Solution : VisualBasic on Linux / non-Microsoft platform

One of the most asked questions I got from customer, in relation to their planned migration to Linux, is “Will Linux runs our legacy application ?”. And, 90% of the time, that legacy apps will be a VisualBasic 6 application. They feared that it won’t run on Linux, and their business will suffer.

I’ve always told my customers that “technical problems are not a problem“.
I can always help them find a solution for a technical issue. It’s the political ones that’s sometimes proved impossible to deal with πŸ™‚
For example, once I met with a Canadian consultant, who happily informed me that he has been successful in making legacy apps running in older-than-dinosaur servers to talk with the web-apps on Linux, by creating a wrapper for these oldies. My inner geek bowed and saluted his hacking wizardry, and again my faith in our ability to overcome technical issues is strengthened.

Back to VisualBasic, what I did then is to observe their current situation. Each customer is unique, and a solution won’t always work for each of them. After the fact-finding session, then I usually able to prescribe the best solution for them.

Today I found one other possible solution for this.

Found a discussion on Slashdot, where it was noted that RealBasic is almost 100% compatible with VisualBasic and will run on non-Microsoft platform (even on Mac OS X).
Many will find its price (US$ 500) is way cheaper than to redevelop their corporate application.

Although not the solution for all, but it’s always good to have yet another choice, especially at this medium price range – it’s a clean solution and still affordable.

Just another reminder why I still check Slashdot from time to time — it’s not for the news, but the comments.
You guys rock. Thank you.

And to those looking to develop their corporate application – go web-based guys. Tying yourself to a single, proprietary, platform may prove very costly later.

And always, again, ALWAYS get the source code. Do not deal with a developer which will develop your corporate apps but won’t give you the source. Period.
You will thank me later for this, and when that happens, you may feel like transmitting a huge amount of money to my bank account. Don’t worry, it’s absolutely normal. In that case, just comment in this post, and you shall find my account details in your email in just a few minutes. πŸ˜€

OK, gotta code !

10 thoughts on “Solution : VisualBasic on Linux / non-Microsoft platform

  1. Ummm, just yesterday the Mono project finally announced that they are now supporting VB.Net.

  2. Hi myself, yes, but it’s not a solution for VisualBasic 6 based applications. This is because VB.Net is a very different thing from VisualBasic.
    RealBasic is a solution for those stuck with VisualBasic applications.

  3. It’s glad to know such ‘cross platform’ efforts but I’ll go skeptical here nonentheless. Pardon me sir, it’s my nature as software developer πŸ™‚

    Here we go.

    What makes VB COM popular is not the power of VB COM itself. It is because gazillions third-party support (ActiveXs, OCXs). I hardly find any __serious__ VB COM application built without single third-party library.

    I’m not really sure about how universal binaries work. But from its FAQ, to make every third-party libraries works using RealBasic they need to be recompiled into universal binaries also.

    And that’s a really bad thing for VB COM community πŸ™‚

    Again about universal binaries. Is it really true that RealBasic IDE using universal binaries? I don’t think so. From its screenshot, I can *smell* that it is GTK+ apps. GTK+ is not native libraries, so there will be performance impact.

    From the way I see it, a true cross platform solution doesn’t exist. There will be some price we have to pay πŸ˜€

  4. Ah, Visual Basic…

    I have an experience about converting VB to Real Basic App about 8 months ago and it didn’t success. It’s quite difficult to me :-). Andry get the point.

    I got a better solution with this method : ran VB App with CrossOver Office. Another nice solution is ran vb app on VMWare for a while and then convert VB App to another open source application, such as PHP or Java.

    Whatever I did, it was for a while, temporary condition, not for a long and permanent solution.

  5. @Andry – Pardon me sir, itÒ€ℒs my nature as software developer — LOL πŸ˜€
    Anyway, fully agree with you. There’s a reason why in my comment above I wrote “RealBasic is a solution” instead of “RealBasic is the solution”.
    I remembered when ActiveX was released and people were screaming bloody murder, and I thought, “huh?”
    Now I know why they were screaming like that.
    @Vavai – that’s a good and very valid strategy indeed.
    Anyway, just say no to vendor/platform lock-in !

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