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Gupta Porting

Gupta tools were application development stars in the 1990s. However, since then they have long been overtaken by browser technologies and modern platforms such as the Microsoft .NET framework. This raises many questions as to how the existing Gupta applications can be made future-oriented. To modernize this further under Gupta is, in the long run, often not a viable solution, but to develop it again is expensive and risky.

fecher offers a real alternative: In a "Porting Project", Gupta applications are ported to the .NET framework using a proven process model. Fast, cost effective and at a fixed price.

Gupta Porting at a Glance

The Porting Project provides our clients with a real .NET application that conforms with modern architecture and presentation standards. Moreover, this also lays the foundation for further development in the direction of SOA or web app.

fecher has successfully ported more than 150 Gupta applications, including countless databases and reports to .NET worldwide. fecher utilizes the U.S.-based Ice Tea Group's unique tools, which make it possible to port all of the source code.

During a project, our clients are included in all of the decisions to be made. You can also choose to do the post-processing activities following the automated porting yourself. Upon request, we can also assist your Gupta developers with the initial steps in .NET.

Scope of Application

In porting Gupta applications, there are three separate fundamental areas to consider: The application itself with its application logic and user interface as well as associated reports and the database which the application accesses.

Application

A porting must functionally transfer as many of the original application's functions and processes as possible to the new environment. Moreover, the ported application should look the same to its users as it did when it was still in Gupta. Lastly, the developers want the application structure to remain unchanged, as it will be easier to maintain the application in the new environment and to develop it further. Accordingly, the porting tool Ice Porter generates a functionally complete equivalent application and an identical display of the user interface with configurable options for redesign such as skinning or a tabbed MDI. Additional add-ons such as ribbon bars, navigation bars or expanded table functions can be used immediately for further development.

User Interface: iCustomizer

Developers can use the tool iCustomizer to apply, without any great effort, client-specific or changed requirements to a standard application: The add-on for .NET applications enables adjustments to be made to the user interface during run-time, with no additional programming. It can be used to modify or add graphical user interface elements and controls from Microsoft Visual Studio's repertoire. Developers also use the tool to expand a finished application's functions via C# code and events. fecher has tailored this customizing tool - which was originally developed by nGroup during a porting project - to the Porting Project Framework and uses it in its projects.

Reports

Significant development efforts have also gone into the Gupta application's reports. Manufacturers, service providers and clients have also often customized the reports to better fit their needs. Both types of reports are retained when switching technologies with a Porting Project as reports are also automatically ported. The Ice Porter porting tool supports a variety of target systems:

  • Crystal Reports
  • List & Label
  • Stimulsoft Reports
  • SQL Server Reporting Services

Our clients are therefore not subjected to technological constraints and can make their selections based on functional requirements and license models.

The procedures can also be customized to meet your needs. In some projects, the Gupta reports remain in use via report hubs and are only gradually converted at a later date upon implementation for the client. fecher also offers solutions for end-user modified standard reports.

Databases

In theory, a switch from one database to another is quite simple: As SQL has been standardized, existing applications, in principle, should be able to work together with any new database platform. In practice, however, this road is a bit bumpy. Deterrents to a smooth switch-over include incompatible manufacturer standards for defining tables and views, proprietary programming languages for triggers and stored procedures and, last but not least, significant deviations in the various SQL dialects.

Help is provided by the tool-supported service dbPORTER and the middleware component sqlTRANSLATOR, which translates the SQLBase-specific SQL into the SQL of the new database during runtime. Fully transparent - without changes in the source code. These in-house tools, developed by fecher, finally make the switch as easy as SQL's originators intended it to be.

Project Plan and Procedure Model

We always conduct our Porting Projects according to a proven procedure model. The only variable is the service level. In an All-inclusive Porting, we deliver a "turn-key" ported application at the end of the project. In Cooperative Porting, clients bring in their own development resources. The cost, which is already lower than for redevelopment, is thus lowered even further. After the Automated Porting, fecher then delivers the compiled code to the client's in-house developers. Your developers take care of the fine tuning and the finalization. To make sure that everything runs smoothly, our experts will train them beforehand. If additional coaching is needed, our experts remain available at all times.

The Porting Project Procedure Model consists of a number of phases: In the evaluation phase, fecher develops with its potential clients a solid decision-making basis for the porting of their Gupta application. This also includes a fixed-price offer that corresponds to the quantity and complexity of the code. The project really begins with the porting phase after all parts of the evaluation phase have finished. The test phase then finally lead to an application that has been fully ported to .NET, is fully executable and has been prepared for further development in Microsoft Visual Studio.


The Technology: Porting Project & Ice Porter

In implementing its Gupta Porting Projects, fecher utilizes the technology of the U.S.-based company Ice Tea Group. The software house specializes in Gupta and started Porting Project in 2003. Porting Project helps Gupta developers port their applications to the .NET platform, thereby making the applications sustainable. Since then, the Ice Tea Group has continued to improve the porting tools. fecher has been their Premium Porting Partner responsible for the worldwide distribution of this service since 2008.

The Porting Project is based on the Ice Tea Group's Ice Porter tool, which automatically converts SAL code into C# or VB.NET code for the .NET platform. The intelligent translator also converts reports from Gupta Report Builder to the target choice, whether Crystal Reports, List & Label, Stimulsoft Reports or SQL Server Reporting Services.

The service that Ice Porter performs is however difficult to fully explain in writing. The use of the tool is demonstrated in a workshop and in additional training sessions. Ice Porter can indeed be used for complex and In-house Projects. The client decides whether to purchase a license for Ice Porter or to rely on the fecher team's experience in using this tool, ensuring your porting project starts quickly and safely.

Porting Project Framework

Every powerful software is modern-architecture based; it implements today's requirements to recognized patterns and reacts flexibly to new trends. The Porting Project Framework provides all of the necessary objects needed to generate clearly-structured migrated source code. This enables a very productive further development of the application using all of the Visual Studio and .NET community tools.
With this framework as a basis, the software is future-proof. The Ice Tea Group demonstrated that once more as it provided the framework in a version for a web architecture based on Javaspript.

Porting Project Services

In Porting Project Services, the framework is expanded by enabling partitioning in multi-layer architectures. Applications can then be partially or wholly transferred from a desktop to a server, a data-processing center or a cloud-computing provider. Porting Project Services uses the proven Windows Communication Foundation for its communication layer. This is the ideal SOA-based architecture entry-point.

Porting Project Web

A version of the proven Porting Project Framework is also available for projects involving a web architecture. Applications ported with this framework run as real-time web applications on Windows web servers and are usable with all common browsers. Even the most complex of user interfaces can be mapped and displayed. Browser-based applications often provide better user experiences than desktop applications.

License Model

  • The Ice Porter license costs are calculated in accordance with the number of non-redundant SAL items for a code translation and the number of Report Builder templates for a report Migration Project.
  • The migration result is 100% source code. Even the embedded class library will be delivered as source code. For the class library an annual maintenance agreement is offered; this fee is also based on the number of SAL items.
  • The class library contains OEM licenses for various ComponentOne controls and Skonsoft's Skin Designer. However, no additional license costs will be incurred during the further development of the application.
  • No runtime costs are incurred for the execution of a ported application! To run a web application, a web server is required. Further details can be found also at: wisej.com