NASHUA, N.H., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- With thousands of organizations expected to upgrade to Microsoft's new Office 2010 productivity suite in the coming months, ConverterTechnology today unveiled a new version of its OfficeConverter software that aims to make the migration fast, safe and as pain-free as possible.
OfficeConverter 2010 accelerates the process of converting existing files and custom Access applications to work with the new Microsoft Office platform by automating the most labor-intensive file migration functions. OfficeConverter 2010 is designed to eliminate the threats to business continuity for unprepared companies, including long-term downtime, reduced worker productivity and potential regulatory compliance liabilities, as well as cost savings by speeding up user adoption.
"Office 2010 is Microsoft's best version yet, but if companies don't plan their deployments correctly, file links will break, macros will go haywire, spreadsheet formulas will stop working, and revenue opportunities will be lost, to cite just a few potential problems," said Chip Bates, senior director of product development, ConverterTechnology.
The OfficeConverter 2010 suite provides file discovery and transformation tools that identify and fix problematic Access, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, as well as any associated links, macros and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) customizations during enterprise-wide Office 2010 migrations. The tools identify all of the files that should be converted, flag files at risk of corruption or incompatibility, and fix problems automatically to ensure the migration goes as smoothly as possible.
The company also provides process templates, methodologies and best practices that guide organizations through the deployment based on its experience in helping more than one million users identify, analyze and fix file conversion errors before they occur.
The result: OfficeConverter 2010 accomplishes Office file migration tasks at a fraction of the financial and resource costs of hiring outsourced code specialists or re-directing internal staff from core IT functions.
While Office 2010 has great new features that can offer companies significant productivity gains, it also poses a number of potential pitfalls during deployments. These include:
- 64-bit architecture -- Microsoft now offers a new 64-bit version of Office for power users who work large data sets and complex computational problems. Migrating legacy 32-bit Excel spreadsheets and other files to 64-bit environments can cause problems.
- File extensions -- Office 2010 continues the longer file name extension changes that began with Office 2007, such as MS Word's ".docx" extension for the Open XML Standard, or the five-character extensions for MS Access files (e.g. "accdb"). Links to files using earlier generation extensions will cease to work due to these changes.
- VBA compatibility -- Files used with custom applications can have a high concentration of potentially critical VBA code errors. Changes in the Office 2010 VBA code can cause programs and macros to crash.
- Excel cell addresses -- Office 2010 expands the number of rows and columns supported in an Excel worksheet. Custom worksheet calculations that used valid name range equations in previous versions of Excel may no longer work. That function has been replaced with a new "cell address" function. And the change just doesn't impact Excel worksheets, but potentially any file or application that references a name range in VBA code.
- New security model -- An MS Access security model implemented in Office 2007 and continued in Office 2010 no longer supports workgroup security. Companies will have to employ a new security model such as ActiveDirectory to fix the problem.
- Compatibility mode -- Office 2010 offers a backwards compatibility mode to offset compatibility issues with earlier Office versions. It ensures that files created in Office 2010 can be converted back to a form usable by users of previous versions. But running in compatibility mode will also preserve any existing VBA code problems.
- Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) and Microsoft Office Live -- App-V and Office Live are other methods to deploy Office 2010 using virtualization and cloud-based services. Virtualization and cloud computing transforms applications into virtualized, network-available services that are not installed on the users' computer. Instead, applications can be automatically delivered to the users' computer as users need them. This deployment method can pose significant file linkage problems, incompatibility with VBA code, and display issues with fonts and colors.
ConverterTechnology's suite of products includes the following applications -- DiscoverIT, OfficeConverter, ReportIT and SubmitIT -- that help companies begin capitalizing on the benefits of Office 2010 quickly, efficiently and with a minimum of risk.
- DiscoverIT -- identifies all files on the network so IT staff can determine which files need to be converted, as well as which files may contain ActiveX controls;
- OfficeConverter -- marks known compatibility issues such as invalid VBA references and fixes 90+ percent of compatibility issues, increasing IT staff productivity by minimizing hands-on development effort to fix problems.
- ReportIT -- generates detailed reports IT managers can use to make smart decisions about which files to convert, how and when; and
- SubmitIT -- enables individual desktop/laptop users to select and submit files or applications for remediation, notifies help desk of the upload, and automatically retrieves fixed files.
OfficeConverter 2010 will be available later this month.
ConverterTechnology provides software and services to help enterprises capitalize on the benefits of the latest versions of Microsoft Office without the migration risks of data corruption, reduced employee productivity and critical business application downtime. Founded in 1997, ConverterTechnology has helped more than one million users identify, analyze and fix compatibility errors before they occur, accelerating time to deployment. ConverterTechnology is headquartered in Nashua, N.H., with offices in Europe and Australia, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Powerlan Limited. For more information, visit www.convertertechnology.com.