CaseWare Working Papers 2017 - Infrastructure Requirements

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Posted by Darryl Parker - 26 October, 2017

Topic(s): Best Practices

Back in 2015, we gave you 3 tips for how to ensure maximum performance from CaseWare Working Papers. With the recent release of Working Papers 2017, we revisit the topic and update our recommendations.

Operating System

Working Papers runs on the Microsoft Windows operating system. Windows 7 SP1, 8, and 10 can all be used. 

Users with Apple or GNU/Linux cannot run Working Papers natively; you will need to run a Virtual Machine system with one of the supported versions of Microsoft Windows installed in it. 

Hardware

At the date of writing, CaseWare International lists these as the minimum technical requirements of the program:

  • 1 GHz 64-bit (x64) processor.
  • Minimum 2 GB of RAM. 
  • Program requires 1 GB free hard drive space.
  • A monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution or higher.
  • Internet access is required during the installation of Working Papers.
  • Additional Components
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer 11.0 or higher, as per the Internet Explorer life cycle.
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10.0 or higher.
    • Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 3, 2010, 2013, 2016, or the desktop version of Microsoft Office 365.

 Security and permissions

  • Installation requires local administrative rights to the workstation.
  • Use of Working Papers requires read/write access to the program folder and any folders containing client files.

You want maximum performance so these minimum specifications should be taken with a grain of salt as they may provide poor performance in some circumstances (large files, many users etc.).

Key Factors in Better Working Papers Performance

The following are key considerations for performance of Working Papers:

1) Location of the Data File

Many people work with their CaseWare Working Papers file located on a remote, networked file system. This has many advantages, most importantly the ability to backup and protect the files.  However, networked storage is often much, much slower than the hard drive located on your computer.

For users working on their files located on a remote file system, the number one thing you can do to improve performance is to move the file on to the computer that is running Working Papers.  This can be accomplished either by:

2) Processor

CaseWare Working Papers is not written to take advantage of multiple cores in your computer's CPU.  Frequently, modern processors are designed with many lower-speed cores, and Working Papers does not perform well on these chips.

For optimum Working Papers performance, focus on maximizing single-core speed. 

3) RAM

As a 64-bit application CaseWare Working Papers is able to make use of a large amount of RAM.  For this reason, we recommend at least 8 GB of memory.

Plan for the future. Considering the low cost of RAM, follow the "More is Better" rule. 

Hardware specifications for IT

If you were asked to choose all new hardware and were just thinking about maximizing CaseWare speed, we would recommend the following.

Desktop Configuration:

To maximize the performance of large / complex Working Papers files running on the desktop:

  1. 64-bit version of Windows 8 or Windows 10
  2. Get a current generation i5 or i7 processor with a base clock speed of 3.2 Ghz or higher
  3. Order 16GB or more of RAM
  4. Ask for a SSD (solid state drive) if the Working Papers data file is going to be on the local computer

Thin Client Configuration:

If you will be using a thin client approach to providing large / complex Working Papers files to end users, recommendations become a little more complicated. Below are our recommendations for configuration of the Thin-Client server, assuming 20 concurrent CaseWare users: 

  1. Opt for Windows 2012 R2 Standard or better.
  2. Get a Xeon E5-xxxx v3 or newer processor with at least 8 cores, no slower than 3 Ghz in a dual processor setup.
  3. Order 64GB or more RAM.
  4. Ask for an enterprise-grade SSD (solid state drive) in a RAID array
  5. Locate all Working Papers data files on this server directly.

Some assumptions about these Thin Client recommendations:

  • As user count increases, systems resources must also increase
  • No virtualization is anticipated in the above specification. If virtualization is to occur, more RAM may be required
  • Network interface must be at least Gigabit 

For more on this topic(s), see: Best Practices

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