Panorama Classic FAQ (v6 and earlier)

To: Panorama 6 Users
Date: September 30, 2018
Subject: Retiring Panorama 6

The first lines of Panorama source code were written on October 31st, 1986. If you had told me that that line of code would still be in daily use all across the world in 2018, I would have been pretty incredulous. Amazingly, the code I wrote that first day is still in the core of the program, and that specific code I wrote 32 years ago actually still runs every time you click the mouse or press a key in Panorama 6 today.

Of course Panorama has grown by leaps and bounds over the ensuing years and decades:

  • Panorama 1.0 was first released for 68k Macs in November 1988. Panorama 2 and 3 greatly expanded the functionality, user interface and programmability.
  • In 2000, Panorama 4 added native PowerPC support, and also was the first version of Panorama for Windows PC's.
  • Panorama 5.0 added support for OS X (using the Carbon API's), as well as full menu customization and the ability to extend the programming language.
  • In 2007, Panorama 5.5 introduced Panorama Server for multi-user and web based applications.
  • Finally, in 2010 Panorama 6 introduced native Intel support on the Mac.

Along the way Panorama was highly reviewed in major publications, won awards, and gained thousands of very loyal users. It's been a great run, but ultimately there is only so far you can go with a technology foundation that is over thirty years old. It's time to turn the page, so we are now retiring the "classic" version of Panorama so that we can concentrate on moving forward with Panorama X.

If you are still using Panorama 6, you may wonder what "retiring" means for you. Don't worry, your copy of Panorama 6 isn't going to suddently stop working on your current computer. However, Panorama 6 is no longer for sale, and we will no longer provide any support for Panorama 6, including email support. However, you should be able to find any answers you need in the detailed questions and answers below.

The best part of creating Panorama has been seeing all of the amazing uses that all of you have come up with for it over the years. I'm thrilled that now a whole new generation of users are discovering the joy of RAM based database software thru Panorama X. If you haven't made the transition to Panorama X yet, I hope that you'll be able to soon!


Jim Rea
Founder, ProVUE Development

General Questions (Expanded)

What is Panorama "Classic"?

ProVUE first started working on Panorama in 1986, and version 1.0 was released in two years later for 68K Macintosh computers. Over the next 25 years eleven more versions of Panorama were released for MacOS, OS X, and Windows. All of these versions were based on the same original source code. When the completely rewritten version of Panorama, Panorama X became available in the fall of 2017, the previous versions were rebranded as Panorama Classic. After September 30th, 2018, Panorama Classic will be retired. After that date, Panorama Classic will no longer be sold or supported.

Why has Panorama Classic been retired?

In a word, it's old -- in fact for computer software, it's dinosaur old. It simply wasn't possible to incorporate modern technology into the old source code. The only option was to write a new version of Panorama using modern technology, while keeping as many of Panorama's popular attributes as possible.

What about Panorama Direct and Panorama Sheets?

These products are also retired. Throughout the rest of this page, any reference you see to "Panorama 6" also includes Panorama Direct and Panorama Sheets, unless otherwise specified. Going forward, Panorama X is the only version of Panorama that will be sold and supported.

What about Panorama Server?

Panorama X Server is in the works, but it is not quite ready yet. As of now (September 2018) we are hoping to have it ready in the first half of 2021. When Panorama X Server is available, Panorama 6 Server will be retired. Until then, organizations that own Panorama 6 Server can contact us if they need to purchase additional Panorama 6 serial numbers, or if they need technical support for using Panorama 6 on macOS 10.13 or earlier. We do not recommend or support using Panorama 6 on macOS 10.14 Mojave.

Although Panorama 6 Server is not retired yet, we do recommend that Panorama 6 users start planning their transition to Panorama X now. Depending on the complexity of your databases, it may take some work to get them converted to Panorama X, especially some forms and procedures. If you get a single user version of your database ready now, you'll be able to quickly transition to Panorama X Server when it becomes available.

Can I continue to use Panorama 6 on Macintosh computers?

Panorama 6 will continue to run on OS X 10.4, 10.5, 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, and macOS 10.12 Sierra and 10.13 High Sierra. It is not supported on 10.14 Mojave or later. To continue to use Panorama past macOS 10.13, Panorama users must transition to Panorama X.

Can I continue to use Panorama 6 on Windows computers?

Panorama 6 will continue to run on Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8 and early versions of Windows 10. It does not run on later versions of Windows 10, starting with the 2017 "Fall Creators Update." In the future, the only way to continue using Panorama will be to switch to the Mac platform. If you do wish to switch to the Mac platform, Panorama X will import existing databases created on a Windows computer. (At this time there are only a few hundred customers using Panorama for Windows, and it is simply not financially possible to continue development for that platform when so few users are interested.)

