Workstation Setup

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Workstation Setup

 

Network vs.. Standalone Computing Environments

Express Technology software may be installed into a Network or Standalone computer environments.

 

Standalone

The Standalone environment consists of a situation where the application runs on a single computer.. This computer works as the Server and the Client by processing the application and maintaining all data.  Since a Standalone computer does handle all data and the application, it should be a reasonably fast computer with adequate memory, processing speed and disk space.  In this environment, you simply need to install the database engine and application on the standalone computer.

 

Network With Server & Client Workstations

The Network environment is made up of two or more computers. These computers communicate with each other, share resources and, in some cases, control other computers over the network. Express Technology uses the Client / Server model in a Network environment. The Client / Server model is comprised of a computer that acts as a Server to one or more computers over the network. The Server houses data and handles data requests from Client computers. Clients (Workstations) are the computers that manipulate the data sent to and from the Server. These computers run independent of the Server in all respects other than to request and send data.

 

In this environment, you need to install the database engine and application on the Server Only.  Each network workstation that will access and run the application is setup with a simple shortcut as outlined below.

 

Client Workstation Setup (Networks)

To run the applications from a client workstation, you need to have the ExpressTech folder on the server shared with read / write permission.  In addition, you must have TCP/IP installed on the server (usually installed automatically by windows).  Test run ExpressMaintenance at the server to insure the communication is working between the program and the database engine before proceeding to the workstations.

 

Once you are sure that the server computer is setup according to the guidelines above, proceed to the client workstations.  Create a shortcut on the workstation pointing to the Maintenance.exe file on the server in the Express Tech folder.

 

ExpressMaintenance uses a file by the name of ExpressMaintenance.ini.  The ExpressMaintenance.ini file must reside in the folder with Maintenance.exe and must contain the following:

 

[Connection Info]

SQLServer=ActualSQLServerName

SQLDatabase=ExpressMaintenance

 

The ini file is best edited using the Notepad text editor.  Notice the space in "Connection Info".  Also, make sure this file is in the folder with Maintenance.exe.  Give users read permission to ExpressMaintenance.ini.

 

Test first at the server and make sure everything works correctly.  You can use the option under Administration / Databases & Connections to create and view the ExpressMaintenance.ini file.

 

Next, make sure the workstation shortcuts point to the same Maintenance.exe in the same folder where you tested at the server.

 

The file can contain another line to prevent or force the use of Windows login. For details on using or disabling the Windows login - see our website knowledge base for more details.

 

The same applies to ExpressRequest.  There must be an ExpressRequest.ini file with the same contents.  In the current version, ExpressMaintenance & ExpressRequest only use the two ini files and no other ini files are required.  No ini files are used on the workstations.

 

In some network environments, it might be that the workstations require several seconds or even a minute to find and connect to the SQL Server.  By default, ExpressMaintenance only allows 15 seconds to make the SQL Server connection.  You can increase the timeout allowance by adding the following line to the ExpressMaintenance.ini file.  The example below increases the allowed time to make the connection to 60 seconds.

 

[Connection Info]

SQLServer=ActualSQLServerName

SQLDatabase=ExpressMaintenance

SQLTimeout=60

 

If you are having trouble connecting from a workstation, make sure the ExpressMaintenance.ini file is setup as outlined above and the user has permission to read the file.  Also, increase the timeout setting to allow for slower network connections.

 

In the unlikely event the problem persist and you have checked the items above, the problem is a permission issue with the workstation logging into the SQL Server.  You can test this from the workstation using Windows and ODBC as outlined below.

 

Creating ODBC DSN

You can test a computer's connectivity to the SQL Server and force a TCP/IP connection to the server by creating an ODBC Data Source. On some computers (especially Windows 98), it is necessary to force a manual TCP/IP connection one time to activate the SQL communications.  Try creating and testing an ODBC / DSN to ExpressMaintenance by following the steps below:

 

1.Click on Windows / Start / Control Panel
2.Double Click on Administrative Tools  (Note: some versions of windows, do not require this step)
3.Double Click on Data Sources (ODBC)
4.Click the System DSN tab
5.Click the Add Button
6.Scroll to the bottom of the driver list and click SQL Server
7.Click the Finish button
8.Type ExpressMaintenance in the Name & Description fields
9.In the Server field, type the name of the SQL Server or the IP address if the IP is permanent
10.Click the Next button
11.Click the "With SQL Server authentication ..." option
12.Click the Client Configuration button
13.Click TCP/IP option for the network library
14.Make sure the Server Alias and Server Name fields have the IP address of your server
15.Click the Ok button
16.Click the "Connect to SQL server to obtain..." option
17.Enter "sa" (no quotes) for the user name,
18.Use the password of 'welcome' unless you assigned another password for 'sa' during installation
19.Click the Next button
20.Click on "Change the default database to:..." option
21.Click the Database drop down list and select ExpressMaintenance
22.Click the Next button
23.Click the Finish button
24.Click the Test Data Source button
25.Note the results
26.Repeat the process except in steps 16 & 17 use the login of 'etuser' with a password of 'etrik22'
27.Note: You can also try connecting to the "Master" database in step 21
28.Note the results

 

If the above process does not allow you to successfully connect to the server / database, the problem is in your network and is most likely a permission issue.  Please consult your IT department or contact us for more assistance.