Tuesday, August 24, 2010

To Disable Or Not: User Account Control

As more and more clients move to Windows 7 (or Windows Vista), the issue of user account control appears to come up more and more in relation to supporting Dynamics GP. The most common issue that occurs, in my anecdotal experience, deals with using Dynamics GP Utilities. Users can successfully launch utilities, but after logging in they will receive BCP utility errors.

The immediate workaround go this issue is to launch Dynamics GP Utilities by right-clicking on the icon and choosing "Run As Administrator". Easy enough. But I have also seen a trend lately where it is just recommended to turn off user account control. Why does that approach bother me? I will admit it does.

I try to tread respectfully when working with a client's IT support (either internal or external) and appreciate that they may have goals and strategies outside the world of Dynamics GP (yes, that world does exist). And it seems to me that the decision to turn off user account control should be left to IT and not to me as a Dynamics GP consultant. Of course, I can share my opinion but to actually disable it blurs an already fuzzy line of responsibility.

Do you all agree? Am I overreacting to something that is benign yet annoying? I put this in the same category as changing permissions on shared drives or local drives for a client. I am hesitant to do so if not working directly with their IT support. Again, am I overreacting?

Please share your thoughts, go ahead and let me know if you think I am a) a worrywart or b) sensible.

8 comments:

Perry Smith said...

Christina,

I agree with you. I try to give a clients IT as much info an control over the GP Implementation as possible. It puts them on my team when I need things with them. Bypassing items that IT may want to control and cause the customers IT department to lock down any access I may need.

I don't believe you need to turn off UAC if you install and configure the GP application properly. My background in IT allows me to do this and also speak with the IT department in terms they understand.

Perry

SQL Blogger said...

I agree 100% with you. Clients have an IT department (well, at least an IT person) and user account control policy is up to them. We can work around it.

Adam Brock said...

I think disabling UAC is more of a cop out than a solution. It seems most IT people I've spoken with are either strongly in favor of leaving UAC enabled, or strongly in favor of disabling it. I think you run a big risk of upsetting IT by suggesting that UAC be disabled.

If the program works best running as an administrator, you can change the compatibility settings to always run the application as an admin. I would imagine you could also set this flag on the utilities (I'm assuming they are separate exe files), and then not set the main GP application to run as an admin.

I would think a die-hard IT guy that was pushing to leave UAC enabled would be more than happy to work with you to try and get GP working with UAC enabled.

We're in the process of testing Windows 7 right now. We haven't tested it with GP yet, but my plan would be to do everything possible to make sure it works with UAC enabled.

Leslie said...

As an accountant (end-user), turned IT manager, turned consultant. I have always had a problem with most of the windows security issues around Microsoft products. I have had issues where the user must have administrative rights over the machine in order to run a program or to export out of GP into excel. (I found a workaround, but not a good one) I think any and all programs should be able to run out of the box with limited user security and turning of UAC is part of that!!!! Have been an IT manager and wanting to lock down users from "unknowingly causing harm" but having to give them rights I did not feel comfortable has always been a huge sore spot with me.

Christina Phillips said...

Thank you all for the comments and thoughts, I completely agree its a cop out and that is why the trend that says "just disable it" lately has been so disturbing to me :)

And, @Leslie, I think you speak for many when you voice that frustration. I know I have had more than one conversation in the past with IT that centered on that exact issue-- why are there these issues to begin with?

Andy Nifong said...

GP seems to have a long way where we used to have disable UAC, but so far with versions 10 and 2010, I haven't run into many issues that required disabling UAC entirely. It's definitely the easy answer when you do run into issues, though, and the easy answer isn't necessarily the right answer. As Perry mentioned, keeping the IT staff on your side will always pay off.

victoriayudin.com said...

Christina,

Thanks for bringing up a great topic!

I absolutely agree with you - I don't like to change any Windows settings or user permissions without the client's IT department's involvement. I also have not come across any situation yet where we had to disable UAC to make GP work, so I don't see any reason to ask for this.

-Victoria

JapNolt said...

Agreed!!! Leave UAC on.