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708
Chapter 14 • Upgrading Visual Basic Applications to .NET
Summary
There are special considerations that must be taken into account when migrating
your Visual Basic 6.0 applications to .NET. For instance, you should bind vari-
ables because of the changes to property names and data type changes. In addi-
tion, you should make sure to avoid null propagation, use ADO for all database
applications, use the Date data type to store dates, avoid fixed-length strings, and
use constants instead of underlying values.There are changes that have been made
to the application architecture in .NET, so it is advisable to port all your applica-
tions to ADO before they are moved to .NET.
Data types have also undergone a significant number of changes.Visual Basic
.NET, for example uses the Object data type instead of the Variant data type. It
also introduces a new data type called Short to store 16-bit numbers.The Integer
data type, meanwhile, has been modified to store 32-bit numbers, the Long data
type now stores 64-bit numbers, and the underlying value of Boolean True has
been changed to –1.Arrays, too, have undergone a change, in that the lower-
bound value is now fixed as zero and is impossible to change.
A host of new features have been added to Windows Forms as well, effec-
tively replacing the Visual Basic 6.0 forms. Keywords like GoSub, Option Base,
Lset, VarPtr, StrPtr, Set, and Def are no longer supported. In addition, the
functionality of the GoTo statement is restricted only to error-handlers now.
Several new modifiers to functions, meanwhile, have been introduced in Visual
Basic .NET.The functionality of the Return statement has been extended to
return a value to the calling function besides returning control.Visual Basic .NET
has also introduced the new concept of function overloading, allowing multiple
functions to have the same name with each function differing only in their signa-
ture. In other developments, the syntax of property procedures has changed,Visual
Basic .NET no longer allows parameter-less default properties, and with no sup-
port for the Set statement, you cannot have a Set property procedure.
Visual Basic .NET allows interoperability with COM components using
metadata, Runtime Callable Wrappers, and COM Callable Wrappers.This allows
you to leverage the functionality of existing components.Visual Basic .NET also
allows you to implement true interfaces, and introduces structured exception
handling that uses the Try…Catch…Finally block to handle errors instead of just
extending support for the On error...Goto statement. Database applications can
now take advantage of the new data access mechanism called ADO.NET, as well,
which is very different from the earlier connection-based ADO model.
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Upgrading Visual Basic Applications to .NET • Chapter 14
709
Finally, the Upgrade Wizard is available to ensure the smooth and easy migra-
tion of your existing applications to .NET. Its various upgrade messages clearly
outline the changes that must be made before your application is ready to run.
Solutions Fast Track
Considerations Before Upgrading
;
Early binding of variables is necessary because Visual Basic .NET has
introduced changes to property names and default properties.
;
The Null keyword is not available in Visual Basic .NET. Instead, you can
use the DBNull.Value available in the System namespace to specify a
Null value.
;
It is advisable to change the data type of date variables to the Date data
type in your legacy applications to facilitate an easier migration.
;
It is recommended that constants be used instead of the actual 
underlying value.
Considering Architecture Before Migrating
;
DHTML and ActiveX Document applications cannot be upgraded to
Visual Basic .NET.
;
Visual Basic 6.0 Forms has been replaced with a new architecture called
Windows Forms.
;
DAO or RDO data-binding applications must be ported to ADO first
before they can be moved to Visual Basic .NET.
Data Types
;
All Variant data types will be converted to the Object data type during
an upgrade.
;
Visual Basic .NET introduces a new data type called Short.The Visual
Basic 6.0 Integer data type is now represented by the Short data type
(which stores 16-bit numbers), the Visual Basic 6.0 Long data type is
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710
Chapter 14 • Upgrading Visual Basic Applications to .NET
now represented by the Integer data type (which stores 32-bit numbers),
And the Long data-type stores 64-bit numbers.
;
ToOADate and FromOADate are used to convert between the Double
and Visual Basic 6.0 representation of the date value.
;
The underlying value of the True has been changed from –1 to 1.
;
Arrays in Visual Basic .NET are zero-based.
