The other options include making edits around the process so it can handle the changes in the environment. So this would be a work around. It's not the most pretty process but there is a potential it could work. Lastly, the whole thing could be re-written in a more modern or supported language such as Java.

So I've been trying to weigh all these options and figure out which solution is best but would like others thoughts and more consensus so that's why I am posing this question to the group. Any feedback or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Sooner or later your are going to have to bite the bullet.

However, I would recomend 'later'

It seems there is some 3rd party support for vb6 in vs2015


you could try this with the free version. But its probably best getting an older version, vs 2005 I think is that last one which will compile the source without difficulty.

If you do go with the rewrite option, make sure the language you use supports vb6 features; such as calling com+ components if you are using them.

In my view vb.net, although apparently a natural upgrade path, is different enough syntaticaly from vb6 that it offers no particular benefit converting from vb6 than other languages.

However, some programmers do recommend this, and obviously it is very very similar. Just not copy and paste similar.

  • In my experience, porting existing VB6 applications to VB.NET is five to 10 times faster than to C# (and to Java, the factor would probably even bigger). I would call that a significant benefit.
    – Doc Brown
    Apr 13, 2016 at 6:23
  • maybe im being a bit hard on vb.net. I guess if I had a tonne of code to migrate with the only criteria being to get on a supported language vb.net would be my choice. It seems like the OP is more concerned about getting it on a language they know though.
    – Ewan
    Apr 13, 2016 at 6:29

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