Where else can I look for answers to my Panorama Classic questions?

There is no direct support available for retired ProVUE products (in other words, no email or telephone support). You can use the Panorama Discussion Forum to get the latest Panorama news and announcements, and to post questions that other Panorama users may answer. No signup is needed to read, and if you'd like to post your own questions, signup is free and painless. If you are specifically looking for Panorama 6 information, see the Panorama Classic section of the forum.

Serial Numbers and Personal Use License (Expanded)

How long will Panorama 6 serial number activation be available?

As of October 2018, we have no plans to discontinue the availability of Panorama 6 activations, allowing an existing serial numbers to be shifted to new computers. However, this service does rely on legacy server software that is more difficult and expensive to maintain over time, so you should not assume that it will be availble for decades to come. We recommend that all Panorama 6 users transition to Panorama X as soon as it is practical.

Where can I find my serial number(s)?

You'll need your serial number to activate Panorama 6 on a new computer. If Panorama 6 is currently running on a computer, you can check the serial number by choosing Registration from the Panorama menu. If Panorama 6 is not runnning, you'll need to consult your records to find your serial number, ProVUE is no longer able to assist in finding lost serial numbers.

All Panorama 6 serial numbers consist of five numeric digits, a period, then two or three additional letters and/or numbers. Here are examples of valid serial numbers:

  • 18945.A8X
  • 58313.7b4
  • 31442.A%b

If a serial number contains letters, upper versus lower case is important. If the serial number contains the upper case letter A, Panorama won't accept a lower case letter a. Make sure you type in the serial number exactly.

If you find a number with more than 5 digits before the period, that is not a Panorama 6 serial number (it might be a personal license code, but that won't work as a serial number.) If you find a number that begins with prvu, that is a product code, not a serial number, and cannot be used to activate Panorama 6.

Can a Mac serial number be used on Windows? or a Windows serial number on a Mac?

No, a Mac serial number can only be used to activate Panorama 6 on a Macintosh computer, and a Windows serial number can only be used to activate Panorama 6 on a Windows computer. You cannot switch from one platform to the other.

Can I use the same serial number on two computers?

A serial number can be activated on multiple machines so you can quickly switch from machine to machine (this used to only be allowed with a personal use license, but as of September 30, 2018 this is allowed for any Panorama Serial number, up to 3 computers per serial number). However, you cannot use Panorama with the same serial number simultaneously on two computers. Before you start using Panorama on a second computer, you must quit Panorama on the first computer. This restriction does not apply if each computer has a separate serial number -- in that case, Panorama can be used simultaneously on each computer that has a unique serial number.

How do I transfer a serial number to a new computer?

If possible, the first step is to deactivate the serial number on the computer it is currently used on. To deactivate, start by launching Panorama, then choose Registration from the Panorama menu. Press the De-Activate Software button and then follow the instructions until the deactivation process is complete.

If it is not possible to deactivate (for example if the computer is broken or has been disposed of), Panorama will still allow you to activate. You can activate without deactivating up to five times.

The final step is to activate the serial number on the new computer. If Panorama 6 is already installed on the new computer, choose Registration from the Panorama menu. If it is not installed yet, running the Panorama Installer will automatically open the Registration window for you to enter the serial number.

Important Note: If you are using a recent version of macOS there are several technical problems you may encounter when activating or deactivating a Panorama 6 serial number. If you enconter problems, see How do I fix an error when installing or activating Panorama 6?.

I need to move a serial number to another computer. Could you deactivate it please?

Thanks for saying "please", however, deactivation is no longer necessary. Please see How do I transfer a serial number to a new computer? above.

My personal licensed expired. How do I renew?

It's no longer possible to renew a Personal Use License. When your personal use license expires, deactivate it and then activate it again. This will convert it into a non-expiring serial number. You can do this on each computer you had the personal use license serial number installed (but keep in mind that you can still only run a Panorama 6 serial number on one computer at a time, see Can I use the same serial number on two computers?).

Important Note: If you are using a recent version of macOS there are several technical problems you may encounter when activating or deactivating a Panorama 6 serial number. If you enconter problems, see How do I fix an error when installing or activating Panorama 6?.

Can I activate Panorama 6 without an internet connection?

No. To activate or deactivate Panorama 6, the computer running Panorama must have an internet connection.

How do I purchase a new serial number for a new computer?

It is no longer possible to purchase additional Panorama 6 serial numbers. (There is one exception however, if your organization is using Panorama Server, contact us if you need to purchase additional serial numbers.)

