Acquiring a multi-user license for your Duxbury program enables you to run your own network-based installation. A network-based installation allows all the instances of DBT or NimPro, on as many machines as they are installed, to be activated through a single server machine on your local area network. Only the server computer needs to be activated; all other users on the network become activated as its clients. Naturally, the server must be activated for a sufficient number of users to serve your intended number of client machines, and the server must be up and running at all times.
Note: Below, a word or abbreviation inside angle brackets, like <Enter> or <Esc>, indicates a specific key on your keyboard.
This method of installation requires that you open the Activation Wizard on each client machine to connect it to the server. If you have a large number of clients, you may want to use a specialized installer that connects them automatically. If so, see Network Installation Using a Server Image.
Network installation requires the following steps:
- Assemble the information and tools.
- Install DBT on the server or master workstation.
- Activate DBT for multiple users on the server.
- Install the Shared License Service and allow it in the firewall.
- Install DBT on the client workstations, and connect each one to the server using the DBT Activation Wizard.
Now we go through these steps in detail.
- First, whether you downloaded your program (DBT or NimPro) directly from Duxbury, or from your dealer, or you received it on a CD, you need to know the location of your program's installer, that is, the volume and folder path where the installer .msi file is located on your computer.
- Second, you need to know the location of the Shared License Service installer. This is a separate installer which is also on the distribution CD, or it can be downloaded from Duxbury from one of a couple of locations, www.duxburysystems.com/downloads/duxsls-0100.msi or www.duxburysystems.org/downloads/duxsls-0100.msi. (Notes: First, the default security settings on some recent versions of the Windows operating system can make this operation difficult and (worse) throw misleading error messages in the process; you may need to copy the URL to an external browser to download this installer. Second, the revision number of this installer file may change over time. Third, if you use NimPro with DBT, a single Shared License Service handles both programs.)
- Whether you are installing DBT, NimPro, or both at the same time, for each program you need your license text and you need to know the maximum number of users you are licensed for. The number of users should be found on your purchase paperwork, emails, or other key documents relating to your installation.
- You should verify that TCP/IP port 8080 is not already in use on your network and will not be blocked by internal firewalls between the machines where DBT and NimPro will be installed. This is the default port number that the Shared License Service uses. If port 8080 is not available or not suitable, then choose another port and pay close attention to the instructions about where to enter your custom port number.
- You need your server’s DNS name in order to locate it from the client machines. If your server does not have a DNS name, you can instead use the server’s IP address as long as it is a static IP number (i.e. not dynamically assigned and therefore changeable over time). On the server, use
ipconfig /all <Enter>to find out its DNS name. You can use
ping server-name <Enter>on the client machines to verify that the client machines can locate the server with that name. (In this example, replace “server-name” with the actual name of your server machine.) Note: Do not use a dynamic IP address, or your client machines will only work until the next time the server is rebooted!
We say, server or master workstation, because the computer you choose as the master for DBT/NimPro activation need not be running a server operating system. This gives you a wider choice of computers to use as your master for activation. If your computer is not a Windows Server machine, then it must be at least a Windows 10 computer or later, and you need to be willing to leave it running whenever DBT/NimPro is needed by any user on the network.
Note: Duxbury programs work on Windows 7 computers, but that operating system is no longer supported by Microsoft.
Once you have chosen a server machine, install DBT/NimPro on it by following the Single-User (Simple) Installation instructions.
The next step is to activate DBT/NimPro on the server machine. (If installing both programs, you need to activate each one separately, DBT first.)
When you launch DBT, you will see an Activate button on the splash screen. Click that, or the like button in the About DBT dialog, to invoke the Activation Wizard.
In the case of NimPro, look for the Activation Wizard menu item under the Help menu.
The Activation Wizard can also be run directly from your Duxbury program's home folder (look for actwiz.exe).
On the Activation Wizard main page find the radio button labeled, Set up this server to host the network license. Select that and click the Next button.
From there, you simply follow the instructions in the wizard, but here are some helpful hints.
- Activate by Internet if you can. It is by far the quickest and most convenient method.
- If you are not using port 8080, the wizard will show you where to enter your selected custom port number.
- You will need your license text, the server computer name, and a user name. The license text may be pre-populated for you.
- To avoid confusion we strongly recommend you enter the same computer name as the DNS name that client machines will use to address this server.
- In the User Name field, you may want to enter the name of the organization (perhaps abbreviated) or the name of the license owner. This is the name that will be associated with your Duxbury program activation. Keep track of it to enter the same name again from all of the client machines.
Note: This is the only activation you should do for your Duxbury program. Do not activate the individual client machines. Instead they will each initiate connection to your server using the Activation Wizard "Connect" function.
