Prospect CRM is a cloud-based solution and for the browser-based components there is no installation required (just minimum browser requirements). However, to support the options for automation and integration to on-premise Accounting and ERP systems, an on-premise installation is required.
There are also limitations on which on-premise versions of Exchange and Office are able to support the Prospect Outlook app and Word integration.
Web Browser Support
Prospect is compatible with the latest two versions of the following browsers:
Please note: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Edge are not supported because these have both been deprecated by Microsoft. Their new Edge browser (based on the Chromium engine will likely be suitable when fully available as a mainstream browser).
We endeavour to provide general support for the latest version of other mainstream browsers on various devices (such as iOS and Android), however compatibility may vary - especially with older OS versions and devices.
Office, Outlook & Exchange Integration
Prospect CRM mainly integrates with the client-side Outlook app (Outlook Desktop or Outlook Web) but also requires an Exchange Server back-end (i.e. other POP3 mail servers will not work). We suggest:
- Office 365 Hosted Exchange (Recommended)
- Exchange Server 2016 and above
Please note: you will need access to the Office Store in Outlook to install the Save to CRM app.
Prospect is compatible with the following Microsoft Office products:
- Microsoft Office 365 with local installation of Office 2019
- Microsoft Office 365 with local installation of Office 2016
- Microsoft Office Professional 2016
Please note: Microsoft recommends 32-bit Office installation even on 64-bit Operating Systems – mainly due to compatibility with their own and third-party integrated components.
On Premise Accounting System Gateway Requirements
Note re. Cloud Based ERP system
Prospect CRM provides integration to Cloud based ERP systems via Web API’s. There are therefore no hardware or OS requirements for these cloud integrations. This section only refers to traditional on-premise integrations.
The information given below is for guidance only. You should seek appropriate professional advice about your hardware and networking requirements.
The hardware required is dependent upon not just the needs of running your Prospect software but also upon the needs of other applications and services running on the same server network. This includes memory, processor, disk and other contentions.
Similarly, the recommendations below should be considered in the context of usage, volume of CRM data, volume of accounting system transactions and other relevant factors.
Core OS & Microsoft Software
ProspectSoft is a Microsoft Gold Cloud Platform and Gold DevOps Partner. We work hard to test and certify our products on the common Microsoft platforms. However, it is virtually impossible to test every combination of OS Version, OS Edition, OS Service pack, 3rd party Virtualisation platforms, 3rd Party Anti-Virus or other solutions, Office Version, Office Edition, Office Service pack, Internet Explorer version, Accounting software products, etc. We therefore strongly recommend using only up-to-date and mainstream versions and editions of Microsoft products.
ProspectSoft cannot provide support for our Solutions running on or alongside Microsoft products and platforms that have ended Extended Support and can only provide limited support alongside products and platforms outside of Mainstream support.
NOTE: The server installation must be a full Windows installation including the Windows UI.
Prospect CRM is hosted in Microsoft Azure. As the solution is hosted, the following recommendations are based on a dedicated virtual server for Prospect CRM Automation and Integration Services to create a hybrid integration to your on-premise accounting or ERP system. Further allowances should be made for other applications or services running on the same server (such as Exchange, other databases, Accounting System Software and Anti-Virus products).
Ultimately Microsoft recommends running different server applications on separate server machines (either physical or virtual) and while this is not always practical it will reduce the conflicts for memory, handles, and CPU. It is worth noting that without a specific configuration, virtualisation will not reduce disk contention (i.e. where the virtual servers use the same physical disk).
Prospect CRM Automation & Integration Services
The Automation Services will run on a schedule processing your accounting and other data. The requirements below are in addition to the requirements for the OS and other software:
Please note: Exchequer integration requires approximately twice this amount of RAM and, due to limitations with UNC paths within the COM Toolkit, must be run on the same server as the Exchequer database.
Accounting System Requirements
Prospect CRM has accounting system integration at its core. We lead the market in integration and are continually developing greater and broader integration features. However, we know that stability is equally important when you are running a business. We therefore recommend that you allow six months for full public testing on any new accounting system version, but don’t allow your accounting version to become more than eighteen months out of date.
Ultimately some releases of Prospect CRM will require newer versions of your accounting system and vice versa. If in doubt, please ask for advice and perform your own testing before upgrading your Prospect CRM solution or your accounting system.
Prospect CRM requires Exchequer 7.07 as a minimum. ProspectSoft provides full support for our solutions running alongside the following Exchequer Versions:
· Exchequer 2015 R1 (or later) on Pervasive SQL
· Exchequer 2015 R1 (or later) on SQL Server
In all cases, Prospect CRM requires the Exchequer Toolkit for integration. The Automation Server requires a COM toolkit (and pervasive or SQL) license, as does any client wishing to communicate directly with live Exchequer data.
Prospect CRM requires Access Dimensions 2.50.g as a minimum.
Access Dimensions runs on Microsoft SQL Server. Prospect requires SQL Server 2008 R2 as a minimum.
Prospect CRM requires Opera II or Opera 3. For full sales integration capabilities, ProspectSoft requires:
- Pegasus Opera 3 with Cashbook, Stock and SOP modules
- Pegasus Opera II with Cashbook, Stock and SOP modules
Sage usually release a new version of Sage 50 annually. ProspectSoft typically recommends the latest Sage 50 release, yet we may not be able to offer full support immediately after the release of a new version. Customers must check with us before applying the very latest Sage 50 version. ProspectSoft are fully accredited Sage 50 developers, so we know that each Sage 50 release is not intended to be backwards compatible as you might expect. Each release typically requires specific work to make it fully compatible and will often require a parallel CRM upgrade.
ProspectSoft requires a minimum of:
- Sage 50 Accounts Professional 2016 and above*
- Sage 50c
*ProspectSoft integration requires Sage Professional Edition with third-party integration enabled.
Xero, Unleashed, QuickBooks Commerce, DEAR Inventory & Cin7
ProspectSoft are App Partners with Xero, Unleashed, QuickBooks Commerce (TradeGecko), DEAR Inventory and Cin7. Prospect CRM provides straightforward integration to these systems via Web API’s. Therefore, there are no hardware or OS requirements for these cloud integrations.
ProspectSoft recommends Microsoft Hyper-V (which we use ourselves). Prospect CRM is also being successfully deployed by customers using VMWare and other virtualisation platforms. ProspectSoft will support our software running within a mainstream Virtualised Windows deployment but we recommend you take appropriate expert advice on the underlying Virtualisation and Networking infrastructure.
Integration with other systems is at the heart of Prospect CRM and you should therefore consider this document alongside the supported and recommended environments for your accounting solution and other products.
Exchange & SQL Server
Microsoft recommends hosting your Exchange with Office 365, or for LAN-installation, a dedicated (virtual) server for running Exchange Server, SQL Server and many other Microsoft Services. Although Small Business Server bundled these, that solution has been all-but abandoned by Microsoft and, in general installing multiple database products on a single Microsoft Server is problematic and leads to Exchange grabbing all available resources etc. Installation on shared servers is not recommended. Wherever possible we would recommend dedicated (virtual) servers for Exchange, your accounts system and Prospect CRM Automation and Integration services. Or, alternatively look at hybrid hosting solutions such as Office 365 hosted Exchange to reduce the load on your servers.
If your IT Service provider does install combinations of Prospect CRM, your accounting system and Exchange or Microsoft SQL etc. on the same server, then they must ensure that a cap is put on the resources that these other products can use (especially RAM) – and that there is always enough free RAM and resources for new processes to start or ramp up as and when required (e.g. your ProspectSoft Accounts Import which only runs periodically).