Uncovering hidden problems when migrating to a newer Office version

Whether you are just thinking to roll out a newer version of Office or you already done it and now you are facing some problems this is certainly an essential reading for you and anyone who is striving to plan or manage Office upgrades in an enterprise. The most important thing to know when considering to roll out a newer version of Office are the types of issues that you can run into, and most importantly, which one of your company’s files are the most risky and given to cause problems.

Linking files. People use linked Office files at a daily basis, but when switching to a newer Office version it seems that those links get lost.This particular problem is due to some Microsoft efforts that enable the user to find out whether a file contains VBA code only by looking at its name. With newer Office versions the files that don’t contain VBA code will be named using the .docx  extension and the ones that do will be named using the .docm extension. This means that basically every file is renamed so this breaks every existing link. Unfortunately, there is no automatic fix for this but you can prevent discomfort by becoming aware of this problem and finding a solution right from the start.

VBA code. Microsoft issued a list of hidden commands regarding files that contain VBA code, but the problem is that in many cases this commands just don’t work and you’ll end up facing a Run-time error. Using a solution that signals the presence of VBA code may be very helpful from a planning point of view, allowing you to come up with a back-up plan.

Data Access Pages. A data access page is a Web page that is designed to let you view and work with data from the Internet or an intranet. This data is typically stored in an Access database. Unfortunately, the ability to create, modify, or import data access pages is no longer supported in newer Office Access and the files created using older versions are blocked. At this point it is very important that you become aware of the existence of this certain type of files around your network, because you must decide whether you will rewrite them or move to a different technology. The kind of activity that the file was destined for is a very important aspect to consider. For example, if it’s a survey we’re talking about it’s better to opt for changing the technology.

Add-ons. When deciding to rollout a newer version of Office you must assure that every add-ons on all the enterprise’s desktops, all around the network will continue to function properly. Most companies locked down their desktops and have strict policies in order to better control what add-ons are installed or purchased. Still, the problem with the add-ons is that overall, the IT group may not know which add-ons departments defined as approved and being able to identify everything that’s out there, knowing what you need to test and certify before rolling the newer version of Office becomes very important.

File security. It is very important to know that to a certain extent the security of some of your files could be at risk when switching to a newer version of Office. The secured files within work-groups are based on Access databases and will be discontinued, so all the security protocol must be reapplied. Considering that business critical documents are involved in this matter it is very important to have those risky files highlighted for you.

The Converter Technology is able to identify all the risky files on your company network and be of real help in planning to move on to a better version of Microsoft Office. Moreover, it solves most issues automatically, without requiring any time from the IT department. The goal is not only raising awareness regarding the files that may cause some of the problems mentioned above, but educating the enterprise’s staff that it may take some effort upgrading their Office version.