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Manifold® System Hardware and Software Requirements logo

Hardware and software requirements vary considerably depending on the tasks undertaken. The following minimum configuration allows installation of Manifold for work with small components. Recommended configurations are noted in parentheses for work with anything other than small drawings.

Users are strongly advised to utilize Windows 10 or, with older Windows editions, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008. At some point, even Windows Vista may no longer be supported by Microsoft or by Manifold.

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Manifold is not supported for use in Macintosh or any other non-native PC environment using Windows emulators. It is only supported in true PC compatibles with direct access to the PC hardware not mediated by middleware such as virtual machine emulators, remote consoles, timesharing console servers, attempts to allow "floating" use of Manifold installed on one machine to be used by a variety of client machines and the like. If you want to use floating licenses, acquire a Manifold License Server license and use that.

Internet Recommended - Manifold products are delivered by download so you must have access to Internet to download the installation files, either to install them on the target computer or at least to be able to copy them to a USB drive or some other media to bring to the computer upon which they will be installed. Internet access will also be required to obtain activation keys for your serial number. This is more convenient and can be done automatically if the target computer is connected to Internet. Although Manifold does not require direct connection to Internet while operating, some features such as the use of Image Servers and Geocoding Servers will require Internet connectivity for operation.

Manifold IMS (Internet Map Server) - Manifold IMS is published for use in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2003, or Windows XP systems that have Internet Information Server (excludes XP "home" edition, which does not have IIS and cannot function as a web server). Although IMS can work in Windows systems with non-IIS HTTP servers that are capable of instantiating and using a COM object, only IIS is supported by tech support for developer support incidents. Please note that Manifold System Personal Edition does not include IMS. Only Manifold System Professional Edition and higher editions include IMS.

64-bit Requirements

Only a 64-bit Manifold edition can run in 64-bit mode on 64-bit x64 processors running 64-bit Windows editions. Manifold x64 is not supported for Itanium or other non-x64 bit architectures. To run Manifold in 64-bit mode you must do the following:

Manifold x64 serial numbers will enable Manifold installations to run in either 64-bit or 32-bit systems. However, if you use a Manifold 64-bit serial number to activate a 32-bit Manifold installation it will run in 32-bits only.

Recommended Hardware Configurations

Some suggestions when assembling a system:

Memory Requirements for Large Projects - Manifold is designed for an era where RAM memory is cheap and personnel costs are high. Undo and many other user-friendly features require a lot of memory to implement. For best performance we recommend installing lots of RAM and having plenty of free disk space for temporary files. RAM is so cheap in modern times it is "penny wise and pound foolish" not to load up your system with the maximum amount of RAM it can hold. This will help all your work go faster and not just Manifold. As always, keep in mind that to really use lots of RAM effectively you should be running 64-bit Windows such as Windows 8 x64 or Windows Server 2012 x64.

User Requirements

Manifold is designed for people who are reasonably familiar with computers, Windows and Windows applications and who also have the maturity to know that learning a significant application that can do amazing, wonderful things will require study. As one long-time Manifold user put it, "Manifold is software for grown-ups."

A typical new user feels comfortable with Microsoft Office applications like Excel, Word and Access and often knows other applications such as PhotoShop as well. Although prior familiarity with GIS is helpful, what is more important is the ability to read documentation diligently in the recommended order. Most beginners who read documentation and work through examples as recommended by Manifold are comfortably productive at beginning levels in one or two days of attentive study. It doesn't take months or years of study but it does take at least a few days. Expertise builds rapidly with use.

Advanced work with Manifold, such as development of custom applications, use of enterprise databases or web programming, will of course also require expertise in the accessory technologies involved. This is usually straightforward for Windows people, since Manifold utilizes Microsoft standards whenever possible. This assures the accumulated wisdom of the Microsoft ecosystem as well as your existing expertise in standard Microsoft development environments like Visual Studio, or Microsoft web technologies like IIS, ASP and ASP .NET will be directly relevant to your advanced work with Manifold.

Although Manifold uses Windows style and Windows nomenclature to make it easier for most people, ordinary use of Manifold is fairly easy to learn even if your "home" enviornment is Mac or a UNIX derivative or other non-Windows system. You'll have to learn enough about Windows for routine administrative tasks like installing the software and so on but other than that learning Manifold will be straightforward if you can read the documentation in the recommended order.

Tips for Learning Manifold

The primary resource for learning Manifold System is the user manual. It contains thousands of pages providing general introductions as well as numerous detailed topics, and hundreds of step-by-step examples and procedures. The user manual is built into Manifold System as Help, and it is also reprinted in web form. Manifold provides a vast array of capabilities for your benefit: that's good value for your money, but it does mean that getting aquainted with all that will take at least some effort invested into reading the documentation.

To save time it is essential to not skim Help topics but to actually read them attentively and to apply them with care. Folks who try to save time by neglecting the recommended reading will encounter unnecessary frustration and will end up taking longer to learn the product. The learning curve initially is very steep because there is lot of power and capability to Manifold but if you hang in there for the first day or so you'll find very quickly it all starts coming together. That first day or so of nearly vertical learning curve will long be forgotten when you have years of incredible power and convenience at your fingertips.

Surprisingly, you don't need to have prior GIS experience to do well with Manifold. Beginners who attentively read the documentation in the recommended order will learn faster and easier than GIS experts who refuse to read any documentation or who just skim. Of course, GIS experts who do read documentation as recommended will become even more productive at advanced tasks at a faster pace than beginners, because they already are familiar with common GIS concepts, such as knowing what a projection is and why projections are used.

The bottom line is the more you take advantage of resources that are there to help you, like the documentation, the easier it is to learn Manifold and the easier it will be to get done what you want with the least possible effort and the most enjoyment.


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