Migrating a critical business software system is always a challenging process for any business, large or small. When the software has been an integral part of your company for many years the decision to migrate isn’t a quick or trivial decision. The likelihood is that the system will be deeply rooted in many everyday activities. Deciding how and when to proceed with migration or conversion must be carefully considered.
We have put together a short series of articles on the topic of FoxPro migration and conversion projects. In them, we take you through the issues that you must consider before you start implementing changes. We cover why you should (or shouldn’t) migrate and when you should migrate. We discuss how to assess the value of your current system and how to factor in the cost of migration or conversion. Then we address budgeting for migration or conversion projects. Finally, we cover whether it’s ever a reasonable idea to attempt to ‘do it yourself’.
First, though, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘Conversion’ and ‘Migration’ as these terms are often used interchangeably but one is likely to be a lot more work than the other.
We use conversion to describe the process of changing from your current Visual FoxPro system to an existing solution. That could be a new ‘off-the-shelf’ or already-developed alternative. It centres on getting data from the FoxPro database and modifying it to import into the new system.
Migration refers to the process of redeveloping the existing application using a new language or platform. We achieve this through re-implementing or rewriting existing functions. Often it incorporates an amount of altering processes and adding new features. It’s also likely that some conversion work will need to take place to move your data onto the new platform.
Considering a project?
Review our series to get a better understanding of the broader implications it will have on your business and what you’ll need to do in preparation for this process. Part 1 starts with the question, do you even need to migrate at all?