Networking

Purpose

This page explains how to configure and install the HICSOAP PROFESSIONAL program so that installations on different computers can access the same database simultaneously over a network. In the context of HICSOAP another completely different use of the word networking is the networking of the IOL MASTER or LENSTAR. And an alternative method of networking is to install HICSOAP on a Citrix or MS Terminal. This page restricts itself to the situtation of installing HICSOAP on workstations and placing the database file on a shared folder on the network.

Requirements

You need the PROFESSIONAL edition. Networking is not supported in the DELUXE or STANDARD edition.

Basic Idea

The program should be installed on the workstations and the one database file placed on the server. It’s possible to store the database on any computer on the network because any Windows computer can share files. So you could install the program on the same computer that the database is stored on. However, it’s recommended to use a dedicated server and to not install the program on the server but only to place the database there.

A license is not required to place the database on the server. Licenses of the program are only used for installations of the program, HICSOAP PROFESSIONAL.

Setup from scratch

  1. Mapped Drive - The database file should be stored in a folder (or subfolder thereof) that is shared and therefore accessible via the network. Map a network drive from each workstation to this shared folder or just use the UNC path name. This is how the program will access the database.
  2. Install the first copy of HICSOAP on a workstation normally. When you start it the first time you will be prompted where to create the database (see screenshot below). Select Create a new database(A) and check the box Select database directory and filename(E). After clicking OK, you should click to save the new, blank database in the mapped drive from step 1.
  3. Install the program on the other workstations. When starting the program for the first time you will be prompted for database initialization. Select Connect to an existing database(D), click OK, and select the database in the mapped drive.

Changing existing system

If HICSOAP is already up and running on a workstation. Then do the following to move to a networked setup.

  1. Determine what .hdf database file you want to use. You can determine your current database file.
  2. Close all installations of HICSOAP.
  3. Move the database file that was determined in step 1 to a shared folder on your server.
  4. Configure each installation of HICSOAP to use the database stored on the server. To do this simply start each installation. If it complains about not being able to find the database then click to specify to use the database on the server. If it doesn't complain then change the database that is used.
  5. Verify that each installation is accessing the same database file.

Things to keep in mind

  • Version - All workstations MUST be running the same exact version of the software. So if you update one workstation, you MUST update all the other ones before using the program. Once you have purchased a support subscription, updates are free and available via download on hicsoap.com
  • Deluxe - Networking is not supported in the Deluxe edition of HIC.SOAP. The Professional edition is required.
  • Security- The program has no built-in security or concept of Users. Even though HICSOAP doesn’t have its own internal security, it is affected by Windows security and access permissions. Each Windows User must have read/write privileges to the database file and folder in which it is located.
  • File user permissions are the number one cause of problems for the network setup.
  • Specify Database - You can configure what database file is automatically opened when you start the program.

Example

HICSOAP is working with the default configuration on Workstation A and you want to install it on Workstation B and access the same information (database file) from each workstation. To accomplish this

  1. Create a mapped drive on each workstation to a network share on the server.
  2. Open HICSOAP on Workstation A and move the database to the mapped drive.
  3. Close HICSOAP on Workstation A and open it again. Verify that it is opening the database in the new, correct location.
  4. Install HICSOAP on Workstation B. When prompted to indicate the database file to open, indicate the correct database.

Troubleshooting

Our program, HICSOAP PROFESSIONAL, rides on top of Windows networking. So if it's not possible using WINDOWS EXPLORER (not Internet Explorer) to access a shared folder on the server or another computer, then don't bother even trying to do it using HICSOAP. Establish reliable access to the shared folder (or network drive) before trying to use HICSOAP to access a database file stored in that folder.

Please verify that each installation is accessing the same database.