PowerSchool to stop supporting mac based servers.
By Greg Boettger
August 23, 2010

Dis anyone see this

Mac-based districts could face SIS quandary
Pearson PowerSchool's Mac database support will stop at year's endBy Laura Devaney, Managing EditorBusiness News, School Administration, Technologies, Top News
Aug 19th, 2010

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Pearson PowerSchool will cease to be compatible with Mac-only database servers at the end of 2010.
Education industry giant Pearson says its PowerSchool student
information system (SIS) software will cease to support Macintosh
database servers by Dec. 31, forcing Mac-using districts to make some
tough decisions.
The announcement came as a surprise to many people, especially because PowerSchool
was an Apple product before Pearson bought it from Apple in 2006. Apple
earlier had acquired PowerSchool, a leading SIS product for Mac-based
schools, from its eponymous owner in 2001.
PowerSchool runs on an Oracle database.
While Oracle issued a Windows update some time ago, Mac users are still
waiting on the Oracle 11g update that would let them run PowerSchool.
“To maintain our commitment to providing great software, we need to
upgrade to an Oracle version that does not support Mac servers,” Pearson
said in a letter to PowerSchool customers that outlined the issue and
gave schools several options.
“New customers, and existing customers who want to upgrade their
hardware, would find new Apple servers are incompatible with the current
Oracle database. Oracle has not provided a date by which the current
version of the Oracle Mac Database will be certified on Mac OS X 10.6,”
the letter said.
Pearson said it has “limited options” for school districts operating on Mac servers.
The letter advised that “all Mac customers should make plans to
replace their Mac database servers with a Windows-based database server
(physical or virtual). Pearson will discontinue support for the Mac
database server effective December 31, 2010.”
Pearson said it will evaluate Mac support options if Oracle issues a Mac-compatible 11g version.
Customers using a Mac database server are eligible for six months of
free hosting if they choose to move to a cloud-based implementation of
PowerSchool, eliminating the need for a new server purchase. Pearson
would be responsible for all software upgrades, backup, and restoration
in its hosting environment. That offer expires on Dec. 15.
It would be difficult for Pearson to add a new Mac-compatible
database to PowerSchool, the company said, because alternative database
options for the Mac OS are limited and do not offer Oracle’s
performance. Also, offering an additional database would mean
large-scale new and duplicate development work, and the additional
testing required to ensure proper functionality would “be better used to
ensure the highest possible quality of core features and not just
validate database-to-database equivalency.”
Some customers might opt to run a Windows emulator on their Mac
servers—and virtualization is a viable choice, Pearson said, especially
for smaller school systems.
Richard Bowler, director of technology for the Hardin School District in Montana, said his district opted to install Parallels Server for Mac 4,
a virtualization technology optimized for Apple server hardware, which
installs directly onto existing hardware and its host operating system
and consolidates Windows Server applications on Apple hardware.
Bowler and his staff soon will move their district’s PowerSchool
database from its existing server to the virtualized environment.