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Now That's Classic, Visual Basic [Classic] Tools for Visual Studio


Visual Studio Gallery - Visual Basic Tools for Visual Studio

Visual Basic Tools for Visual Studio is a language service extension for Visual Studio 2012 and 2013 allowing to work on classic Visual Basic projects within Visual Studio. It´s intention is to provide better development tools for teams which have to maintain legacy code, or working on migration projects. Right now the toolset is still under development and some valuable features are not available yet, but it could already worth it to try.

This is pre-release software which is not intended to be used in a live operating environment. The software is licensed "as-is" and you bear the risk of using it.

What´s in the box?

The extension adds the VB-CLASSIC menu item to the development environment; this menu allows to load classic VB workspace- and project-files and offers quick access to the extension´s options. This is not a converter nor another VB6 upgrade wizard. The import tool creates a new solution and MSBuild compatible projects. The project system synchronizes all changes made to a project with the corresponding VBP file; this allows to use this toolset in parallel with the Visual Basic 6 IDE.


Project System and Editor

The package registers a new language service supporting Visual Basic 6 projects and code files. It integrates with the solution explorer and the code editor having support for syntax highlighting, basic outlining (allows to expand/collapse methods, properties and types) as well as navigation bar support.

Project Properties Designer

The project properties designer works directly on VBP files (MSBuild project files have only been introduced due to compatibility issues). The current version allows to display and edit a subset of classic VBP project settings (will probably be extended in future versions).


While I had a production app in every version of VB Classic (well except for VB for DOS... remember that?) and while I personally feel the MS dev community needs to let it go (Really folks, "It's dead, Jim..."), I thought this extension very cool...


Published at DZone with permission of Greg Duncan, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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