NewsForge review of StarOffice 8 Migration Tools

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We received a series of great reviews on StarOffice 8 ranging from BusinessWeek to PC Magazine since we announced the product last September. Today I saw David’s recent NewsForge review where he focused on the Migration Tools from the Enterprise Tools that we ship with StarOffice 8.

David’s overall assessment is that the migration tools are very good if you have relatively simple documents with simple macros to convert. He states that if a user has hundreds of files that they will need going forward, then the two migration tools from us will be moderately, but not completely, helpful.  He feels that if a user’s document collection is in the thousands across many different users, then the user will want to use the tools for sure, but it still won’t be easy to do the conversion.

We released Migration Tools for the first time starting with StarOffice 8, and it makes life easy for our enterprise customers to convert Office documents. This is not a turnkey, out-of-the-box solution yet, but it is geared to reduce the cost of migration by 50%. Surely we are working to reduce the migration cost further, and you’d see a lot of improvements in the next release.

You’ll see David is pretty positive on the Professional Analysis Wizard – check out the enlarged image in his review to see the level of analysis it does. It greatly helps to assess risks and costs even before you attempt to run the Macro Migration Wizard.

I agree the requirement of Microsoft Office 2000 or higher installed for our Migration Tools to work is odd, but the approach was chosen in order to use the tools with the best insights into the Microsoft file formats and the Microsoft API’s to do the analysis. This requirement, however, will go away.

Regarding Macro Migration Wizard falsely claiming some files to be “password protected”…
David, I have to say you missed out the customer experience part on Sun support. As you know, important differences between StarOffice 8 and OpenOffice.org 2.0 are (1) professtional Sun support and (2) the Enterprise Tools, part of which you were reviewing. We take your experience very seriously and had hoped to hear from you while you were working through your evaluation on these issues. For example, we were expecting to receive the files originally created on the Macintosh platform that you mentioned during your conversation with Erwin. His line was open to you to help you resolve these problems.

We are still very much interested in receiving those files, David.  We know that documents from Macintosh version are pretty often incompatible with Windows (even Microsoft Office has problems as you saw), and we will do every bit to make our product better. So we’ll be in touch with you again shortly…

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