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By Chris Zinck on 12/17/2009 12:00 AM
I’m a practicing Professional Engineer and have been a member of Engineers Nova Scotia’s Board of Examiners for almost 10 years now. Today was our December Board meeting which also doubles as a Christmas party. Lunch and the meeting is normally held at a local restaurant and a good time is had by all.

When I was driving back to the office after the meeting, I was thinking about the engineers on the board and how well we worked together. I’ve been involved with some volunteer organizations and the politics and back biting can get very bad. But the people on the Board of Examiners are excellent.

Just thought I’d put that on the record.
By Chris Zinck on 12/16/2009 12:00 AM
We received our Sage Accpac 5.6 disks last week. There are a lot of little changes and some fairly big ones. Here is a sampling of what’s new:

Completely new installation process. There is now an integrated install. No more installing each module separately. Yeah! Integrated activation. The activation process is now integrated so that you pick the modules you want activated from a list and then let it do it’s thing. This keeps you from having to baby sit the process when you are doing a lot of modules. Reporting and operational tweaks in G/L, A/R and A/P Reworked Bank Rec process in Bank Services. A lot of other changes to Bank Services. A new business intelligence reporting module. and the big change is a completely rewritten serialized and lot tracking module that is integrated in to I/C, O/E, P/O and P/M. Plus you don’t purchase the modules separately now. Serialized and Lot Tracking are sold as one add on module. There are a lot of other changes but that’s the main list. DB2 is no longer supported and full PDF manuals have disappeared. The help files are the main source for operational information now.

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By Chris Zinck on 12/8/2009 12:00 AM
Last year after we installed Vista on our development machines, we came across a problem with .Net programs and Accpac.

We’ve been writing some of our custom Accpac programs in .Net and calling the Accpac COM API to interface with Accpac ERP. But when these .Net programs were run on our Vista machines they would crash. But only when using one of the Accpac COM API’s that would pop open a window. Calling a Finder through the API or doing a ShowErrors call would instantly crash the program. Everytime.

After doing a LOT OF investigating, we discovered that the problem was related to DEP (Data Execution Protection). If we disabled DEP on our workstations, the problem would go away.

With some more digging, we came up with a theory that fits pretty well. Turns out the ATL library had some problems with DEP (up to and including V7.1). They do some kind of runtime code creation for thunking that makes DEP think the program is trying to run data. And then DEP causes the program to crash. Guess who uses ATL components in their COM API? Correct! Accpac! Everytime we used the COM API that opened a window of some kind, an ATL component was called and BAM! Down it goes.

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