White Paper: Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter

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Many enterprises currently face the daunting task of migrating to Microsoft Office 2010. The need to do so is prompted by Microsoft’s plans to sunset Office 2003, a version that many enterprises stayed with in lieu of migrating to Office 2007. Even for those businesses currently running Office
2007, some may choose to migrate to Office 2010 since this latest version provides a significant advancement in features—much more so compared to the advancements that Office 2007 offered
over Office 2003.

For those IT administrators as well as business-unit managers who have previously managed a Microsoft Office migration, they will most likely recall just how much planning is involved and how long the process can take. Applications such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access will all
present issues as users open files in Office 2010 that were initially created in Office 2003 or Office 2007. Generally, 80 percent of Office files will not have any issues after the migration, but that
leaves another 20 percent that will present varying degrees of problems.

For enterprises migrating from 2003 to 2010, IT administrators face an additional challenge due to the file-name extension change (Office 2007 extensions sync with Office 2010). With different extensions, files with links to other documents in Office 2003 will break in the Office 2010 format unless remediation is applied. When enterprises migrated to Office 2003, they did not face this same issue.

As plans are developed for migrating to Office 2010, enterprises have three options when considering how to deal with files that will not work properly after the migration.
In this white paper, we analyze these three Office 2010 migration options, key differences, and best alternatives. For more information please visit www.convertertechnology.com

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White Paper: Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter

