Washington, District of Columbia – October 19, 2017 – fecher announces the successful completion of an application modernization project at Data I/O. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, the company is a global leader in integrated circuit (IC) programming. In the six-month core phase of the project, the AH700 control software for automated handler machinery, which comprises around 140,000 lines of code, was migrated from VB6 to the modern Microsoft .NET platform in a largely automated process. On the new basis, Data I/O has created considerable added value for its customers, who are found around the world in the automotive, wireless devices, telecommunications, industrial controls, and consumer electronics industries. The modernized software is to be ready for delivery by the end of 2017.
Data I/O had taken over the predecessor version of AH700 from a former competitor in 2000 and further developed it into the core solution for all its pick-and-place machines. However, since the release of the 64-bit version of Windows 7, a 32-bit VB6 application had to be considered technically outdated. Together with the software looking dated compared to the new UI design, this was the deciding factor for a migration to the modern Microsoft .NET platform.
fecher was the only provider that was able to promise a migration of the existing VB6 code to C# at a fixed price and with guaranteed completion date, thanks to the extensive automation of the project process. “There are three aspects of working with fecher which we really enjoyed: They were committed on delivering what we needed and do what they said they would do, they did it in the timeframe they said they would do it in, and they did it to budget,” according to Carl Olson, Director of Hardware Engineering at Data I/O. “Those are three huge factors when you are dealing with an outside partner. fecher really hit on all three cylinders.”
Following the successful migration, Data I/O used the new capabilities of .NET to further refine the software architecture to a model view controller approach and re-skin it with Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). A good example of the added value that has been created is the new context sensitive help technology. By pointing at screen elements, the operator now gets information on how to use each setting and what it is good for – either as text or even as a pictorial. Also, the resizable new user interface makes better use of the larger screen sizes of today’s handler equipment.
“As in many of our projects, the migration to .NET at Data I/O secures the future of a functionally outstanding application whose basic technology had simply gotten dated,” explains fecher’s Managing Director Gunter Hofmann. “Of course, the software was fully operational immediately after the migration and looked much better than in VB6. But Data I/O understands that customers expect a software migration to deliver real value added with the. NET platform. When the new software is delivered at the end of 2017, users will be thrilled!”
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