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Convert Visual Basic

Stuck on a Visual Basic legacy application? Convert it to a web application now, before you wish you had sooner!

Visual Basic is vastly popular for a variety of applications and VB Classic or VBScript are some of the most widespread distributions of it. Used frequently as a scripting language within browsers, VBScript maintained Internet Explorer compatibility up to and including IE version 10.


The Good

Benefits of Visual Basic stem mainly from ease of implementation and popularity.


With a GUI centric form-creation interface on top of a very simple and straightforward language, developers can create Visual Basic applications quickly and with little difficulty in most cases. For any applications of simple to moderate complexity, VB allows designers to focus on the user experience and links up form components to back end code with no fuss. Scripting support makes Visual Basic a familiar alternative to other languages such as Javascript, one that allows developers a little more freedom to work under a loose set of rules.


In addition to extreme simplicity, the wide public appeal of Visual Basic has created a vast web of developers offering troubleshooting and support for numerous issues that may arise in VB development. Forums often have fixes for almost any issue that may arise in creating a Visual Basic application, and many members are often on hand to figure out a fix to any new issues. More obscure languages lack this popularity, and thus leave developers frequently on their own to pin down exactly what may be the cause of a complex problem.



The Bad

The most prominent disadvantages of Visual Basic are its limited functions and lack of support in most recent browser versions.


Applications of high complexity or large scope may push Visual Basic to its limits. Form components only allow so much customization, and often may not cover the gamut of tools and functionality that developers of large applications require.


After IE10, Microsoft abandoned support for Visual Basic as VBScript in its browser. As such, developers who wish to run Visual Basic scripts in Internet Explorer version 11 must operate in IE10 compatibility mode. This task may be simple for those well versed in programming and advanced computing tactics, but difficult to grasp for the common user of many software applications. Therefore, the benefit of simplicity in Visual Basic is completely destroyed.



Why You Should Convert

Legacy systems still using Visual Basic stand to be converted to web applications for a number of reasons.


Most obviously, the lack of support for VBScript in IE11 does not bode well for those who use Visual Basic as a scripting language. Teaching users how to run IE10 compatibility mode could prove to be both difficult and time consuming, and may very well discourage customers from using such software. Transferring legacy Visual Basic code to a web application would remove this hurdle, allowing to users to access software with little to no setup on their own end.


Some would suggest migrating from VBScript to Javascript, but this would place a divide between the existing components of a legacy system. If developers convert only the VBScript code away from Microsoft products, why not convert all components to an outside source? Migration to a web application eradicates the need to move individual components to a new platform, and consolidates everything into a neat package.


Within Microsoft, converting from Visual Basic to a .NET alternative is both expensive and time consuming. Furthermore, this puts developers in the position to require more upgrades when Microsoft discontinues any other components in the near future. Though any software platform will eventually be replaced, web applications stand to maintain their usability for longer and do not create a reliance on Microsoft to supply maintenance.

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