Network Installation Using the Activation Wizard (Manual Connection)

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:

  1. Assemble the information and tools.
  2. Install DBT on the server or master workstation.
  3. Activate DBT for multiple users on the server.
  4. Install the Shared License Service and allow it in the firewall.
  5. 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.

(1) Assemble the Information and Tools

(2) Install DBT on the Server or Master Workstation

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.

(3) Activate DBT on the Server

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.

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.

To see how to invoke the Activation Wizard from DBT and get an overview, see Registration and Activation or see Activation Wizard Help for page by page information.

(4) Install the Shared License Service

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 (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.

(5) Install DBT on the Client Workstations & Connect Them Using the Wizard

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:

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:

  1. The port number is wrong (the client and server must match).
  2. Some other application is using the same port.
  3. The server name or IP address is wrong.
  4. 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.
  5. The Duxbury Shared License service is not running on the server and needs to be restarted in the Services control panel.
  6. Your firewall is preventing communication between these machines.
  7. 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.