;
Fixed-length strings are not supported in Visual Basic .NET.
Converting VB Forms to Windows Forms
;
Windows Forms does not support the OLE Container control.
;
Windows Forms contains two menu controls called MainMenu and
ContextMenu.
;
Image controls are not supported in Windows Forms.
Keyword Changes
;
GoSub, Option Base, VarPtr, StrPtr, and Def keywords are not 
supported in Visual Basic .NET.
;
GoTo can be used only for the purposes of error handling.
;
Visual Basic .NET introduces three new operators to perform bitwise
operations.They are BitOr, BitAnd, and BitXor.
Programming Differences
;
Optional parameters must be supplied with a default value.
;
The Return statement returns control to the calling program.
;
The default parameter passing mechanism is ByVal.
;
ParamArray parameters must be declared as Object.
;
Overloading is implemented with the help of function signature.
;
The Runtime Callable Wrapper (RCW) helps .NET clients talk to
COM components.
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Upgrading Visual Basic Applications to .NET • Chapter 14
711
;
The COM Callable Wrapper (CCW) helps COM clients talk to .NET
components.
;
The Set property procedure is not supported in Visual Basic .NET.
;
Visual Basic .NET supports default properties only if the properties can
be parameterized.
Understanding Error Handling
;
Visual Basic .NET introduces structured error handling with the help of
the Try, Catch, and Finally statements.
;
It is possible to have multiple Catch statements to handle multiple
exceptions.
;
You can also create custom exceptions by creating a class that derives
from the System.Exception class.
Data Access Changes in Visual Basic .NET
;
Visual Basic .NET introduces a new object model called ADO.NET.
;
The DataSet object can hold multiple tables and store relationships
between the tables.
;
The DataReader object implements the server-side cursor.
;
ADO.NET provides disconnected access to the database.
Upgrading Interfaces
;
Interfaces are created using the Interface keyword.
;
The Implements keyword is used to implement an interface.
Using the Upgrade Tool
;
The Upgrade Wizard is automatically launched when you open a Visual
Basic 6.0 project in Visual Basic .NET.
;
The upgraded code is placed in a different folder than that containing
the source.
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712
Chapter 14 • Upgrading Visual Basic Applications to .NET
;
The Upgrade Wizard lists various upgrade messages indicating what
changes must be made to the existing code to ensure a smooth run of
the upgraded project.
Q:
Can I manually invoke the Upgrade Wizard?
A:
No, you cannot.Visual Basic .NET automatically invokes the wizard when
you open an older version of a Visual Basic application.
Q:
Should I only use structured exception handling to manage errors in my
application?
A:
Structured exception handling is a more comprehensive way to managing
errors. However, you can still continue to use the On Error statements.
Q:
Is the object model for ADO.NET frozen? Can I start port my ADO code to
ADO.NET?
A:
At present, it is unclear whether this will be the final draft of ADO.NET.
Therefore, it is best to hold on to your existing ADO applications.You can
still, however, use the current model to write new non-critical applications
for use in your current environment.
Q:
What is the purpose of the Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 Compatibility library?
A:
The Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 compatibility library contains functions and
methods that are a part of Visual Basic 6.0 but not Visual Basic .NET.The
contents of this library are used so that your existing applications do not
break down solely because the implementation of a concept differed between
the two versions.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The following Frequently Asked Questions, answered by the authors of this book,
are designed to both measure your understanding of the concepts presented in 
this chapter and to assist you with real-life implementation of these concepts. To
have  your  questions  about  this  chapter  answered  by  the  author,  browse  to
www.syngress.com/solutions and click on the “Ask the Author” form.
