There are lots of benefits to Cloud software. One of those is the availability of instant updates. Software manufacturers like SAI can now provide updates to customers much more quickly because they don't have to mass produce and distribute discs. So Flexi and LXI Cloud users can get software updates with new device drivers and patches just as soon as they're available on the SAI server. In a perfect world, there would be no possible downside to this feature. But, judging from customer feedback, this is not such a world. There's a right way and a wrong way to update your Cloud software. Doing it wrong may overwrite your saved preferences and cause frustrating setbacks. Some might dismiss this with a "no pain, no gain" attitude, but it's not necessary. There is a right way, a painless way, to update your Cloud software. 

Fig 1: Rename the Installation Folder to avoid overwriting your existing Cloud software
Fig 1: Rename the Installation Folder to avoid overwriting your existing Cloud software

Updating the Cloud

When you're prompted to update your Flexi or LXI Cloud license, say Yes and initiate the download. The download process will place the Installer on your PC. Then you will execute the installer just as when you initially installed the software. But, this time, when you are prompted to save the installed files to a folder on your PC, be sure to give it a different name so that it doesn't overwrite the existing installation. If you replace the existing folder, you will lose saved preferences and custom printer setups you may have added to Production Manager. Preventing this is as easy as renaming the folder. If you're installing a Flexi Cloud update, you might choose to simply add the date to the end of the folder. For instance, SAI Production Suite_Nov2013 (Fig 1).

You may also opt to name it after the Build number. If you opt for this solution, you'll have to add your device setups to Production Manager and copy your ICC Profiles from the folder in the original installed version to the same folder in the new one. This is done in Windows Explorer of course. The final step in the installation is when the Install Manager asks if you'd like to add a desktop shortcut. There is also an option in this dialog box asking if you'd like to clear the previous application's preferences . This is where many people get into trouble. Checking this box will erase any preferences you have saved, leading to some head scratching and lost productivity while they're restored or reset. Leave this box unchecked and complete the installation. There are a few other downsides to consider. Installing the update in a different folder will take more room on your hard drive than overwriting the existing installation. But it's a safety measure comparable to backing up your files. It's a common sense step that protects your sign shop's productivity.

The updates feature is one of the best aspects of Cloud computing. When used properly, online updates deliver instant improvements to Flexi and LXI customers. The next time you're alerted to such an opportunity, just remember these simple steps to make sure your Cloud update is all gain and no pain.