In this article, we will take a look at the Axys versions in use today.  Later this month, I will summarize Advent’s other portfolio management products and offer some insight into their value and target market.  Advent offers at least three different portfolio management software products; however, the vast majority of Advent’s portfolio management clients still use Axys.  With Advent’s recent release of Axys version 3.8.5 in mind, it’s time once again to revisit the version of Axys in use at your firm and evaluate the benefits of upgrading to the latest version.

In our day-to-day work with Advent’s Axys clients, we frequently see versions 3.5.1 – 3.8 in use at sites.  Advent historically supports current and previous releases of each of their products, and will likely make an announcement this fall regarding the sunset of Axys 3.5.1 and 3.6.  Though some sources indicate support for these products ended December 31, 2010, Advent’s website does not confirm this.

Below is a summary of the various Axys versions we see in use, as well as our recommendations regarding these releases:


Axys v3.5.1 (released June 2004) and Axys v3.6 (released August 2005)

If you are still using either of these versions today, you may have reviewed the list of updates in later versions and failed to find sufficient reason to switch.  Maybe you simply haven’t made the time to upgrade.  Perhaps you are worried about the potential headaches of upgrading, or about compatibility with reporting enhancements.  No matter how your system has been customized, moving to Axys v3.7 shouldn’t be that big a deal, so don’t put it off any longer.


Axys v3.7 (released November 2008)

Axys users should be using v3.7 at a minimum.  Axys v3.7 adds compatibility for Acrobat 8, Office 2007 and Vista.  Nearly all versions of Axys, including v3.7, contain a significant number of report updates that are important to many Axys users.  Report updates made after an Axys release are individually downloadable from the Advent Connection website.  A large number of reports were updated after the 3.7 release.  Firms that choose not to upgrade to v3.8 or higher at this time should download these reports.


Axys v3.8 (released January 2010)

For many users, the benefits of Axys v3.8 versus Axys v3.7 are relatively small.  Axys version 3.8 is a compatibility update that primarily addresses the Options Symbology Initiative (OSI).  Axys 3.8 also includes support for Acrobat 9 and Internet Explorer 8.

Axys v3.8 is the first release in years that actually requires data conversion, but in our experience, the process of converting is simple, fast and problem-free.  Unfortunately, changing the underlying data format can affect automation and data integration with other products.  If your firm makes use of custom enhancements to Axys or third-party products, you will want to test these items after upgrading and update as necessary.  For firms without these concerns, upgrading should be seamless.  Similarly to v3.7, a considerable number of reports were updated after the release of v3.8.  Firms that decide not to upgrade to v3.8.5 should download the updated reports from the Advent Connection.


Axys v3.8.5 (released July – August 2011)

Axys v3.8.5 provides long-awaited support for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 r2.  It also offers support for Microsoft Office 2010 and Adobe Acrobat 10.  Advent’s Axys v3.8.5 installation package includes all the catalog reports and standard reports that were updated after v3.8 was released.  Though many have already started using Axys on the latest operating systems, we have strongly discouraged users from doing this prior to the compatibility release.  We do our best to support those users that have upgraded their operating systems without waiting for compatibility releases, but believe that waiting for the appropriate Advent software release is a best practice.

Once again, firms with almost no customization or third-party programs are unlikely to experience issues as a result of upgrading to v3.8.5, but firms with custom enhancements and third-party programs that make program calls to Axys should be realistic, anticipate some initial difficulties, and allocate resources to test and refit integration if necessary.  At this point, many of our clients will likely hold off on this upgrade until November 2011 or later.  Please note that, according to Advent, no releases of Qube and OpenGL are compatible with Axys 3.8.5.

The most compelling reason to upgrade your version of Axys is to be sure that you have the most current reports and error-free systems available from Advent.  Sooner or later you will want or need to upgrade to Axys 3.8 or Axys 3.8.5, but you may want to put it off until a need for OSI or system infrastructure at your firm demands it.  Axys v3.7 is still widely used by Advent Software clients.  Most firms should plan on moving to Axys 3.8 or later by the end of 2011.

About the Author:
Kevin Shea is President of InfoSystems Integrated, Inc. (ISI); ISI provides a wide variety of outsourced IT solutions to investment advisors nationwide. For details, please visit or contact Kevin Shea via phone at 617-720-3400 x202 or e-mail at