Our friends at Deltek provided us with the following list of the most frequently asked questions they receive about Deltek Cobra 5. The bulk of these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are concerned with transitioning from Cobra 4.x to Cobra 5.
Question: What versions of MS SQL Server are supported in Deltek Cobra 5?
Answer: Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008. If you have fewer than four Cobra users, you can use the free version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005 or 2008 Express Edition.
Question: How does Citrix fit into the new Deltek Cobra technology environment?
Answer: Citrix can still be used to deploy Cobra 5. Cobra 5 is designed to deploy using the N-Tier model. In the N-Tier application server model, you install each tier on a different machine. This model is designed for large implementations that use Cobra 5 on an internal WAN or for use by remote users who are accessing Cobra 5 across the internet via a VPN connection into the corporate network. You can also use this model when deploying Cobra on a Citrix environment.
You can install Cobra on a Citrix/Terminal Server under any of the three deployment models (see Installation Models) depending on how users will access Cobra.
If users will run Cobra primarily via a Citrix/Terminal Server and you do not need to install Cobra on a lot of individual client workstations, it is more appropriate to run a stand-alone installation. In this model, individual client workstation installations can be updated without much effort.
If some users will run Cobra via a Citrix/Terminal Server and many others will access Cobra on their workstations, a client/server (deployment server) or n-Tier application Server installation is more appropriate to use because the client can be readily updated from the workstation share automatically when the server is updated. When using this type of setup, you treat the Citrix/Terminal Server as a client workstation and you must install Cobra using the DeltekCobraWorkstation Setup.exe file from the workstation share (see Installing the Client on a Workstation). After installing, update the client in the Citrix/Terminal Server immediately after the application server (deployment or n-Tier application server) is updated.
Benefits of Using N-Tier
- Enhanced performance and scalability — An n-Tier application distributes its tiers among three or more separate computers. In this setup, the client tier is installed on user workstations, the application tier resides on a more centralized computer, and the database tier is on a computer that manages data storage. Having each tier on a separate machine enhances performance and scalability because each tier runs on a dedicated machine. Also, in an n-Tier setup, the application server is the one that communicates with the database server. This makes the client a dedicated request input and result output device, which lightens its workload so that its processing power can be used for other system applications.
- Load balancing — Load balancing distributes the processing workload between two or more application servers. This optimizes the use of your resources and minimizes the response time of requested tasks. See Load Balancing to learn how to configure Cobra for load balancing
- Automatic client updating — When an update to Cobra 5 is available, you update only the application server. When a client accesses an updated application server, the updates are automatically transferred to the client.
Question: What are new technical requirements related to Deltek Cobra 5 technology?
Answer: Although hardware and software requirements vary from one Cobra implementation to another, Deltek does provide some general recommendations. The Deltek Cobra 5 Hardware and Software Requirements document is available on the Customer Care Connect site. Visit https://support.deltek.com and search for Knowledge Base article no. 41877.
- You must install Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 on your servers and client workstations. You can install .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 from this site: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/netframework/aa569263.aspx.
The following software is also required to run the Admin Tools:
- Microsoft OLE DB Provider for Visual FoxPro 9.0. (You can download the software from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=E1A87D8F-2D58-491F-A0FA-95A3289C5FD4&displaylang=en#filelist.)
- Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 SP1 Redistributable Package (x86). (You can download the software from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=200b2fd9-ae1a-4a14-984d-389c36f85647&displaylang=en.)
- MSXML 4.0 Service Pack 2 (Microsoft XML Core Services). (You can download the software from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=3144B72B-B4F2-46DA-B4B6-C5D7485F2B42&displaylang=en.)
Question: What will it take for a customer to be trained on Deltek Cobra 5? What will the learning curve be?
Answer: For most Cobra users there will be only a slight transition period. Cobra 5’s interface has been completely redesigned and existing users will need to learn the new locations of the functionality they are used to. New users will find the new interface very intuitive and should come up to speed quickly.
Question: Will Deltek Cobra 5 support 64 bit clients?
Answer: The application tier can be a workstation (when running in stand-alone or Client/Server mode) or the n-Tier server (when running in n-Tier mode).
- The application tier can be any platform able to run Windows XP (SP2) Professional, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2003 (SP2) in either 32 or 64 bit.Note: Two 64-bit platforms currently exist for the Windows Server 2003 operating system. They are: x64, which supports both 32- and 64-bit applications; and Itanium®, which supports true 64-bit applications only. Cobra only supports x64.