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713
Index
/? option, 546
32-bit numbers, 659
A
A1. See Assembly
Generation
About option, 108
Abstract classes,67–68
AcceptsReturn property,
686
AcceptsTab property, 686
Access. See Disconnected
access
applications. See Data
permissions, limiting,558
security. See Code
model.See .NET
Accessibility, 130
options, 141
Action attribute, 471
Active MDI child forms
arranging,299–300
determination,299
Active Server Pages (ASP),
7,461
applications, 14
ASP.NET, 7–8, 37, 83,443
server controls, 476–492
World Wide Web forms,
usage, 654
ASPX files, 7
contrast.See World Wide
Web forms
developers, 466
pages, 8, 15
ActiveForm property, 299
ActiveLinkColor property,
354
ActiveX
Control Container, 339
Control Importer,270,
338
usage. SeeWindows
forms
controls, 461, 678
DLL, 260
projects, 112
documents, 653, 655
usage, 14
EXE, 112
Add method, 246, 380,396
AddHandler method, 502
Add-in Manager,104
Add-ins, 104–108, 656
creation,Add-In Wizard
(usage),105–108
objects,101
AddMenu method, 327
AddRef, 36
Address text box, 515
AddressOf (keyword), 235
AddToArray,672
Adjust Security Wizard, 593
Administrator
configuration files,
624–625
policy, applying, 50
ADO
ADO.NET (contrast), 414
applications, 657
code, 651
disconnected recordsets,
marshalling, 694, 695
libraries, 417, 418
usage, 241, 649, 651–652
versions,410
ADO.NET
architecture, understand-
ing, 412–416, 455
configuration, 415
contrast. See ADO
product introduction,657
remoting,415
usage
FAQs, 267–268
introduction, 410
solutions, 454–456
ADO.NET.XML, 414
AdRotator
control, 487
server, 488
Advanced programming
concepts
FAQs, 267–268
introduction, 220–221
solutions, 265–267
AfterClosing event,103
Alias
command, 138
creation, 138–139
setting.See Namespaces
Align property, 686
All Code, 563
All Languages folder, 135
All_Code, 587
code group, 598
group, 595
Allocation. See Objects
AllowMargins property,322
Alphabetic character,173
AlternatingItemStyle prop-
erty, 482
Anchor
property,301, 442, 664
styles, 302
Anchoring, 300. See also
Controls
AnchorStyles enumeration
values, 664
AND operator, 666
714
Index
Any (keyword), 671,676
API, 9. See also Graphics
Design Interface;
Metadata
calls, 265
data types. See Windows
declarations, 661
programming, 8
set, 52
AppBindingMode element,
48
AppDomain, 50
Appearance, 130
property, 686
Application-related infor-
mation, 306
Applications. See Client;
Intranet;Multi-tier
applications; Self-
describing applica-
tions; Single-tier
applications
coding, 573
configuration files,
626–627
creation. See Multiple
Document Interface
deployment, 616,
629–638, 642
FAQs, 643–646
solutions, 641–642
development, 516–518
domains, 83–84
host,106
interoperability, 694–695
model, 270–275, 340
upgrading. SeeVisual Basic
Architecture, considerations.
See Migration
Archive attribute, 394
Arrays, 187–192, 215,
659–660. See also
Dynamic arrays;
Multidimensional
arrays; Single dimen-
sion arrays
declaration, 188–189
location,271
re-dimensioning, 674
.ASAX, 467
ASCII characters, usage, 360
ASCII files/format, 411
ASCII-readable characters,
243
ASP. See Active Server Pages
ASP.NET. See Active Server
Pages
handler,505
Assemblies. See Resource;
Satellite assemblies
access,57
binding, 46
cache, 45. See also Global
assembly cache
code. See Unmanaged
assembly code
compiling,45, 567
creation, 39–51, 86
dependencies, 41,55–56
enabling, 559
enumeration,57
files. See Private assembly
files; Shared assembly
files
granting, 559
identification,metadata
(usage), 53
identity, 259
location,46–51.See also
Module/assembly
location
probing/codebase,
usage, 49–50
manifest, 618
members. See Local
assembly members
name, 40,463
