From the desktop to the cloud: Modern practices for updating your business application

As part of custom software development, we also convert desktop applications from MS Access or Visual FoxPro to web based solutions primarily using MS SQL as the database engine. We also provide remote DBA services and support MySQL as well.

Converting a desktop application to a web-based solution has several challenges.
In this article will explain the number challenges we faced and how we resoved some of them.

The original developer is often unavailable:

The original developer is often unavailable when working with older, legacy applications. For example, they may be retired, or the relationship with the client may have been terminated. Additionally, documentation is not usually available, and the source code may not contain any comments.

Convert Any Desktop Legacy into the Cloud. We are helping clients with their ERP needs.

Many applications were developed fifteen to thirty years ago:

Many applications requiring conversion and modernization were developed fifteen to thirty years ago, having been maintained and updated in a piecemeal method. The resulting coding logic can be challenging to follow. In addition, some applications may have been created in what is now a “dead” language with no access to the source code or the development environment.

Our MS Access developers spent quite some time reverse engineering:

Recounting our experience in our last conversion of a Microsoft Access application to a web-based solution, we discovered that the original MS Access developer was let go one year before we engaged with the client. As a result, our MS Access developers spent significant time reverse engineering and documenting the business rules in the original program.

After analyzing the previous methodologies, we updated and created new processes and made numerous suggestions for improvements which we demonstrated to our client for feedback and approval. We started with a small set of specifications for many of the processes and then reviewed them with the client. This required spending a lot of time with the client to discuss their requirements.

We always record client meetings:

We always record client meetings using Camtasia from Tech smith. The recording allows the developers to review the session as needed to ensure nothing about the business processes or desired functionality covered by the client is overlooked in our development process.

The application we were asked to convert was a custom ERP for the entire manufacturing process, inventory control, and warehouse management as web based solution into the cloud. We also needed to include QuickBooks integration along with several other requirements.

When we started the process of conversion, our MS Access consultans continued to maintain the existing application. While developing the new application, we were able to fix several bugs and modify or add some features in MS Access based on our client’s requests.

Rather than reverse engineering the inefficient code, we requested the business rules from the client:

We discovered a new complication when we realized the previous developer created some application features using Dot Net. These functions were integrated with the current MS Access application.  We found that the integration of Dot Net was unnecessary and appeared to be the result of the previous programmer simply wanting to learn Dot Net while employed by the client.

The Dot Net code was poorly written and inefficient. Rather than reverse engineering the inefficient code, we requested the business rules from the client and wrote our own routines.

We completed the conversion and provided our client with a modern, high-performance web-based solution.

We have successfully moved several desktop applications to the web for our clients.

Convert SasS Application From FoxPro into the Cloud While Using Alpha AnyWhere Software Engine:

We created a Saas Application from an existing Visual FoxPro desktop accounting system used by more than 200 organizations. Using Alpha AnyWhere software development and the IIS web server, we were able to accelerate performance dramatically.

Since no documentation was available for the Visual FoxPro application which was developed 30 years ago. We worked with the current Visual FoxPro developers. Using our familiarity as Visual FoxPro developers, we reverse-engineered the legacy software while the client provided updated business rules. Additionally, we wrote specifications for smaller modules and submitted those for review and approval by the client.

By leveraging the rapid application development of Alpha AnyWhere, our developers could bring the system up to speed in a relatively short time.

For more details about our work on this project, read Alpha Anywhere Software Development Four of Our Case Studies.

Another success story involved converting a Visual FoxPro application into the cloud:

Another success story involved converting a Visual FoxPro application to a complete web solution. Unfortunately, in this case, the previous developer had passed away, leaving the client without support for their legacy program. 

Again, we stepped in to support the legacy aircraft maintenance software in Visual FoxPro while working with the client on their business rules to re-write the entire application as a web-based solution.

Moving any desktop application to the web starts with great communication with the client and a full understanding of their business rules.

At the Farber Consulting Group Inc., we work with our clients in a partnership to ensure that the new web application we develop meets all of their needs while retaining all the functionality of their existing desktop application.

Check this article here for more details: For Custom software development see of the 10 steps how we enage with the client.

For more information on the above efforts for Custom ERP please Contact Us or call: 732-536-4765

We can help you to move your company from the complexities of individual legacy software to a modern web-based SaaS solution.

Some of the services we provide:

Doron Farber - The Farber Consulting Group

I started to develop custom software since 1985 while using dBase III from Aston Tate. From there I moved to FoxBase and to FoxPro and ended up working with Visual FoxPro until Microsoft stopped supporting that great engine. With the Visual FoxPro, I developed the VisualRep which is Report and Query Engine. We are also a dot net development company, and one of our projects is a web scrapping from different web sites. We are Alpha AnyWhere developers, and the Avis Car Rental company trusted us with their contract management software that we developed with the Alpha Five software Engine.


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