Blog

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine

gmBasic is a powerful code transformation tool that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems for .NET (using either C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic to make it more robust and flexible so that it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.75, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general ability to produce accurate, build-complete .NET code systems from VB6 code (most recently making enhancements needed to upgrade a large insurance application with 26 inter-related VBPs referencing 592 code files containing 575K LOC and 34 third-party-COM components)
  • Improves accuracy and readability of certain complex conditional expressions
  • Improves default C# coding style to use lightweight object-oriented coding conventions (formerly, this required the "SubSystem=loc" option)
  • Improves default VB.NET coding style to favor using VB.NET run-time support rather than extension methods
  • Improves handling identifiers containing international characters

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM-to-.NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds flexibility of deployment by allowing the user to specify .NET project file and folder naming conventions as part of each gmStudio project's settings
  • Adds options for project task name conventions to better support different types of legacy project naming conventions
  • Adds support for setting CodePage in the .NET project file
  • Adds support for setting .NET Project Type GUIDs needed for WPF upgrades
  • Improves conventions for StartUpObject conventions for WPF upgrades
  • Improves handling of MigrationSupport stub classes in integrated translations
  • Improves handling of international characters in all Search Reporting functions
  • Adds stable-but-unique Project GUID generation for all .NET projects
  • Improves gmStudio About Box Reporting
  • Corrects screen layout issues when running Windows with Text Size greater than 100%
  • Improves Analytics Reports and model Audits to use gmMetrics, a gmSLAPI application
  • Improves default handling of Last Message field to avoid spurious differences between versions of gmProj files
  • Adds support for interpreting foreign language build logs
  • Add support for using the %ProjFolder% token in Solution File Generator project list
  • Improves log content for Solution File Generator
  • Improves reporting of #INFO messages in Translation Log Reports
  • Adds sort indicators to ListView column headers
  • Improves integration with upgrade tasks using a gmslAPI executable
  • Improves Configuration Form User files listing to include sub-folders
  • Adds support for Form-to-XAML in the Side-by-Side Viewer for WPF upgrades
  • Adds option to skip running translations in Upgrade Wizard: metrics reports only
  • Improves handling of very large (>64MB) log files (e.g., when using diagnostics)

gmSLAPI: a .NET API for Developing Advanced Upgrade Solutions

Powered by gmBasic, gmslAPI is a .NET API for automating the gmBasic upgrade engine and accessing the semantic models produced by our unique linguistic compilation technology. gmSLAPI also includes classes to facilitate integrating with gmStudio and managing complex upgrade rules.

  • Improves organization of gmslAPI classes with namespaces
  • Improves handling conditions on nested rules in ScriptRules.xml
  • Improves ScriptRules logger to use the LogMessage API

Sample Upgrade Rules

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Improves standard ScriptRules.xml template
  • Improves standard translation templates to assume new C# dialect rather than the deprecated "SubSystem=loc" option
  • Improves Analytics Reports and Audits Reports script templates to use gmMetrics
  • Changes default handling of Line to migrate to MigrationSupport.Line rather than Label
  • Removes SubSystem=loc; The loc conventions are now the default for translation to C#
  • Removes SubSystem=lob; VB.NET bias is now the default for translation to VB.NET
  • Improves migration of VB6 File System Listbox controls to facilitate stub framework integration

Sample Upgrade Solutions

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Samples updated to reflect changes to SubSystem changes
  • Samples updated to reflect changes to MigrationSupport.UI
  • Improves packaging of "All Samples" content

Announcing gmslAPI: a .NET API for Upgrade Development

Great Migrations is pleased to announce a major break through in software re-engineering: a .NET API for automating the gmBasic upgrade engine and accessing the semantic models produced by our linguistic compilation technology.

Our goal for this API is to provide the most powerful development platform for building advanced upgrade solutions. The API integrates the features of the Great Migrations Programming Language (gmPL) with Great Migrations Scripting Language (gmSL). The XML-based gmPL has been used for upgrade scripts as well as meta-language and COM interface description files. The C-like gmSL API has been used extensively for dynamic code templates, deep code analysis, and advanced transformations. gmPL and gmSL provide access to an extensive collection of gmBasic commands, events, and operations, but they lack key features of modern development platforms such as interactive debugging and intellisense. The new .NET-based gmslAPI addresses these limitations and provides greater access to the full power of the gmBasic translation engine. Of course, developers building upgrade solutions using gmslAPI can also use other .NET language and framework features allowing more sophisticated upgrade solutions integrating a wider array of information.

