Microsoft Bridging VB6 And .NET Forms

    September 29, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

A new toolkit from Microsoft will allow VisualBasic 6 developers to craft .Net WinForms that can be displayed in a VB6 application.

The Interop Forms Toolkit reported on should help VB6 developers bring some .Net to their work.

Microsoft noted on the Toolkit’s page how it would benefit those developers:

This toolkit helps you bring the power of .NET to your existing VB6 applications, by allowing them to display .NET WinForms from within the same application. Instead of upgrading the entire code base, these applications can now be extended one form at a time. The goal is a phased upgrade, with production releases at the end of each iteration containing both VB6 and VB.NET forms running in the same VB6 .exe process.

As expected, this requires the .NET Framework 2.0, Visual Studio 2.5 Standard or better, and Visual Basic 6.

Microsoft’s Rob Caron explained more about the Toolkit at his blog on MSDN:

Instead of a one-time migration effort or complete rewrite, you can use the Interop Forms Toolkit to move your application form by form to .NET.

The Interop Forms Toolkit provides tools and components that simplify the process of building forms with Visual Basic .NET that can be easily consumed from Visual Basic 6. All the required COM interop components can be created with the click of a button, allowing you to quickly create powerful applications.

The Toolkit makes it easy to expose .NET form methods, properties, and events to Visual Basic 6. In addition, functionality is provided to share application state and signal application-level events.

Going back to eWeek, that publication cited the complaints made by Visual Basic developers when Microsoft upgraded the platform from VB6 to Visual Basic .NET five years ago. More recently, a number of VB6 developers and others, including those acknowledged by Microsoft as Most Valuable Professionals, demanded last year that Microsoft continue to support VB6.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.