PowerDesigner is currently only available for the Windows operating system. So far, so familiar. Amal Leyla Qasim, a data modeler on the Data Management Center of Excellence (DMCE) team, has set her sights on switching her workstation to an Apple MacBook Air.

The latest models are only available with Apple Silicon CPUs and no longer with Intel CPUs. As a result, she can no longer install Windows in parallel. This is a question that Amal asks herself and to which she could not find an answer during her research:

Is it possible to install PowerDesigner on an Apple Mac with M2 chip?

On her new notebook, which she received from FastChangeCo, she wants to dare a test. Also or just because she has often heard: " If a Windows program runs on Apple Silicon is very doubtful".
Amal is curious by nature and doesn't let it get her down easily. Hence: Her curiosity is aroused. After all, she always wants to try something new.

The installation of Parallels worked as expected without any problems. With a few clicks, a (non-licensed) Windows 11 is installed. Fantastic, Amal thinks to herself. That already worked out great. On an old, discarded PC, Amal finds a Windows 7 license that is no longer needed. This license is even accepted by Microsoft to activate the Windows 11 installed in Parallels.

The first hurdle is cleared and Amal starts installing PowerDesigner. To do this, she uses the ‘Free Trial’ of PowerDesigner, which is provided free of charge by SAP. After the download via Windows didn't work, she was able to download the installation file directly via Mac. The cause is unknown, but in the end it's the result that counts for Amal: PowerDesigner is installed (run with admin rights, it's easy to forget)!

For her work, Amal has to make some settings in her data model projects. This is actually like every time she moves to a new PC or after a new installation of PowerDesigner in general:

  • Customize the project root directory for her data models.
  • Add the folder where the customized DBMS file is located.
  • Add the folder where the custom PowerDesigner Extensions are located.

After everything worked much better than expected, the biggest hurdle came at the end: transferring the PowerDesigner license from the old PC to the new installation. After some searching in the SAP portal, Amal found what she was looking for and was able to successfully transfer the license and add it to PowerDesigner.

Now Amal can work as usual with PowerDesigner on her new Apple MacBook Air M2 (Silicon). The best thing about Parallels is that in 'Coherence Mode' Parallels and thus Windows become 'invisible' and PowerDesigner looks like a 'normal' MacOS application.

PowerDesigner on Apple MacBook Silicon - Checklist

  1. Install the Parallels app on the Apple MacBook Silicon (M1/M2).
  2. Activate the license for Windows, e.g. via the Windows Shop or with an old, no longer needed Windows 7/8 key
  3. Download free trial version of PowerDesigner (download via MacOS, in Parallels the download did not work properly)
  4. Install PowerDesigner with administrator rights
  5. Adjust project root directory
  6. Add DBMS folder
  7. Add extensions folder
  8. Transfer license file in SAP portal or create a new one
  9. Add license file in PowerDesigner

This was a slightly different 'complication' of the DMCE team with the PowerDesigner, more from the field of private research.

But there are enough other obstacles. More about that in the next article in the series. Be sure to check back.

So long
Yours Dirk

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