Why Your IT Department Will Love Costpoint 7
Your IT department will love Costpoint 7 (CP7) and for good reason. It’s a big change that may take some time to get implemented, but in the end, it will make their lives easier.
Easier, because there’s no client to install or maintain on the PCs, laptops, or workstations. With Costpoint 6, your IT department is working with a client-server application, which requires time consuming maintenance. Costpoint 7 uses a standard browser to connect to an application server. All the software runs in the application server instead of on a workstation. So, IT doesn’t have to run around and update everyone’s PC every time an upgrade, patch or hot fix is released.
IT will also like the updated login model with CP7. The end users will no longer need separate logins into the database. In CP7, the application server logs into the database instead of the users themselves. If you want, the new application server in Costpoint 7 can also use Active Directory authentication, thus allowing for enterprise-wide management of logins and passwords.
Now for the bad news (but good news for some). Costpoint 7 will require a whole new infrastructure. If you have a good size IT budget, this is good news; you’ll get to spend it. If capital is scarce, not so good news for you.
In the limited availability release of CP7 there was compatibility support for 32-bit machines, 32-bit operating systems and 32-bit databases. When Deltek released it into general availability in April 2012, only 64-bit machines, operating systems and databases were supported. This is probably good though, since Microsoft ended mainstream support for MS Windows 2003 Server in July of 2010.
Most companies currently running Costpoint probably won’t have extra 64-bit machines and operating systems just lying around. Even fewer companies have an additional one or two of these machines to be used for additional capacity, higher availability or test environments. You’ll need all of these to support your CP7 environments. Oh, and don’t forget the machines needed for the IIS frontend. And, if your operation is bigger, you’ll need another server or two to run the reporting engine.
Then there’s the database layer. If you are one of those shops still running MS SQL Server 2005, you’ll need to upgrade that too – Costpoint 7 requires MS SQL Server 2008 R2. If you’re an Oracle shop, then you’ll want to be running 11g Release 2. Oracle 10g Release 2 is still supported by Deltek but Oracle Extended Support ends in July 2013.
There is one 32-bit thing that is supported though, the 32-bit browser. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Internet Explorer 8.0 and IE 9.0 are supported but don’t even think about trying to use CP7 with Firefox, Safari or Chrome. This is an MS IE only and MS Windows only application.
There’s a lot to love about Costpoint 7. Love for the improved administration and scalability that the new architecture brings, and love for the new hardware, database and operating systems. And that’s just on the IT side. Now, let’s go talk to the CFO…