When a vendor declares that they no longer intend to provide any support or services to a piece of software (and stated the intent to exit the business - offering no upgrade paths), what kind of recourse is available to the customer?
Please consider this from the customer's viewpoint. The customer's IT staff will likely only consider the technical options, but there are likely non-technical options which the customer can pursue as well. Also, what kind of reasonable steps can be taken by the customer ahead of time to minimize disruption, such as in contract terms?
Things I can think of:
- Need to purchase spare hardware and set up a spare environment on which the software can continue to operate.
- Various data export methods which do not require vendor involvement. (This can include trivial techniques such as examining the data stored in a commodity database backend, to the more involved techniques such as screen scraping, printing to image followed by re-scanning, etc)
- Parallel systems where staff will duplicate the old data into a new system manually or semi-automatically
- Legal means, in case the vendor is in financial trouble (as in the case of source code escrow)
Any other ideas?
- Assuming that there is no "circumvention" involved (no DRM, no DMCA), is data recovery or reverse engineering legal/acceptable?
It is a combination of several anecdotal, but real stories. I am not directly involved in any of those. It is simply my desire to learn about how "software end-of-life" situation is handled in general. It is not my intention to make the original story sound like too "difficult" to be solved.