Here we have included notes on the requirements for an Abtrac server installation.
The Abtrac development team aren’t server setup specialists but we do work with a large number of IT professionals installing and configuring Abtrac for client sites. We’ve also canvassed some of the IT professionals with whom we work and included some suggestions we’ve received to ensure Abtrac runs as smoothly as possible.
On the server we need to download and install SQL Server Express, Management Studio, Access Runtime directly from Microsoft, as well as our product Abtrac. We then share the folders so everyone on the network can see the Abtrac location.
We will need administrative rights to be able to do this and with the Administrator user we will be able to run the daily data backups with a shrink routine as well. (Depending on firewall settings we may need to allow SQL server as one of the exceptions)
We will do the installation ourselves so everything is done to Abtrac requirements. We complete the installation by logging in remotely to the server. To do this your IT person needs to give us connection details.
A Windows Server or dedicated PC needs to be specified to host the MS SQL Server Database.
We require remote access to your server, with administrative rights to install the server-side of Abtrac Version 5. In this regard we do require connection details from you or your IT person. It takes between 2 – 4 hours for us complete an initial installation remotely.
After your installation from time to time we may need to update the server-side of Abtrac Version 5 directly, again by logging in remotely.
A back up and shrink routine is set up as part of your Abtrac server-side installation within your ‘Abtrac Shared’ folder.
It is recommended that your IT professional includes this Abtrac Shared folder as part of your regular back up routine, as well as backing up the SQL Server Abtrac instance (generally ab_data).
Abtrac installation files and updates are stored in an “Abtrac Shared” folder on your server. At installation this folder will have been created and configured for all users to access.
If this folder is moved or renamed, it will no longer be shared.
Any change to this initial installation set up will mean back ups will not run, and updates to your system will not be able to be delivered or received.
A reinstallation or move can take at least as much time as your initial installation – depending on your Abtrac licensing and your IT set up this can take anywhere from 2 – 6 hours. For this reason we need to know about any required move in advance.
For a reinstallation we require remote access to both the new machine, and the old server hosting Abtrac.
If we have access to the new server before the day of ‘cutover’ we do a lot of the work in advance. This minimises the time that Abtrac will be unavailable when we move your data file from one machine to another.
Server Specific Scenarios…
Small Business Server:
In some Small Business Server servers we understand that the Small Business Server Monitoring Service uses significant memory. The default memory usage on all SQL Server instances should be changed from their default 2GB to 500 or 300 MB.
We suggest checking the antivirus policy to exclude the Abtrac instance from antivirus monitoring to lower disk activity.
If you are using Antivirus instead of Windows Firewall you will have to allow access for the SQL server files and ports. It is easily handled in Windows Firewall Settings but Antivirus can sometimes block the following items:
Remote Desktop Users (Terminal Services):
Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2008 R2, formerly known as Terminal Services in Windows Server 2008 and previous versions, is one of the components of Microsoft Windows (both server and client versions) that allows a user to access applications and data on a remote computer over a network, using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).
To run Abtrac using terminal services each user will need the application files copied to their own individual folder.
Each user cannot use the standard Abtrac QuickStarter installation which installs files to C:\Program Files\Abtrac. This would result in the sharing of one application file, and the potential for data to be lost after entry when another user opens the same application. This has happened!
Please read through the following article to correctly install Abtrac in a remote desktop scenario. Remote Desktop Users (Terminal Services):
PC as an Abtrac Server:
A dedicated PC used as a server needs to have a 2GHz processor and 2GB free memory available to run Abtrac efficiently.
We have found with some other clients using a PC as their Abtrac data file server that they need to modify the power management settings so that the PC stays up and ready 24/7, as a server does.
Typically a PC will have defaults set to go into hibernation after a certain period of time, or to kill off the screen and/or the hard disk, again, after a time
lapse. In these cases, anyone trying to access the PC over the network will find it unobtainable. Check the power management settings (which is one
of the options in the Control Panel) and make sure the PC never hibernates nor goes into stand by, and if available that the hard disk never goes to
sleep. All the Abtrac data file PC should be allowed to do (so that it remains available as a server for the other PCs) is to turn off its monitor after a certain period of inactivity.
Abtrac KB# 1005