The API includes special purposes classes to help you integrate API-based EXE upgrade tasks with gmStudio and customize their behavior. EXE upgrades tasks can be used in gmStudio using procedures very similar to those for gmPL script tasks. The main difference is the EXE tasks are implemented in C# (or VB.NET) using Visual Studio while gmPL script tasks are implemented in XML using your favorite code editor. We have already developed a C# version of the WPF transformation logic using this API and also used it with C# to implement several very large multi-feature upgrade solutions. And early preview of API documentation is here and additional documentation and samples will be published soon. Please Contact us directly if you are interested in discussing how this technology can help you.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic to make it more robust and flexible and so that it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.68, includes several enhancements:

  • Adds a .NET API for accessing the gmBasic operations and semantic information models
  • Improves handling of nested collections and dictionaries
  • Improves separation of declarations and executable code into codebehind and markup for ASP using alternate statement separator
  • Improves upgrading properties with optional arguments to a method

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Improves ScriptRules file handling by allowing ScriptRule elements to be conditional.
  • Adds support for gmslAPI and upgrade tasks using a custom EXE rather than gmBasic
  • Improves Filter to Selection using both the Source Name and Task Tag
  • Improves Search Reports allow for XML files that are not in an expected GM meta-data format.
  • Improves Support for handling text files with different EOL conventions
  • Improves Library Description value reported in the Source References Report
  • Adds support for %ProjectFolder% parameter in Visual Studio Solution Generator project List
  • Improves IDF path reported in the Source Reference Report for ASP include references
  • Improves default ASP Site Upgrade Projects generated by Project Wizard; setting job type to MULTI, not CUSTOM

Sample Upgrade Rules

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Improves scrrun.dll.xml sample
  • Improves default ScriptRules.xml file and documentation

Sample Upgrade Solutions

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

New gmStudio Case Studies and Testimonials

A recent customer allowed us to publish a brief description of their ASP/COM upgrade project and their testimonial of success with gmStudio.  Learn how a small team accelerated their ASP site upgrade effort with the help of gmStudio. Read the article 

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic to make it more robust and flexible and so that it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.63, includes several enhancements:

  • Prevents authoring duplicate members in COM stub classes when a coclass implements same-named members for multiple interfaces
  • Improves accuracy of Reference Report for explicit calls to user-defined event handlers
  • Improves upgrading the Select Case Statement
  • Begins work on a .NET API for developing custom VB6/ASP/COM upgrade solutions

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds support for using VS2017 IDE and the latest MSBuild
  • Adds support for setting .NET Framework Version using a registry command; for example:
    <Registry type="VSConfiguration" source="FrameworkVersion" target="v4.0.0" />
  • Improves Task Filter performance
  • Adds Filter to Selection operation to the task list context menu
  • Improves Global Stubs Report to create a build script for compiling a COM Stub Framework
  • Adds Copy to Search operation to copy selected text to the Search Panel
  • Improves .NET Code Scan when searching for multiple pattern strings
  • Improves support for recognizing Custom Translation scripts
  • Improves accuracy of late-bound dependencies reported in the Source References Report
  • Improves gmStudio Installer to meet all Windows 10 Desktop Product Certification Requirements
  • Adds Support for UI Color Themes even if they are not installed with Visual Studio
  • Improves accuracy of containing member reported in Source Scan Report
  • Improves handling of comments when searching User files or Custom files

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Improves GlobalStubs.xml Script used to generate a COM stub framework
  • Improves GlobalStubs.cmd Script used to build a COM stub framework
  • Improves the Search Reporting templates

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Adds another WPF upgrade sample for the Calculator application (both C# and VB.NET)