options. See .NET
passport, 618
references,260. See also
External assembly ref-
erences
versioning, 621–623
Assembly Generation (A1)
utility, 637
AssemblyRef,46
Assert method, 540
Assert Override method,
572–574
Assertions, 525, 540–541
Asymmetric key algorithm,
602
At Startup Show,112
Attacks, target, 577
Attributes, 57–58
Authentication, 557. See also
Windows
modules, 83
type, 585
Authorization, 557–558
Auto Hide, 123
Automatic resource man-
agement, 34,62
reliance, 68–78, 87–88
AutoSize property, 353
B
B2B. See Business-to-
business
BackColor property, 396
BackgroundImage property,
396
Backward-compatible class,
59
Bandwidth, 427
Base class,203
Index
715
/baseaddress option, 546
BeforeClosing event, 103
Behavior,130
Beta testing, 547
Bin directory, 476, 516
Binary file,241
BinaryReader, 241
BinaryWriter, 241
Bindable attribute, 495
BindData procedure, 444
Binding. See Data;Variables
class, 657
mode, 48
BindingPolicy, 48, 49
BindingRedir element, 48
Bindings, 130
Bitmap, 388
Bitwise operations, 20, 666
Boolean, 134
type, 20
value, 181,707
variables, 659
BooleanSwitch, 540
Borders
adjustments, 321
changing.See Forms
BorderStyle property,
289–290, 395
Bound controls, 478
Boundary. See Reference;
Security;Type;Version
BoundColumn control,
483, 484
Boxes, 415. See also Dialog
boxes;Drop-down
boxes
creation. See Dialog boxes
displaying.See Message
Branching. See Multiple
branching
Breakpoints,525, 528,
531–532
BringToFront method, 304
Browser-compliant HTML,
654
Browsers, 464, 508
independence, 133
BSTRs, 667
/bugreport option, 545
Bugs.See Syntax-related
bugs
reporting, 538
types, 524–525
Build errors, locating,123
Build objects, 101
BuildEvents, 101
Built-in commands, cus-
tomization, 137–139
Built-in controls, 348–399,
407
Built-in customization, 100
Built-in data types, specifi-
cation. See Common
Language Runtime
Bulleted paragraphs, 367
Business logic, 655
Business-to-business (B2B),
504
Button control, 361–363,
664,686
Button1_Click() method,
533
Button-click event,511
Buttons property, 332
ByRef mechanism/modifi-
er, 672, 674
ByVal mechanism/modifier,
672,674, 685
C
C,601
exposure, 60
usage, 67
C#, 9, 37, 105, 133, 262,
654
class, 237
usage, 220
C++, 8–9, 19,37, 262, 601.
See also ISO C/C++
classes,172
client application, 260
concept, 57
DLL function declaration,
270
environment. SeeVisual
C++
exposure,60
function pointers, 233
Java, relationship, 20
(language), 18
programmers, 9, 175
usage, 67, 220
users, 270
/c parameter, 637
Cabinet (CAB) files,
632–633
creation, 620
Caches. See Assemblies
services, 466
usage. See Global assembly
cache
Call
parameters. See Functions
statement,273, 670
usage, 671
Call Stack,540
Callable Wrapper. See
Component Object
Model; Runtime
Callable Wrapper
Caller identity, usage, 559
Calling chain, 560
Calling code, 669
class, 57
CAML, 38
Capital letters, 489
Caption property, 353,363,
686, 687
716
Index
Carriage-return delimited,
243
CAS. See Code access 
security
Case statement, 183. See also
Select Case statement
Caspol.exe. See Code Access
Security Policy utility
Casting,18–19. See also
Type
Catch
block,103, 691, 692
(keyword), 211
set. See Try/catch
statement, 103, 104,691
wrapper,60
Category, 123
CCW. See Component
Object Model
Callable Wrapper
CDbl, 272
Certificate authority, 602
CFG file, 569, 573
CFirst
class, 402
instance,403, 406
object, 401
CFirstLib class library,400
CharacterCase property, 687
Check boxes, group, 371
CheckBox control, 364–365
CheckBox property, 393
Checked, 123
Checked property, 364
CheckedListBox control,
374–376
CheckedState property, 364
CheckOnClick property,
375
Checks, overriding. See
Security
Child
code groups, 562
forms, creation. See