  1. 1. Streamlining Microsoft Office2010 Migrations Using Office-ConverterWith ConverterTechnology’s file migration solution, IT can proactivelyprevent end users from encountering broken Microsoft Office filesBy: Chip Bates, Director of Product Development, ConverterTechnologyConverterTechnology 1 Tara Blvd., Ste.301 Nashua, NH 03062 T 800-541-7409 F 603-882-8884 http://www.convertertechnology.com
  2. 2. ConverterTechnologyIntroductionMany enterprises currently face the daunting task of migrating to Microsoft Office 2010. The needto do so is prompted by Microsoft’s plans to sunset Office 2003, a version that many enterprisesstayed with in lieu of migrating to Office 2007. Even for those businesses currently running Office2007, some may choose to migrate to Office 2010 since this latest version provides a significantadvancement in features—much more so compared to the advancements that Office 2007 offeredover Office 2003.For those IT administrators as well as business-unit managers who have previously managed aMicrosoft Office migration, they will most likely recall just how much planning is involved and howlong the process can take. Applications such as Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Access will allpresent issues as users open files in Office 2010 that were initially created in Office 2003 or Office2007. Generally, 80 percent of Office files will not have any issues after the migration, but thatleaves another 20 percent that will present varying degrees of problems.For enterprises migrating from 2003 to 2010, IT administrators face an additional challenge due tothe file-name extension change (Office 2007 extensions sync with Office 2010). With differentextensions, files with links to other documents in Office 2003 will break in the Office 2010 formatunless remediation is applied. When enterprises migrated to Office 2003, they did not face thissame issue.Excel files will likely cause the majority of issues—mainly because that application tends to be themost heavily used and contains more complexity in terms of macros and formulas with more linksbetween files. Word is likely to be the second-most problematic, but most Word files have noVisual Basic programming to be concerned.As plans are developed for migrating to Office 2010, enterprises have three options whenconsidering how to deal with files that will not work properly after the migration:Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 1
  3. 3. ConverterTechnologyOption 1: “Fix on Fail” ApproachAlthough this approach might have some merit given that 80 percent of the Microsoft Office fileslikely will not create any issues, large enterprise will still have a lot of work to do on the remaining20 percent that could cause problems. Taking the fix on fail approach does save on the softwareand resource cost of deploying an upfront, automated remediation tool, but the havoc it can createfor end users and IT is likely to be significant.End users will suffer from lost or delayed productivity as they submit technical support requestsand wait for IT to fix file issues. If the fix requires significant time, the delay could last several days,and IT will need to divert resources away from other tactical support or strategic deploymentinitiatives. Enterprises that take this approach run the risk of a backlog of file issues that couldhinder IT and end-user productivity for an extended time.Option 2: Deploy Office 2010 using Microsoft’s OMPM ToolsAlong with the release of Office 2010, Microsoft is also offering a free tool that facilitates Office2010 migrations—Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM). OMPM scans files in batches andrequires files to be processed twice—once for scanning and once for conversion to Office 2010,and then open and scan each file individually.OMPM does not automatically remediate files with issues. However, the tool does offer a three-tier,color-coding system to classify the level of migration issues found in each file when conducting alight scan as shown in the following table:Issue Level ID DescriptionRed Files with issues that can cause significant data loss such as edited-version loss or conversion failureYellow Files convert to the Office 2010 format, but some formatting or minor data loss issues might occurGreen Files may experience light cosmetic issues, but no data lossTable 1If a deep scan of the files is conducted, OMPM also provides a count of the number of lines ofVisual Basic code (the Microsoft Office programming language) that contain potential issues due toobject model changes introduced with Office 2010. With the deep scan, OMPM also generates aStreamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 2
  4. 4. ConverterTechnologycount of potential issues caused by moving Office 2010 to a 64-bit environment. As an example,using OMPM with the deep scan option could provide the following results for an Excel 2003 file:File Scan Result Status/CountMax Level GreenFunctionality issue count: 8x64 compatibility count: 0Table 2Option 3: Deploy Office 2010 using ConverterTechnology’s OfficeConverterTool SetThe third option for enterprises is OfficeConverter 2010 from ConverterTechnology. OfficeConverteris the only third-party tool available on the market that speeds up the Office file scanning andconversion to Office 2010 processes, while also providing a greater level of granularity as to theextent of problem files. This helps IT prioritize which files to address first.OfficeConverter typically requires initial training, but is intuitive enough for an IT staff to use withoutadditional vendor support. IT may also be able to rely on support from their primary consultant orsolution provider to properly manipulate the conversion tool. OfficeConverter also requires amodest software investment, but the return on investment is high when considering the resourcetime that will be reduced significantly.The solution scans files for potential data loss similar to OMPM, but also provides detailedinformation about Visual Basic compatibility issues and project references, as well as links to otherfiles. Each file scanned is assigned a numeric severity based on the most severe issue containedin the file as shown in this sample report:ConverterTechnology OfficeConverter 2010 Sample ReportSeverity Level Description Impact on the File10 Fatal Issues that generate compilation errors or significant data loss20 Run time error Issues that generate run-time errors30 In some context will prove fatal Issues that change the behavior of the application but will not cause a compilation or run-time error40 Links to Office files File will open and run, but links to Office files will break when files are upgraded due to the new file extensionsStreamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 3
