With the release of Windows 10 still resonating throughout the tech world, we decided to try out Deltek Cobra on this new operating system and see how well the two systems play together. We wanted to answer the inevitable question:
Does Deltek Cobra 5.1 work on Windows 10?
For those of you who don’t like reading long articles, the answer is – yes it does.
If you like more info, then the rest of this article looks at Deltek Cobra and how it’s faring on this new operating system. It also digs into Windows 10 just a little bit, so you can see what it looks like and how it behaves compared to it’s Windows 8 predecessor.
Is Windows 10 officially supported by Deltek?
Not yet, according to their current Compatibility Matrix for Client and Standalone Cobra Deployments, which on the date of writing only goes up to Windows 8. Because the Windows 10 public release was July 29th, it’s clearly unrealistic to expect an update to this document right now.
Deltek is currently testing their software on Windows 10 systems so we’ll probably get official word on their support of Windows 10 in the coming months. Not that it’s urgent. It will probably be a long time before businesses start adopting this version of windows, particularly in the DoD arena where Cobra is most prevalent. Until such time as the US Government starts to standardize on this operating system, I expect most deployments will continue be on Windows 7 clients. As you may know, the Government has a ‘current minus one’ version policy with most software, so we may not see adoption by Government until Window 11 (or whatever it will be called) appears. However, for those early adopters out there, we can tell you that so far at least, we have been running Deltek Cobra on this new operating system without any unsavory incidents.
It’s never a ‘given’ that any software will work in these new operating system releases; hence our commitment to testing them ASAP. When Vista came out way back in January 30th, 2007, I attempted to install and run Cobra version 4.7 on it. It failed horribly. Vista had real problems even running older versions of Microsoft Software, yet alone third-party stuff, and poor old Cobra 4.7 wasn’t spared. I managed to install it on Vista after wrestling with piles of compatibility warnings including SQL Server Express 2005. The attempt finally fell afoul of these compatibility issues in the underlying FoxPro and SQL Database tools I tested it on. The most memorable example was that Cobra couldn’t display the time-phased data in the Resource dialog. Every Result was just a row of zeros which suggested that the ODBC elements in Vista were whacked in some way.
Anyway the good news is, Deltek Cobra 5.1.4, the very latest offering by Deltek, installed cleanly and so far at least, plays very nicely with this new operating system.
I should clarify that this test is using a standalone version of Cobra working on SQL Server Express 2008 R2 database (which ironically reported known compatibility issues when I installed it), but has so far been fine with both Deltek Cobra and Oracle Primavera P6 Professional.
As for Windows 10…
For those of you who suffered bereavement over the loss of the Start button when Windows 8 was released, the good news is that the Start button is back.
As you can see above, it’s in a different form, but at least you don’t have to poke around in the extreme corners of the desktop to find the unmarked hotspots for the Start screen or other functions. This is a marked improvement over Windows 8 when using it on a standard PC. It keeps you in the Desktop screen giving you easy access to all your stuff. That annoying Start screen with the big buttons has more or less disappeared. If you are running the software on a tablet however, there is a Tablet mode option. This loads the desktop area up with all the application buttons, allowing for easier touch-screen interaction.
While I liked Windows 8 and 8.1 when using it on my Tablet, I never liked it on PCs. It wasn’t mouse friendly and I think that was a major cause of the negative press. However Windows 10 does seem to be doing a better job of straddling the touch-screen tablet and mouse driven PC worlds. This is a good thing as we are already seeing an exciting array of powerful tablets and touch-screen PCs hitting the market. Companies are already rotating their older machines out for some very cool touch-screen, all-in-one machines. The hardware landscape is changing fast and how we interact with the software is changing with it. Ultimately Windows 7 will not be ideal for this new generation of touch-screen devices; but it seems that Windows 10 might be the first operating system to elegantly support both mouse and touch-screen interaction across these different platforms.
Anyway, I digress. Getting back to Deltek Cobra, apart from the expected change in dialog style Cobra seems unaffected when residing in this new environment. It appears to work just as well in Windows 10 as it does in the Windows 7 system. We still have more testing to do, but our preliminary run of installations, upgrades, integration tests, recalcs, backups, restores, report runs and general ‘open everything and have a look’ testing has so far shown no signs of trouble.
We’ve found that running our Deltek Cobra Fundamentals training class is a great end-to-end test for new versions of Cobra and any new operating environments is will be running on. Because this course takes the students through the entire detailed process of creating the project, doing updates and then reporting, it touches all the major functionality of Cobra. If Windows 10 is hiding any nasty surprises for Cobra, a test run of our training course will reveal them. We’ll be sure to let you all know if we find anything over the coming weeks.