Which Windows® Edition?
Syscob Export-It and Export-It Plus may be installed on any edition of Windows® from Windows 95 or NT4 through Windows 8 or Server 2012. That means, in Microsoft terms, it is a “legacy” application (i.e. an application that can run on Windows® editions prior to the latest from Microsoft). However, Microsoft recommends Windows 7 Professional or Windows 8 Pro editions for business use (see sidebar) and Syscob cannot guarantee operation of its business software under the restrictions Microsoft imposes on editions intended only for “home” use.
Therefore, if a computer on which Syscob Export-It or Export-It Plus is to be installed comes with a “home” edition of Windows 7 or Windows 8 then it is very strongly recommended that its Windows Anytime Upgrade facility be used to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or the Windows 8 Pro Pack be applied to Windows 8 home edition before Syscob software is installed.
To check the edition of a Windows 7 machine run the System applet in the Control Panel. The edition will be visible in a window like this:
Use Either a 64-bit or 32-bit Edition
Another complication is “32-bit” versus “64-bit” editions of Windows 7. In theory a 64-bit system can be faster, for compute intensive tasks like 3D game graphics, if the application is specifically written for a 64-bit environment. However, such programs are exceedingly rare in business (even Microsoft Office® has issues on a 64-bit system with virtually no performance benefit and the Microsoft Bing® web search engine automatically switches to a 32-bit edition of Internet Explorer because of some 64-bit issues). As at the start of 2013 most IT organizations will be deploying 32-bit application software, such as Syscob export applications, almost exclusively. For that reason a 32-bit version of Windows 7 may be the choice of an IT staff.
A 32-bit application can also be installed to run in a 32-bit environment on a 64-bit edition of Windows®—if the rules presented on these pages are followed. On 64-bit editions of Windows® a 32-bit application uses the “Win32-on-Win64” [WoW64] facilities inherent in 64-bit versions.
Or Install in a “Virtual PC”
Alternately, Microsoft provides an “XP Mode” feature for Windows 7, but it cannot be installed on “Home” editions of Windows 7 (another reason to upgrade such to a Windows 7 Professional installation). To run in a 32-bit environment under Windows XP SP3 on a 64-bit edition the “XP Mode” feature of Windows 7 can be downloaded and installed. Although called “XP Mode” by Microsoft this 3-part download consists of a “virtual machine”, a set of update patches for it and a complete copy of Windows XP Professional SP3! This is the Microsoft “solution” for 32-bit compatibility (believing that IT staff often miss the simpler and more direct solutions of preparing WoW64 or running Windows XP Professional natively on the computer).
Windows 7 “XP Mode” can be downloaded from:
Once “XP Mode” is installed the 32-bit application can be installed on the 32-bit virtual machine which the “XP Mode” feature creates. Syscob Export-It and Export-It Plus can be installed in an “XP Mode” virtual machine on 64-bit editions of Windows 7 (and are in such use at customer sites), but they can also be installed in the native Windows® 64-bit environment if the rules presented on these pages are followed. Meaning that the choice between installing 32-bit “legacy” applications natively on a 64-bit system, versus installing them under the “XP Mode” (or other) virtual 32-bit machine, is typically made by the IT support staff based on projected support cost comparisons for the two alternative environments.