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Microsoft .Net software's hidden cost
Yahoo ^ | Sat Jun 22,11:11 AM ET | Joe Wilcox

Posted on 06/22/2002 12:48:53 PM PDT by Dominic Harr

Microsoft .Net software's hidden cost
Sat Jun 22,11:11 AM ET

Joe Wilcox

Companies planning on moving their old programs to Microsoft's new .Net software plan had better prepare for sticker shock: Making the conversion could cost roughly half of the original development cost, Gartner says.

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According to a new cost model devised by Gartner, the cost of moving older Windows programs to .Net may range from 40 percent to as much as 60 percent of the cost of developing the programs in the first place.

That may come as a blow to penny-pinching information systems departments in big companies, even those very familiar with Windows programming.

Typically, moving to a new software release isn't so costly. But, warns Gartner's Mark Driver, .Net isn't just a new release of Windows.

"People mistakenly assume the cost of upgrading will somehow be the same as going from one version of a well-established product to another. That's definitely not the case (with .Net)," said Driver, who devised the cost model.

Ari Bixhorn, Microsoft's product manager for Visual Basic.Net, disputed Gartner's conclusions. He said most conversions to .Net are about 95 percent error-free, meaning they can be completed at a cost much lower than what Gartner estimates.

Gartner, however, considered factors other than code conversions in its analysis, such as training and lost productivity. Bixhorn said he didn't see either training or productivity problems as much of a concern.

Microsoft's .Net plan includes new releases of the company's Windows operating system and other server software, along with development tools and infrastructure to make programs more Internet-aware. One new technology supported by .Net is Web services, which promise to make linking internal computer systems, and systems residing in multiple companies, far easier than current methods.

What's unclear is whether the additional cost of moving to .Net will slow Web services releases. Several technology buyers told this week that they are waiting for additional standards and better compatibility before they commit to large-scale projects.

The most prominent piece of .Net released so far is Visual Studio.Net, a new version of Microsoft's development tool package, which debuted in February.

Visual Studio.Net includes new versions of familiar tools such as Visual Basic and Visual C++. But the tool bundle is radically different than predecessors. It includes a new development language called Visual C# (pronounced "see sharp"), and introduces the .Net Framework and Common Language Runtime, which are technologies for managing and running programs.

The new development tool package also ushers in ASP.Net, a specialized type of software called a class library, replacing an older technology called Active Server Pages (ASP) for creating Web applications that support new Web services technology.

Still, long term, Driver predicted that making the switch to .Net for building new programs would help lift productivity and create more efficiency within companies.

"Over the course of the lifetime of an application, .Net might give you 20 percent cost advantage or more over using the older technologies," he said. "You will be able to recover that migration cost over the course of three to five years."

Companies making the switch could do so all at once, but most will likely make the change over a longer period of time. Either way, the cost of migration stays the same.

"It's an issue of paying the 60 percent up front or over the course of three years," Driver said.

The largest cost is code conversion. Because it is difficult to calculate, the 60 percent estimate in some cases could be too low.

The cutting edge can hurt
Gartner based its migration cost estimates on Visual Basic.Net and not on its cutting-edge, Java-like Visual C# programming language. One reason: Cost. A forthcoming study will say the migration cost associated with C# would be even higher than the standard Visual Studio .Net tools, Driver said.

"Some clients have asked about going directly to C#," Driver said. "For the vast majority, going from Visual Basic to Visual Basic.Net may be painful, but it's going to be the least painful of the strategies."

C# is seen as a crucial programming language for advancing .Net. Use of the language doubled in six months, according to a March study by Evans Data.

Without a doubt, companies switching to the new tools and migrating software applications over the long haul will find the switch over the easiest, but even they face difficulties in planning. Driver used the example of a developer running the older version of Visual Studio and Visual Studio .Net over a protracted period.

"That becomes untenable at some point," he said. "You've got to make the switch. So even if you go with a hybrid model, you've got to remember that you're spreading your resources thin over two different platforms."

There are other concerns about making the switch to .Net. At the top of the list is security, Driver said. Following a January memo from Chairman Bill Gates ( news - web sites), Microsoft cranked up emphasis on security. But problems have still surfaced in recent months.

"Some people are hesitant to put Internet Information Server (behind a public Web site) because of security issues. Well, .Net doesn't really address those problems," Driver said. "IIS is still just as vulnerable with .Net running behind it as the older ASP (Active Server Pages) code running behind it."