Multiple Document
Interface
relationship. See Parent-
child relationship
windows, 120–123, 297
Class API,623
Class ID (CLSID), 56, 678
Class (keyword), 198
Class Library, projects, 116
creation, 400
Class Viewer, usage. See
Windows forms
ClassAct class,571
ClassActing class, 571
Classes, 198–202, 226. See
also Abstract classes;
Base class; Images;
Managed wrapper
classes;Wrapper 
classes
contracts, 54
loader, 79
module, 196
organization, namespace
system (usage),64–65,
87
properties, addition, 402
Class_Terminate method,
542
CLI. See Command-line
interface
Click event, 356, 363
handler, 361
Clickable headers,378
Client
applications, 464, 653,
655–656
platform, 464
processors, 513
Client/server applications,
465, 655
Client-side cursor, 695
Clipboard, 349
object, 664
Ring, 119–120
CLng function, 19
Close() method,542
Close/dispose, 276
CLR. See Common
Language Runtime
/cls option, 545
clsCalc class, 699, 702, 703
CLSID. See Class ID
CMyButton control, 405
CMyButtonLib class library,
404
COBOL/Cobol, 38
Code. See DataBinding
code; Generated code;
Malicious code;
Packaging code;
Source code;
Spaghetti code
access permissions,555
addition, 526
annotating, 126–127
behind,473
block, 192,447
editor. SeeVisual Studio
.NET
customization, 135
elements. See Hide/show
code elements
execution, 288
control, 528
groups, 559,562–564,
587. See also Child
structure, matching,
593–600
identity, 559, 561–562
impersonation,581, 582
Index
717
locating,126
objects, 101
optimization, 541–546,
551
paths, 683
protection, 558
reusing, 492
sandboxing, 555
segment, 139
tracing, 683
view pane, 531
window, 276, 297
Code access security (CAS),
80, 554, 558–578,
608–609
Code Access Security
Policy utility
(caspol.exe), 585, 630
CodeAccessPermission, 578
CodeBase attribute, 48
Codebase,usage. See
Assemblies
CodeBehind file, 448
COFF. See Common
Object File Format
Collections, 246–248, 266,
275. See also Garbage
collection
objects. See Project
Color property, 314
ColorDialog control,
313–315
Columns property, 316, 380
COM. See Component
Object Model
ComboBox, 117
control, 381–387
Command
addition. See Toolbars
customization. See Built-
in commands
objects, 101, 421–425
window, 534–536
CommandBarEvents,102
CommandEvents,102
Command-line interface
(CLI),585
Command-line parameters,
116
Command-line programs,
60
Comment tokens, 126
Common Language
Runtime (CLR), 2,
8–10, 256, 259–261,
630–631
breaking, 624
built-in data types, specifi-
cation, 173
checking, 622,626
FAQs, 279–281
history, 8–9
installation, 630
introduction, 35–37,
85–86, 257–258
operation, 558
probing ability, 50
reflection API, 338
rules, 83
security features, 554
sharing, 34
solutions, 278–279
support, 621
updating, 71
usage, 29, 656, 678, 692
Common Object File
Format (COFF), 63
Common Type System
(CTS),8,257,
269–273, 278–279
matching, 648
usage, 65–68,87
Compability
phases, 621
version, 59
CompactView option, 118
Compare function, 209
CompareValidator,488
Compilation. See
Conditional compila-
tion; Dynamic compi-
lation
Compile errors, locating,
123
Compilers, 20–22, 30, 674.
See also Just-in-time
architecture. SeeVisual
Basic
errors, 649
options, 544–546
usage. See Integrated
Development
Environment
Compile-time errors, 275
Complete Word window,
288
Complex data binding, 333
Component Object Model
Callable Wrapper
(CCW), 264,270,
679, 682–683
Component Object Model
(COM), 6, 681
classes,56
COM+
applications, 557
component, 418, 555,
638, 655–656, 678
component, 578, 677
controls, 118
developers, 274
interop. See Unmanaged
COM interop
library file,55
object, 104, 199, 258–259,
509
reference counting, 276
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