Visual Basic

Concluding Thoughts

This chapter has drawn together a series of ideas that you should take into account when developing a large-scale Visual Basic 6 distributed system. The introduction of Visual Basic 6 means that Visual Basic developers have to change their attitude toward developing higher-quality and more easily maintainable applications. The pursuit of quality must become the prime objective of every member of the team, from the most junior programmer to top management.

You can, of course, improve quality in many different ways, as described early in this chapter. In our discussion, we have touched only on the very basics:

  • Commitment. Every person involved in a project must be totally committed to the success of the project.

  • Technical excellence. Insist on the best, and provide support in the form of proper training and the allocation of sufficient hardware and software resources.

  • Communication. Ensure that the right hand knows what the left is doing. The "mushroom syndrome" must be abandoned forever.

Several basic commonsense steps will help to ensure that quality is maintained in any Visual Basic development:

  • Manage it: Manage risk carefully.

  • Plan it: A formal project plan is essential.

  • Design it: A poorly designed interface to a poorly designed technical infrastructure will invariably result in a very poor system.

  • Test it: And then test it again. Then get someone else to test it.

  • Review it: Careful monitoring throughout the development cycle will help to prevent eleventh-hour disasters.

  • Document it: There is simply no such thing as not having enough time to comment the code properly as you are writing it.

Visual Basic 6 is one of the most powerful tools available to the Windows developer today. And like any powerful tool, in the wrong hands the results can be disastrous. Used correctly, however, Visual Basic 6 can provide unprecedented levels of productivity and sophistication.