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AVR Classic is ASNA’s original RPG compiler for Windows. Its core codebase is nearly thirty years old. Windows 7 (supported October 22, 2009 through January 14, 2020) introduced many internal changes over Windows XP that didn’t play well with AVR 4.x.

In 2012, we spent a lot of time moving our AVR 4.x code from a very old C++ compiler to the (then) latest MS C++ compiler. Recompiling AVR 4.x with this much newer compiler added stability and compatibility with Windows 7 (which would also later work with Windows 8 and 10). We released this recompiled AVR Classic version as AVR 5.0. This was a lateral upgrade and beyond support for Windows 7/8/10, it doesn’t add any new features to AVR Classic.

Note that Windows 7 was retired by Microsoft on January 14, 2020 and is no longer supported for use with with any version of ASNA Visual RPG.

Because time flies, we recompiled AVR 5.0 again with a next-gen C++ compiler again in 2018. That version is available as AVR Classic 5.1. Our investment in AVR Classic 5.x means that we’re confident AVR Classic 5.x will persist for the life of Windows 10.

If you are using a version of AVR Classic below 5.0, we strongly recommend that you upgrade as soon as possible, and because it is newer, we recommend upgrading to AVR 5.1.

Upgrading from AVR Classic 4.x to AVR 5.1.

Generally, the effort required to upgrade an AVR Classic 4.x application to AVR Classic 5.1 is to open an AVR 4.x project in AVR 5.1 and recompile. It’s not likely that you’ll need to change any code (except for the third-party control caution mentioned below). AVR Classic 5.1 will automatically convert the 4.x project to 5.x. Be sure to make a copy of the AVR 4.x project, because Murphy lurks and it’s good to be able to start over if you need to.

Except for potential third-party control issues, it doesn’t take much effort to upgrade an AVR Classic 4.x application to AVR 5.1. There is rarely a need to change any code.

That said, there is a dark side to an AVR 4.x to AVR 5.x upgrade: third-party controls. Although we’ve refreshed AVR 5.1 to work with Windows 8 and 10, virtually all third-party COM and ActiveX controls have long since been discontinued and/or deprecated. These controls may or may not work on Windows 8/10–and even more frustrating sometimes they work on some Windows 8/10 PCs but don’t on others. Beyond troublesome interoperability with Windows 8/10 watch for licensing issues. If you’ve lost the license for a third-party control, it’s not likely that you can get a replacement. The FarPoint tab control and the Larcom and Young resizing control are both examples of controls that are notoriously unfriendly to Windows 8/10.

A potential way out of this third-party control dilemma is to extend your AVR Classic application with AVR for .NET to help take the place of a third-party control. .NET intrinsically includes many controls and features (ie, masked input, tab control, and advanced string handling) that required third-party controls in AVR Classic 4.x. Alas, depending on your app, doing much work like this can start to feel like an application rewrite.

Note also that this third-party control warning also applies to the chart control that has long been included with AVR Classic. In the 90s ASNA licensed that control for redistribution and the vendor has long since gone out of business. Most customers report that it appears to work with Windows 8/10 but your mileage may vary.

AVR 4.x and AVR 5.x runtimes do not coexist

Please be aware that AVR 4.x runtimes do not coexist with AVR 5.0/5.1 runtimes. In the early days of AVR 5.0, with Windows 7 the two runtimes did work together without much trouble. However, with the advent of Windows 8 and the mulitple major versions of Windows 10, there are too many variables at play to ensure reliable coexistence of the AVR 4.x 32-bit environment with the AVR 5.x 64-bit friendly environment.

Upgrading from AVR Classic prior to 4.x to AVR 5.1.

A few of you may be using AVR 3.x (or even lower, but that’s very unlikely). If so, the information above generally applies to upgrading from 3.x to AVR 5.1. However, with AVR 3.x you are far more likely to run into needing to make minor changes.

Upgrading Web applications — any version

AVR Classic Web apps require VB Script and VB Script is not supported by any modern browser. Even the lowly, and long-retired IE 11, runs VB Script only in “legacy document mode.” VB Script is very susceptible to many browser exploits and hackers. Its use today is strongly discouraged by Microsoft.

There isn’t any upgrade path available for AVR Classic applications. If you’re one of the few shops still running AVR Classic Web sites we strongly recommend that you rewrite them. While there aren’t automation tools, depending on how your AVR Classic Web application code was written you may be able to salvage some code with cut and paste.