Running several PDXpert Application Servers on the same network

Last update 2013-09-17

Applies to

PDXpert PLM server software release 6.0 or later

How the PDXpert client communicates with the server

The PDXpert client communicates with the PDXpert Application Server to validate the local user's account log-in and to allow a connection to the product data. By default, the PDXpert client first looks for the PDXpert Application Server on the same physical computer (using the machine name localhost). The client may also seek the PDXpert Application Server on the local network.

If the PDXpert client cannot find the PDXpert Application Server, the user enters the desired server's machine name or IP address into the Welcome to PDXpert (user account log-in) window. The client saves the server's information for later use.

Installing a second PDXpert Application Server

Install the test or alternate PDXpert Application Server as usual. This will create a new (empty) database that can be configured, or loaded using an existing system backup.

Each PDXpert Application Server must be installed on its own physical machine with its own SQL Server instance. Each database and library will operate completely independent of all other servers, and will require its own configuration and maintenance.

For releases prior to 8.0: All servers and clients must be using the same software release.

Configuring the PDXpert Application Servers

For PDXpert release 7.3 and later, skip this procedure and go directly to Selecting a server from the PDXpert client.

In some cases, there may be more than one PDXpert Application Server installed on the network. This application note describes how to set up several PDXpert Application Server on the network without causing conflicts. 

  1. Ensure all PDXpert client applications are closed.

  2. For releases before PDXpert 7.0, stop the client communication service:

    1. On the PDXpert Application Server window, select the Maintenance tab of the PDXpert Application Server console.

    2. Click the Stop button.

  3. On each PDXpert Application Server, clear the Broadcast server response to client checkbox. The current PDXpert Application Server will ignore all client requests for identification.

    If you have a preferred PDXpert Application Server, then marking the checkbox on that machine only will allow it to respond to client broadcasts. Newly-installed clients will attach to this preferred server. Clear the checkbox on all other servers to prevent conflicting responses.

Selecting a server from the PDXpert client

  • When the client displays the Welcome to PDXpert (log-in) window, enter the desired Server computer's machine name, and click the OK button.

  • If you later want to change to another server:

    • For releases PDXpert 7.3 or later: Close and re-open the client, and enter the desired server name or IP address.

    • For releases prior to PDXpert 7.3:

      1. On the PDXpert client's Tools menu, select Application Configuration....

      2. Enter the desired PDXpert server computer name, and click the OK button.

      3. Exit the PDXpert client, and log in to the selected database using the appropriate account name and password.

Managing multiple PDXpert systems

If you move data between test and production systems, ensure that you don't overwrite your production data with your test data. Backing up both systems before moving any data may be a useful practice.

Ensure that your users understand the differences between systems. You don't want users to mistakenly create data in one system that's intended for a different system.

  • It's useful to ensure that the server computers have easily-identifiable names like PRODUCTION / TEST. You may also want to assign similar but distinguishable log-in account credentials, such as username and username-test.
  • Although each unique server used for production data requires its own license registration key, upon your request we can issue a license key at no cost for a separate test/training database. The organization name (for example, MyOrg, Inc. versus MyOrg Test) is quite helpful to your users to distinguish the live production system from the test system.

Of course, changes made to one system will have no effect on any other.  To replicate your part numbering, document types, suppliers and change workflow in each system, first establish your primary system's configuration. You can then run a backup to transfer (restore) that configuration to another system. Remember to apply the correct system's license registration key after restoring the backup into your secondary server.

Microsoft SQL Server databases are not fully interchangeable. A database backup can only be restored into the same, or higher, SQL instance. For example, SQL Server 2008 (version 10.0) can restore a 10.0 database, as well as upgrade an older SQL Server 2005 (9.0) database. It can't "downgrade" a higher-level database backup (SQL 2008 R2 / 10.5). If you move your data bidirectionally between the two systems, they must both use the same SQL Server database version (although they can be different editions, such as Workgroup and Express).

This application note was relevant to the PDXpert software release that was current at time of publication. Product changes since that time may affect its utility. We'd be happy to assist you in assessing the applicability of this note to your situation.

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