Legacy System Migration for Plants Growing Company

Velvetech fast-forwards a thirty-years-old plant growing system to a state-of-the-art cloud platform
  • Project: Legacy System Migration, IT infrastructure update, QuickBooks implementation
  • Duration: 5 months
  • Technologies: ASP.NET Core, Web API, C#, MS SQL, EF Core, Twitter Bootstrap, NodeJS, Angular, Typescript, QB SDK 3.0, WinForms
  • Target audience: Production, administration, accounting
Leider Greenhouses Company

Leider Greenhouses Chicago is a family legacy and tradition of florist excellence that dates back to 1890. After four generations, it’s a force to reckon with when it comes to planting production across the whole country.

THE CASE

Our customer’s entire business leaned on a legacy software program, written thirty years ago, yet working nearly perfectly. However, it was impossible to update the software with new features or move it to the cloud. To top it all, no disaster recovery plan was in place — a setup literally asking for trouble to happen.

Challenge

The plant production software was to be rebuilt as a modern cloud application, stripped off of no-longer used features and enhanced with new ones. In addition, Velvetech needed to put in place a data backup plan and update the company’s IT infrastructure: from workstations to servers.

So the main goals on the project were:

  • Re-implement the original desktop app on the modern and most stable technology stack
  • Update and improve the company’s IT infrastructure
  • Migrate plant production software to new servers
  • Implement a disaster and recovery plan
  • Implement an ongoing maintenance plan

Process

A plant production software for a greenhouse is the core of all its business processes, overseeing all stages of plants growing. Velvetech started the project by setting up an interim backup and disaster recovery plan to make sure the legacy app lives through the entire development process until it’s replaced with a brand-new cloud version.

The solution controls all stages of plants production

Legacy System Migration

The original VisualBasic desktop application, despite its humble look, had worked efficiently for over thirty years. It’d stored the specifications for growing plants, allowed to schedule and manage planting procedures; plus it’d generated all sorts of reports and provided accounting functionality.

All these features found their way into the new cloud application, with one exception — accounting. Leider Greenhouses decided to run their accounting in QuickBooks, rather than rewriting all accounting features from scratch. This decision not only made the legacy system migration project more approachable, but also allowed to simplify the company’s accounting routine.

The new application works through a web browser, so Leider Greenhouses’ staff can access the system from any location using any internet-enabled device. And of course, the UI and UX components have been rehashed for the modern day and age, allowing the company’s employees to perform their day-to-day tasks faster.

IT Infrastructure Update

Besides migrating the legacy app, the Velvetech team also updated the whole firm’s IT infrastructure to ensure business continuity and prevent security breaches. Velvetech engineers came up with optimal specifications for the company’s workstations and servers and then migrated all data to the new machines.

QuickBooks Customization

Since the company decided to move its accounting to QuickBooks, Velvetech did not have to rebuild this part of functionality in the new cloud application. Instead, we helped Leider Greenhouses to enhance the company’s accounting experience in QuickBooks by developing two add-ons:

  • An option to print out product labels from invoices
  • An option to manage pick-up and delivery routes for their drivers

Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

For business continuity, Velvetech also implemented a backup and disaster recovery plan so that Leider Greenhouses’ entire business workflow does not depend on a single server anymore. After all software had migrated to the new servers, the Velvetech maintenance team setup antivirus protection and system auto-update policies.

Technical Challenges

Throughout the development and migration process, the client’s business could not be on hold and was actively operating. Velvetech had to be extremely cautious while working on the infrastructure to make the migration seamless and make sure the users had all their settings migrated with accurate parameters.

Outcome

As the result of the project, Leider Greenhouses have finally achieved their long-term goal: To protect their heritage — plant growing algorithms based on the centuries of experience — in the form of a modern cloud application.

Outcome of Legacy System Migration: Centuries of Experience + Modern Cloud Application

The new cloud application operates much faster than the original desktop app and is accessible virtually from anywhere, not just from the office’s workstations. The client’s IT infrastructure was duly updated too to ensure seamless operations.

These changes have complemented the labor force, as Leider Greenhouses now has a lower cost of plant production leading to more productive employees. A viable production system was deployed to the client’s servers and well protected with no risk of data loss or breach.

They’ve made a significant improvement in our peace of mind in terms of IT support. There’s not been one technology-related problem or issue that Velvetech hasn’t been able to solve. We’ve worked with a lot of tech firms over the years that were never able to figure things out. Velvetech is able to figure out every issue we face, which is excellent.

Kit Pierri

Communications & Marketing Director at Leider Greenhouses

What’s Next

While the legacy system migration part of the project has been successfully completed, we continue providing Leider Greenhouses with support and maintenance services. We handle software updates, antivirus protection, changes in the disaster and recovery plan, process configuration requests, and other critical IT aspects of the greenhouse’s operations.

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