System Requirements







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To ensure that AWARDS works correctly for you, care should be paid to meeting the system software and hardware requirements outlined here.   We strongly recommend that additional considerations such as encryption, also detailed below, be factored into your use of AWARDS as well.

Software Requirements

Supported Browsers & Operating Systems (updated July 26th, 2017)

Browsers supported for use with AWARDS are listed in the table below, along with the corresponding operating system(s) in which they can be used.  These are the only browsers with which we test AWARDS.  As a result, if you use a browser other than one listed here, you may not experience AWARDS as it was intended to be used.

Browser

Version

Operating System

Microsoft Edge

Most Recent

Windows 10

Google Chrome

Most Recent

Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS X
Chrome OS
Linux
Android
iOS

Mozilla Firefox

Most Recent

Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
Mac OS X
Chrome OS
Linux
Android

Apple Safari

Most Recent

Mac OS X
iOS

IMPORTANT!  Internet Explorer is not a supported browser; however, if your agency subscribes to the optional E-Labs component of the Laboratory Orders feature you MUST use Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) as your browser in order to use label printing functionality that is a key component of the E-Labs platform, and you must have a Meadco download installed.  In such instances we recommend having an alternate browser from our supported browsers list in place for everyday usage, and that you only use IE11 when submitting E-Labs orders.

IMPORTANT!  Windows XP is not a supported operating system.

Notes on Browser Settings & Plug-Ins

  Safari should not be used in "Private Browsing" mode when accessing AWARDS.  For more information on turning off that feature, click here.

  Within your chosen browser, JavaScript should be set to "allowed," as many aspects of AWARDS require it. 

  Set your pop-up blocker to always allow pop-ups from your AWARDS database, as having a pop-up blocker enabled can interfere with some functionality (for example, file downloads).

Hardware Requirements

AWARDS is optimized for desktop and laptop computers with internet access and an up-to-date Web browser; however, it can also be used with internet-connected mobile devices like tablets (for example iPads) or smartphones.  Many users successfully access and work with their AWARDS databases via such mobile devices; however, it is important to keep in mind that AWARDS is not mobile-optimized so your experience may vary.

Regardless of the device you choose to use, you are responsible for making sure that it is connected to the Internet, up-to-date, and works with any external devices that you use with AWARDS (for example, an electronic signature tool which may have its own requirements). 

Also, please keep in mind that the minimum supported screen resolution in AWARDS is 1024x768 on a seven inch screen.  If you use a device with a lesser resolution or a smaller screen, your experience may vary.

  NOTE: Specific care should be paid to using AWARDS in a terminal environment and with mobile devices.

Additional Considerations

Encryption

While use of AWARDS does not require that the device you're using be encrypted, encryption is a critically important and highly recommended piece of technology in today's information technology environment.  Encryption makes data indecipherable to unauthorized individuals - including anyone acting maliciously - unless they have the shared "key" to unlock the data.  This protects any protected health information you may have downloaded from AWARDS to your device in the event that it is compromised or stolen.

The process of setting up encryption will vary from device to device based on your operating system.  There are often built-in solutions that are easy to use; for example:

  Windows - Windows has a built-in encryption module called BitLocker; however, it is only available in Windows Pro (and Enterprise), and will only work with machines with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip.  There are exceptions to this, but by and large these are the requirements for encrypting a Windows machine without using additional software.

  Mac OS - Every Mac has a built-in feature called FileVault; however, it is generally not enabled by default.  This is easy to remedy by going into System Preferences.

  Chrome OS -Every Chrome device has encryption enabled by default and adheres to the same hardware spec for security.  It just works - there's nothing else to do.

Some additional notes regarding Chromebooks...  Chromebooks are encrypted by defaultIn addition, Chromebooks also support two-factor authentication out of the box because Google accounts provide underlying security.  Organizations can further reduce their security risk when using Chromebooks by managing their Chromebooks, which provides remote-wipe capabilities and a litany of other security policies.  Google Apps is free for non-profits and the management features are usually $50 per computer per year, which is extremely competitive when compared to other options in the marketplace.  (Please note - there is a known issue with Chromebooks and AWARDS with respect to file handling of Excel export files.  If you plan to work with Excel files from AWARDS, you should plan to have an alternate option available.)

  iOS -iOS has built-in encryption, but you may have to enable it on your device.  Here are some quick instructions for making sure your device is encrypted.

  Android - The method of encrypting an Android device depends on the manufacturer.  As a general rule, you should go to Settings > Security on your device and make sure that your device storage is encrypted.  Most recent Google-designed devices like the Nexus and Pixel models are encrypted by default.

Optimizing AWARDS Security for Shared Devices

The staff at many of our customer agencies use shared computers or other devices on a day-to-day basis.  Sharing in this way, while often necessary and practical, can present some additional security challenges for staff who must be especially careful with regard to their AWARDS usage so as not to leave their database session open for others to access.  If you're an administrator at an agency utilizing shared devices, we encourage you to optimize your AWARDS security and guide your staff in the following ways:

  Have a reasonable timeout value in place - The AWARDS timeout value is what is used when determining whether a user should be automatically logged out of AWARDS based on inactivity.  For instance, if the timeout value is set at 15 minutes, AWARDS will log a user out after he/she has been inactive in the system for that length of time (with inactivity in this context being the period of time in which the user is not actively typing or clicking buttons in the system).  Your timeout value should be set at a level that meets the workflow requirements of your staff while still keeping the system safe should a user walk away from a shared computer without remembering to log out. To review and/or adjust your timeout value, go to Administration > System Setup > Business Rules > Set the Timeout Value.  You can find instructions on the process in Online Help, here.

  Get users in the habit of clicking log out - To allow for multi-tab usage of AWARDS, the system does not automatically log out users who "x" out of a browser tab to close it.  Instead, AWARDS relies on the timeout value and/or a user actively logging out in order to end a session. As a result, users should be directed to log out of AWARDS each and every time they are done with their work and/or need to step away from their device/computer. To do so, they'll click their name from the right side of the AWARDS navigation bar, and then click Log Out. In addition to making this process part of user training, it's a great idea to send out periodic reminders to all of your users to help them get in the log out habit.

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