Migrating from ASP Classic to .NET and pain mitigation

Question :

Migrating from ASP Classic to .NET and pain mitigation,

Answer :

We’re in the process of redesigning the customer-facing section of our site in .NET 3.5. It’s been going well so far, we’re using the same workflow and stored procedures, for the most part, the biggest changes are the UI, the ORM (from dictionaries to LINQ), and obviously the language. Most of the pages to this point have been trivial, but now we’re working on the heaviest workflow pages.

The main page of our offer acceptance section is 1500 lines, about 90% of that is ASP, with probably another 1000 lines in function calls to includes. I think the 1500 lines is a bit deceiving too since we’re working with gems like this

function GetDealText(sUSCurASCII, sUSCurName, sTemplateOptionID, sSellerCompany, sOfferAmount, sSellerPremPercent, sTotalOfferToSeller, sSellerPremium, sMode, sSellerCurASCII, sSellerCurName, sTotalOfferToSeller_SellerCurr, sOfferAmount_SellerCurr, sSellerPremium_SellerCurr, sConditions, sListID,  sDescription, sSKU, sInv_tag, sFasc_loc, sSerialNoandModel, sQTY, iLoopCount, iBidCount, sHTMLConditions, sBidStatus, sBidID, byRef bAlreadyAccepted, sFasc_Address1, sFasc_City, sFasc_State_id, sFasc_Country_id, sFasc_Company_name, sListingCustID, sAskPrice_SellerCurr, sMinPrice_SellerCurr, sListingCur, sOrigLocation)  

The standard practice I’ve been using so far is to spend maybe an hour or so reading over the app both to familiarize myself with it, but also to strip out commented-out/deprecated code. Then to work in a depth-first fashion. I’ll start at the top and copy a segment of code in the aspx.cs file and start rewriting, making obvious refactorings as I go especially to take advantage of our ORM. If I get a function call that we don’t have, I’ll write out the definition.

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After I have everything coded I’ll do a few passes at refactoring/testing. I’m just wondering if anyone has any tips on how to make this process a little easier/more efficient.


Believe me, I know exactly where you are coming from.. I am currently migrating a large app from ASP classic to .NET.. And I am still learning ASP.NET! :S (yes, I am terrified!).

The main things I have kept in my mind is this:

  • I dont stray too far from the current design (i.e. no massive “lets rip ALL of this out and make it ASP.NET magical!) due to the incredibly high amount of coupling that ASP classic tends to have, this would be very dangerous. Of course, if you are confident, fill your boots 🙂 This can always be refactored later.
  • Back everything up with tests, tests and more tests! I am really trying hard to get into TDD, but its very difficult to test existing apps, so every time I remove a chunk of classic and replace with .NET, I ensure I have as much green-light tests backing me as possible.
  • Research a lot, there are some MAJOR changes between classic and .NET and sometimes what can be many lines of code and includes in classic can be achieved in a few lines of code, think before coding.. I’ve learnt this the hard way, several times 😀
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Its very much like playing  with your code 🙂

Best of luck with the project, any more questions, then please ask 🙂

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