All users which try to upgrade their old MicroStation J or MicroStation SE or even MicroStation 95, all they face the same problems:
Old good MDL applications don't work neither in MicroStation V8 nor in MicroStation XM
Leading Engineer tries to recompile these applications by himself. Even if he was a programmer a long time ago, he will spend huge amount of time for that work.
The sources of the old good applications are gone but the applications are very useful.
In these cases we would recommend to do the following things. First, pay attention to new MicroStation. In 60% of times MicroStation V8 or XM already have built-in functionality which can replace the one of your old applications.
Second, pay attention to third-party tools (such as ours), because they were created for whole MicroStation community, so their prices are much less than the price of developing of such applications.