ProAPOD Real Estate Investment Software – Resolving Vista Security Issues

ProAPOD Real Estate Investment Software has been providing quality real estate investment software solutions without incident to agents, investors, and other real estate professionals since 2000.

In the early years, however, with MS window platforms XP and earlier, downloading and installing ProAPOD was pretty straightforward: the customer would login to his or her account page from our website, download the software by clicking on the link available, then finish the install directly from his or her computer. Once installed, and during the first use, the customer was given the option by MS to designate ProAPOD as a “trusted source” (more about this in a minute) and the program would open with all macros correctly working functioning and in turn our software was ready to use. Foremost, our program’s toolbar was clearly visible to the customer without any other further action required on the part of the customer.

Okay, now, before I explain how MS Vista changed things, let me explain what “trusted source” means.

Any application for MS Excel (which ProAPOD real estate software is) that contains macros (procedures written in VBA to make things appear and function, like the toolbar) must be permitted by the user. This is a security issue implemented by MS to prevent the user from inadvertently running macros that might contain viruses. Along this line, to further insure the user that a software’s macros are safe, the developer of the application can purchase a “digital signature” certificate from a recognized online source and attach it to the application, which in turn then is made available for preview and acceptance by the user when the software is opened. As a result, ProAPOD does obtain a code signing certificate annually from Thawte. This not only adds security comfort to the customer, but once ProAPOD is added by the customer as a “trusted source” the first time, the software can subsequently be opened without any further action. ProAPOD will open each time thereafter without the customer having to approve the macros and everything will function without incident.

With MS Vista, however, despite the customer’s approval of our code signing certificate and permission to run macros, another issue has been raised. MS Vista, now by default, classifies all folders and files as “Read Only” and cannot be changed by the user without proper “permission” settings. This will become evident when the customer attempts to save his or her work and is instead alerted that ProAPOD is “read only” and cannot be saved.

Naturally this does make things more complicated for our software customers, but thankfully there is a solution. Please read our article entitled “Resolving Vista Issues” on our website at Resolving Vista Issues.