Special Announcement: new FORTRAN-to-C# tool

gmFortran, our world-class FORTRAN-to-C Translator, is being enhanced to support FORTRAN-to-C#. Our development efforts have already produced a tool that can translate the GSA FORTRAN Compiler Validation Suite to functionally equivalent C#. Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the beta-test.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic to make it more robust and flexible and so that it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.60, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves translating ASP render functions containing markup with in-line if-then blocks
  • Removes reference to VisualBasic.PowerPacks assembly when using a stub framework strategy
  • Adds support for DoEvents called as a function returning integer
  • Corrects issue with analysing references to module constants
  • Corrects several patterns relating to UserControl methods
  • Allows referencing MigrationSupport assembly when using local stub framework strategy

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Improves ASP Translation scripts generated by the New Project Wizard
  • Accelerates default ASP project setup by limiting the source scan to .asp, .asa, and .inc files.
  • Adds sorting to source file list in the New Project Wizard
  • Corrects screen layout problems when running Windows with text size greater then 100%
  • Improves Search Template Reporting by using '^' rather than '\' as escape character
  • Adds Find-Count Reporting for XML file search results
  • Improves Search-Replacement facility by allowing replacing multi-line regex patterns
  • Improves Project Summary Report to use case-insensitive tabulation for COM reference summary
  • Improves performance of Search Template Reporting
  • Adds user-defined events to Source Members Report
  • Corrects reporting the parent of enum entries in the IDF Search Report
  • Adds whole-word, case-insenstive, and regex options when searching code listings in the Side-by-Side Form
  • Adds support for opening Definitions Report at specific record from Search Results list

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Improves web site deployments and functional testing logic in the default User Command Script template
  • Improves the GlobalIncludes Script template
  • Improves the Search Reporting Script template
  • Improves usability of MSWord Interop upgrade rules file
  • Improves search pattern samples in the default Code Scan Terms file

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic to make it more robust and flexible and so that it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.57, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves handling name clashes between undeclared symbols and global class names
  • Improves handling name clashes between global constants and global class names
  • Improves processing string constants that contain the conditional compilation character, '#'
  • Improves C# code review by authoring TODOs for partially-upgraded GoTo Error and Resume statements

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds Multi-Threaded Search (applies to .NET Code, Configuration, Model and Custom files)
  • Modifies Default TypeLib Search Paths to check both \Windows\SysWOW64 and \Windows\System32
  • Improves Reporting .NET Code Analysis records in .NET Build Report
  • Adds Reload File Context Menu for SearchTerms/ReportTemplate
  • Improves the documentation for using Template-based Reports for Search results
  • Improves the New Project Wizard setup for ASP sites
  • Improves the New Project Wizard Completion Reporting
  • Improves the New Project Wizard Error Handling
  • Improves the New Project Wizard Session Log Report
  • Includes other minor bug fixes and improvements

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.55, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general ability to produce accurate build-complete .NET (C# and VB.NET) systems from VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a large shipping logistics application with 1 VBP referencing 283 code files containing 880K LOC and 39 third party-COM components)
  • Adds Refactor/OverGeneric statement to create generic overloads for byref parameters that must take multiple types of arguments
  • Adds new Replace attributes for matching patterns: MatchBlock='on' and MatchTillLast='on'
  • Improves generated Forms designer code
  • Adds parameter@types attribute to the InterfaceDefine feature to direct interfaces generated from specified types
  • Improves upgrading difficult cases of On Error Goto and On Error Resume
  • Improves GoSub refactoring to allow more GoSubs within a method
  • Improves handling of reference to COM Constants
  • Improves handling of calls to the Array function with no arguments
  • Improves translations of Third-Party Controls on Forms and UserControls
  • Improves handling of naming conflicts between undeclared application symbols and VB6/COM global symbols
  • Improves handling of naming conflicts between control names and VB6 keywords
  • Adds DataStore API methods to the GM Scripting Language (gmSL)

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the Visual Studio integration by allowing you to launch with a new VS Solution or with a .NET project file
  • Improves the Visual Studio integration by opening the existing session if already running
  • Improves the VB6 IDE integration by opening the existing session if already running
  • Improves Upgrade Wizard by allowing user to skip metrics reporting operations
  • Improves launching Side-By-Side Viewer for build errors in MDIForms
  • Corrects project creation using Windows Shell Integration

