Technical Details

Smips is built using exclusively Microsoft technologies with the sole exception of the portable Visualizer for iPad.

On the server side, the basic building blocks are Windows Server, Internet Information Server and Microsoft SQL Server, together with custom self-hosted Windows services. There is no java, php or asp, nor any web site in the conventional sense.

Unlike many portable products, Smips was designed from the outset for use with an iPad. This means that the user experience is not significantly abridged to fit the smaller platform.

Server Requirements

We actually have no special requirements beyond a dedicated physical or virtual Windows server to which we have administrative access. Our own hosting provider, for instance, offers this combination of features as a mid-range offering:

  • Fully Managed Virtual Server
  • Windows 2012 R2
  • 200 GB Dedicated Disk Space
  • 6 GB Dedicated Memory
  • Unlimited Data Transfer
  • 12 CPU Cores

Why do we ask for a dedicated (virtual) server at a minimum? Because we have a server product that can work in a trouble-free manner for years without intervention but it is the exception to the rule - many other systems cause endless problems, hog bandwidth and require constant attention. If we use a shared server, we become part of the problem and, besides, cloud hosting is cheap.

We don't insist, though, so if you are in a situation where you have available resources we'll be happy to look into adding Smips to your existing server.

PC Requirements

We have several products that run on Windows PCs and most of them are backward compatible with Windows XP, Service Pack 3. With some reluctance, however, we have decided to limit support for the PC Visualizer to computers running Windows 7 or later.

Any computer capable of running Windows XP or 7 should be adequate for use with Smips as long as it has adequate storage. We can't exactly quantify 'adequate' because although Smips components are not particularly large, they may require relatively large downloads from Microsoft if an XP machine does not have .Net Framework 4.0 installed, or if it requires other updates or patches (this can happen with an old vendor PC, for instance, because it has never been updated since it was purchased).

iPad Requirements

Significant cosmetic changes were introduced by Apple in iOS 7 so we decided to transition to the new look. As a result, the iPad Visualizer is no longer compatible with the first generation devices but should be fine with iPads that can run iOS 7, including the 16GB models.

Smips fetches and temporarily stores complete image sets and provides the ability to remove all or selected sets on demand. This means that you can pre-load a fairly sizeable stock of images to have them available off-line. If you do plan to keep a lot of images on the device you might want to get one with extra storage.