It’s been a busy couple of weeks. Our team has been deep diving in much more than code lines and PrintVis setting parameters to accommodate the environment present at our first installation site.
Our customer is only using MAC computers – such is the inconvenient truth.
Looking across the board at smaller print shops we realized they are probably not the only ones, so we started working on making good solutions for this customer in a way which makes our work repeatable going forward. After all, we are keen members of the GR2R network of Microsoft partners who excel in making our solution repeatable.
Since a MAC computer isn’t equipped with a Microsoft Windows operating system, it isn’t able to run the standard NAV2013 Windows Client. However, a MAC computer is perfectly capable of running the NAV2013 Web Client. So, in many aspects a MAC computer can be used with a web client with no problem at all.
Of course, some user roles will need the full PrintVis and NAV2013 Windows client.
These are estimators, order controllers, planners and bookkeepers where the documents should be visible and ready to print from screen. In these cases we must emulate a PC on the MAC computer.
The customer found a software package called Parallels which was installed to be able to run Microsoft Windows 7 on the MAC.
On the Parallels desktop we used Microsoft ClickOnce to install the PrintVis package and we installed Microsoft Office 2013 On Demand through the Office.com web page. With these installed it all works nicely on a MAC computer.
Since we first started with this customer on a private cloud (since Azure was not yet released for NAV2013) we encountered some problems like getting access to the same documents folder at the hosting provider while connected through a remote desktop session.
At the same time Microsoft was getting Azure ready for NAV2013 release , we were working on getting PrintVis ready for release with SkyDrive integration. So, by moving the customer to Windows Azure, we also moved them to using SkyDrive storage for all their documents at the same time.
Documents are stored on SkyDrive – and to get space here the user must get a Microsoft Account (what we used to know as a Windows Live ID).
For MAC users this is a new notion – so they must be helped a little.
After generating the Microsoft Account the connection is made through the PrintVis Document Management setup.
Then the quotes and orders are ready to be generated and stored on SkyDrive. Using Word they can be saved as PDFs and sent as attachments through Outlook.
In PrintVis we can generate and send invoices to customers by email instead of printing and sending them. In some companies the bookkeeper prefers to manually generate a PDF of the invoice case-by-case – at least in the beginning. In this case we enable a generation of PDF from the posted invoice.
PDF opening and reading has proven an area where some MAC setup is required. Emulated Windows 7 has to be set up in such a way that the PDF is opened in Acrobat Reader on the MAC host. Usually the MAC user can manage this as long as we know what to ask for.
When the user has installed for example Adobe CSx on his MAC, the system automatically tries to open the PDF in the default application setup for PDF’s in CS which in this case was Acrobat Distiller. By simply changing the default application to open PDF’s in Windows 7, it will now always open the PDFs in Acrobat Reader on the MAC host.
This was a short summary of our findings while in practice attempting to install PrintVis 2013 with Microsoft Dynamics NAV2013 in a sharp MAC environment. We managed to successfully do so and are still very proud of it.