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.52, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general ability to produce accurate build-complete .NET (C# and VB.NET) systems from VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a large Energy Trading System composed of 177 VBPs referencing 2,724 code files (1.6M LOC) and 90 third party-COM components)
  • Adds support for different code file encoding schemes <Select CharSet="ASCII|UTF8|Shift_JIS"/>; default is ASCII
  • Improves VB.NET support for upgrading for each loop over control array elements
  • Improves VB.NET support for parameters declared to take Generic collection of control (i.e. VB6 Control Array)
  • Improves migration of Startup Form to use a Starup class with a Main function that runs and instance of the form
  • Improves custom migration certain cases of COM Property Get
  • Improves build order report to allow for references to .RLL files

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the Search feature by adding support for reading search terms from a file using /filepath
  • Improves Source References report to use library description from IDL file if it is not available from the registry
  • Improves .NET Build Log report to more accurately report source lines
  • Improves Metrics Summary Report to report Reference Type and Name in COM References section

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

New gmStudio Case Studies and Testimonials

A recent customer allowed us to publish a brief description of their VB6/COM upgrade project and their testimonial of success with gmStudio.  Learn how a small team successfully completed a very large, ambitious VB6/COM upgrade effort with the help of gmStudio. Read the article 

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.49, includes several enhancements:

General Improvements

  • Improves the general ability to produce build-complete .NET code from very large, very complex VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a Chiropractic Patient Management application composed of 60 inter-related VBPs referencing 1,079 unique files containing over 780K unique LOC and 84 third party COM components)
  • Improves handling member name clashes in COM APIs
  • Improves inferring the rank of variant arrays
  • Improves handling mismatch between enum parameter type and enum arguments
  • Improves using weakly-typed values in a context expecting a Color value
  • Improves handling classes named "Main" that conflict with the reserved method name "Main"
  • Improves handling the "value" parameter of property setters
  • Improves initialization of 2D arrays
  • Improves conversions applied for mixed-type assignments
  • Corrects metalanguage declaration of MidB to return String
  • Improves default C# coding style to use more of lightweight object-oriented patterns (previously required Subsytem=loc)

ASP Improvements

  • Improves statement boundary detection in complex cases of server code integrated with markup
  • Improves upgrading VBScript classes in ASP codes to code classes
  • Improves upgrading #include statements in render functions
  • Improves use of extension methods in upgraded ASP code
  • Improves upgrading cross-linked VBScript classes. In ASP, cross-linking occurs when code in #include files or VBScript classes references symbols from other #includes, pages, or classes.

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds support for opening Side-by-Side viewer from member search results
  • Adds support for opening Side-by-Side viewer from GUI designer search results
  • Adds support for opening Side-by-Side viewer for code classes generated from VBScript classes
  • Improves Reset job status behavior to also clear reference status and delete IDF cache files

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.46, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general ability to produce build-complete .NET code from very large, very complex VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a Comprehensive Tax Preparation of 19 inter-related VBPs referencing 993 unique files containing over 1.4M unique LOC and 42 third party COM components)
  • Adds support for UserDocument
  • Improves handling name clashes with other application identifiers or .NET reserved words
  • Improves preserving comments in enums, user-defined types, and select-case statements
  • Adds logic to report a warning when a Refactor/FixType is not found
  • Improves inferring and propagating the rank of array parameters and variables
  • Increases the number of possible branches in a Select/Case to 1024
  • Improves handling COM descriptions containing same-named interfaces
  • Removes automatic conversion of a Function to a Subroutine when the Function does not set any return value
  • Improves handling Implements and interfaces
  • Improves refactoring GoSub into separate functions
  • Improves handling the CVar function
  • Improves handling recursive functions
  • Improves reporting translation diagnostics when TraceChanges=on
  • Improves readability of complex late calls
  • Improves maintaining the consistency of inferred types for a property let/get
  • Improves handling of variant variables/parameters used both as array and scalar
  • Improves logic to insert temporary variables used within Do-While loops
  • Improves project with non-standard file naming conventions

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds Support for UserDocuments and Designers on Source Structure Report
  • Improves Support for custom ActiveX Designers
  • Corrects updating Reference Status in the project tracking reports
  • Improves use of user-preferred editor rather than shell-open
  • Adds support opening containing file from a full-file search at a specific line
  • Simplifies default editor conventions
  • Adds the ability to open Side-by-Side viewer from Build Log listing

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The sample rules were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The sample upgrade solutions were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions. 