Summary: Just the same way most Duxbury programs are installed from an installer package (an .msi file), you install the Shared License Service from its installer,
duxsls-0100.msi, which you can download from https://www.duxburysystems.com/downloads/duxsls-0100.msi. (Note: the version number is subject to change.) When you complete the installation, the network license-sharing service starts up. This service allows other machines on the network to obtain their activations from your server.
The Installer: The installer guides you through each step, beginning with the End User License Agreement, which you must accept to enable the Next button, and which we recommend you read through at least once. By default the installer places the Shared License Service files in the "Duxbury \ Shared License Server" folder. We recommend you accept the default location.
On the last page of the installer, the Install button completes the installation using the selected folder. If your version of the installer includes a check box prompting you to “Configure and start service” you should leave that item checked, because it will open the Duxbury SLS Editor for you automatically. If not, you need to go to your selected installation folder (again, the default is "Duxbury \ Shared License Server") and click on the DuxSlsEditor.exe to run it.
The Editor: If your installation includes multiple versions of DBT, or includes the combination of DBT and NimPro, or uses third-party software that is activated using Sheriff, you need to configure them to work in concert through the SLS Editor. Even if you have no complications, you still invoke the Editor in order to build the required initialization files and to start the service.
The Editor prompts you for a port number for the Shared License Service. As previously noted the default is port 8080, and you can use that if it is not already in use or unsuitable for some reason local to your own network. If you entered a different port number in the Activation Wizard, enter that same port number here.
On this same screen, the Editor provides a list of check boxes where you indicate which Duxbury products you wish to share from this server. In the most common case, that list contains only a single version of DBT that you have just installed and activated, or the combination of DBT and NimPro. In the most complicated case, the list may include several Duxbury products and versions, or even third-party software.
Unless necessary, we do not recommend running third-party products (should any be listed) under the same port number as your Duxbury applications. In the most complex case, conflicts between Duxbury and third-party software may possibly be resolved by editing the content of the initialization (.ini) files per the next screen in the Editor. Consult your local IT personnel if you need to do this. Normally no editing of these settings is required.
On leaving the Editor you must click the Start Service button to launch the Duxbury Shared License Service. You can confirm this service is running by finding it under this name in your Services control panel. That is variously found under Administrative Tools or Computer Management (or elsewhere) depending on your Windows OS version.
Concerning Your Firewall
The Duxbury Shared License Service is not added to the list of rules (or programs) in your firewall automatically. To add it you must edit the Inbound Rules of the Windows Firewall (or a similar list of allowed programs if using a third-party firewall).
Using the Firewall in Windows 10 as an example:
In the Windows Firewall, you need to access the Advanced Settings (administrative level) functions.
To avoid confusion, we suggest you name the new entry, “Duxbury Shared License Service.”
Assuming you have installed the Shared License Service in the normal location, the program you need to allow is under the “Duxbury \ Shared License Server” folder. The program you need to allow is named “slsServer.exe”.
Once you create the new entry, you can open the specific port number through which this service communicates. In the Windows Firewall this setting is found under the Properties of the Duxbury Shared License Service.
Consult your specific firewall documentation for additional guidance.
Note: Please be sure that your server is activated before trying to connect any client machines.
For each client computer, install DBT/NimPro by following the Single-User (Simple) Installation instructions.
Next, you need to connect each client machine to the server. To do this, launch the Activation Wizard as described previously. On the Activation Wizard main page find the radio button labeled, Connect to the network license server. Select that and click the Next button.
To complete your connection from each client machine, you need to fill in:
- The DNS name (or static IP address) of the server.
- The port number to use for the connection (again, the default is 8080).
- Your Duxbury program license text.
- The User Name as entered on the server.
- The client computer name.
Once you have entered this data, click the Test button to try the connection. A successful test indicates that the data you entered are valid. If the test is unsuccessful, some common causes of connection failure are these:
- The port number is wrong (the client and server must match).
- Some other application is using the same port.
- The server name or IP address is wrong.
- There is a network connectivity break in between the client and the server. This kind of break includes disconnected Ethernet cables, wireless Ethernet problems, routers with their own firewall capabilities, or the server is off-line.
- The Duxbury Shared License service is not running on the server and needs to be restarted in the Services control panel.
- Your firewall is preventing communication between these machines.
- Your firewall is preventing communication on your chosen port.
If your test was successful, click Next to see the confirmation page, and click Finish to establish your connection.
Note: It is possible to connect to a Duxbury program server even if it is not activated. If your client does not run after the connection is complete, check your server.