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Reasons for Migrating from Visual FoxPro to .Net- Why enterprises should think about migration

Visual FoxPro has been the choice for many enterprises. It is a very flexible program, but with the advancement of technology, Visual FoxPro is outdated and needs to be upgraded. And this is where migration comes in. Microsoft has announced that it will no longer support FoxPro and Visual FoxPro, two programming languages used to develop business applications. In January 2015, Microsoft recommended that users migrate their applications to .NET. Since Microsoft’s announcement, developers have begun VFP to .Net conversion and are rapidly moving toward web- and mobile-based applications.

Visual FoxPro: The End of Life?

As many experts proclaim at the top of their voice, there is no end of life for Visual FoxPro. No, it’s just taking a nap. For those of us who have been around long enough to remember the glory days of FoxPro, you might be surprised to know that even though its name is synonymous with database management, it isn’t very good at it anymore.

Migration from Visual FoxPro to .Net

Why you should migrate your Visual FoxPro-based application to .NET. Here are some of the reasons for the move:

First, Microsoft will no longer provide proactive support for future builds of Visual FoxPro. The reason? The company has determined that Visual FoxPro lacks the technical architecture to meet today’s global business requirements.

Second, Visual FoxPro does not have version control. This means that you cannot commit the code in a repository to check the last code version and edit/re-do the code to meet ongoing business requirements. Version control saves a lot of time and effort. Many advanced Web 2.0 based platform like .NET provides this feature, which helps build scalable and lightweight applications.

Third, FoxPro applications are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain due to the decreasing availability of skilled FoxPro developers. No new developers are learning the language, so the pool of people with appropriate skills and knowledge is shrinking. Most have moved on to other languages or retired, while a few have even passed away. Benefits of Migration from Visual FoxPro to .Net.

Fourth, in certain circumstances, your computer systems must be kept up to date in order to meet regulations or certification criteria. This is because you cannot afford to be stuck running outdated versions of Windows. Even being unable to install some software updates may cause you to fall foul of your regulations or certification criteria.

Fifth, the database tables can be opened outside of the application itself, and because of this, it’s impossible to introduce higher levels of security without compromising on functionality. The data in these tables, by necessity, must be available to all system users for it to function.

Sixth, FoxPro is a 32-bit application. The world of computing is moving towards 64-bit. The existing 32-bit compatibility layers will eventually go away, so FoxPro won’t be able to run on a 64-bit-only operating system.

Seventh, it does not work well on the web. There are ways to web-enable FoxPro, but they are not very effective. Further, there is no platform (e.g., iPhone/Android) to develop mobile applications)

Benefits of Migrating VFP to .NET

Visual FoxPro is a legacy application, and though it solved the challenges of that era, it has no longer remained relevant.

Organizations must expense a lot of amounts on the maintenance of such systems. By migrating, they can save on these unwarranted expenses and other benefits of migrating to .Net are:

  1. .Net provides language interoperability ie., multi-language support.
  2. Rich Library support
  3. Compatible databases and helps retrieve data/ record quickly
  4. Platform independent and helps build robust applications.
  5. Provision and facility to adapt for future updates.
  6. Enhanced Security

And more…

Procedure for Successful VFP Migration Projects

VFP to .NET conversion can be a complex process, particularly if the new system must be deployed in a live environment. You need to consider all of the factors that go into VFP to .NET conversion—including the legacy core functionality of your application, its user interface and workflow, and your architecture. The process is not easy and can be technically challenging of VFP to .NET migration.

1. Set Clear Goals

Let’s start with a goal. What do you want your organization to look like after the migration? If you’re not sure precisely what you want, make a list of features that are important in your business and how they will benefit from a new system. You don’t have to know everything about migrating an entire organization; just focus on what’s important to your company. You’ll find that by working together as a team, everyone will get where they need to go faster.

2.  Document your files

If you plan to do any development work, it’s essential to document the existing application to provide metrics and a basis for your estimates. You can find a free tool written in VFP8 at VFPConversion.com (see sidebar) that will scan a PJX (project) file and output some measurements for the project. This tool provides a good starting point for documenting an existing VFP application.

3. Understand different conversion functions

Conversion projects can be broken down into two categories. The first is simple, in which you change the format of an existing application with SQL Server instead of DBFs to store data. The second type is more involved, as it changes the basic architecture and uses the knowledge gained from the old application to create an entirely new version. In this article, I’ll discuss the most typical conversion project-replacing current functionality with .NET code.

4. Evaluate the best strategy for converting files

If the existing application is built using DBF files, you must decide whether to modify it for it to work with a SQL Server back end. This approach works well when the support staff is not familiar with SQL Server and when there is sufficient time in the timeline because it allows them to become familiar with administering SQL Server and allows time for fine-tuning the database before switching to an entirely new code base. Unfortunately, when you take this approach, you’ll do some work on the existing code base and you’ll have to toss that work aside when moving to the new code base.

5. Convert Application Logic

If your existing application was built using DBF files, you’ll have to decide whether to modify it in order for it to work with a SQL Server back end. This approach works well when you have time and resources available to learn about SQL Server administration, but it can be difficult when there are not enough people on your team who know how to administer SQL Server.

Is the Migration Challenging?

As Visual FoxPro is phased out, the need to migrate VFP to .NET platform forces developers to consider an upgrade. However, the learning curve for migrating applications can be steep so developers may find migration challenging for mission-critical applications. The task can be completed with ease with a professional legacy application migration services provider.

Starting Your Migration from Visual FoxPro to .Net with CG-VAK: A Reliable FoxPro Migration Partner

It is no coincidence that CG-VAK has a reputation for being the leading company in the .NET migration market. We are counted among the top FoxPro Migration Services provider in India. At CG-VAK, we understand the complexities of each business environment, so we can help you migrate from Visual FoxPro to .NET with ease and efficiency. A successful migration requires competent programmers like those employed by CG-VAK who are proficient in all aspects of migration, different approaches and specific nuances of various coding languages.

Just share your .Net development service requirements with us, and we will set up a call to help your business needs and provide a perfect solution.

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