IBM and Sun also are pushing hard into Web services, advancing their own technology strategies and tools.

Security will be an important part of that emerging market. Market researcher ZapLink said on Thursday that the Extensible Markup Language ( XML) and Web Services security market would top $4.4 billion in 2006.

TOPICS: Technical
KEYWORDS: c; microsoft; net; techindex
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To: Bush2000
Actually, Bush2000, if Harr thinks we are salesmen then he is insulting himself by stating that salesment know more about the technical subjects he argues about than he does.
181 posted on 06/25/2002 3:17:59 PM PDT by PatrioticAmerican
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To: Dominic Harr
Then there's situation 3 which is how you say it: "I think you wasted a bunch of your bosses money". Which justifiably get's a response best expressed with one finger.
182 posted on 06/25/2002 3:22:57 PM PDT by discostu
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To: discostu
Nope, same situation.

And there's no excuse for a developer being that defensive.

If they hear there's a better, cheaper way, they should be interested.

Especially since I was never rude in tone or language, like your side.

It's funny -- I politely suggest that someone wasted their bosses time and money, and that's treated as a grave insult.

People on your side to call names like "moron" and "aquamaroon", and generally act like 15 year olds with ADD, and I take no personal offense at all.

I wonder if you're enough of a student of human nature to know what that really means?

Probably not. You also don't feel that the plain meaning of words means anything, if it was an exaggerated claim about .NET.

Just consider -- a thread about .NET, and the only one doing any serious inquiry and discussion is a Java developer. The entire conversation has centered around a Java developer.

183 posted on 06/25/2002 5:47:32 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Dominic Harr
How can you say you were never rude?! You started this off saying he'd wasted his boss' resources, then you told him MS had ripped him off, then you started shaving huge chunks off of his java dev time estimates because you figured you're a better developer. Rude on all three counts. There's no such thing as politely suggesting someone wastes their boss' time and money. That's an accusation of incompetence. Just because you couched it in "nice" language doesn't change what it is. It is a grave insult, you called into question his competence and professionalism.

If you honestly think that you can politely accuse someone of gross negligence then you're a lot worse than a moron. Because I can figure out that that telling someone they wasted their boss' time and money can NEVER POSSIBLY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES IN ANY VERSION OF REALITY EVER BE "POLITE" I'm guessing I'm a much better student of human nature than you could ever hope to be.

You need to spend some quality time watching John Wayne movies and learn what it means when you call into question a man's integrity and competence. There's no greater insult in the world, it doesn't matter what kind of soft language you use, using soft language just make it worse. It means you lack even enough respect in him to express your opinion honestly and frankly, you have to back into like a coward. You haven't participated in serious discussion on any thread I've ever seen you on. You sit there and make wild baseless accusations about everybody and everything, you refuse to believe any evidence that violates your sacred cow dismissing everything with insane conspiratorial theories from a world where apparently you're the only person on the planet not in the pay of MS, you insult people's integrity and work ethics; and then you have the audacity to act offended when nobody wants to listen to a word you say. It's sick. Forget John Wayne movies, you're too far gone, you need a shrink, a really expensive one.
184 posted on 06/25/2002 6:49:24 PM PDT by discostu
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To: discostu
There's no such thing as politely suggesting someone wastes their boss' time and money.

"Dude, did you just put Premium in your bosses car? I don't think Premium is worth it, and that's a waste of his money, Premium isn't worth it."

"Dom, did you just pay for tech support on that product? I don't believe you'll need it, and that's a waste of your bosses money!"

"Dom, did you spend an extra week making that app 3-tiered, instead of just using stored procs? I think you just wasted your bosses time and money."


No, not offensive at all.

Not to normal human beings, anyway. Only to someone so defensive they are offended at the very suggestion that they could be wrong. And that's only one kind of human. A very fragile one . . .

Just consider, from what you know of human nature, what kind of person blows up at the slightest contradiction to an idea or skill of theirs?

Or just consider, from what you know of human nature, what it means when one side of a debate patiently tries to discuss a topic, while the other side jeers and name calls and argues about tiny little details that have nothing to do with the topic of discussion!

I wonder, are you so far gone you don't even realize that name-calling is one of the surest signs of a lost intellectual debate?

