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Frequently Asked Questions

Migrating To OS/SAFE

What you need to know in order to migrate to OS/SAFE from SAFE for Windows and/or Ollie and/or WebSAFE.

What, When, Where And How Much: The Basic Choices

The process and costs for migrating to OS/SAFE depends on your current installation and where you wish to install the product(s).

  1. First off, we have our system OS/SAFE, which is, at bottom, SAFE running in ‘the cloud’ and which also contains all the code of Ollie. The most practical change is that there is no need for a ‘server’, per se, in your office; unless of course you need one for other office functions.
  2. You can purchase OS/SAFE, but stick with SAFE on your in-house desktops. We can configure OS/SAFE to run all your current Ollie functions. In short: SAFE on your desktop and Ollie in ‘the cloud’ via OS/SAFE. This is a good choice for customers who are happy with SAFE for Windows, but who want to give their forms management clients the added flexibility and customizability of OS/SAFE.


If you are subscribed to our RSS Program, there is no charge for migrating to OS/SAFE–it’s already included as part of your Premium RSS subscription! However there may be a charge to migrate over any custom programming we have done for your particular installation over the years. These customizations could be for either SAFE or Ollie. Contact your Technical Support Rep for specifics about your installation and to receive a guaranteed price quote.

Differences In System Requirements

In order to provide proper performance OS/SAFE requires a guaranteed level of performance the server it runs on. If you have an in-house server this is usually not a problem. However if you choose to host OS/SAFE with an off-site hosting company, you will need to contract for a dedicated server with a guaranteed level of service. We do not recommend attempt to run OS/SAFE on a shared hosting plan.

Choosing The Right Migration Strategy

Each approach has pluses and minuses.

#1 is a good plan if you don’t think you will need an office server that does very much–IOW: if your in-house server will not be taxed a lot. It’s primary benefit is that this is where most of our development time is now going so if you are expecting to grow your business significantly over the next few years, it will grow with you. There is a definite learning curve, however, since you’d now be working in an essentially new program. It might be worth it to consider another training session.

#2 might be a good plan if you don’t see your needs for either Ollie or SAFE changing much in the near future–especially if you’ve already budgeted for a new server.
#3. Makes sense if your SAFE needs will remain the same but you will want to expand your online-ordering business significantly. Since OS/SAFE runs underneath WordPress, it allows for almost complete customization of your customers’ experience. Just one example is that our web site runs on OS/SAFE.

Other Questions

  • What are the key differences between OS/SAFE and SAFE, Ollie?

    The ‘SAFE’ portion looks/works more like a web-based shopping cart system. We’ve tried to match the features of SAFE, but they are laid out in a much more ‘task-oriented’ fashion. Instead of having an ‘Orders Browse’ with all sorts of buttons and right clicks, You have a menu with 1., 2., 3… Enter an order, Print a PO, Print an invoice, etc… The learning curve is shorter than SAFE.

    The customer-facing end (Ollie) can be ‘themed’ to look like whatever you want, so it will likely impress your web ordering clients a LOT. The thing I think you’ll find appealing is that you can ‘theme’ it to match their branding. Plus it has a lot more features which cover inventory control and document management.

  • Is a Demo available?

    Of course. Contact your Technical Support Representative or Customer Service and we’ll get you set up with a demo account.

  • Besides learning a new program How different is the ordering process?

    The biggest difference in work flow is that you can’t have many different windows all open at the same time in a web-based app. It’s more linear: you are guided through one task at a time. That is the biggest change that experienced users have to get used to. On the other hand, we get told all the time that, because it is a lot more ‘straightforward’ than SAFE for Windows. The learning curve seems to be shorter.

  • Will all our data import properly, including order history?

    Yes, all your data will appear in OS/SAFE, including order history. You’re not converting any data. It’s just a new front-end. The biggest difference in work flow is that you can’t have 8 different windows all open at the same time in a web-based app. It’s more linear… doing one task at a time. I think that is the biggest change that experienced users have to get used to. On the other hand, we get told all the time that, because it is a lot more ‘straightforward’ than SAFE/Windows. The learning curve seems to be a LOT shorter.

  • Will our customers have to learn a new way of ordering from Ollie?

    The work flow is only slightly different. Customers tell us that OS/SAFE is much easier for new users because it works more like the kinds of internet shopping carts you/they are probably familiar with. And since OS/SAFE runs on WordPress®, the largest open source software platform in the world you have much more flexibility in terms of page layout. You can literally customize every client page to their exact requirements!

  • Is there a difference in stability or capacity?

    Ollie has a great record of stability and scaling to meet the requirements of larger customers. One reason we keep it available is that some customers have a quite understandable ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ attitude. With all that said, OS/SAFE should be just as scaleable and it is far easier for us to modify and ‘work on’ in the unlikely event that something does go wrong. In fact, ease of maintenance (for you and us) was one of our primary design goals.

  • So We would have to by OS/SAFE and a new server?

    OS/SAFE is essentially ‘free’, however, yes, you would need to hire us to configure it to work like Ollie does now (with its customizations).

  • What if something goes wrong there is no way fix it?

    Of course there is. If you run in a virtual environment, we can access that environment and perform most any update or fixes just as we do now. Think of it as how you now use Terminal Services/Remote Desktop. It’s the same concept. The difference is that the ‘server’ is located somewhere else. You’re not paying for hardware, you’re essentially renting it. And then everyone accesses SAFE via Remote Desktop. So in a sense, it’s exactly how your client companies are doing things now.

The Process

Part of it depends on whether or not you maintain your own server. If you go towards having SAFE and Ollie both hosted, you will need to set up a hosting plan with a web hosting company–that only takes a day or so.

Then we would need to get to work on converting your existing code modifications to OS/SAFE. Given the large number of changes, my WAG is that we’re talking about a month.

Finally, there is the actually migration, where we move everything over to the new site with a custom data migration script. This is an overnight procedure. Your existing SAFE and Ollie continue to function, but we suggest you do not use them since that will make the dataset we migrate obsolete.

Once the migration is complete, we point your new web ordering site to the new IP address. (Your IT person will likely need to help with this. This usually only takes a few minutes.) Assuming the data looks OK, you’re now using OS/SAFE. In the unlikely event that the data conversion did not go smoothly, you can simply continue to use Ollie and SAFE while we correct the data migration script.



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