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Managed IT Services in San Diego

A Challenging IT Services Project

My most recent project was a great challenge but perhaps sharing it may tell you something about who I am.  I have a client named Harbor Yacht Clubs. They rent out sail boats here in San Diego Harbor and in Long Beach harbor.

They had a custom scheduling and rental software built for them many years ago called Waypoint.  This software was built on a 32bit platform and was hosted on a Microsoft 2003 Small Business Server. Microsoft ended extended support of Windows 2003 on July 14, 2015. This means that support had actually ended a year or so earlier but this was going to be the very last month any type of support, updates, or patches where going to available from Microsoft.

In addition, since then Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008R2, and Windows Server 2012 have been released. 2008 was the last server operating system you had the choice of running either 32bit or 64 bit.

Harbor Island Yacht Clubs knew their server operating system was antiquated. In addition, they are heavily dependent on QuickBooks accounting software and QuickBooks stopped supporting versions that run on Windows 2003 server. As a result, the Clubs realized they had to upgrade their server operating system and QuickBooks, both.

The Challenge, Accepted

The challenge this created was how to get the 32bit Waypoint software to work in a 64bit environment. I am not a software developer or database administrator by trade. I am a network engineer and my expertise is in Microsoft Exchange Routers, Switches, Server operating systems, network security and virtualization.

ITS Team worked with the original developer of the Waypoint software to figure out a solution.  Because the Waypoint software developer was strictly a programmer, I quickly realized I was going to have to drive this project and figure out how to make it work.  To be sure we could give our customer the best service possible, we also spoke to numerous other IT companies, consultants, and programmers who we hoped would be interested in this project. They were not.

Managed IT Services, Implemented

I didn’t want to let my client down so I told them I would figure it out myself. I had to teach myself a great deal about Internet Information Server (IIS) 8.0. I also had to learn a great deal about SQL 2008 and SQL 2014.  I also had to learn a great deal about ODBC connectors which is a conduit that you must customize to have databases communicate with one another.

In the end I was able to port the 32bit Waypoint software into a 64bit environment.  Today (2016) this software is sitting on SQL Server 20014 on a Windows 2012r2 Server running QuickBooks 2016. The 2012r2 Server is running on a VMware 5.5 host. The company is now running their software and technology on state of the art hardware and software.

I am glad and proud I was able to make this happen for my customer. They honestly felt they had nowhere to turn and I was not going to let them down.

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