185 posted on 06/25/2002 7:05:06 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: discostu
To put it another way, every single one of us developers does things wrong -- "wastes his bosses time and money" -- every week.

There are no perfect developers.

So a developer has to be willing to admit the possibility of errors, and not be offended at the slightest suggestion that there are better techniques and methods out there. All developers have different ways of doing things. They'll *all* say you're making a mistake in one way or another, on one specific design pattern or coding standard.

A developer can not be easily offended by suggestions he could have done better. If you think this was 'offensive', you should hang out with some of the developers I work with. When they think you screw up, they'll tell you straight out. No BS, no Politically Correct dancing around your "feelings" like you want.

It's funny, I don't see John Wayne storming off in a huff because someone said to him they thought he wasted his bosses time and money making 'Ghengis Khan'. I somehow think John would either agree that he made a flop, or just not take offense at the blinding reality that GK was a real stinker.

Heck, if you think this is offensive, you should peruse the 'Drug War' threads, or the 'Evo v. ID' threads, or the 'Bushies v. Bush-bashers' threads.

Now those are rough.

Maybe you should just look at the vitriol coming from your side of the isle. And *he* took offense?

It takes all kinds, I guess.

186 posted on 06/25/2002 7:24:04 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Dominic Harr
Why do you do that? Why do you rip something completely out of context then quip back with 100% non-equivalent lines.

You came right out on this thread and told Jeeves he did the project in the wrong language with the wrong architecture and did it for the wrong reasons, with the end result of taking 4 times as long to make an inferior product. That's a hell of a lot more than putting the wrong gas in the car and you know. Face up to it Dominic. You insulted his skill integrity and work ethic. Then started second guessing his decisions on a project you new JS about.

These aren't the "slightest contradiction" these are attacks on a mans character and reputation.

And shut up about name calling. I don't call you names and I'm sick of hearing whine about it. Go hang that bag on somebody else. I've known other people that spend long hours griping about being mistreated by everyone in their life. I always ask them the same question: what's the one common denominator that connects all these people.

Maybe the problem's you Dom. I tried being nice about it but you just don't listen. You insult people, you second guess their decisions, you accuse them of lacking professionalism and even the basic skills necessary to do their job. And you can't even see that you do it. Then you come back on the people that get sick of it and accuse them of being MS salesmen. You're a whack job pure and simple. You're why I spent the last two months avoiding tech thread, I couldn't stand reading your crap. I finally dip a toe in the water, I don't even post to you, and look at all the crap you put me through because you can't even admit you misread something... can't admit it to me, when the original poster offers an identical explanation you switch from calling him a liar behind his back to accepting everything he said without question. Now you can't even admit that accusing someone of gross negligence is rude. Meanwhile you keep accusing me of being contrarian while you're the one going out of your way to disagree with everything I say... even when you agree with somebody else saying the same thing.

And you wonder why people make fun of you. Why they assume everything you say will turn into an MS bash and MS defender accusation fest.
187 posted on 06/25/2002 8:09:16 PM PDT by discostu
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To: Dominic Harr
Seems like you're backpeddling Dom. Now it's everybody making mistakes, at the beginning of this thread we were dupes that had bought into the MS lie.

You are not suggesting he could have done better and any attempt to recast your words as such is patent falsehood.

No the Duke wouldn't storm off in a huff if you said he wasted his bosses time making The Conquerer. He'd remind you that itturned a profit and tell you to get out of his face before he had to hurt you.

I avoid throse threads because of a multitude of twits. I avoid tech threads because of you. Because you rant on for days about "trying to have a conversation" while never actually trying to have a conversation. Because you bad mouth all of us that work at MS shops and when people get sick of it you say they're being unreasonable. Because you refuse to even consider any evidence that your sacred cows are BS. Because you can't admit to ever making a mistake no matter how dramatically the evidence popped you in the face (I love how you just completely ignored B2K pointing out that winforms are running on BSD right now, skipping to the next sentence where he talked about the potential of it being ported to other platform, that's such classic Harr. Ignore all the sentences that prove your wrong and miscast the ones that give you wiggle room.)

