When the software you have is working, it’s easy to fall behind in updating products just as it becomes easy to marginalize the value staying current on product maintenance. To do either, though, puts your business at a risk for disruption. When a bug surfaces in a Microsoft or ASNA product for which mainstream support is not available, big challenges can arise. It will take longer and cost more to resolve that issue than if you had been using current products.
Upgrades aren’t painful—not upgrading is!
The two formally supported families of ASNA products today are:
- ASNA Visual RPG 14.x, and Wings/Monarch/Mobile RPG 8x, work with Visual Studio 2015
- ASNA Visual RPG 12.x, and Wings/Monarch/Mobile RPG 7x, work with Visual Studio 2013
If you’re using anything older than AVR 11.x or Wings/Monarch/Mobile RPG 7.x, you’re using unsupported ASNA products. Don’t confuse "unsupported" with "doesn’t work." Older products still work, but they aren’t receiving any fixes. If you encounter issues using our unsupported products you’ll need to upgrade to get the fix.
However, if you’re current with your ASNA product maintenance, upgrades from 11.x/6.x family are free! Why wouldn’t you want to stay current?
Because AVR 11.x and Wings/Monarch/Mobile RPG 7.x work with Visual Studio 2012, you will need to upgrade Visual Studio. However, even if you have to buy a new license of Visual Studio 2015, the official price for that is less than $500 for a new copy and less if you have an MSDN subscription. There are also very good prices available from second string vendors. A conservative, but rational, upgrade plan would be to upgrade Visual Studio every two years–that’s only $250 (at the official MS price) per developer to stay current.
Watch Microsoft as well
Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2005 have all reached the end of mainline support. That means that without a very expensive premier maintenance plan or some other special agreement (The UK paid Microsoft 5.5m pounds to extend XP’s life for one year!) bugs aren’t being fixed in these products. And, not only are bugs not being fixed on them, but vendor products aren’t being tested on them. This is especially true if the product was replaced with products offering improved security. For example, while most ASNA customers are no longer using Windows XP, I am sure there are some customers that are. XP is a known malware magnet and we wouldn’t consider putting Windows XP on our network today.
It’s also important to note, and follow, Microsoft’s efforts with Visual Studio. ASNA Visual RPG, Wings, Monarch, and Mobile RPG, all tightly integrate with Visual Studio. As the version of Visual Studio gets older, the more at risk you are for business disruption. For example, Visual Studio 2017 is at release candidate stage now and will probably be released in Q1 of 2017. Doesn’t it seem like Visual Studio 2015 just came out!
A quick pitch for ASNA product maintenance
At ASNA, we take pride in our great customer service. ASNA has been in business for nearly 35 years and you don’t stay in the business that long without great customer service!
One the services we offer customers is product maintenance. Product maintenance ensures you have:
- Quick access to quality technical support. In addition, to live business-hour telephone support, we offer 24 -hour emergency technical support to help resolve critical downtime issues.
- A rational upgrade process. Point-upgrades are free (that is, if a product is current at 6.3 your maintenance includes upgrades to any 6.x upgrade. For major releases, you get discounted upgrades, and in some cases, free upgrades, to major releases.
- Quick and easy product license code generation. We have a 24-hour license code hotline to ensure you get license codes when you need them.
- Early access to beta product versions. Get the earliest possible access to new features and improvements.
Not only does keeping your ASNA product maintenance current get you all of these services, product upgrades are substantially more if you don’t have an active maintenance plan.
Don’t put your business and customers at risk
Don’t let your software comfort zone dictate your upgrade and maintenance policies. Avoid business disruption by keeping your software and product maintenance current.