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They say bad news always comes in threes, and for loyal developer groups that could be the case. When Visual Basic 6 is fully retired
in March 2008, it will be the last version of VB not slaved to the managed code model of .NET. While the tools will still work and VB6 apps would continue to run, the "retirement" of VB6 means no more updates, fixes, patches and upgrades to meet emerging platforms.

Then came the news last week that FoxPro, the uniquely capable data-savvy development platform, would see its last tweaks with the "Sedna" project and the Visual FoxPro Service Pack 2 release. There will be no version 10, says Microsoft, though the Sedna extensions and other components have been released into the wild as open source code.

So I shouldn't have been surprised when Burton Group analyst Peter O'Kelly mentioned that Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) could be next. The long-running macro and programming tool for Microsoft Office has been sharing the stage with Visual Studio Tools for Applications and Visual Studio Tools for Office. But with Microsoft working overtime to turn Visual Studio into the ubiquitous face of Windows-based development, the writing has been on the wall.

We're working on a feature now that talks about these retirements, what they mean for developers and what strategies dev shops can take to adjust to the changes (including migrating to new languages and tools). We'd like to feature your experience and insight. Write me at [email protected], and you could be featured in an upcoming issue of Redmond Developer News.

Posted by Michael Desmond on 03/28/2007

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