New gmStudio Case Studies and Testimonials

A handful of recent customers allowed us to publish brief descriptions of their VB6/COM upgrade projects and their testimonials of success with gmStudio. Learn how small teams successfully completed large, ambitious VB6/COM upgrade efforts with the help of gmStudio. Read the case studies 

Adding WPF Support for VB.NET

The gmStudio distribution includes a sample demonstrating an upgrade of VB6 forms to WPF. This sample was originally implemented for C# only. In this release, we added a WPF sample for VB.NET and published a blog article to describe how we did it.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine Update

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.44, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general, right out-of-the-box, ability to produce build-complete .NET code from very large, very complex VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a Comprehensive Tax Preparation of 19 inter-related VBPs referencing 993 unique files containing over 1.4M unique LOC and 42 third party COM components)
  • Improves rewriting complex GoSub blocks as separate functions
  • Improves handling undeclared variables
  • Improves rewriting complex conditional expressions that mix booleans and enums
  • Improves relocating local Const variables when needed to initialize local Static arrays
  • Improves rewriting Select/Case statements
  • Improves rewriting designer code enum properties initialized with an undefined numeric values
  • Improves rewriting IIf with incompatible true/false result types
  • Improves determining if a control or its default property is needed when referenced from outside the host form
  • Improves rewriting large numeric literal expressions to prevent compile-time overflow
  • Improves identifying collection properties and migrating complex references to collection element
  • Improves rewriting binary operations involving decimal and DateTime quantities
  • Improves rewriting logic for control arrays as logic using SortedList
  • Improves handling files that had internal naming collision
  • Improves rewriting the Unload control statement
  • Improves rewriting references to the Index property of control arrays.
  • Improves propagating custom interface events to Implementing classes
  • Improves rewriting very large numeric consts that were specified as string literals
  • Improves inferring and propagating the rank and marshalling of array parameters
  • Improves placement of temporary variables created in nested code blocks
  • Improves type inference for collections of collections
  • Improves rewriting Friend interface members as public
  • Improves rewriting parameterized properties

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment Update

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds support for Side-by-Side Code Viewer with ASP upgrade projects
  • Adds support for creating new gmStudio projects from the command line interface
  • Improves default results folder naming conventions to use a simpler, more natural form
  • Improves Close Project behavior
  • Improves error handling and reporting for Meta-Language and Translation processes
  • Adds Double-Click to Edit User-Files on the Configuration form
  • Improves Edit Project Name behavior on the Configuration form
  • Improves the Search Reporting for XML files in the User and System folder by reporting fully qualified location of matches.
  • Improves default Search List/Reporting layout when their orientation changes
  • Improves Visual Studio Solution Generator to set stable project GUIDs based on upgrade project task names
  • Corrects Task order displayed on the Upgrade Wizard to reflect build order and processing order
  • Corrects new projects to suppress upgrading Collections/Dictionaries to strongly-typed Generic collections

Sample Upgrade Rules Update

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The latest distribution of sample rules files includes several improvements:

  • Adds scripts showing how VB6 forms may be upgraded to WPF/XAML for VB.NET. Formerly this was only available for C#

Sample Upgrade Solutions Update

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The samples were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.

  • Adds a sample demonstrating VB6 forms to WPF/XAML for VB.NET. Formerly this was only available for C#

Abstract
The gmStudio distribution includes a sample demonstrating an upgrade of VB6 forms to WPF.  This sample was originally implemented for C#.  The purpose of this article is to describe how we added a WPF sample for VB.NET and provide insights into advanced customization.  The work required changes to the following metalanguage files:

  • enumerations.xml
  • vbcontrols.xml
  • locSubsystem.gmsl
  • wpfSubsystem.gmsl
  • vb7lang.xml
  • VBASIC.xml

Background
A Subsystem is a collection of related upgrade rules that provide a specific upgrade feature.  The current WPF/C# sample uses subsystem=wpf and subsystem=loc (light-weight object oriented C# coding style).  The two subsystems are activated by adding two commands to the translation script:

<Select SubSystem="wpf"/>
<Select SubSystem2="loc"/>

Generally speaking, the WPF/VB.NET sample will be analogous to the WPF/C# sample. However, the problems are in the details: I initially find the WPF subsystem contains several C#-specific patterns in vbcontrols.xml; for example, there are int and double casts as well as a few other C# patterns relating to data binding:

 

vbcontrols.xml
 <pattern id="Top.Set" >
 <wpf narg="2" code="Canvas.SetTop(%2d,(double)(%1d))\c" />
 <all narg="2" code="%2d.Top = %1d\c" />
 </pattern> 

 

What is needed here is a VB.NET form for some WPF operations. This is analogous to the situation with SubSystem=loc/lob where some patterns need both a VB.NET and a C# form.  For WPF we will need a pair of subsystems, wpf/wpb, for C#/VB.NET respectively. The new subsystem is added to enumerations.xml:

<MetaLanguage>
<Enumeration id="Dialects" >
...
 <Entry id="wpf" migName="LNG_WPF" value="9" />
 <Entry id="loc" migName="LNG_LOC" value="10" />
 <Entry id="lob" migName="LNG_LOB" value="11" />
 <Entry id="wpb" migName="LNG_WPB" value="12" /> <------ added
 </Enumeration>

 

Returning to vbcontrols.xml, I can add wpb versions of the dailect-specific wpf patterns, for example:

vbcontrols.xml
 <pattern id="Top.Set" >
 <wpb narg="2" code="Canvas.SetTop(%2d,%1d)\c" /> <------ added
 <wpf narg="2" code="Canvas.SetTop(%2d,(double)(%1d))\c" />
 <all narg="2" code="%2d.Top = %1d\c" />
 </pattern>
I find another dialect-specific WPF pattern in VBASIC.XML.   This pattern specifies the operation needed to start a WPF application.  A VB.NET version is added:

 

VBASIC.XML
 <pattern id="WPO">
 <subcode id="SetCanvas">
 <wpf narg="3" code="%2d.%3d = %1d\c"/>
 <all narg="3" code="Canvas.Set%3d(%2d, %1d)\c"/>
 </subcode>
 <subcode id="RunProject" >
 <wpb narg="4" code="Dim app As New %4d.App : app.Run(%1d)\c" /> <------------ added 
 <all narg="4" code="new %4d.App().Run(%1d)\c" />
 </subcode>
 </pattern> 

In order to activate the new wpb subsystem, I need to modify the CompilerInfo handlers to include wbp in the Subsystem stack for Dialect=vbn. The CompilerInfo handlers are gmSL routines that are called by the tool when it begins processing the Compile command in a translation script. There is a CompilerInfo handler for Subsystem=loc and I will add one for SubSystem=wpf.   The change must be made to load the subsystems in the correct order of precedence based on the selected .NET language dialect. 

CompilerInfo Event Handlers
locSubsystem.gmsl
int locCompilerInfo(int dummy1, int dummy2)
{   
   if(Select.Dialect == Dialects.vbn)
   {
      if (Select.SubSystem == Dialects.wpb)
      {
         Select.Subsystem = Dialects.wpb;
         Select.Subsystem2 = Dialects.wpf;
         Select.Subsystem3 = Dialects.lob;
         Select.Subsystem4 = Dialects.loc;
      }
      else
      {
         Select.Subsystem = Dialects.lob;
         Select.Subsystem2 = Dialects.loc;
      }
   }
   else
   {
      if (Select.SubSystem == Dialects.wpf)
      {
         Select.Subsystem  = Dialects.wpf;
         Select.Subsystem2 = Dialects.loc;
      }
   }
   return 0;
}

wpfSubsystem.gmsl
int wpfCompilerInfo(int dummy1, int dummy2)
{
   if(Select.Dialect == Dialects.vbn)
   {
         Select.Subsystem = Dialects.wpb;
         Select.Subsystem2 = Dialects.wpf;
         Select.Subsystem3 = Dialects.lob;
         Select.Subsystem4 = Dialects.loc;
   }
   else
   {
         Select.Subsystem = Dialects.wpf;
         Select.Subsystem2 = Dialects.loc;
   }
   return 0;
}

There are several places in authortext.gmsl testing for the presence of a subsystems. For these more complex multi-subsystem scenarios, they may also need to check SubSystem2, Subsystem3, etc. authortext.xml must also be modified to allow for this. A utility function, hasSubSystem, will be used to help make these tests in a consistent way.

authortext.gmsl
int hasSubSystem(int theSubSystem)
{
 if (Select.SubSystem ==theSubSystem) return 1;
 if (Select.SubSystem2==theSubSystem) return 2;
 if (Select.SubSystem3==theSubSystem) return 3;
 if (Select.SubSystem4==theSubSystem) return 4;
 if (Select.SubSystem5==theSubSystem) return 5;
 return 0;
} 

Several other simple changes relating to default assembly references and Imports statements were needed to support WPF for VBN.   These are done by modifying in authortext.gmsl. 