I'm not responsible for "my side of the isle". This is you and me I don't pin you with the sins of the Macheads in the other tech threads, even though the styles are similar, don't bag me with the sins of others. Unless you think I'm secretly controling multiple FR accounts, in which case come right out and say it... oh that was dumb, you never come right out and say anything.
188 posted on 06/25/2002 8:24:12 PM PDT by discostu
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To: PatrioticAmerican
"Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank's Global Equity Derivatives unit gave its developers access to XML Web services and ASP.NET custom controls with Visual Studio .NET and the .NET Framework."

Just for the record, Deutsche Bank's IT division is a major competitor of my firm. Today they went down to Florida for a MAJOR client to demo their VB .Net product that competes with our VB 6 product.

I got the giggly phone call from one of the client's staffers this afternoon. Deutsche Bank's VB .Net app failed to download, failed to install, and failed to run. They killed three hours with principals of this client looking on (not good to waste EVP's time, either).

Now last year when their app was still in VB 6, they nailed their demo and snagged quite a few clients.

Not now with Dot Net. Oh, they thought that their code had been converted properly, and they knew that they had properly tested it.


The good news is that their flub will make my firm even richer.

Such is life in production, where real coding counts for more than bells and whistles, and where professionals know what true backwards compatibility is worth...

189 posted on 06/25/2002 8:49:35 PM PDT by Southack
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To: discostu
Y'know, it's odd.

You seem to have taken this "insult" even harder than he has.

I found him to be mature and well spoken, we disagreed but I believe he handled himself in an adult and professional manner.

In fact, you've spent the entire thread arguing about a small slight to someone else. I find that very odd. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it here on FR.

I'm done discussing Mr. Jeeves with you. This is wierd. I'm going back to trying to discuss .NET.

190 posted on 06/25/2002 9:00:48 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Southack
Deutsche Bank's VB .Net app failed to download, failed to install, and failed to run.

That does not sound good.

191 posted on 06/25/2002 9:08:54 PM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Dominic Harr
It's not the insult that's horking me off now. It's the fact that you insist you're not insulting inspite of the fact that this thread (and any other you post on) is filled with the evidence. I was ready to drop the whole thing with post 41 when I commented to Jeeves that it was rude of you to shave his estimate with no actual knowledge of the project. But no, you've gotta make a big deal out of it. The problem has to be with everybody else on the planet. Then you come out with rediculous phrases like "politely suggested he wasted his boss' time and money" and expect me to buy into that BS. Talk about insulting people's intelligence. But that's not good enough for you. When called on that BS you make up "examples" that have little if anything to do with the problem at hand. A sane person would have admitted that was going too far back with your first post to me and we could have had a reasonable discussion of the pros and cons of .Net. But you can't do that, admitting any form of error, even a minor etiquette violation is so anathema to you you'll spend all day bitching about imaginary MS salesmen and accusing people who are sticking by their guns without budging of backpeddling.

Then, as always, you turn around and blaim the other guy.
192 posted on 06/25/2002 9:10:33 PM PDT by discostu
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To: Dominic Harr
Well, it's not good for D-Bank and it's not good for Dot Net, but that one bad demo alone will put 5 figures, possibly 6, into my pocket in the next four months.

Needless to say, their VB 6 version was much stiffer competition. Heck, at least it worked.

Now I'm sure that their crew of whiz kids will have to explain to D-Bank execs why their "upgrade" to Dot Net was such a good thing.

Suckers. Well, at least the kids will have the "latest technology" on their resumes as they get booted back out into the job market...

193 posted on 06/25/2002 9:26:21 PM PDT by Southack
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To: Southack
Excellent story. I laughed my ass off. This happens all the time. Companies rush a product or fail to plan professionally, and they get nailed on it. I, too, love it, as such incompetence makes me wealthier every day! I hope you guys snag their client; they deserve to lose them!
194 posted on 06/25/2002 9:43:04 PM PDT by PatrioticAmerican
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To: Dominic Harr
Java Dev: "Oh, really? Thanks, I'll check it out. I'm always interested in better ways to do my job."

But.. whenever they say that to me personally, they're also rolling their eyes. What do they mean by that?

195 posted on 06/25/2002 9:51:00 PM PDT by zeromus
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To: PatrioticAmerican
The funny part is that they had no client-driven need to upgrade. They had the functionality nailed in VB 6...
196 posted on 06/25/2002 9:53:28 PM PDT by Southack
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To: discostu
we could have had a reasonable discussion of the pros and cons of .Net.

