What should you do as a company if your users are faithfully running an outdated Delphi application and not switching to the cloud version? Director Bob Jones of CityLaw / CountyLaw decided to contact GDK Software to upgrade the application from Delphi 5 to Delphi 11. “I am very satisfied with the level of knowledge and professionalism with which the upgrade was carried out,” he says.
CityLaw / CountyLaw is a legal case management system. The programme includes all kinds of useful features that US government agencies need to access and process information, such as contract management, document management, case management, claims processing and time management. Meanwhile, CityLaw / CountyLaw is used by more than a hundred different US cities and counties. “Over the past 15 years, the number of customers has quadrupled,” says Bob. “We don’t do any marketing ourselves, so it all comes from word of mouth.”
At the helm of the ship is Bob Jones. He was hired in the late 1990s to get the old DOS application ready for Windows. “Not much later, I became the application’s technical lead. When the founder retired, I decided to take over the company and continue developing the Delphi application,” Bob continues. “By now, in addition to the desktop version, we have a cloud version that can be viewed in the web browser. This cloud version was further developed over the years, while the Delphi 5 application remained stagnant. Yet we noticed that a loyal group of users continued to use the Windows application and had no intention of switching to the web version. We decided to contact GDK Software to upgrade the application from version 5 to version 11.”
Initially, the application was updated to version 11. “This proved to be a tough job as it still contained many old third-party components. These components the developers first replaced with new components so that we could then compile the application. Then we modernised the application. For instance, the user environment was completely renewed. The application can now better handle DPI differences in monitors. Also, users can adjust the size of the window to their liking. Ideal on larger screens!” Meanwhile, the team is working hard to further improve the application. For instance, the Delphi application still lags behind compared to the cloud version. Bob: “We plan to add as many features of the cloud version as possible in the Delphi application as well. Think of a fully customisable dashboard and a new calendar.”
At GDK Software, they took the Delphi upgrade very seriously. “Developer Tranquilo spent time with our trainer to understand the application from a user’s perspective. You could tell from him that he wanted to get everything right and was very eager to get the best out of it. An excellent mindset and therefore a pleasure to work with Tranquilo on the application.”
Delphi developer Tranquilo looks back on a successful project. “Bob is easy to approach and very open in his communication. If there are problems, he is always open to solutions. He also likes to use new technologies.” There were challenges, though. “Updating the application was a huge job, as more than 800 forms are used. The second challenge was migrating from the old data layer to the new data layer. The third challenge was modernising the user environment. In terms of complexity, you have to think of open-heart surgery.”
Bob Jones, Director CityLaw / CountyLaw
The big advantage is that Bob and Tranquilo understand each other well. For instance, Bob is a developer and Tranquilo has worked on the business side of applications for years. Bob: “As a result, I speak the same language as Tranquilo and the other developers. If they run into something in the development process, I understand it and can think along about solutions. When other entrepreneurs have a Delphi upgrade carried out by GDK Software, I advise them to choose a technically skilled person as contact person between GDK and their own organisation. That eases communication and the development process.” Tranquilo agrees. “When Bob talks ‘business’, I understand and a nice one-two punch is created. What’s nice about Bob is that he understands the complexity of his application. If we need to replace components, it often takes a lot of time, especially if it has to be done 800 times. Bob understands this and that makes the cooperation very pleasant.”
Thanks to the upgrade and modifications, CityLaw / CountyLaw is ready for the future. “With the old Delphi application, we would eventually lose customers. Now we have managed to avoid this and can continue building the application.”
Are you also running into a Delphi upgrade? Is it time for renewal, but are you afraid of the complexity? Make a no-obligation appointment with one of our Delphi specialists and find out what we can do for you.