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ConverterTechnology Rolls Out Office 2007 Solution

ConverterTechnology upgraded its solution designed to ease migrations to Microsoft Office 2007. Version 9.3.2 of OfficeConverter 2007, announced on Wednesday, adds additional support to address compatibility issues associated with Visual Basic for Applications and Excel customizations.

The Nashua, N.H.-based company initially rolled out its OfficeConverter solution in April. The product has four modules to help with the conversion process. Files that may need conversion are discovered and scanned. The program provides a report to help IT personnel with decision-making, plus 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, 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."

Bates said the while Microsoft does provide the Office Migration Planning Manager (OMPM), it has a limited tool set that requires significant IT staff time to administer.

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

ConverterTechnology claims to have helped more than a million users migrate to newer versions of Office. The majority of enterprises will "plan or deploy an upgrade [to Office 2007] over the next 12 months," according to company literature.

Bates said that the company is working on the next version of OfficeConverter that will address the anticipated release of "Office 14" from Microsoft, which may come as soon as late next year.

"As Microsoft moves toward the OOXML (ISO/IEC Open Office XML) standard, we will move as well," said Bates.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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Reader Comments:

Wed, Feb 18, 2009 Jon San Francisco

Who cares about file compatibility, when there are such egregious violations of Microsoft’s own user interface standards?

I have no use for Office 2007 until somebody can make every single Office 2003 keystroke work in 2007. Some already do work, but you have to pause between the first keystroke and the second, or else the second keystroke is lost. One particularly annoying design oversight is that Alt-Edit / Paste Special doesn’t work. You are forced to mouse up to the new "ribbon". Ugh!

There are third party add-ins that claim to fix this, but the ones I’ve seen cost money and require an additional two keystrokes in front of every memorized Office 2003 keystroke. Highly annoying! Microsoft needs to fix this for free if they want 2007 adopted.

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