VB 6.0 Versus .Net

Should I spend training funds on VB6 or switch to VB.NET? The applications are configuration tools for in house (Configuration Engineers) and our customer base (Limited Technical Background). At some future point (3 years) we want to have updates for the software on our web site.
Paul C. McGuff
Sr. Configuration Engineer
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aikimarkConnect With a Mentor Commented:

1. What are your objectives and needs for training?
2. What level(s) of developer training are you looking at?

In general, I'd recommend that you train for your short-term needs (VB6) and start getting your feet wet in the .Net waters as cheaply as possible.

Great values on .Net training:
User groups
Microsoft seminars (product rollouts, TechNet, MSDN)
In-house consultants
Lunchtime round tables (informal study groups)

At some point in the future, you will know enough about .Net to start planning your first pilot project that is allowed to take a lot of time (for the learning curve) and can fail without disaster to the company, department, or people.  By that time, Microsoft should have enough service packs to make it a reasonable choice for new development.

Currently, only some of the VB6 code will migrate cleanly to .Net, so Microsoft is recommending you look to new development if you have an extensive code base.
Who are the programmers?  What is their current background?  

.NET will make it much easier to do things on a network if you are wanting browser type interface.

Training in VB6 will not help appreciably in .NET or so i have heard.  The changes are many and the emphasis of the language is different.

If you are training existing programmers especially if they come from a current procedural or structured language like FORTRAN, Pascal, or C, I would recommend moving to VB first.  If they are relatively inexperienced programmers I don't think it really matters except to say I would find the best training I could afford and be sure to send all the team not just 1 or 2 and let them bring the information and training back.

mlmcc >language like FORTRAN, Pascal, or C, I would recommend moving to VB first.

That would be a big mistake.
VB.NET is problematic for any VB developer.
It is much easier to start VB.NET if there is no VB background.
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I was basing my comment on VB being more in the line of structured and procedural languages.

Richie_SimonettiIT OperationsCommented:
I hate VB.Net but i am with ameba. Better you never study vb6 and older. As a friend of mine like to say regarding any legacy software:"death rechnology".... unfortunatelly.
If Paul has legacy VB6 code and needs to keep (or bring) his staff up to skill in order to maintain the code, he MUST do VB6 training.

I agree that VB.Net is a very different language from VB6.  The .Net framework is completely different.
Richie_SimonettiIT OperationsCommented:
Well, if Paul has code already, it could be a problem. Try to migrate to VB.Net before doing changes to anything.
The migration Tool that comes with VB.net is not so smart.
Maybe, you could contract to some that could do the migration and uses the effort in learn VB.net only.
cloudmarAuthor Commented:

Thanks for the points.  If it isn't too much trouble, would you please answer some of the questions posed by mlmcc and me.  When others look at this question/answer thread it will help them make better decisions if they knew whether their needs were similar to yours.
cloudmarAuthor Commented:
Answers to support the original question:
1. Training Objective: To provide training so the Configuration Engineers can develop projects to automate the configuration process. The outputs are various ascii/binary files currently generated by a DOS/Windows based programs. Various end user features require a high degree of Applications knowledge and knowledge of the  Configuration programs to be successful. The goal is to pick features from a menu/interview and have the required files generated.
2. The level of training would process from entry level to advanced. We want the skills to eventually include updates of the new program on the web but not to move the application to the web.
3. Configuration Engineers currently read "C" but don't develop in it other than to add configuration files that are in "C" and PLM. We do write code in various languages our firm developed. Some are stack oriented and some are structured; they are not assembly, "C" or Basic but have elements of each. We are a separate group from our R&D developers who range from assembly to C++. The bottom line is I want to go from Entry level up.
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