As you made clear, in your earlier posts -- you don't know about .NET, and don't have any opinions on the subject, and are apparently only here to try desperately to find *something* to argue with me about, no matter how senless and small.

So you've claimed words mean the opposite of what they say, and trumped a small comment into a world-shattering insult.

Let's face it -- the 'common thread' here is MS-only people dislike me because I dare to use Java.

This thread is about .NET. Do you have anything to say about that topic?

197 posted on 06/26/2002 8:18:01 AM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Southack
Well, at least the kids will have the "latest technology" on their resumes as they get booted back out into the job market...

This also points out why that list of PR Press release 'case studies' from the MS website which are listed as 'success stories can't be trusted.

That's specifically why I'm trying to find out specifics on any .NET implementations.

I want the truth.

198 posted on 06/26/2002 8:20:17 AM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: zeromus
What do they mean by that?

I'm not sure. All the Java guys I know checked C# out. Most of us are building little tools and personal projects with it, just because that's what we do.

It's not what the salesmen would have you believe, but it has some nice things to it.

My favorite detail is that you can use 'Strings' in switch statements. A small detail, but it suits my coding style well.

199 posted on 06/26/2002 8:22:28 AM PDT by Dominic Harr
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To: Dominic Harr
We was the greater "we" as in "participants of the thread". And no I was desperately hoping to avoid an arguement with you because you argue like a 5 year old conspiracy nut. If you'll recall months ago I requested that you never post to me again. Since then I haven't posted to you, nor have I posted on threads you were on, I even stopped posting on threads you came to after I got there. Until monday morning when I post to Jeeves, just dipped the toe in the water for a moment, had no intention of it turning into something big. Then you posted at me.

No MS only people don't like you because you insult them. None of us care what you use. The probem comes in when you start telling us we're fools for not doing what you do and are a liability to our company.

But of course this is the classic example of what's worng with you. You can't concede any point no matter how small. There are 3 sane reactions to being told you insulted someone. The person who did it unintentionally will apologize and possibly ask for clarification on how they were in sulting. The person who did it on purpose will either blow it off or reply with something even more insulting. You will argue the point for two days inventing wild oxymoronic phrases like "politely suggesting they wasted their boss' time and money". Why? Because you're not sane. It's anathema to the very structure of your personality to ever give an inch and must change others. Anyone that is insulted when you question their decision is WRONG, anyone that doesn't use Java after all the great things you've said about it is WRONG anyone that use MS products is WRONG anyone that puts for evidence that you're feces actually does stink is WRONG; and they all must be beaten into submission.

As for my opinion of .Net, which i don't use but I've spent long enough on MS's bleeding edge I've got a pretty good feel for their first rev is simple and I've posted it on this thread already, but you didn't want to listen and won't want to now. It's new so it's got lumps. Those lumps by no means keep it from being ready for primetime, which is proven by the number of organizations that are using it in primetime right now, it just means they need to factor in some slightly higher development costs getting it to primetime because they're going to have to navigate through the lumps.

Now for the new news that I hadn't put elsewhere. There is one really good reason to use it inspite of the lumps. It's the same reason there is to be an MS shop: interoperability. Nothing talks to a MS application like another MS application. As a matter of fact no app talks to another app like two (or more) MS apps. MS apps work and play well together. You want to get the most out of your MS SQL backend, write the frontend in something from MS. I can and have taken data from MS SQL with Access, massaged it, dumped into Excel, added a graph, inserted the entire spreadsheet into a Word doc and e-mailed that puppy out of Outlook through an Exchange server. And it's easy too. Just a handful of mouse clicks and you're moving data through 6 different apps on three different computers, and most people probably don't even realize they're doing that kind of stuff, that's how smooth it is. And the scary news is that except for the e-mail part you've been able to do that since the 3.x days (though it was a real bitch to code, man OLE sucked... until you got it working). MS haters call it illegal product tieing. Users call it damn convenient. And I have absolutely no doubt that .Net continues the tradition of being better at communicating with other MS products (or other things created with MS products) than anything MS doesn't make. It's what they're good at, it's the reason MS is able to sell the MS only model to so many places. Interoperability rocks, and nothing MS doesn't make can hold a candle to them in this area. Even when MS products suck (which happens, no denying that, though not nearly as often as the basher say, and less often every day) they still talk to each other smoothly.
200 posted on 06/26/2002 8:45:41 AM PDT by discostu
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