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Hardware: the Migration Lab

Upgrading large complex systems is a CPU and memory intensive process.  You will want to provision a workstation accordingly.  A "big" developer workstation is recommended.  

gmStudio Tools

A number of executable programs are installed by the gmStudio installer.  The most important ones are the following:

  • gmStudio.exe: a desktop/console application that facilitates performing the tool-assisted rewrite tasks and working with migration artifacts.  
  • gmBasic.exe: a configurable VB6/ASP/COM compiler that generates .NET code and other useful results; the translation engine of gmStudio.   This EXE can only be started by gmStudio. 
  • Deploy.exe: a "shell interpreter" utility that deploys translation results in target folders and files.  

External Tools

gmStudio will integrate with a number of other programs to help you complete your upgrade effort.  These external tools should be properly installed on the Migration Lab machine.

You can use the Configuration\UserDefaults dialog to set most of your settings. In some cases you may need to modify the application configuration file, gmStudio.cfg, so that gmStudio can find and run the external tools in your environment.

  • VB6.exe: a magical language processor that converts VB6/COM code into business applications. Note: VB6 is optional; it is used for validating the VB6 code on the upgrade workstation.
  • MSBuild.exe: a build management system for .csproj or .vbproj projects (included with the .NET SDK) 

  • Visual Studio: the .NET development IDE.  gmStudio can integrate with any version of Visual Studio after VS2010.
  • Programmer's Text Editor: your favorite text editor. We typically use Notepad++.  

  • A Folder/File Comparison Tool: your favorite file/folder comparison tool. We use Scooter Software's Beyond Compare. 
  • Windows explorer: gmStudio uses the shell to open various files (*.tab, *.log, *.vbp, *.csproj, *.vbproj, *.idl)   

  • Windows Console: gmStudio runs translations, deployments, and builds in a command line process.  
  • User Command Scripts: command line processes may integrate custom steps (e.g., cmd, robocopy, FxCop, Nant, NUnit). If you associate a console script template with a migration unit in your upgrade task, gmStudio will run it, set processing parameters, and run it at key points during processing. This can be used for custom processing tasks (post translation, post deployment, or post build). For example, one use of this feature might be to install the translation in a test environment and run a series of automated tests after each build.  The Use rCommand script template is discussed in this article.

  • Reporting tools: the tab delimited reports generated by gmStudio are viewed by opening them with the associated application (typically a spreadsheet application like MS Excel).   

  • SQL Database: gmStudio's reports can be quite large, including over a million records for very large systems.  In those situations loading the records into a relational database such as SQL server is a great help.  
    Contact Great Migrations if you want assistance loading your reports into a relational database in interpreting their data.
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