The past experiences we have had in Visual FoxPro migration projects have enabled us to device a new ‘agile-like’ approach. We have devised this exciting new way with elements similar to the agile approach used for normal development projects. With this new method, we are confident that it will reduce the time to convert and cost of conversion.
So, what is this new Agile approach?
In a nutshell, the new agile approach takes the best part from building an application on business rules to utilizing the existing VFP codes. Here, we simultaneously build on the new system while continuing to fill out the detailed requirements. Engaging with the new agile type approach ensures that we do not miss out on any major rules or processes making the conversion a full proof process.
How does the new Agile approach really work?
The new agile approach is simple and recursive in nature. There is no need to fully understand the requirements in one shot, but rather continue building the new application while simultaneously filling out all requirements as the project progresses. What needs to be decided is how much of the existing code rules/validation is to be used for a particular module from the old system. Conducting a detailed interview with the subject matter experts will show how many existing screens of the application can be supplement from the old system. This process is repeated multiple times until all the modules are completed and we reach project closure.
We have devised the following 7 golden rules in our Agile approach:
1. Mapping Functionality – Our team works with subject matter experts to map major elements of the functionality of the existing system. Then these modules are split into sequences that facilitate analysis and in-depth knowledge assimilation in the shortest possible time.
2. Pseudo Code – We run our smart in-house automation tool, SpecGen that converts the old code into readable pseudo code, using which analyst can extract important rules.
3. Sample Data – Create sample data with the output results and associated checklist for each of the screens contained in the code. We use this test data to determine the relevant inputs and outputs, and then capture the validation rules performed on each screen.
4. Screen Analysis – Next step is to calibrate these rules against the in-depth analysis of all the screens in the application to learn and understand your application.
5. Interviews – By conducting an in-depth interview with subject matter experts, we compare the calibrated rules and screen descriptions that we have gathered with the actual functions as provided by the subject matter experts.
6. Repeat Process – This process is repeated again-and-again as many times as possible, till we have run through all the functional modules and reached convergence with the requirements document.
7. New Application – With the conversion process in progress, we release parts of the application that are completed to user groups to start with intensive testing. As we are constantly focused on the important parts of the application, it is advisable that we do not keep testing to the end as the conversion process advances.
We at Macrosoft strongly believe in this new agile process and the benefits it upholds in various conversion projects. What we have tried to bring about by introducing this agile approach is a culmination of the three main elements of the development project: requirements gathering, development, and testing – so all occur in a continuous synchronous process.
Download this White Paper to know more about our New Agile approach for Visual FoxPro migration and how this agile approach can leverage your conversion requirements.