WHAT MAIN REASON IS DRIVING YOUR NEED TO CONVERT FROM VFP?
KNOWING THAT AFFECTS THE DIRECTION THE MIGRATION TAKES
G. N. Shah, Chief Technology Officer, Macrosoft Inc.
Macrosoft is contacted every week from companies that express a need to migrate their older Visual FoxPro legacy applications to a new .NET environment. Though every migration is unique and we like to say we do one migration at a time, we have found the reasons we are typically contacted fall into one of four buckets.
Look at the list below to determine if one is your root course, or are you facing a different set of issues. Each reason for migrating presents a different tactical approach for implementing the migration.
- Need for Enhanced Security and a Supported Platform: Your organization might be in a regulated industry and requires tight security protocols on a supported application. As Visual FoxPro is out of support, this most definitely presents a compelling need to migrate to a supported platform.
- Need for a Modern Web-based Application: Your business needs to move to the web for a browser based application rather than a desktop installed application.
- Need for Feature Enhancements like Mobile: Your business requires enhancements for mobile interface or other such enhancements that you don’t want to do on an older technology.
- Need for Integration with Other Systems: You require integrating your old FoxPro application with other applications but the 32 bit operating system is not compatible with other systems.
If you are concerned about security, you need to start with the database. Visual Fox Pro databases provide an architecture and working environment for associating, organizing, and working with tables and views. A table in Visual FoxPro can exist as a free table or as a database table.
Macrosoft has developed easy-to-use internal utilities to support the migration of the database so this is a good (and relatively easy) first step in the migration effort. After moving data from FoxPro to an SQL database, the next step is to convert all reports and connections within the application to the new database to ensure no loss of functionality. Once completed, this first step allows you to implement required security protections for all the data within the application. The conversion of the rest of the application can then follow.
So if the driving force is to move your system from desktop to the web, Macrosoft has found a modular approach to migration works best. Most commonly, only certain functions are performed in the field while others remain in-office activities. A Macrosoft analyst will work with your team to determine what functions are best preformed in the field and typically focus on these as the first modules to migrate to the web with others to follow. This way, a client will have maximum impact as quickly possible. Starting with the field functions allows remote users to interface with the new web application, with in-office modules done at a later point in the project cycle.
If the reason for migration is due to a compelling change in processes, or the addition of new processes, clients clearly do not want a strait ‘apples-to-apples’ migration. Therefore experience dictates we begin these cases with a complete analysis and documentation of the current application. Creation of pseudo code documenting all business rules and tasks enables new functions to be created that don’t conflicts with existing processes. A detailed development blue-print is critical to success before embarking on enhancements.
If the primary purpose of the migration is to support integration with another enterprise application, clients need to begin with data dictionaries of all applications and with dataflow diagrams. These data elements are the base from which a specific Application Program Interface (API) is produced. An API contains a set of routines, protocols, and tools. This new API stipulates how software mechanisms interrelate.
No matter what the root cause, Macrosoft is here to help. Preform a free analysis using our FoxPro Code Matrix. This robust tool is free utility that determines the volume of your Visual FoxPro project identifying the number of lines of code, objects, methods and much more. You could download the tool from https://www.migrateto.net/foxpro-code-matrix/
Shah is a forward thinking, corporate leader with eighteen years’ experience delivering top notch customer solutions in large scale and enterprise business environments. His proven abilities as a technology visionary and driver of strategic business systems development allow Macrosoft to deliver best in class software solutions. At Macrosoft, Shah has successfully delivered multiple migration projects. Shah holds an MBA in addition to multiple professional and technical certifications. His areas of expertise include enterprise-wide architecture, application migration, IT transformation, mobile, and offshore development management.