ASNA’s AVR Classic was a pioneering product for RPG programmers. It quickly allowed RPG programmers to create what were, for the time, leading-edge graphical applications. We get reminded several times a month how many businesses have a substantial enterprise dependence on Windows-based AVR Classic apps.
We’ve mentioned before, in this newsletter and elsewhere, how important it is for our AVR Classic customers to upgrade to AVR Class 5.1. AVR Classic 4.1 doesn’t support Windows 10/11. Establishing a solid upgrade plan for your AVR Classic apps is critical. Putting this off is a crisis waiting to happen!
If you have yet to start a persistence plan for your AVR Classic 4.x apps, please consider this article a gentle nudge. Potential heartache and headache await those unprepared! See the image below for our AVR Classic Windows support matrix:
Beware third-party controls!
ASNA spent lots of time and money upgrading AVR 4.x to AVR 5.1 (under the covers, it required a move from a 20+ year old Microsoft C++ compiler to the latest version). This newer compiler’s improvements gave us the ability to support AVR Classic 5.1 on Windows 10/11 platforms.
However, third party controls remain a major concern. ASNA doesn’t control the destiny of third-party controls. Most vendors who created and sold COM/ActiveX controls are out of business, and those few that aren’t no longer service or maintain their COM/ActiveX products.
The AVR Classic graph control (that we years-ago licensed from Graphics Server) is a good example. That company went out of business several years ago and we don’t have source code for it. AVR Classic 5.0 does ship with the Graphics Server control but please note that it does not ship with AVR 5.1. That said, some customers report that the old graph control works fine on their Windows 10/11 PCs but we’ve also had some customers for whom the control did not work. Your mileage may vary! If it doesn’t work for your app you’ll need to find an alternative. One potential alternative is to extend your AVR Classic app with AVR for .NET and use the .NET chart control (included with AVR for .NET) in a .NET Windows form with your Classic app. You can read more about that here.
We’ve recently had a few customers who’ve experienced third-party control problems–with no apparent changes to the application. When you experience AVR Classic issues without having changed the app, Windows updates and installing other software are often the culprits.
It’s really hard to nail down what old controls work and what ones don’t. We’ve gotten conflicting reports from both customers and our testing that leads us to believe that there are a variety of unknown factors, most likely associated with Windows updates and other software installed, that affect the fidelity of a given COM/ActiveX control in Windows 7/8/10.
No time like the present
With a little planning and effort, it’s likely your AVR Classic apps can persist for several years yet. That said, we also want to remind you that it’s very clear the COM model is winding down. Nothing is guaranteed and this may also be a very good time for you to investigate AVR for .NET. Maybe there is an ASP.NET Web app to take the place of your AVR Classic apps in your future!
If you haven’t started charting your course for the longer-term persistence of your AVR Classic apps, now is as good a time as any to get busy on that. It’s definitely not going to get easier if you wait. See our AVR Classic FAQ for a few other pointers.