A critical part of supporting the WPF upgrade relates to authoring XAML from the VB6 forms and declaring the WPF Application class.  This work is done in the wpfSubSystem.gmsl script.  This gmSL script contains various upgrade event handlers and supporting routines that are called by gmBasic at the appropriate times during the authoring process.   Support for VB.NET was added by making the code in wpfSubSystem.gmsl dialect-specific: adding logic to author either C# or VB.NET code depending on the dialect setting.

Next, I add an entry to VB7Lang.xml so that both the wpf SubSystem and the new wpb SubSystem will invoke the upgrade event handlers implemented in  WPFSubsystem.gmsl:

VB7Lang.xml
<gmSL NameSpace="gmSL" class="WPFSubSystem" Source="%UserFolder%\WPFSubsystem.gmsl" /> 
<gmSL NameSpace="gmSL" class="WPBSubSystem" Source="%UserFolder%\WPFSubsystem.gmsl" /> <-------------- added 
I need to recompile the Metalanguage using the modified files. This creates a binary metalanguage file that can be used during the translation process.
  
With these changes, the WPF feature may be activated by adding one line to a translation script:

 

<Select SubSystem="wpf"/> 

 

The above now works for both Dialect=csh and Dialect=vbn.  Note: the WPF upgrade subsystem is a limited implementation: it supports most VB6 intrinsic controls and the COM TabControl (TabDlg).  Additional VB6/COM controls and other features may be added by modifying the appropriate language scripts and COM description files.  Contact us if you have any questions.


New gmStudio Testimonials

A number of our recent customers allowed us to publish brief descriptions of their VB6/COM upgrade projects and their testimonials of success with gmStudio.  Learn how small teams successfully completed large, ambitious VB6/COM upgrade efforts with the help of gmStudio. 

Given a number of technology trends, legacy modernization is still a critical priority -- now, more than ever.

First, the official end-of-support for Visual Basic classic (VB6) was in April 2008 -- almost 9 years ago. It has also been almost 20 years since the last major release of VB6. As a result, the number of skilled developers who are available and willing to work with VB6 is critically low. This represents a growing business risk for organizations maintaining systems in VB6. The same type of risks exist for organizations maintaining web sites with ASP classic.

Second, there have been many recent changes for Windows Operating Systems:

  • End of Windows XP Extended Support: April 2014
  • End of Windows Server 2008 Mainstream Support: January 2015
  • Start of Availability of Windows 10: July 2015
  • Start of Availability of Windows Server 2016: October 2016

Third, Microsoft has made huge investments in .NET. Since 2000, Microsoft has published many significant releases of the .NET languages, frameworks, and tools. In addition, Microsoft and others have made great investments in open source. .NET has been well-received by product vendors, developers, and other experts. It enjoys outstanding support from the open source community with compilers, IDEs, frameworks, and other tools enabling .NET development for platforms other than Windows. Going into 2017, we find .NET is a powerful, mature development platform backed by a global community of IT professionals.

Fourth, the last decade brought important advancements in how we build software: improved development operations tools and techniques, powerful new frameworks and design patterns, and exciting new areas for application features. These new tools, new methodologies, work well with .NET. When they are combined with strategic business vision, they make a strong case for modernizing VB6/ASP legacy systems and adopting .NET.

For organizations still running on 20-year-old, unsupported technologies, 2017 may be the year to plan and implement a successful upgrade! We have the upgrade technology and the necessary expertise in this area to assist you. Please give us a call or email -- we will be very happy to hear from you.

