Run SOS as a traditional Windows client-server program or in a web browser or both!
For the first time ever it is possible to run your SOS software on most any computer or device that supports popular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and the new Microsoft Edge. That means you can access your SOS data from your MacBook, Android tablet, iPad, or even Linux workstation without installing any special software. This feature only requires that you have the SOS software installed on your own in-house web server or on a private cloud platform such as Amazon Web Services. Note that for HIPAA and security reasons SOS strongly recommends that web browser access be restricted to a virtual private network (VPN) or secure intranet. If you choose to set up SOS as a web application, that choice does not prevent you from simultaneously accessing the database from a locally-installed copy of the Windows version of the software. In fact, there are reasons you might choose to do that, particularly in larger network installations where best possible performance is required for some users, while convenient “anywhere” access is desired for other users.
Pros and Cons of Different Deployment Choices
Running SOS G5 as a Windows application, installed directly on your computer, will generally result in the best possible performance. That is, screens will display most quickly, and moving around in the software will be faster in most all situations. On the other hand, the software must be installed on your computer initially, and it must then be updated with fresh installations whenever new releases become available. In other words, software installation and maintenance is similar to how it was in earlier versions of SOS, at least for standalone deployment.
Those running on a network have a new option in G5 to install the SOS G5 program on a network server and simply create a desktop shortcut back to the server copy on user workstations. In older versions of SOS, a copy of the SOS software had to be installed on every workstation (except when using Terminal Server or similar Citrix server-side software). With the SOS software just installed on a shared server, the program might take a bit longer to come up on the workstation screens, but installation and updates are all done centrally and are therefore faster and easier to manage. If desired, the G5 SOS client may still can be installed on each workstation, but that should rarely, if ever, be necessary.
The G5 Database
For many years, the SOS software stored its data in a Sybase SQL Anywhere database. Starting with G5, the database is run on Microsoft SQL Server. It may be hosted on an existing instance of Microsoft SQL Server (requires a license for Microsoft SQL Server and a SQL Server Client Access License for each user), or you can install the free Microsoft SQL Server Express product. SQL Server Express 2016 or later is a fine choice for customers with modest data requirements (database size no more than 10 GB). In addition to the database size limitation, Express is also limited to no more than 4 CPU cores, and the amount of RAM used for database caching is reduced. Customers with database and performance requirements that exceed those of the Express version will have to license a copy of Microsoft SQL Server Standard or higher, with the appropriate client access or web access licensing, from a Microsoft partner qualified to install and configure it. SOS product maintenance does NOT cover Microsoft SQL Server installation and configuration.
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