Template files may challenge Windows 2000 upgrades

Upgrading to Microsoft Windows 2000 could result in hours of extra work for the IT department rectifying files andscripting issues.

Theo Baker, managing director for Powerlan, warns macros and Visual Basic scripts used in common Office 95 or 97programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Access databases, require development to function in an Office 2000environment.

"I think most organisations are oblivious to the fact that there may be any problems as a result of an upgrade toWindows 2000. [However] unless the [IT department] is proactive, these types of documents will have to be rebuiltagain, often from scratch."

Baker said if a user attempts to open a file with scripting or complex macros, they will not come across. "Thisupgrade of Windows works fine with files that don't have any scripting in them.

"Any companies that have old Access databases should watch out. The same is true for companies that have developeddocument templates for different departments or those that use linked spreadsheets to make it easier for employees,"Baker said.

"Reworking the scripting could take a couple of hours or days. A large company could have about 2000 of these files,taking on average two hours [each] to fix. If you look at a cost per hour of $100, then it could cost the companyupwards of $400,000."

Baker said the IT department should be conscious of what type of files are used within the organisation before theyimplement the update, recommending proactive testing files first to check what sort of problems may be encounteredupon implementation.

According to Gartner Group, by the end of this year, about 45 per cent of the world's PCs will be upgraded toWindows 2000.

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