ArtinSoft’s CEO interview on Eric Nelson’s blog

10. June 2008 06:25 by enassar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Today Eric Nelson posted on one of his blogs a short interview with Roberto Leiton, ArtinSoft’s CEO. Eric works for Microsoft UK, mostly helping local ISV’s explore and adopt the latest technologies and tools. In fact, that’s why he first contacted us over a year ago, while doing some research on VB to .NET migration options for a large ISV in the UK. Since then, we’ve been in touch with Eric, helping some of his ISV’s move off VB6, and he’s been providing very useful Visual Basic to .NET upgrade resources through his blogs.


So click here for the full interview, where Eric and Roberto talk about experiences and findings around VB6 to .NET migrations, and make sure to browse through Eric’s blog and find “regular postings on the latest .NET technologies, interop and migration strategies and more”, including another interview with William Morgan of Logica, one of our partners in the UK.

So Long VB6, and Thanks for all the Fish

7. April 2008 07:41 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

I may be a little late to the obituary, but VB6 support is finally, officially, irrefutably gone. The IDE, as stated in Microsoft's Product Life-Cycle guidelines, "... will no longer be supported starting March 2008". Even though VB6 (or Basic for that matter) didn't enjoy the best reputation as a programming language (best illustrated by the famous Edsger W. Dijkstra quote), you can't deny the huge influence it's had over the past 15 years. The easy-to-use paradigm followed by VB IDEs lent itself to be used by both amateur programmers, that caused many headaches during the years, and professional developers that were really able to harness the power and ease of use to create impressively robust solutions that are still running to this day.

So if you are thinking of moving away form VB6, obviously I'm going to steer you in the direction of the Visual Basic Upgrade Companion.  There is, however, another reason for this as well... pretty soon we are going to release a completely updated version 2.0 of the tool, which has some very interesting new features and does an incredible job of converting your VB6 code into the .NET language. Watch this space, as I will be writing about this new version soon!!

The curtain unveils – Aggiorno is out!

15. January 2008 05:56 by enassar in General  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Since 2007, a team of ArtinSoft’s experts has been working on a tool that helps automate a lot of actions commonly performed by web developers, increasing their productivity and resulting in more efficient pages. The outcome is Aggiorno, an expandable plug-in for Visual Studio that produces SEO friendly, XHTML compliant, CSS styled HTML and ASP.NET, which eases enormously the task of delivering web standards compliant web sites. Based on a unique pattern detection and transformation engine, Aggiorno’s beta version is currently available on a by-invitation-only basis, so register now and get early access to this revolutionary product!

Doing business in Latin America

6. December 2007 06:05 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Even though most of our clients are from the US and Europe, lately we have been getting more and more projects in Latin America, specially in Mexico. You’ve probably heard about a large project we started in Mexico recently. We also signed two smaller projects in the last month, and last week I was on-site at a customer in Mexico D.F. working on yet another one.

The thing is that in Mexico, even though still in Latin America (remember that we are based in Costa Rica), there were a couple of cultural differences that really caught my attention.

First of, the schedule. We in Costa Rica usually have lunch between 12 and 1. In Mexico it is usually between 3–4pm, 3–5pm or 2–4pm, depending on the company. That is a bit late for us… let’s just say that by 3pm I was starving.

The second one was the dress code. Normally in Europe and in the US, IT departments are very laid back, and have a very lax dress code. Through out Latin America, however, it is mostly suit and tie. Only in a few places can you show up with “business casual” or even “casual” clothes. This is changing, though, and going more and more casual.

All in all, going to Mexico was a nice experience. The people I worked with were really nice, and treated me well (other than keeping me hungry until the mid-afternoon  ). I hope we sign this project, so I’ll be able to go back!

The importance of the Ready analysis

29. August 2007 10:57 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

A large percentage of the work I do here at ArtinSoft is related to what we call  Ready programs. The Ready program is part of the Ready-Set-Go methodology – a migration project methodology developed here at ArtinSoft that has given us great results.

The Ready assessment program, or Ready, is the first stage of this methodology. As you are probably aware, the more planning you put into a project, the higher the probability that the project will be succesful. Well, with the Ready, we do a an in-depth analysis of the project before we start, and come up with a detailed project plan that takes into account any risks and possible issues with the migration.

The first step in a Ready is a thorough assessment of the size, complexity, migration goals, and testing procedures for your current application. This step involves a 5– to 10– day on-site analysis of an application. During that week(s), we perform interviews with the development, PM and testing teams, to get a feel for the project and gather enough information to proceed with the project. Once we come back to our office, we work alongside the development team to create an accurate estimate of the effort required to perform the migration.  This normally includes any customization of the migration tools necessary to minimize the manual effort in the project.

