TECH BRIEF

ConverterTechnology updates Office 2007 migration tool

ConverterTechnology has upgraded its product for easing migrations to Microsoft Office 2007. Version 9.3.2 of OfficeConverter 2007, announced today, addresses compatibility issues associated with Visual Basic for Applications and Excel customizations.

ConverterTechnology, based in Nashua, N.H., released the first version of OfficeConverter in April. The product has four modules to help with the conversion process. It finds and scans files that might need converting, generates a report to help with decision-making and provides a utility to convert the files.

"In an enterprise environment, converting files from older versions of Microsoft Office has always been a challenge," said Chip Bates, ConverterTechnology’s director of product development, in a recent telephone interview. "Macros in Word and complex charts in Excel often require significant data conversion to migrate to newer versions of Office programs."

The Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM) Microsoft provides has a limited toolset that requires significant IT staff time to administer, he added.

"The big difference between OMPM and OfficeConverter is that our product automatically solves many [Visual Basic for Applications] and Excel compatibility issues, whereas OMPM only identifies files that are likely to have compatibility issues, but it does not perform any remediation," Bates said. "When you have power users in an enterprise environment [who] have created hundreds of thousands of files, the conversion process can become quite complex."

ConverterTechnology said it has helped more than 1 million users migrate to newer versions of Office. Furthermore, the majority of enterprises will "plan or deploy an upgrade [to Office 2007] over the next 12 months," according to company literature.

Bates said the company is working on the next version of OfficeConverter, which will address the anticipated release of Microsoft Office 14, which could come next year.

"As Microsoft moves toward the [Open Office XML] standard, we will move as well," Bates said.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is a freelance writer based in Southern California.

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