Microsoft VISTA before V3.10

Version Relevance: 2.1000 to 3.00??

Issue: Can Caliach Vision run under Microsoft's new VISTA Operating System? What are the Issues?

Feb 29th, 2008

Feedback: This is our view as of February 2008. It is a report from Paul Wilson.

The main difference as far as installation is concerned is that Vista does not allow user-initiated programs to write to the Program Files folder, so applications that used to do this have to be installed differently, with a read-only tree in Program Files, and a writeable tree outside Program Files.

The full story from Omnis is here: - http://www.omnis.net/technotes/tnwi0001.html but in summary Omnis Studio 4.2 and below installs in one tree, and therefore cannot run in Vista if installed in Program Files, unless you right-click on Omnis.exe and ask it to run under administrator privileges (tried this and it worked). Apparently Omnis.exe will also run in compatibility mode, by creating a virtual store on execution in the user's profile for writeable files, but I did not use this method, as I believe it will be difficult to get existing users to understand that Vision related stuff like the help, icons, AdHoc.lbs etc. should go in this 'Virtual Store' and not the main program tree. Omnis 4.3 and above installs in a split tree - more on this below.

However, Omnis Studio 4.2.0.2 installs and seems to run OK if you point the installer elsewhere (I used C:\RainingData\OS4202. My main findings are: -

  1. The demo install is fine (for a user with administrator privileges at least), because it goes straight on the C drive. The icon on the desktop looks pretty rough under Aero though.
  2. With the 4.2.02 install on the C: drive, a full Vision installation worked OK, including the PDF device, email, upgrade over the Internet, printing etc.
  3. With 4.3 installed in program files, the two separate trees were created, and Studio ran OK. Obviously the standard Vision installer is not going to work, because it does not know where to put the Vision-specific files, but I got the help and ad-hoc.lbs to work by putting the folders/files in the writeable part of the Omnis Studio tree. The xcomp folder is in the read-only tree, and the PDF device would not work even when I saved it there manually, regardless of what I did with the privileges on the file. I also could not get Studio/Vision to recognise the newicons.df1 in the writeable tree.
  4. With 4.3 installed directly on the C: drive (as for 4.2.0.2 in 2 above), a separate writeable tree was created on execution (rendering our installer useless), just as in 3 above, and I still couldn't get the icons and PDF device to work.
  5. However, you will see from the Omnis document that you can force Omnis Studio 4.3 to work from one tree by copying the extra folders (crucially the Studio folder) from the writeable tree to the main tree on the C: drive (which is of course writeable now because it is not in Program Files). Using this method allowed our standard installer to work, and the help, ad-hoc, icons and pdf device were all OK. Bingo!
  6. Of course we need to prove Vision 3.xxxx on Studio 4.3, and Vision / Studio 4.2 on Vista, and the installers will have to be updated, but we have something that appears to work so far.

General impressions of Vista? Well, 3 blue screens, one total freeze, and one explorer.exe fatal error just suggest to me that it is a long way from useability yet and is to be avoided. Memory usage is constantly at 800Mbytes out of my 1Gb, and it has turned a high-end whizzy machine into something out of the 90s. Looks pretty with Aero, but lots of old XP stuff not far below the surface. Rip-off basically...

Paul Wilson - Caliach Support