The final product of the Ready program is a detailed written report that includes a fixed-cost proposal for completing the migration. This is usually delivered two or three weeks after the on-site visit. This report, on its own, has tremendous value for the organization. It summarizes the requirements for the migration, and the issues that need to be addressed even if the project is not performed by ArtinSoft. It can also help in justifying the need to modernize outdated applications.

The Ready program is a low-cost, low-risk approach to getting detailed information on your migration project. For more information on the ready, and on the overall methodology, check out the Ready-Set-Go methodology page at ArtinSoft's website.


OK. So finally, after months of encouraging my colleagues to post their thoughts and experiences on this domain, I decided to start my own blog. Yeah, well, it probably should have started the other way around, but you know what they say: "Shoemakers’ wives go barefoot, and doctors' wives die young". Having worked at ArtinSoft's marketing and customer service departments for years, it's only natural to write about the market/business side of the software migration world (motivations, advances, tips, experiences, issues, achievements, statistics, etc.), specially around Visual Basic to .NET upgrades. But you should also expect some random stuff thrown in once in a while.

MSDN Webcast on moving from VB6 to VB.NET

11. October 2006 10:44 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

My coworker Hendel Valverde will be presenting a webcast called Complete Methodology for Migrating Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET, tomorrow at 1:00 PM Pacific. It covers all the steps necessary to prepare and perform migrations from VB to VB.NET, from what to look for during the analysis and planning stages to the final testing of the migrated application.

Link: MSDN Webcast: Complete Methodology for Migrating Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET (Level 200)

And here’s the link to ArtinSoft’s press release: ArtinSoft and Microsoft Announce New Webcast on VB6 to .NET 2005 Migration Methodology.


Final CEM Visual Basic webcast

29. June 2006 08:24 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Tomorrow I'll be doing the final Webcast in a series about migrating from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET. This one will be about tecniques on how to migrate common objects in Visual Basic (some controls, database access, forms, etc), and about recommendations on how to test a migrated application.

All in all, there were seven webcasts in the series. They were: (names in spanish...)

I suggest you check them out. :-)

Santiago, Chile, 64-bit Advantage event

29. June 2006 08:10 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Last week we had the final scheduled 64-bit Advantage event in Santiago, Chile. It was an incredible success. The people and organization were really happy with the results. It is a shame that there are very few events like it in Latin America

One of the things that really caught my attention was the fact that there was a well-known (not to us) Linux user/advocate in the audience. The good thing is that he gave us a very positive review for the event, and mentioned that he was surprised of the professionalism we displayed when confronted with cross-platform questions, and how we even address the availability of certain technologies on other platforms (such as POSIX Threads, polymorphic types, etc).

By the way, if you have a chance, go and visit Santiago. It is a beautiful city, the people are amazing, and I can't even start talking about the food, especially seafood. Just remeber to visit Costa Rica first, of course. :-)

Thanks to Christian, Wilson, José, Katina, and the rest of the organization for the hard work and dedication that went into making this event happen!!

Visual Basic Webcasts

26. May 2006 12:59 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

In the next few weeks I'll be doing several webcasts for Microsoft Latin America. They are about Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET migrations, and will be given in spanish.

The first presentation will be this Friday, and it is called Why consider a project to upgrade from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET?. In this presentation, we'll talk about the business and technological factors that influence the decision to upgrade an application. The second one is about Understanding the Upgrade Wizard, in which we'll talk about the process of upgrading an application from Visual Basic 6.0 to Visual Basic .NET.

Some other webcasts are planned, but there's no date assigned yet. As soon as there is, I'll post all the information here.


Proven Techniques to automatically convert your J2EE code to C# and .NET

4. April 2006 03:07 by Jaguilar in General  //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (0)

The recording for the webcast I gave last week, titled "Proven Techniques to automatically convert your J2EE code to C# and .NET", is now available! You can check it out here.

The webcast is mostly about the techniques we have developed here at ArtinSoft to succesfully peform migration projects using the Java Language Conversion Assitant and the JLCA Companion. When performing J2EE to .NET migration there are several things that you have to keep in mind - for example, J2EE applications often rely on third-party components. These components are usually not migrated automatically by the JLCA, since there is no way to include all these APIs in it. By using  product like the JLCA Companion, you can automate the migration of these components, siginificantly speeding up your migration efforts by reducing the amount of manual work you need to perform. In the webcast, we show you a smalll demo of the JLCA Companion, how it works, and how it can be used in your migratino projects.

In the web cast, we also cover:

  • An overview of the nxt initiative by Microsoft
  • An overview of ArtinSoft and ArtinSoft's migration expertise
  • Why should ISV consider automated software migration when moving to a new platform
  • A summary of various Java to .NET concepts
  • A detailed description of the migration process followed here at ArtinSoft, using the JLCA Companion
  • And, finally, we have two live demos, one about using the JLCA Companion, and another one about a complete migration of a web application that is accomplished in just a few minutes!!

So, check it out, and enjoy :-).