Check Scripts and Macros
Integration usually involves more than data. You’ll likely have to deal with scripts and macros that manipulate the data in some fashion, and such features can be a fertile source of trouble. In general, the more complex the operations in the script or macro, the greater the chance that things won’t come across.
Further, some activities are inherently difficult to convert from Microsoft apps to other applications. For example, Microsoft Office macros are typically written using Visual Basic, which is proprietary and unavailable in OpenOffice.org and other open source programs. Therefore, macros have to be searched out and their logic extracted and rewritten in some other way that will work.
Problems with scripts and applications usually fall into two categories:
- Differences in the syntax or meaning of commands
- Nonexistent commands or features
Syntax can be especially tricky, because in many cases the names are the same but the functions are not. Both SQL Server and MySQL have an ISNULL function, but in SQL Server ISNULL returns a Boolean instead of MySQL’s substituted value. MySQL’s equivalent of the Access ISNULL is IFNULL.
Not all commands are duplicated in all applications. Sometimes the script relies on a command that has no counterpart in the other application. A minor example is that the Windows "currency" feature isn’t available in the current version of MySQL, although it’s easy to duplicate. More of a problem is something like stored procedures in Microsoft. MySQL’s rough equivalent is the user-defined function (UDF), but instead of a series of SQL commands, such as a stored procedure, a UDF is a chunk of compiled C code that can be assigned a name and used as a function.