Tool and strategy selection for application migration

Subject: Tool and strategy selection for application migration
From: Elise Kaplan <ekaplan -at- ASAINT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 14:10:03 -0500

I've been lurking on this list for a few weeks, and would like to pick your brains regarding a project ahead of us.

We are responsible for providing documentation for a large order management and fulfillment application that currently runs in green screen on the AS/400. This is a large application with over 2800 screens and our current documentation set is about 7500 pages. The documentation set is in AmiPro (don't ask), and there is a body of AS/400 online help. We publish our documentation on CD in PDF.

What we are contemplating doing over the coming months is migrating our application to client/server, which means we must come up with Winhelp or HTML help as well as a printed documentation set. After lurking on this list, I've gotten a general sense of what people think about Word vs. Frame and Winhelp vs. HTML. What I could really use are some thoughts on a good approach for migrating and managing a documentation set of this size, and what we can expect to accomplish in online help (the AS/400 help is not portable). We know that the migration is going to be a huge effort, so we have a lot to work out before we begin. Does anybody out there document an application of this size? Any thoughts, tips, wisdom, blessings, etc. will be appreciated.

Some additional considerations:

We make frequent periodic updates to the application and documentation, so we need some way for the documentation to reside on the server side or distribution would be a nightmare for our customers. Also, modular documentation would be ideal to accommodate different job functions, although some users will need the whole shebang.

Some of our customers will continue to use the green screen application while others will go to GUI. Is single-sourcing an impossible dream?


Elise Kaplan
ekaplan -at- asaint -dot- com

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