How do I upgrade from Panorama 3, 4, 5, or 5.5 to Panorama 6?

It is no longer possible to purchase Panorama 6 upgrades.

Downloading, Installing and Activating Panorama 6 (Expanded)

Where can I download Panorama 6?

For your convenience, you can download Panorama 6 from the links below.

Where can I download Panorama 6 Documentation?

The Panorama 6 documentation is included in PDF format when you download the program itself. If you want to view or download individual PDF documentation files, use the links below.

  • Welcome to Panorama.pdf Start your Panorama journey here. This book includes installation and activation instructions, as well as tips for using the learning materials included with Panorama. (36 pages, 2.0 Mb)
  • Panorama Tutorials.pdf Four lessons designed to help you get started with Panorama. Includes detailed step-by-step instructions and hundreds of screen shots. (230 pages, 13 Mb)
  • Panorama Essentials.pdf Covers everything the typical user will need to know. Similar to the Panorama Handbook, but with only the most important and commonly used features. (716 pages, 24 Mb)
  • Panorama Handbook.pdf This book takes the material in Panorama Essentials book and expands it with more advanced material. Not designed to be read from cover to cover, but if you are looking for specific answers this is the ultimate guide to Panorama. (1176 pages, 35 Mb)
  • Panorama Wizards & Demos.pdf Panorama includes almost 80 useful wizards as well as almost 100 example databases. This book covers all of the wizards and some of the more interesting demo files. (172 pages, 7 Mb)
  • Formulas & Programming.pdf Contains a detailed guide to Panorama calculations, programming and development tools. Starts with the basics for beginners, on up to the detailed information needed by advanced developers. (806 pages, 15 Mb)
  • Panorama Release Notes.pdf Includes detailed lists of the changes in each version of Panorama, complete with links to more detail in the Panorama Handbook. (184 pages, 7 Mb)
  • Panorama Enterprise Server.pdf Setup and operation for Panorama Server for multi-user operation and database web publishing. (496 pages, 33 Mb)
  • Panorama Reference.pdf This book contains detailed reference information for statements and functions available in Panorama 4. It has not, however, been updated for later versions, nor will it be. It is still retained, however, because many sections of the Panorama Handbook link to topics in this reference. For up-to-date reference information use the Programming Reference wizard. (950 pages, 7 Mb)

How do I fix an error when installing or activating Panorama 6?

Since Panorama 6 was designed many years ago, it wasn't designed for installation or activation on modern versions of macOS. There are several problems that may occur when attempting to install Panorama 6. (Installing and activating Panorama 6 seems to get more difficult with every new release of macOS, this is a major reason why we have retired Panorama 6. None of the problems described below occur with Panorama X.)

When installing on macOS 10.12 or later, running the Panorama installer will display this "lib failed" error message (the exact numeric code will be different).

There are two ways to fix this problem -- by disabling Gatekeeper or by using Panorama X to download Panorama 6. See these following questions for details on these two methods.

    • How do I disable Gatekeeper?
    • How do I install Panorama 6 using Panorama X?

Another potential problem is that attempting to activate a Panorama 6 serial number may result in a System -7 or System -8 error message, as shown below. This is caused by a permission problem, which has become more common on newer versions of macOS. See How do I fix the primary drive permissions? below to learn how to get past this error.

How do I disable Gatekeeper? (to fix Lib Failed error)

The standard Panorama 6 installer does not run when downloaded via web browser onto a computer with macOS 10.12 or later (see above). A new macOS feature called Gatekeeper Path Randomization causes the installer to fail with a lib failed! error. This is a new security feature starting in macOS 10.12 Sierra. See Gatekeeper Path Randomization if you are interested in the technical details. In short, Gatekeeper Path Randomization is designed to prevent applications from using external resources, which the Panorama 6 installer heavily relies on. (Panorama 6 itself also relies heavily on external resources, but once it is installed Gatekeeper Path Randomization no longer has any effect.)

To bypass this problem and install Panorama 6 on a new macOS Sierra computer, you must disable the Gatekeeper feature. To do this, start by opening (in the /Applications/Utilities folder). Then type in the following command:

sudo spctl --master-disable

You'll be asked for your computer's administrator password. Once you've entered it, Gatekeeper will be disabled and you can run the Panorama 6 installer. This illustration shows the necessary steps.

After Panorama 6 is installed, you can turn Gatekeeper back on if you want. To do that, again use but with this command:

sudo spctl --master-enable

If you have difficulty with this technique, you may want to switch to the method described below — How do I install Panorama 6 using Panorama X?

