A little over a year back I first spoke to Roberto to see if Artinsoft could help me with a large ISV with a significant investment in Visual Basic 6. Since then I have had the pleasure to meet Roberto on a number of occasions and have seen Artinsoft do good work with UK ISVs migrating from VB6.
Roberto kindly agreed to a short interview. Enjoy.
Roberto, could you just say a few words about Artinsoft and your involvement with VB6 migration?
ArtinSoft has been in the software migration business for over 14 years. We developed the Visual Basic Upgrade Wizard for Microsoft. This product was intended to be distributed massively and therefore there are many migration scenarios it does not fully cover. We have developed the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion that incorporates the experience of migrating more than 10 million lines of code of mission critical applications. . We are able to customize our product to both decrease the manual effort and to address critical issues like the porting of 3rd party controls. ArtinSoft has partnered continuously with Microsoft to solve complex situations in which time to market and business continuity are critical.
Excellent. Both you and I have spent time over the last two years working with companies with significant investments in Visual Basic 6. Can you share an example of the sort of scenario you have come across?
Most companies have begun a process in which they intended to rewrite and re-architect the whole application. During the process they realized how painful and expensive a manual rewrite is, and how disruptive this can be for the organization. Now that the clock is ticking with regards to the VB6 EOL, companies are realizing how an automated process is the safest and most economic way of evolving their applications. There is a lot of embedded knowledge that can be reused for the next version of the application.
And how was Artinsoft able to help?
We make the process faster and more productive. Usually we see a mix of application migration and some rewrite, this is where we team up with the customers so that we can focus on migrating the application and the internal team focuses on defining the evolution of the application. Through customizing our product we can reduce the manual work and also facilitate the next stage which is the evolution of the application. We can automatically address the replacement of 3rd party components to native .NET equivalents.
We also license our product to SI’s that execute the services part of the migration. In the UK we have worked very successfully with Logica.
Is this something you see happening increasingly more often?
Definitely. The VB6 migrations are just starting to happen, we have been seeing a big increase in the number of large VB6 applications that are being migrated or the strategy to migrate them is being formulated. The experiences companies are having with total rewrites are increasing the number of automatic migrations.
What would be your advice for a customer with a significant investment in VB6?
First to look at the real costs of a total rewrite and second to assess the impact of a delay in both project schedule and budget will have on business continuity and compliance issues.
I know you also offer migration to C# - is that proving to be popular?
This is one of the most important features of our product. Companies that have standardised on C# really value that we can take their VB6 investments straight to C#, avoiding the need to support both Visual Basic and C# applications. C# appears to be especially popular in the financial and insurance verticals.
Thanks for that Roberto.