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Best (modern) programming language for 1.) database app, 2.) multimedia app ?

Posted on 2014-09-17
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Last Modified: 2014-09-19
I KNOW this is a loaded question, but as a dinosaur programmer, I need to ask it.

1.) I need to re-write a business/database app that I wrote 15 years ago in Visual Basic (VB6), using Crystal Reports as the report generator

2.) I may need to re-write a multimedia app that was difficult to do in VB years ago (several timers running multimedia events, displaying JPG files in quick succession with narrration MP3 files that might play over a dozen images, displaying video files, pulling data out of an Access database.)

Both of those applications used numerous controls, mostly MS, but some third party controls as well.

I suppose that the "logical" answer is VB.Net - but is it really the best answer? I plan to abandon the Access database in the apps, using My SQL instead.  I would need an editable grid control, a multimedia control, (in addition to the usual button, listbox, combobox,textbox, etc.), as well as a report generator at least as good as Crystal Reports.

I'm NOT asking about your favorite programming language, but rather the most intelligent choice. The multimedia app with critical timed events is probably a poor choice for a browser-based interface, but I would consider a browser-based interface for the database business app.

Your insights and experience are welcomed! Please let me know what you'd use.

Thanks,

Dennis
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Question by:dtleahy
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12 Comments
 
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vasto earned 250 total points
ID: 40329078
VB.NET looks like the easiest way to handle this. The language is OK and there will be an option to convert the VB6 project to VB.NET ( you might need to use VS 2005 or bellow). The conversion will be not perfect though.
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by:mlmcc
mlmcc earned 250 total points
ID: 40329193
VS.Net does come with a version of Crystal that could upgrade the existing reports.  If you use VS2005 and before Crystal is included in with VS.Net.  Later versions have a separate download you can install after installing VS.Net.

Crystal.Net has an IDE that installs and runs inside the VS IDE.

The code used to call reports in .Net is much different from what you used in VB6.  I do have a link to a document to help you translate but it is on another machine.  I will provider the link later.

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:dtleahy
ID: 40329523
Thanks vasto and mlmcc,

I see "Express" (free) and "Professional" ($445) versions of Visual Studio 13. I don't suppose the free version is worth bothering with?

Is there a good (current) site with descriptions and reviews of third-party controls?

Thanks!

Dennis
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by:vasto
ID: 40329655
I never tried Express. Professional is OK. You can check this website for controls: www.componentsource.com
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by:mlmcc
ID: 40330310
MS does a good job of comparing the 2.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms349441.aspx

My understanding is that the Express version doesn't support addons and some third-party controls so it may not work with Crystal.  The original intent of express was to provide a version that could be used for learning and also be useful for development of less complex production applications.

An article from Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Visual_Studio_Express

mlmcc
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Author Comment

by:dtleahy
ID: 40330855
I'll award/split points now, and I'm sorry that one question leads to another. I thought I was going to finish out my programming career with VB6, and already decided  years ago that I did not want to bother learning .NET - and of course, now I wish I had done it a decade ago, because I am going to have to learn it.

So it sounds like I need to get an older version (like VS.NET 2005) to do the initial conversion of VB6 to VB.Net, then hand code everything the converter cannot do, and then get a recent version of Professional to be working with the latest stuff (bug fixes, etc.)

I noticed there was no mention of C#.  I had a suspicion that C# might be a good choice for the multimedia app, but it will probably by plenty difficult just wrapping my head around VB.NET, so if the app worked in VB6, I hope I can assume I can get it to run in VB.NET too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dtleahy
ID: 40330870
Thanks again for your time and expertise. If you think of anything else that would help, and/or some good websites for tutorials, third party controls, tips &tricks, a good .net forum... please feel free at any time to come back to this topic and add.

Vasto and mlmcc, your help is greatly appreciated.

Dennis
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Expert Comment

by:vasto
ID: 40330886
Thanks Dennis. If you get VS2013 you may not be able to convert directly VB6 project to VB.NET. Use VS2003 or VS2005 as a middle step to open the vbp and convert it and then open the converted project with VS2013. I guess the Express version of VS2003/2005 will handle the conversion ( but as I said I never tried it)
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Expert Comment

by:vasto
ID: 40330891
I personally prefer C#, but VB.NET syntax is closer to VB6 and you will have smaller learning curve.
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Author Comment

by:dtleahy
ID: 40332487
Visual Studio 2008 appears to be the final version that includes the migration tool for VB6 applications, plus it (supposedly) has numerous enhancements over 2003 and 2005 such as finding syntax errors (and I'm guessing that at least some of what the migration functionality fails on may be seen as syntax errors.)

Any thoughts on me getting VS 2008 rather than 2003 or 2005 for the initial transmogrification? The prices are not vastly different, and (I think) any VS.NET version probably qualifies me to buy the "upgrade" version of VS2013 Professional.

Dennis
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Expert Comment

by:vasto
ID: 40332601
I was even thinking if you can use the Express just for the migration and purchase directly 2013 . 2008 is better choice if it supports migration
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by:mlmcc
ID: 40332610
I don't think I would use Express since it in general doesn't support 3rd-party addins which might include Crystal.

VS2008 includes Crystal.  FOr VS2013 you have a separate download for Crystal.
Link to the original CR for VS2010
http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/91f71ce2-e591-45a1-8bc2-0d61cd090117/crystal-reports-version-for-vs-2010?forum=vscrystalreports

Link to the SPs.  I believe you need SP10 for VS2013.  SPs may be full versions.
http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-7824

Check the licensing on VS.Net.  Some of MS software  allows the use of previous versions.

Here is a link to download the trial version of VS2008.  I believe it is a fully functioning version.  You could use that to upgrade from VB then convert to VS 2013.

http://microsoft-visual-studio-2008.software.informer.com/9.0/

mlmcc
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