Tip:

How to create an installation for a VB6 application


 
With our installation tool Visual Installer you can create an installation package that installs a VB6 application (Visual Basic 6.0 application) in a very easy way. Visual Installer can replace the Package and Deployment Wizard tool, that is included in Visual Basic 6.0, and create an installer with a modern user interface. Visual Installer will also give additional functions like license key handling, file component handling and multi language handling. With Visual Installer you can also code sign (digitally sign) your installation packages, which will make installations in restricted environments (like Windows 8) easier and protect your setup files from viruses or another malware.

VB6 runtime files are included automatically
A VB6 application has always support files that must be distributed with the main program file. Some runtime files, like MSVBVM60.dll, are fundamental for running a VB6 application. Without MSVBVM60.dll, and few other runtime files, a VB6 application can not be started. Although these runtime files often are installed in end-users computers, this is not always the case. That's why these runtime files always must be a part of a setup package that installs a VB 6.0 application.
 
Visual Installer will automatically include all runtime files that are necessary to run a VB6 application. During the setup, Visual Installer will install these files if they are missing in the end-users computer, in their correct hard disk folders. If they already exists in the end-user's computer, no file copying will occur, which makes the installation process faster.

Visual Installer knows which ActiveX components to include
Almost all VB6 applications use one or more ActiveX components in the program. It can be the ActiveX components that follows Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0, or it can be ActiveX components from a third party developer (like our Calendar Components product). Visual Installer can find out which ActiveX components that an application uses by analyzing the Visual Basic project file, and automatically include them in a Visual Installer setup project. During the setup the ActiveX components will be installed in their correct folders and also registered in the system in a proper way (an ActiveX component must always be registered before use).

In this tip
In the tip below we will show how to import a VB6 project file to Visual Installer by using Visual Installer's import wizard. During the import Visual Installer will make an analysis of the VB6 project file and find out which files to include in the installation project. Runtimes files and ActiveX components (if used) are included automatically.
 
 
How to create an installation for a VB6 application:
 
1. Start Visual Installer and create a new project.
 
2. Select the File - Import Visual Basic project - Visual Basic 6.0 project menu item:
 
File - Import Visual Basic project - Visual Basic 6.0 project

 
3. The following dialog box is now shown:
 
The 'Import Visual Basic 6.0 project' dialog box

 
4. Click the Select project file button and browse for a Visual Basic project file (.VBP file).
 
5. Click the Select program file button and browse for the program file (.EXE file) of the project. This is the executable file a user starts to run your application.
 
6. If your application uses any database you may select the right option in the Database support group. If your application does not use any database, you can ignore the contents of the Database support group.
 
7. Now click on the Import project button.
 
8. In the dialog box that appears, choose a main destination folder for your application. You can usually use the default folder that is suggested in the dialog box, so you should only click OK.
 
9. Enter a description for the shortcut for your application, in the new dialog box that is shown.
 
10. Press OK to continue.
 
11. The file list in Visual Installer will now be filled with all files that your application consists of:
 
The 'File list' tab with VB6 files
 
In our test project (see the picture above) the name of the main executable file / main program is TestApp.exe. An ActiveX component with the filename SLXCal.ocx was also included in the file list (SLXCal.ocx is a component from our Calendar Components toolbox). The rest of files in the file list are support files that the application is dependent of.
 
12. Give your project a name by entering av project name in the Project name text field.
      For example "My Test Project".
 
13. Specify a main destination folder at the Main folder text field.
      For example "%PROGRAMFILES\MyTestApp".

14. Now create a setup package by choosing the File - Create setup package menu item.

You have now created an installation package that installs a VB6 application. This installation package can be run in all versions of Windows from Windows 98 to Windows 10.
 
 
Related tips
Visual Installer can also import a VB.NET project from Visual Studio 2002-2015. This tip shows how:
 
How to create an installation for a VB.NET application
 
As mentioned above, an installation can be code signed. This tip shows how to code sign your setup package:
 
How to code sign a setup package
 

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SamLogic