  5. 5. ConverterTechnologyTable 3: The lower the severity level, the greater the impactOne important difference between OMPM and OfficeConverter to be aware of is that OMPMcontains multiple tools that each perform one task and must be run separately. For example, theoffscan.exe tool scans files while the ofc.exe tool converts files to the Office 2010 format. Anothertool within OMPM—Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI)—is required to identify and labelspecific functionality issues on individual files.Conversely, OfficeConverter performs all of these tasks, which can be performed all at the sametime.Scanning the same sample Excel file noted in Table 2 using OfficeConverter identifies the samenumber of functionality issues as OMPM but also provides a higher level of granularity by assigninga severity level of 20. This is because some of the functionality issues in this example will causerun-time errors when users attempt to run the Visual Basic code using Excel 2010.OMPM versus OfficeConverter: Key DifferencesIssue Granularity: One of the significant differences between the scanning and reportingperformed by OMPM and OfficeConverter is that, in addition to identifying which files may lose datawhen migrated to Office 2010, OfficeConverter also identifies which files will not function. Reportsgenerated by the converter scan typically include the following details: • File Name • Location of discovered issues—such as form, module, worksheet or line number • Copy of the line of code and/or function that contains the issue • Details of the automated fix for the issue (when available)Conversely, the reports generated from the data collected by the OMPM scan contain only thenumber of potential functionality issues found in each file. No details are available for individualissues. Whether any of these issues will actually affect how, or if the file will function when usingOffice 2010, is not available from the OMPM scan.Overall Process Acceleration: OfficeConverter also accelerates the overall process by scanningfiles, converting them to 2010 and remediating 90 percent of the files that have issues—all within asingle process. IT can then consider manually remediating the remaining files with issues, which willtotal approximately two percent in relation to the entire estate of Office files. Of these files, likelyStreamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 4
  6. 6. ConverterTechnologyhalf can be remediated efficiently, but the other half will likely require so much work that IT may bebetter off simply shutting those files down.Conversion Speed: Another area in which OMPM and OfficeConverter differ is the second step inthe migration—converting the selected files to the Office 2010 format. OMPM supports batchconversions of Office 97-2003 files to Office 2010 with the Office File Converter command-line toolperforming the conversion. The files that will be migrated can be selected either by specifying a listof folders or by referencing a list of files that has been exported from the OMPM reporting tool.OfficeConverter performs more efficiently with the ability to configure the tool to convert the files tothe new format at the same time files are scanned for potential compatibility issues. Instead ofscanning and then migrating files in separate steps, users can scan, migrate and automaticallyremediate files in a single step.File Remediation: OfficeConverter also helps to a greater degree when it comes to fileremediation after selected files have been scanned and migrated to Office 2010. For this step,Microsoft offers the Office Code Compatibility Inspector (OCCI) as an add-in to OMPM. Using thesample file documented above in Table 2, a user first opens the file using Excel 2010 and then runsOCCI to identify and label the eight potential functionality issues.The user then has to open the Visual Basic editor, find all eight identified issues, determine which ofthose issues will affect the functionality of the file, and then edit the lines required to enable the fileto process as before. These steps need to be performed for each file that OMPM identifies ashaving one or more potential functionality issues. This could lead to a great deal of work for ITadministrators.File remediation is simplified significantly by OfficeConverter. While files are migrated to the Office2010 format, potential functionality issues are marked in the files. More importantly, many of thesignificant functionality issues are automatically remediated and will not need manual remediation.Files containing functionality issues with severity ratings of 10 or 20 (as illustrated in Table 3)—thatwill prevent the files from functioning and are not automatically remediated—are easily identified sothat only those files need to be manually opened and repaired.Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 5
  7. 7. ConverterTechnologyThe Best AlternativeAs IT administrators and business unit managers know, a major aspect of any technology rollout isthe impact it will have on end-user productivity. The Office 2010 migration presents enoughchallenges, anything that an enterprise can do to streamline the process will pay huge dividends.For large enterprises with massive Office file estates, OfficeConverter provides tremendous valuewhen it comes to migrating away from Office 2003 and Office 2007. By automating the steps andrunning them simultaneously, the solution gives IT the ability to proactively identify andautomatically fix most issues. IT also gets a jump on the small percentage of files that requiremanual remediation.Having these capabilities makes it possible to eliminate the file issues that end users will inevitablyface. Doing so proactively allows them to maintain their productivity and takes a major headacheaway for the IT support staff—the need to fix Office files under the pressure of end users who needthem back fast.Overview Comparison: Functionality Provided by each toolsetApplication Identify files with Count of Convert file to Identify specific lines Automatically potential issue potential VBA Office 2010 of VBA code with remediate VBA issues compatibility issues issuesOfficeConverter Yes Yes Yes Yes YesOMPM Tools Offscan.exe Yes Yes No No No Ofc.exe No No Yes No No OCCI No No No Yes NoTable 4Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 6
  8. 8. ConverterTechnologyMicrosoft OMPM Office 2010 Migration ProcessThe following diagram illustrates the process for migrating Microsoft Office files to Office 2010using the Microsoft Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM):Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 7
  9. 9. ConverterTechnologyConverterTechnology’s OfficeConverter Office 2010 Migration ProcessThe following diagram illustrates the process for migrating Microsoft Office files to Office 2010using OfficeConverter 2010.When comparing OMPM and OfficeConverter, it becomes evident that OfficeConverter offers amore efficient process since files only need to be scanned once, and remediation takes placeautomatically.About ConverterTechnologyConverterTechnology provides software and services to help enterprises capitalize on the benefits of the Microsoftplatform without the migration risks of data corruption, reduced employee productivity and critical business applicationdown time. Founded in 1997, ConverterTechnology has helped more than one million users identify, analyze and fixcompatibility errors before they occur, accelerating time to deployment. ConverterTechnology is headquartered inNashua, N.H., with offices in Europe and Australia, visit www.convertertechnology.com.Streamlining Microsoft Office 2010 Migrations Using OfficeConverter 8

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