Posted on: Thursday February 14th, 2013

Author: Kilimanjaro Consulting

We have had some clients in the past enquiring about MYOB EXO’s compatibility with Mac computers. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions and answers that we have provided.

Q: If a potential client runs all their operations from Mac computers, what would you advise?

A: EXO can only be installed on a Windows PC or server. If clients were running Macs, they would need a Windows server machine that EXO can be installed on. This would also include the installation of Microsoft SQL Server (the database that EXO runs off).

Generally when EXO is installed there are two possible setups of how EXO can be accessed on the network as follows:

Assuming a Windows Environment:

  • If the computer is on the local network, then from the local computer (running EXO) and connecting to the EXO server.
  • If the computer is remote, the user would normally remote desktop into a specific computer, but more often, into a windows terminal server. The terminal server would have EXO installed on it and the users would run EXO on the terminal server and in essence are just receiving images back to their local computer. All processing is completed on the terminal or remote machine.

Assuming a Mac Environment:

As EXO cannot be installed directly on a Mac, it would be necessary to have a Windows server that could double as the terminal server depending on the environment.

Q: I know in the past it wasn’t possible to run EXO on a Mac. Are there any ways around this nowadays?

A: Yes, there is now a solution to this issue!

Q: Is there only one way of running EXO on a Mac?

A: No, Mac users now have three options to connect:

Option 1

Use the remote desktop connection (available in MAC OS)  to connect to the terminal server. EXO and all other necessary applications required for EXO would need to run on the terminal server.

If a client wanted to use EXO along with a default mail client, this mail client (E.G Microsoft Outlook) would need to run in the same session as EXO to communicate with each other.

If a client wanted to export reports directly to Excel, both EXO and Excel need to run in the same session on the terminal server.

Clients would not be able to use EXO through the terminal server and their Mac’s default mail client and get them to ‘talk’ to each other.

All licensing for Microsoft office would need to be purchased for the terminal server.

Option 2

An emulator (such as iEmulator) can be installed on the Mac computer which will emulate a Windows computer. Clients would need normal Microsoft licensing for the operating system as well as any other applications.

Once logged into the emulated Windows environment, you have the 2 options mentioned previously on how to connect:

  •  If the computer is on the local network, then from the local windows emulated Mac (running EXO) and connecting to the EXO server.
  • If the computer is remote, the user would normally remote desktop into a specific computer but more often into a Windows terminal server. The terminal server would have EXO installed on it and the users would run EXO on the windows server and in essence are just receiving images back. All processing is completed on the terminal or remote machine.

Option 3

This option involves setting up a Windows virtual machine on the Mac computer.

In Kilimanjaro’s opinion,the performance of the virtual windows environment would be far better than using an emulator. Same issues with licensing etc.

Q: That’s a fair amount of information. What would the most simple option be?

A: From our perspective, the simplest option for our clients would be:

  1. Install EXO onto a Windows based terminal server
  2. Users remote from their Mac OS, using standard remote desktop connection to the terminal server

 Q: What are the costs involved with setting EXO up on a Mac?

A: Costs involved would depend on the number of Mac users needing to access EXO as this would determine the specifications required for the terminal server but also the Microsoft Office licenses required.

Our clients’ IT teams would have to weigh up the costs for the different options.

If you would like to discuss the option of running EXO on a Mac system, please contact our Business Process Improvement team on sales@k-c.com.au.