Wednesday 28 January 2009

SBS 2008 - Migrating Lacerte 2006 onto Windows Vista

We just finished a successful integration of the Lacerte 2006 software on an SBS 2008 domain with 100% Windows Vista workstations.

Lacerte 2006 on Windows Vista

What we discovered was this:

  • The install files must lie on a UNC such as:
  • The Setup.exe file needs to be run from a workstation.
  • The first network install goes to:
    • \\ss-sbs\Company\ProgramData\Lacerte\06Tax
    • Again, note the lack of spaces in the folder names.
    • Windows Vista uses a folder called ProgramData so we copied the name for all server installed applications.
    • Lacerte will warn about running it on Windows Vista as shown above, click the Continue button.
  • Once the install finishes, the workstation install will need to run.
    • Leave the default C:\Lacerte\06Tax folder to install to.
    • Allow it to run the updates notifier.
    • Allow it to install the MSDE that it needs locally.
    • The Vista Warning will pop up again, this time check the Don't show this again option.
    • A reboot of the workstation will be required.
  • Run the program. If it warns you again, make sure to check the Don't show this again option and it should no longer bother you.
    • It may stall a few times on various set up routines. Just be patient. The program will begin to respond.
    • Note that the firm's Federal ID Number will be required once the program fires up.
  • Once the first workstation install has fired up, a new IDATA folder will show up in the 06Tax folder. Close the program and do the following:
    1. Rename the new IDATA folder to IDATA-Original.
    2. Copy the firms existing data folders into the 06Tax folder.
    3. Restart Lacerte 2006 and the firm's data should be there.
    4. NOTE: Do not copy the firm's data into the 06Tax folder until such time as Lacerte 2006 has had a successful start up after the first workstation install.

This is what the 06Tax folder looked like after we had transferred the firm's existing data into the folder and had a successful connection via one of the workstations:

The Firm's existing Lacerte 2006 data folders are good to go

Once everything is in place, we installed the rest of the workstations following the above steps (without the need to do a network install) via the installed application's UNC path:

While we have not run through our testing of the Lacerte 2005 program, if it shares the same code base as Lacerte 2006 then it should install and run okay.

One thing to keep in mind in this particular case is that we already have a number of applications installed on the Windows Vista workstations that utilize similar components to Lacerte.

So, we did not encounter any problems with the Windows Firewall with Advanced Security. If a connection cannot be completed, make sure to Unblock any service request warnings by the firewall. Enable the logs on the server and workstation to check for dropped packets and any rules that may need to be created. Port 1433 probably would show up due to the SQL MSDE instance on the workstations.

One caveat to warn users about:

Lacerte 2006 - Error on Shutdown

They may experience an application hang when shutting down the program. They need only wait until the Cancel button changes to Close program and click on that. This is, unfortunately, one catch for running older applications on a newer OS.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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