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Are there any conversion apps available that can convert VB6  to Windows CE.5?

Posted on 2011-09-26
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Are there any conversion apps available that can convert VB6 (or VB.Net)  to Windows CE.5?
Using VB6, I have prototyped an app for a hand held scanner (CipherLab 9300) and am looking for the best way to convert that code to CE.5. (I could first convert the VB6 to VB.Net if necessary)
My plan is..
* Find a Conversion app to produce a crude CE translation..
* Buy a Win CE.5 for Dummies book? and work thru the refinement of the CE code.
One colleague mentioned there are "out-sourcing" programmers (eg programmingbids.com) that would do this sort of work far more efficiently and cheaper than I could do it myself.. Is that wise advice?
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Question by:BrianVSoft
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13 Comments
 
LVL 48

Assisted Solution

by:Mikal613
Mikal613 earned 50 total points
ID: 36659416
There is no way directly. Usually a) you can use the .net converter from vb6 to .net or the best way is to rewrite it.
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LVL 96

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by:Bob Learned
Bob Learned earned 150 total points
ID: 36677470
If you have no formal understanding of Windows CE, then outsourcing may be a good option, but that really depends on who you get, so you would need to be able to know what you are getting (i.e. strong references).
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:BrianVSoft
ID: 36694116
If I convert to VB.Net first,
1. How compatible would that code be to the CE Compact Framework? Ie. cut and paste the function contents?
2. What is this language called? (Compact.Net? CE Compact Framework?)
3. Any links to a good learning tutorial or on-line book? (It's only a small app (1000 lines), it would be good to learn Compact.Net as I go.)
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LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
hjgode earned 300 total points
ID: 36707496
Hello

VS does automatically convert VB6 code to Full Framework VB.NET code.

The full and the compact framework share the same functions, but the comapct framework (version 2.0 or 3.5) often does only support one function call (the one with the most options to set) whereas the full framework offers different overloaded calls.

After the conversion you have to start a new smart device project in VS 2003/2005/2008 (express versions of VS do not support SmartDevice development, VS2010 does not support Windows Mobile development).
Then you have to copy the classes and functions from the converted project to the smart device project.
You have to rewrite code that does not build with compact framework.
You have to redesign dialogs, as mobile devices often only support QVGA resolution.

A good startet book is Programming the compact framework by Paul Yao. You will find it possibly at flazx dot com.

~josef
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Bob Learned
Bob Learned earned 150 total points
ID: 36711626
VS.NET 2010 does not have a migrator for VB6 to VB.NET any more, so you would need an external tool.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:hjgode
ID: 36712832
And vs2010 is not the development tool to use for windows mobile or windows ce development. VS2010 only supports Phone 7 development (except the other desktop development languages).

So for Windows CE VS2010 is NOT an option!
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:BrianVSoft
ID: 36716157
Thanks Guys..
Hi Hjgode.. Your comment.. "vs2010 is not the development tool to use for windows mobile or windows ce development."
I will be using VB2008 & the "compact framework" for now - but, with the future in mind, what are the  'current' preferred dev-tools if you don't have VB2008? Where does C-Sharp fit into this?
(I am developing hand-held scanner warehouse/inventory apps)

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LVL 48

Expert Comment

by:Mikal613
ID: 36716205
You can get VS2010 and develop Windows Phone 7 apps. That is the current style of Windows Mobile dev.
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LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Bob Learned
Bob Learned earned 150 total points
ID: 36717068
If you are stuck with Windows CE, you shouldn't use 2010.  If you are working with VB.NET, then you don't need C#.  If you want to work with Windows 7, then 2010 is definitely the better choice.
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

by:hjgode
hjgode earned 300 total points
ID: 36719092
Hello Brian

as you mentioned "Windows CE" and Warehouse/Inventiry, you are in an environment that needs normally ruggedized devices. These devices come with Windows Mobile, Windows CE or Windows Embedded Handheld. Phone 7 is definitely not an OS for comercial, professional use in a warehouse. Phone 7 does NOT support native programming and you will have trouble porting an app from the first listed OS versions to Phone 7 cause the devlopment environment is titally different (it is more targetted for a phone use and supports the XNA (gaming) framework.

Microsoft will still support native development and the commercial use of Windows Embedded Handheld (former Windows Mobile/Windows CE) for all professional use.

Phone 7 is definetly NOT for warehouse use. You have no option to write a kiosk mode application, etc...

~Josef
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:hjgode
ID: 36720056
Brian, some more notes

"I will be using VB2008 & the "compact framework" for now - but, with the future in mind, what are the  'current' preferred dev-tools if you don't have VB2008? Where does C-Sharp fit into this?
(I am developing hand-held scanner warehouse/inventory apps)"

You are not using VB2008, you have VS 2008. You cant use any of the express versions of Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 for SmartDevice development. The SmartDevice target is only available in non-express versions of VS 2005 / 2008.

Using VS 2005 or 2008 you can decide for C/C++, VB.NET or C# on project level. You can even mix these program langauges in a solution.

You can start with VB.NET and port your app. Later you can change to C# by using any of the free online converters for VB.NET<=>C#. But you dont need to change your preferred programming language to target for Windows CE.

If you dont have VS2008, you may go with the free SharpDevelop. I heard that you can write C# code for Compact Framework. But to do prof. programming I recommend VS2008. No one currently knows what the next 'native' capable programming tool of MS will be called. But MS will support 'native' development and Windows Embedded Handheld for the next years. Many companies have invested a lot of money in developing for Windows CE, Windows Mobile and Windows CE based ruggedized devices by Intermec, Motorola, Psion and more vendors.

See also http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2010/jun10/06-17enterprisehandheld.mspx

Is VS2008 a problem for you?

~josef
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LVL 5

Author Comment

by:BrianVSoft
ID: 36812683
Thanks everyone..
I find it very depressing that no one can expect to use the same microsoft platform for the next 5 years! It can take 5 years to "workaround" the major bugs!
Microsoft is like the Dark Side.. "Hard to see, the future is.."  
Most large business systems (5 million+ lines of code) are an evolutionary thing and take 20 year to "perfect".. Microsoft doesn't seem able to provide a stable development language for more than 5 years! And they can't understand that having to re-write a few million lines of code every 5 years is a bad thing!. They call it progress!
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LVL 5

Author Closing Comment

by:BrianVSoft
ID: 36812699
Thanks everyone..
I find it very depressing that no one can expect to use the same microsoft platform for the next 5 years! It can take 5 years to "workaround" the major bugs!
Microsoft is like the Dark Side.. "Hard to see, the future is.."  
Most large business systems (5 million+ lines of code) are an evolutionary thing and take 20 year to "perfect".. Microsoft doesn't seem able to provide a stable development language for more than 5 years! And they can't understand that having to re-write a few million lines of code every 5 years is a bad thing!. They call it progress!
0

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