Hello and happy 4th of July!
Recently, Brian Lamee (Director, Product Marketing for Deltek Vision) contacted me regarding my recent post on Vision 7.0 – Rumors (click here to read), asking if I had any specific questions and offering to answer them.
I asked if he could answer them, and if I could re-post his answers on my blog… so here you are. In some cases I’ve added an editorial comment or two to clarify things a bit.
LOREN: I heard that on premise installs of Vision are only available for Series 250 or more, and that they are more expensive. Is this true? If so, what about all the companies that have less than series 250 and are on premise installed already? What is the upgrade path to Vision 7 for them?
BRIAN LAMEE: For firms purchasing Vision new (not current Vision Clients) that are fewer than 250 employees, we are recommending Vision Essentials (our Cloud offering) but we have not done away with our on-premise options and we have NOT increased pricing for our Vision on-premise offering. We have just introduced a new Cloud offering for Vision.
[editorial: What this means for you is… if you are a small firm and don’t want to incur the expense of buying and maintaining hardware, IT staff etc. to run Deltek Vision, then there is a cloud (read: hosted) offering from Deltek now to make this possible. This is actually a good move by Deltek, making it possible for more firms to use the platform without the huge costs of ownership.]
LOREN: In a recent email you sent to me you said that cloud based installs will be able to have custom reports through Report Builder. This is significantly different than SSRS. Is SSRS supported on cloud systems?
BRIAN LAMEE: Just to make sure we are talking about the same thing when you say SSRS, I assume you mean SQL Server Reporting Services and that is still the reporting engine for Vision 6.x both Cloud and On-premise. Clients in the Cloud can still build custom reports in SSRS on Vision data. We have a way for Consultants and Clients to load those reports into the Clients installation. When I said Report Builder, I think I went back to the older name that Microsoft referred to the tools to build SSRS reports (I can’t keep up with the name changes.)
[editorial: OK my bad… I must have been tired when I wrote that question out… yes, Report Builder reports still run on top of SSRS. What I really meant was – ‘can we still develop custom reports using BIDS, and install them in Vision. The answer from Brian is ‘yes’. This is good news.]
LOREN: What about integrating other apps into Vision on the cloud based install? Is only the API available, or do we still have access to the entire SQL database?
BRIAN LAMEE: As long as the application can see Vision’s APIs and they do not have to be installed on the Vision Server or in our Cloud Cluster, then yes, those still work. We currently do not support 3rd party applications that have to be installed and maintained on our Cloud servers. We are looking at this in the future.
[editorial: OK this is to be expected. You can’t ask them to maintain a cloud server for you, then install your own (or someone else’s) apps on that server and expect the cloud provider to service those apps too… nor can you expect to have unfettered access to the server since most likely it’s going to be hosting more than just your Vision install. However, my guess is that there will eventually be a way for apps to connect to cloud installs of Vision through some API or other method by just connecting directly to the SQL database, which is all you really need, since everything in Vision depends on that database.]
LOREN: If we don’t have access to the entire SQL database, what about custom stored procedures fired by workflows?
BRIAN LAMEE: Stored Procedures are supported in our Cloud version. Similar to the custom reports, we have a way to allow Consultants and Clients to load stored procs into the database.
[editorial: OK this is good… especially since I’m a consultant and do lots and lots of stored procedures, functions, data stuff and custom reports!]
If you hear about something that Deltek is going to do to Vision, and you think it’s going to obliterate thousands of Vision implementations (like not allowing custom reports from BIDS, or not allowing access to the database) then it is probably not going to happen.
On a side note… here in Austin, TX we have a park with some pretty fancy turkeys… here’s one for you. I took this picture a week or two ago.