Visual Basic 6.0 Still Widely Used

| by Al Tenhundfeld Follow 0 Followers on Feb 23, 2009. Estimated reading time: less than one minute |

Eric Nelson, Microsoft UK Evangelist, has posted the results of a large survey on how UK developers are using the .NET Framework and VB 6.0. The survey targeted Windows developers using the MS technology stack; results should be interpreted within that context.

One of the most interesting results of the survey is seeing how much VB6 code is still being actively used and maintained.

See Eric's analysis of the survey for more detailed information, but the following list contains some of the more interesting findings:

  • 87% of companies currently use VB6 - similar to finding above but without the maintenance focus
  • 25% of companies have over 500,000 lines of VB6 code
  • 26% of companies have a VB6 application connected to the Internet
  • 42% of companies plan to never migrate VB6 code to .NET and instead continue using VB6.


For those many UK VB6 developers, MSDN also has a portal devoted to migrating VB6 code to .NET.

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If its not broken, don't fix it by Francois Ward

Where I work, we still have tons of VB6 apps in production. The main strategy is to keep them as long as possible until they just don't do the job anymore or are more costly to keep than to replace. We tried to keep Vb6 development to a minimum, but depending on costs, we'll tweak and maintain a VB6 app instead of replacing it.

We do actively encourage migration to .NET, but budgets have to be allocated. Thats an easy process to get it approved, IF you can justify the cost. And often you can't. Simple as that.

Re: If its not broken, don't fix it by ding jack

exactly what I want to say.

What about vb6 ide? by Lou Marco

I thought M$ was, or already has, discontinued support for the VB6 IDE. That would leave VB6 developers in the odd spot of having M$ support for the runtime but could not make any changes to VB6 code and still be in compliance.

Re: What about vb6 ide? by Francois Ward

They don't support it, doesn't mean there arent license lefts at resellers/partners, and it definately doesn't mean you aren't allowed to use the licenses you already have. If you had 1000 VB6 licenses before, and now you need 3-4, you're ok :)

Because its legacy apps by Mohamed Faramawi

I think companies don't tend to upgrade their legacy apps , for so many reason ,one of them as Francois Ward said , if its not broken, don't fix it, but i can add couple more reasons:
1- Majority of computers are still running XP which doesn't have .NET framework , moving to .NET means adding an extra deployment requirement which needs to be taken into consideration.
2- Moving from VB 6 to the OOP VB.NET isn't that easy when it comes to upgrade existing code that used to run for really long time (maybe since VB4).
Budgets, developers ,and time constraints are major impacts of that research result.
I think it needs like another decade till no more VB6 code is being writing .. who is writing COBOL now ;)

Re: If its not broken, don't fix it by Mark Juras

The inevitable truth about software is: "if its not broken ... it will be."

Our system are not in a vacuum. They operate within our ever-changing real world. We, and our systems, must evolve along with new opportunities and challenges or we will be unable to thrive and compete.

Better to plan for and complete a well-thought out migration than to wait for out-dated, incompatible technology to impact your ability to adapt.

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