How do I install Panorama 6 using Panorama X? (to fix Lib Failed error)

There is an alternate method for installing Panorama 6 on macOS 10.12 or later that does not require disabling Gatekeeper, and without having to use (see question above). This method requires that you have a copy of Panorama X installed on your computer. If you don't already have Panorama X, go to the Home Page, then download and start the free trial. Once Panorama X is installed, follow the steps outlined below.

1. Launch Panorama X (if it is not already launched).

2. Open the Preferences window (Panorama>Preferences), then press the Install Panorama 6 button. (You can also choose Install Panorama 6 from the Install menu.)

3. The Panorama 6 Install Helper window will appear.

4. Click on the big down arrow to start the download. You'll see a progress bar as Panorama 6 is downloaded from the ProVUE server (you should be able to do other things on your computer while it downloads). When the download is complete, the share icon on the right will turn green.

5. Click the green icon to open the Panorama 6 Installer.

From this point on, the install process is exactly the same as it was before. Just double click on Install and follow the instructions.

How do I fix the primary drive permissions? (to fix System -7/-8 activation error)

If attempting to activate a Panorama 6 serial number results in a System -7 or System -8 error message, your primary hard drive has a permission issue, which has become more common on newer versions of macOS. Follow the steps below to resolve this issue.

Important Note: If you are running macOS 10.13 or later, or if you are unable to get the steps below to work, you must disable SIP on your computer. See How do I disable System Integrity Protection (SIP)? to learn how to do this.

1. Select your startup drive in the Finder. The easiest way to do that is to open a new Finder window, then choose Computer from the Go menu.

2. Press Command-I (or choose Get Info from the File menu).

3. Look at the bottom section of the Get Info window (called Sharing and Permissions). This section has three entries, which on recent Macintoshs have the names of system, wheel, and everyone. (Technical note: On older systems, the second entry was admin.)

4. Click the Lock icon in the lower right corner. Enter your password, you'll then see that the lock is unlocked.

5. Press the + button in the lower left corner. A small sheet will appear. Click on your user name, and then the Select button.

6. A new entry that bears your user name will appear in the Sharing & Permissions area.

7. Click on Read Only and change it to Read & Write.

8. You're done -- the result should like the window below.

You can now close the Get Info window. Once these steps are complete, you'll be able to activate your Panorama serial number without encountering an error.

Note: Here is an alternate method for resolving this problem.

1. thru 4. Same as above
5. Click on the everyone entry in the Sharing & Permissions area, then click on Read Only and change it to Read & Write.

The steps listed above will almost always work. However, if they don't, you can try a more radical approach -- enabling and using the "root user." To learn how to do this, see this Apple Tech Note on the topic.

How do I disable System Integrity Protection (SIP)?

System Integrity Protection (SIP) is a security feature of macOS originally introduced in OS X El Capitan designed to make it even more difficult for malware to access important system files, keeping them safe from unwanted modifications. Apple has modified this feature in subsequent releases, and a change made in late 2017 made it impossible to activate a Panorama 6 serial number. If you have macOS 10.13 or later, you'll need to turn of System Integrity Protection before you start the activation process. Here is how to turn off System Integrity Protection in macOS.

  • Click the  symbol in the Menu bar.
  • Click Restart…
  • Hold down Command-R to reboot into Recovery Mode.
  • Click Utilities.
  • Select Terminal.
  • Type csrutil disable.
  • Press Return or Enter on your keyboard.
  • Click the  symbol in the Menu bar.
  • Click Restart…

Once Panorama 6 is activated, you will probably If you later want to start using SIP once again (and you really should), then follow these steps again, except this time you'll enter csrutil enable in the Terminal instead of csrutil disable.

Transitioning from Panorama 6 to X (Expanded)

What are the minimum system requirements for Panorama X?

The minimum system requirement for Panorama X is macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later (including macOS 10.14 Mojave).

Is Panorama X easy to install?

Very easy. Unlike earlier versions of Panorama, there is no installer — you just download and then drag Panorama X into the Application folder.

I already know Panorama 6 — will Panorama X be hard to learn?

As a Panorama 6 user, you'll instantly be familiar with all of the basic components of Panorama X — the data sheet, forms, procedures, data input, searching and sorting, etc. However, we have revised and completely modernized the entire user interface, so it may take a bit longer than previous Panorama upgrades to familiarize yourself with the lay of the land. We've prepared this short video to help you get up to speed in a hurry:

Can Panorama X open my existing Panorama 6 databases?

Absolutely. Panorama X can open any database saved with Panorama 6 on an Intel platform (Mac or Windows). All of the fields, data, forms, procedures and permanent variables will be brought over from Panorama 6 into a new Panorama X database (the original Panorama 6 database is never touched). Here's a video that shows how to do it:

Note: Databases from Panorama for Mac 5.5 or earlier, or from a PowerPC computer, must be opened and saved using Panorama 6.0 on an Intel based computer before they can be opened with Panorama X.