- Cobra runs in 32 bit mode on a 64 bit platform.
- Cobra uses both Microsoft OLEDB driver and 32bit ODBC driver (MDAC 2.8) for data access. The Oracle client components as well as the Oracle ODBC driver for Oracle 10g/11g or higher must be installed on the application tier.
Question: Summarize the transition from Deltek Cobra 4x to 5?
Answer: Deltek wants to make the transition to Cobra 5 smooth and easy. To accomplish this, we will be offering a special Transitioning to Cobra 5 class for existing Cobra users. In addition, if you need assistance installing, implementing, or using Cobra 5, Deltek makes a wealth of information and expertise readily available to you.
Regardless of the size of your deployment, Deltek consulting has the expertise and resources to help migrate your current projects, train your staff, and optimize Cobra 5 for your business in as little as two weeks* without monopolizing your internal resources.
Our [Deltek] Basic Installation and Conversion Services packages provides a path for a smooth transition to Cobra 5 with assessment and upgrade checklists, onsite deployment and data conversion, and training for your entire staff.
For detailed information and custom services and estimates, contact Deltek Consulting at 800.456.2009.
Question: Can I have Deltek Cobra 4x and Cobra 5 running on the same machine?
Answer: Yes. Cobra 5 was designed to run in parallel with your existing Cobra v4.7 implementation. It is easy to convert one or all of your Cobra v4.7 projects using the Data Conversion Wizard. This wizard performs a table to table transfer of your data.
Question: Will we be able to edit standard Deltek reports? Do I have to create custom or can I replace the Deltek reports?
Answer: Yes. You may want to make copies first, but all reports will be in Excel format created using standard html tags and are fully customizable.
Question: Does Deltek Cobra 5 Integrate with Microsoft Project 2007 and/or 2010?
Answer: Yes. Cobra 5 integrates with Microsoft Project Professional and Server v2007 and version 2010. The Integration Wizard in Cobra asks for the XML data format that both versions are able to easily create using the Save As menu in Project. This file format includes time phased information so the resource spread is maintained. If you have a Project Server implementation, our services department can help you setup a custom application to obtain data via Project Server web service API.
Question: Is Deltek Cobra 5 a web application?
Answer: Cobra 5 is a Smart Client application. This new technology provides the rich UI of a client/server application and the remote access of a browser based application. A small client portion is installed with a single click – that doesn’t require administrative rights. Once installed, it works like a web application by transmitting only data using http over the internet or WAN, but looks and works like a Windows application.
Question: Is there demonstration data?
Answer: Yes, you can easily restore demonstration data, test using sample actual cost and status transaction files, or access a number of sample queries ready for the SQL Command Utility. These files are installed in: C:\Program Files\Deltek\Cobra 5\Samples
Question: Is there a User Guide?
Answer: All of the documentation is now in an integrated help system. You no longer have to leave the product and find your subject in another book. Just click the help button, scroll to the bottom of the help topic and click the Learn More About link. This will expand a number of topics that provide the implementation tips, back ground information, and the “where and when” facts to fully utilize the feature.
Question: How has reporting changed?
Answer: Cobra 5 reports output directly to Excel – either XLS or XLSX. Graphics are truly linked charts. The CAP report now displays dates, codes, EVT and even notes along with the time phased data. Reports use Excel spreadsheet templates to define the layout. Simple Excel formulas can be easily added to the template to add new columns such as SPI and CPI on a CPR Format 1 report. Tags in the spreadsheet define the columns, so you can create your own custom report.
Question: Does Deltek Cobra 5 have all of the Cobra v4.7 features?
Answer: All of the Cobra v4.7 features are in Cobra 5 with a new, easy to use interface. Wizards guide you through processes, with easy to understand options that are logically grouped to reduce the learning curve.
Question: Is Deltek Cobra 5 using the EPM Security Administrator?
Answer: Cobra 5 is using the shared security system that supports an import from Active Directory. The user, group, and role model simplifies security and provides role based options.
Question: Do you have any training?
Answer: We have a specialized training class called Transitioning to Cobra 5 that is specifically designed to get Cobra v4 users up and running quickly. For detailed information and custom services and estimates, contact Deltek Consulting at 800.456.2009.
Question: Should I setup a test environment?
Answer: Yes – business critical applications should always be tested with your data and processes before rolling out or going “live”.
This content is provided courtesy of Deltek and is available on the Deltek Customer Care web site as knowledge base article 42028.
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