XP Support (to clarify my earlier posting)

Ahh – A hornet’s nest I see before me!!   Let’s give it a poke <g>.

This posting is in response to the valid comments posted to my blog posting entitled “Windows XP Support” and to clarify the reasons for that posting a little more.


Guys, you are of course correct and I knew that posting this direct from the official Revelation newsletter would provoke some clarification, and for that I am grateful.  However, the key question in this posting was whether your clients are aware of the issues?  At the risk of offending anyone, that point appears to have been missed by those of you commenting thus far.

This blog is read by both developers and users alike.  I think that all Revelation developers know the issues, risks and workarounds for ARev running on modern operating systems but the same is not necessarily true for end users.  Those organisations that have Revelation professionals on staff are relatively OK – so long as those Revelation professionals take control of the IT decision making process and actively avoid the potential issues befalling a lot of ARev systems right now.  I assume that you have put your necks on the block and taken ownership of your systems in such a way.

For those of you who do not wish to fall on your swords –

  1. How have you protected your clients against the potential and growing issues of running RevG and ARev on modern operating systems?
  2. How have you legislated against the Managing Director or another key decision maker deciding to purchase a wiz bang new 64-bit workstation?  Does he or she, really want to mess around with virtual machines, dual operating systems and the like – I don’t.
  3. How do you plan to support your ARev system for a sales team whose manager invests in the latest piece of technology to revolutionise his department, which demands 64-bit processing power and on which they blow next year’s budget on 64-bit machines.
  4. I could go on all day….

We cannot always take full control of our customers and demand what they will or will not use.  Often, sticking with legacy technologies will result in a loss of business because the legacy DOS system will be seen as the odd one out and the one causing the issue.

Could your business afford to lose your ARev system or your biggest client?  The Managing Director is never going to admit that buying a new 64-bit machine was his mistake.  The inevitable conversation is going to result in the ARev developer having made the mistake in not preparing for the inevitable move to a more modern technology.  Likewise for that sales manager who has big plans to modernise his sales team.

Failure to keep up with the times in IT often displays a lack of interest in the technology that has been written, a potential lack of interest in the developer’s client or their business in general and a perceived lack of willingness to keep up with the times and to invest in the future.  I know that this is not necessarily true and that many people love their old ARev systems and “if it isn’t not broke, don’t fix it”, but you can’t get away from the fact that things are only going to get harder.

Personally, I’m quite happy for people to carry on with their ARev systems.  It means that we can take each conversion project as they come along in dribs and drabs, rather than all at once.  As a salesman, it is also nice to have clients panicking (actually, I’m in two minds on that one) and opening cheque books with blank cheques because they are forced into doing something today because they need to work tomorrow.

This is a personal blog that consists of my views only and not necessarily those of Revelation Software.  However, I make no apology for using the official wording.  If I can encourage just one end user to think about the future of their ARev based system and to make a calculated decision in their own time, rather than a hurried, panicked and rushed decision, then my work is done and I will personally sleep more soundly.

I have tried to, and I believe that I have, given people good advice over the last 17 years.  My advice on this subject is to heed the warnings, modernise and make provision for your legacy RevG and ARev systems today.  Leaving it until tomorrow is inevitably going to result in a loss of business in one shape or another.  Maybe it’ll just be that next new sale as you are not GUI or can’t interface to something seamlessly, maybe it will be the loss of a key client to a competitor, or maybe (just maybe) it could sound the death bell for your business and your retirement fund.

Please, please , please if you are still using ARev please look beyond the technology and what you can ‘manage’ to make it run on – Think ahead of tomorrow and put a proper plan in place for your clients to safeguard their future and your own.  FWIW, we are seeing another increase in the number of conversions to ARev32, so more and more people are realising the growing risks and making provision for the future.

Please note that these are my personal comments and that they do not officially represent those of Revelation Software USA, Revelation Software UK or any other official Revelation channel.

4 thoughts on “XP Support (to clarify my earlier posting)

  1. dbakke

    Martyn, I very much appreciate your “sounding the bell” on this issue and I have no concerns with the way you reported the problem. Furthermore, I completely agree with your take on the risk that consultants take by not addressing this properly.

    The technical hoops that have to be implemented to continue support for a multi-user (i.e., networked) AREV system are extraordinary and, in my opinion, are counter-productive. We still have a few AREV and Rev/G systems that we support, but I have made it very clear to our clients of the risks. As a result, we have 2 AREV32 projects scheduled to start next year and a web application project likely to be initiated before the end of 2013.

    1. Thanks Don, it is good to know that some developers out there are heeding the warnings and some end users are making provision in a timely manner.

      In the meantime, all I can do is keep returning to that bell and giving it a good old clang every now and then.

  2. Martyn-
    My view may be skewed, but I think that users, resellers or consultants still using Arev or RevG applications on XP are at a disadvantage. It’s kind of like driving a 1930’s car on a modern superhighway: you’ll still get where you need to, but it’ll be slow, dangerous, and everybody will be passing you by.
    While it is possible to run Arev or RevG apps on newer OS’s in standalone mode, running on a modern network becomes nearly impossible. And, quite frankly, it’s dangerous. As malware writers find more holes in OS’s to exploit, Microsoft patches them and sends out updates, much as we do with OpenInsight and O4W. They will no longer do that for XP. Who knows what will happen to those machines.
    I have friends who are still using old XP boxes, don’t use any Revelation Software, and they connect to the web with them. I recommend that they get a newer OS.
    Mike Ruane
    Revelation Software

    1. Thanks Mike. I love the 1930’s car analogy and it is just right for those people who wish to hang onto their legacy systems. Those cars were rock solid, but even they eventually felt their age and were replaced by more modern models used for day to day use.

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