Can Panorama 6 open a Panorama X database?

Sorry, but no. Panorama has used the same file format for 29 years, but that format (designed in 1986) was tied to old technology. To support newer technologies like Unicode, 64 bit, and encryption, a new file format was required. The new format is very flexible, based on Apple's object technology, so we expect to be able to use it for decades into the future.

The only way to get data from Panorama X back into Panorama 6 is to export it as a text file, then import it into Panorama 6. There is no way to get forms or procedure code from Panorama X back into Panorama 6.

Can I use Panorama 6 and Panorama X on the same computer?

Yes, and you can have both Panorama 6 and Panorama X running at the same time — they won't interfere with each other. So if you have one or more databases that need extra work to transition to Panorama X, you can continue to use them on Panorama 6 while working on any necessary reprogramming.

Will the forms and programs I created in Panorama 6 still work in Panorama X?

Mostly, but if you've used some advanced features of Panorama 6, you may have to do some rework. Based on the technical support questions we get, we think that 80% of all Panorama 6 databases will work perfectly out of the box. About 15% will require minor adjustments, while the remaining 5% will require more major work. We've prepared two videos to help you learn what adjustments are necessary.

What documentation is available?

Panorama X includes extensive written and video documentation, available both within the application itself and on the web.

How do I start the free trial?

Just download the software, copy from the Downloads folder into the Application folder, then double click to launch. Just press the Start Free Trial button to get started (you do not need to create an account to use the free trial).

How do I purchase Panorama X?

When you're ready to buy, purchasing credits for your Panorama X account is done in the app itself (not not on the web). Simply choose Site License from the Panorama menu, create a new account (if you haven't done so already), then click on the Payments panel. See Creating a New Panorama X Account and Managing Your Panorama X Account to learn more.

What is my Panorama X serial number?

When you create a Panorama X account, you specify an email address and password. These two items are all you need to set up Panorama X on a computer. There is no serial number and no activation codes. You don't have to worry about what serial number is installed on what machine, or how many licenses you have purchased. Panorama X automatically keeps track of that based entirely on the account email address.

How much does Panorama X cost?

Instead of requiring a large up-front payment, Panorama X takes a pay-as-you go approach — approximately $5 to $15 per month of active use. The price varies depending on how many months you purchase in advance — you get the best price if you purchase a block of 60 months (5 years).

What is a Panorama X flexible subscription?

Panorama X takes a new flexible approach to software subscriptions. Unlike a traditional subscription, you only pay for months when you actually use the software. If you don't use it every month, you don't pay every month. Unused credits don't expire, so if you pre-pay for a year, and only use Panorama part time, those credits may actually last for two years or more. Watch this video to learn more about flexible subscriptions:

Are there any separate options or add-on packages?

No. Everything is included. (Users of previous versions of Panorama may remember separate add-on packages for image display and zip code lookup, these options are all included in Panorama X.)

Do I need multiple accounts to use Panorama on multiple computers?

No. A Panorama account can be associated with one computer or a hundred. All you have to do to start using a computer is log on with the e-mail address and password.

If you are using Panorama for personal use, you can log on and use Panorama on multiple computers at no extra charge, as long as you are only using one computer at a time. You don't have to log off or even quit Panorama when you are not using it on a computer, Panorama only counts actual usage.

If a Panorama account is being actively used on multiple computers at the same time (for example in a company), charges will be accrued for each computer used during the month. You don't have to keep track of serial numbers (there aren't any), and you can use more or less computers each month as needed. Essentially, a Panorama account is a form of site license, except that instead of paying in a lump sum, payments are made based on usage.

Can multiple users access the same database at the same time?

Multi-user access requires Panorama X Server, which will be available in the first half of 2021.

How much are upgrades from earlier versions of Panorama?

Because Panorama X uses a completely different “pay-as-you-go” pricing scheme, there is no upgrade pricing.

Do I keep the same serial number from Panorama 6?

No. Panorama X does not use serial numbers at all. Panorama X is linked to your email address.

How do I upgrade my Panorama 6 Personal Use License?

There is no personal use license for Panorama X, instead, a Panorama X account automatically works on multiple computers. See Using Multiple Computers above.Personal Use License.

How do I upgrade to Panorama X Direct?

There is no Panorama X Direct. All licenses for Panorama X are full licenses.

How do I upgrade to Panorama X Sheets?

There is no Panorama X Sheets. All licenses for Panorama X are full licenses.