Continuing with my posts on OfficeMate installations, I will go over some things I learned doing the actual installations. **Note: Make sure to follow the official OfficeMate guide, though be aware that the official guide has a few mistakes and is misleading in a few places as well. This guide takes in account that you have followed and met the needed pre-reqs for installing OfficeMate such as security setup and hardware/software requirements.
Once you have installed the server (see Pre-regs and Server install) it is time to install the client software. There are a few things I have learned that are not covered in the official installation guide that have helped me through. I had a heck of a time on one of my first installs trying to upgrade the client software, and I found that when upgrading from OfficeMate version 8 to version 10 on client machines that it is often best to first Uninstall the previous version of OfficeMate, then freshly install version 10 (this is not necessary on the server if you are using it as a workstation or remote terminal server, all of my client upgrades worked fine on the servers).
Before installing version 10.5, first make sure you are using the latest version available (10.5.23 at the time of this writing – previous versions had a bad bug relating to insurance claim filing I am told). Also ensure that your workstations have at least Windows Installer version 4.5 or above – Windows 7/Server 2008R2 have version 5 installed by default which is fine. You also need to ensure that .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 is installed on each system. For XP, and Vista, check in your add remove programs, for Windows 7, check in Programs and Features > Turn Windows features on or off (it is part of Windows 7, but the feature might need to be activated).
Once you have the client pre-reqs installed, it is time to get ready to install OfficeMate 10.5 client – this will be the OM_Suite_Programs.exe file (unfortunately OfficeMate again did not properly make their install program and there is no real way to tell the version of the program from the installation file – checking the file details just shows a product name of InstallShield version 12 – fyi, this is a HUGE security issue as there is no way to tell if the file is legitimate prior to installing as it is not properly named, nor does it have a valid digital signature – complain to OfficeMate about this!). Prior to starting the installation, you will want to make sure that you have properly mapped your shared network drive for the OfficeMate Data folder as this will be needed during the installation. Before installing, also ensure that you have turned off your Antivirus and any screensavers. Although not required, I always right click on the installation file, and if there is an Unblock button I click that, I then right click on the install file again and select run as Administrator.
Once all of these things are done, follow the instructions in the official Upgrading to OfficeMate 10 pdf guide to start your installation.
The installation is pretty straight forward so I will just cover a few of the differences and issues I have run into during various (though not always all) installations.
Once OfficeMate 10.5 client is installed, you need to make sure it works! If you click on the OfficeMate link and nothing happens, go to your taskmanager and look for Login.exe (not omate.exe) – if that is running, but nothing is happening, then you need to first check your networked drive. If you can see all of the files in your network drive, but OfficeMate will not open, then you probably have a firewall issue on your server. Even though you can see the shared files on your server’s shared drive, the server firewall could be blocking the SQL ports which causes this problem. If this is the case, go to your server and turn off your firewall there, then recheck to see if you OfficeMate client will start (it probably will now). If this is the cause, you just need to check your SQL ports on the server and add a firewall rule for them, then turn your firewall back on and check again.
The client installations are fairly easy to accomplish once you have gotten everything set up properly such as the pre-reqs, mapped drives etc. I highly recommend downloading a copy of Windows Installer 4.5 and .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 to a shared folder on your server if you are doing many XP, Vista installations to save time. Also it is a good idea to follow a checklist for each workstation as you are installing so you don’t forget anything.
While the OfficeMate software definitely could use some tweaks to bring it up to standards, especially in the compilation of the installation files and having install file security digital signatures and proper names etc, the actual installation of version 10.5 seems to be a bit better than earlier updates and upgrades.
If you have any questions or issues, feel free to contact us via our contact information at http://pensacolacomputers.com
* Pensacola Computers is not officially connected to OfficeMate software in any way, and all opinions stated are my own observations and you may experience different results. This guide is meant only as a narrative of my own experiences and is current as of the date posted.
I have been working as an IT consultant with Optometrists that use OfficeMate for over 5 years and have installed OfficeMate numerous times for 7 different practices. I have successfully upgraded 4 practices in the past couple of months to OfficeMate 10.5 and am currently working on getting 4 more done in the coming weeks. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.