Need to rebuild a VB6 Project

raymurphy used Ask the Experts™
Have never worked with VB6 previously, but have been asked to investigate how a particular VB6 exe application works ... Onsite there are no VB6 developers who I can refer to for assistance, so I'm seeking help here.

This VB6 application exe (say its called prjEmail) has been running fine for a few years, but nobody onsite knows where the original source files for the VB6 project are. By running SQL Server Profiler while the VB6 application is running, I've been able to build up a picture of what database calls are made by the application.

I've now found a folder which looks as though it may contain some of the source files for the VB6 project, but I need some help in working with those files.

The folder contains files with the following extensions :

       cls   frm   ini   bas   vbp  vbw

Can anyone please advise how I can look athe files in an IDE to see how they all fit together ?

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Hi. I actually still develop with VB6.

What you have to do is:

Install Visual Studio 6 on a computer (preferibly with Windows XP, as installing on Vista and 7 can give you some problems).

Main file is .vbp file (Visual Basic Project file). This is the one you should open from Visual Basic 6.

.frm files are forms (the windows that application has).
.bas will contain some extra visual basic 6 functions and procedures (Sub) made by the programmer.
.cls will contain some classes (Visual Basic is not really object oriented, but it has things called "classes" because is object based).

.ini seems to be some kind of init file. This is not about VB6.

vbw is the workspace. It is important only when you need to have more than one project linked. Copy it but you don't need to open.

In fact, all you have to do is copy all files in the folder where Visual Studio 6 is installed and open .vbp project. That's all.

Hope it helps. Regards.
Top Expert 2012

Look for a project in the IDE.  The file extension is vbp. If it is complete, opening it will automatically open the form (.frm & .frx), module (.bas) and class (.cls). The ini file is unlikely to be used in the compile.
Well, the vbp is the project file: that is the starting point for the project. frm relates to forms (you will also have frx files that have any resources) , bas files are code modules and cls are classes. So you need to find an old copy of the VB6 IDE, which is available on MSDN, and load the vbp.
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Top Expert 2012

Note that if some of the component files were not in the same folder as the project file, they may not now be findable when opening the project. If so, it might help to open the project file in Notebook and examine the contents. It is a text file.


Thanks for those comments, gplana - that's provided an excellent starting point ....
You are more than welcome. Thanks for the points.

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