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Migrating from Microsoft to Open Cloud Tools

Some best practices in migrating to the cloud

A recent survey of WaveMaker's 15,000 developers found that over 20% had moved to WaveMaker as an alternative to Microsoft development tools like MS Access and MS .NET.

"Microsoft shops" typically employ a variety of Microsoft products and have dozens to hundreds of applications that now need to be migrated.

Having worked with many companies going through this migration process, here are some best practices I have seen:


1. Triage, triage, triage - figure out which apps are really critical to your business/users and focus on them. Often, as you migrate them from Microsoft to WaveMaker you will find that you can combine several clunky client/server apps into a single rich internet application.

2. WaveMaker makes open a lot easier - WaveMaker hides most of the alphabet soup web technologies from the user (html/css/javascript/java etc). This flattens the learning curve to get out from under all those MS technologies. From our survey, we found that fear of the steep web development learning curve is one of the main reasons companies stick with the proprietary Microsoft tools.

3. WaveMaker is a lot more productive - we find that MS .NET apps can typically be rebuilt in WaveMaker with 80%+ fewer lines of code. See the Nationwide video on the WaveMaker web site for a case example that resulted in 98% fewer lines of code! That translates to big savings in productivity and quality, both in development and maintenance.

4. Open is still a bit messier - even though WaveMaker hides most of the hard stuff, it can't hide all of it. Microsoft's great advantage is that everything is tightly integrated into one convenient but proprietary package. In contrast, WaveMaker integrates with many databases, report writers, etc, which is more flexible but puts more work on the developer to manage their environment.

In short, WaveMaker provides a much gentler path for migrating from the Microsoft Borg to the wonderful world of open standards, but there is still a cost for all that flexibility.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Christopher Keene

Christopher Keene is Chairman and CEO of WaveMaker (formerly ActiveGrid). He was the founder, in 1991, of Persistence Software, a San Mateo, CA-based company that created a new approach for managing data in high-transaction banking and communications systems. Persistence Software investors included Cisco, Intel, Reuters and Sun Microsystems. The company went public in 1999 on the NASDAQ exchange and was sold in 2004 to Progress software.

After leaving Persistence Software in 2005, Chris spent a year in France as chairman of Reportive Software, a Paris-based maker of business-intelligence tools, and as an adjunct professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at INSEAD, a leading graduate business school.

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