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and it produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.43, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves the general ability to produce build-complete .NET code from very large, very complex VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a Comprehensive Accounting System of 38 inter-related VBPs re ferencing 1,149 unique files containing over 1.8M unique LOC).
  • Improves ByRef to ByVal optimization rules
  • Improves precision of division involving fixed-point quantities.
  • Improves handling of international Character sets in source code and upgrade configuration files
  • Improves handling With blocks using instance of a user-defined type (C#)
  • Improves handling of IsNull/Null operations with default properties
  • Improves handling of power-of-ten numeric constants to use the 'E' notation (e.g., 1.0E3)
  • Improves handling of optional parameters that use private symbols as default values by using overloading

gmStudio: Upgrade Solution Development Environment

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating high-performance, custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds a FileName attribute in the ScriptRule commands
  • Adds support for copying selected text to the clipboard from the Side-by-Side code review form
  • Adds support for authoring '%' character from Search Reporting template (useful for generating refactoring commands from search results)
  • Improves copying task list data using CTRL-C (names) and Shift-CTRL-C (details)
  • Adds option to add a User Command Script to each task when adding tasks to a gmStudio project file
  • Improves Search Reporting options: unique, template, detail, none
  • Improves ProgID Report by removing deprecated CLSID field
  • Corrects issue with FileExists test when file path is null
  • Corrects issue with starting application with the /folder command line switch

Sample Upgrade Rules

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that can be used to add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. The latest distribution of sample rules files includes several improvements: 

  • Standardizes sample COM replacement rulesso that the internal library id is same as default COM library id. This simplifies activating COM replacement rules files in your upgrade solution
  • Simplifies MigrationSupport namespace conventions to streamline the supporting code if needed
  • Updates standard script templates by moving configuration folder specifications to top of script
  • Updates comments in sample standard script templates standard script templates file

Sample Upgrade Solutions

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. The samples were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions

gmBasic: Upgrade Engine

gmBasic is a powerful code processor that reads, interprets, and rewrites VB6/ASP/COM systems as .NET (C# or VB.NET). We are always improving gmBasic so that it is more robust and flexible and produces cleaner, more correct results. This distribution, Version 30.40, includes several enhancements:

  • Improves general ability to produce build-complete .NET code from very large, very complex VB6 systems (most recently including enhancements needed to upgrade a Comprehensive Accounting System of 38 inter-related VBPs referencing 1,149 unique files containing over 1.8M unique LOC).   
  • Improves client-side VBScript to JavaScript transformation when also using Subsystem=loc
  • Corrects handling of <header> tag in ASP
  • Improves handling large COM libraries with classes implementing more than 100 interfaces (e.g. ESRI GIS)
  • Improves rewriting Select Case as C# switch statement rather if/else
  • Improves restructuring code using both GoSub with GoTo labels into separate functions
  • Improves recognizing operations in late bound property Get/Let property operations
  • Improves upgrading Popup menu
  • Improves handling If Then Else when there is no operation after Then
  • Increases the use of cleaner, early bound syntax for symbols having an inferred type
  • Increases the limits of the Build Order Tool to allow up to 1,024 VBPs

gmStudio: Upgrade Development Environment

Powered by gmBasic, gmStudio is a development environment for creating custom VB6/ASP/COM to .NET upgrade solutions. We are always adding functionality to gmStudio and also making it more helpful and easier to use. This distribution includes several enhancements:

  • Adds support for a Wizard-Only license for a new "Great Migrations Upgrade Wizard" offering.
  • Improves licensing so that IDF generation is allowed after the Trial License is expired
  • Improves logic to setup Global Stubs script
  • Adds Search Terms Presets to the Search feature 
  • Adds Search Reports Presets to the Search feature
  • Improves .NET Build Log Report to more accurately reflect .NET project path
  • Improves Translation Log Report for missing references

Sample Upgrade Rules

gmStudio ships with a collection of sample upgrade rules that add custom features to your upgrade solution. These XML documents and gmSL scripts are distributed as source that you may modify to fit your unique requirements. This distribution of the latest set of sample rules files includes several improvements:

  • Improves the default Search Terms file adding presets
  • Improves the default Search Report Templates file adding presets

Sample Upgrade Solutions

Great Migrations publishes a number of sample VB6/ASP upgrade solutions to illustrate the capabilities of gmStudio. All of the samples were updated to reflect the latest product improvements and conventions.