NOTE: Version 2.0 appears to be ready.  This version provides a translated product which is much less structurally complex and thereful more useful for the Business Basic programmer.  It also removes some of the limitations previously noted on this page.  At the same time, I have eliminated all up-front costs;  You may download the complete product and run trials on existing source code to determine its usefulness.  If you are already familiar with Visual Basic, you should be able to determine usefulness within hours. You may also find the Demonstration below which follows a sample program thru the complete process.

At this time, it is recommended that you use Visual Basic 6.0 .  Syntax and operational changes in Visual Basic.NET dramatically change the Business Basic 'look and feel' which can be simulated in Visual Basic 6.0.

See More --

    Demonstration of the translation of a sample Business Basic program to a functional Visual Basic program.

    Downloads (Version 2.0) --

      Complete product as of 10/10/03 (2.9 mb)  -- Includes the sample program in the Demonstration above in several forms:
      • Business Basic Source (SAMPLE.txt),
      • Translated Visual Basic Source (SAMPLE.bas),
      • Complete Visual Basic Project Definition files (SAMPLE.vbp, ...),
      • Executable Sample Program (SAMPLE.exe),
      • MenuBar (MENU.bas, MENU.vbp, MENU.exe) to spawn SAMPLE,
      • CONSOLE to mimic the Business Basic console operations using the Visual Basic Desktop Platform (MS Visual Basic 6.0 required),
      • ReadMe.txt -- Operational and technical discussion
      • Technical Notes.txt,
      • Business Basic program for preparation of BB data files for loading into MS ACCESS data files.

      NOTE: No passwords are needed during the development and testing process.   Review License.txt for pricing options and an embedded security mechanism.


    A translation of existing Business Basic code to the Windows Visual Basic environment means that you

    • can keep all the custom modifications made over the lifetime of the current programs

    • do not have to re-train operators or users, because keystrokes are identical to the old programs

    • get some Windows-like options (like print-preview, drop-down lists) without re-programming

    • can have more than one task (window) active at a time

    • gain the advantages of MS ACCESS (or some other commercial database mechanism) as the database backbone

    How does it look to the end-user?

    After the programs have been translated to the Windows environment, the user will see and use them as follows:

    Main Menu Bar. A single entry point for all the translated programs is the Menu Bar. Its initial execution creates a semi-permanent menu bar and is equivalent to a Main Menu or Selector.

    From the Menu Bar, drop-down lists emulate typical sub-menus.

    Multiple Programs Active. Each program selection spawns a separate screen window (a fixed size at 80 characters by 24 lines) for each program. Therefore, multiple programs/screens may be active at any one time.

    Cursor Input Box. At each 'INPUT' statement, a text box (or drop-down list) is drawn at the current cursor position and execution pauses waiting for the user to type an entry (or select from the drop-down list) followed by the 'ENTER' key or a Function Key.

    Printing. A standard printer 'OPEN' (LP, P1, P2, ...) will directly and immediately open the printer identified as such, and available to the user. (The printer ID must be included within the standard Windows printer name as 'Panasonic KX-P1124 (LP)'. The standard printer font Courier New is used because of it's fixed character width. Standard Line printers will work with the standard Generic/Text Only driver. Laser and Ink Jet printers will be recognized as such; any wide-carriage printing (over 80 characters) will slightly scale down the font size and print in landscape orientation on standard 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper. A printer name of P? (or any otherwise unknown printer) will cause the user to select via the standard printer selection dialog. A Printer name of PP invokes the Print Preview sequence.

    The Print Preview image will be displayed upon the screen.

    Conversion procedure

    The specific sequence for a conversion is as follows:

    • On the old computer, text source files of all programs (and data) are created.  (BBx provides a 'BUNDLE' utility which works very well, but any LIST-to-file utility could be modified to provide a satisfactory file.)

    • Source files and bundles are transferred to a windows computer.

    • The translator program will create a complete Visual Basic Project for each stand-alone program, collect sub-programs into a library, and create MS ACCESS (.mdb) data files from the source.

    • Each Visual Basic source code program needs to be visually reviewed and modified to resolve any problem areas.