What to Expect During a System Migration
Do you have a vital test system lumbering along on a dinosaur of an operating system (OS)? Are you thinking of ditching the dino? There are a few problems you may run into. Here we discuss a few of the more common ones and how a system integrator like G Systems can help you work through them.
The way operating systems handle user permissions tends to change with every successive OS version. While it can be easy for general users to become accustomed to permission changes, these can have important ramifications on your software. User Account Controls (UAC) have come into play and may prevent your software -- that has been working fine -- from editing or creating the same files it has been using for years. While file creation and modification is a large consideration, your software may no longer be able to call certain third party applications that require administrator level access on your new OS platform. Your program can’t get away with just writing to C:\MyFile.txt anymore.
System Folder Structures
Permissions have changed over time and so too has the Windows folder structure. The folders your program has been writing to might no longer exist. You might not be allowed to write to those locations anymore for security reasons. Often these problems occur but are not immediately self-evident during or after a system upgrade.
You may get a cryptic message stating that a file is not found or could not be opened, only to navigate to that location and find the file is exactly where the error message says it is not. This could simply be because, in the new folder structure, the folder is read-only or because the standard permission level you are operating the software under is no longer allowed to modify files in that location.
Moving to a new operating system often comes with a new hardware platform. This can be good, as it is newer, easier to find support for, and probably faster. However it can also lead to timing problems that might not have been apparent on your old system. Race conditions in your old software might have resolved just fine on their own on that old computer but now the race might be a lot tighter and your software may occasionally (or always) fail to run properly because things are wrapping up out of order. A system integrator like G Systems is familiar with these problems, is able to identify behaviors that indicate a race condition and -- perhaps, most importantly -- knows how to resolve them.
Driver incompatibility is easily one of the most prominent problems in a system migration. The driver you ran on Windows XP may not work on Windows 7 or Windows 10 without acquiring a new version. Sometimes the new version will be a drop-in replacement but if there has been enough of a shift the software may need to be modified to work with the new driver version.
Before beginning a migration it is useful to make a list of all the drivers presently supporting your test software and determine if new versions of those drivers exist on the target operating system. If no updated version exists, it will be necessary to find alternative drivers or replacement hardware.
How G Systems Can Help
G Systems has performed many system migrations, reaching back as far as 20 years in the past to bring software to modern platforms. The G Systems engineering team has often confronted and successfully overcome these migration barriers (and many more). We can help you navigate these waters with an experienced hand at the helm.
Download our Complete Guide to Managing Obsolescence to learn more about how to identify obsolescence issues early and manage them once they are identified.
Read part one of this blog.