The Altium NEXUS Server cannot be installed alongside a legacy Altium Vault (3.0 and earlier) or an Altium Infrastructure Server (i.e. on the same PC). In the case of the former, you can upgrade to the Altium NEXUS Server (as though updating to a later version of Altium Vault).
The Altium NEXUS Server is a full-blown engineering content management solution that delivers high integrity, smart design and product data management, by providing storage, formal revision management, supply chain intelligence, and lifecycle state management. It also facilitates a wide range of additional technologies and capabilities, by providing a centralized platform from which other related services can be served, including: Team Configuration Management, Project Management, Network Installation, and Centralized Design Collaboration. Installation of the Altium NEXUS Server is both intuitive and expedient, courtesy of the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard.
This article takes a look at the procedure for installing the Altium NEXUS Server for the first time on a computer. If you are upgrading an existing installation, see Updating to a Later Version.
The Altium NEXUS Server cannot be installed on a PC running a non-server variant of the Windows Operating System, or Windows Server 2008, or a 32-bit OS. You will also be unable to install if your version of Windows Operating System does not support Windows Authentication, including: Core, Home, Starter, and Base editions. For additional system requirements, see System Requirements.
While the Altium NEXUS Server installer includes automated backup of your existing server, it is always a good idea to make a pre-update backup of your data yourself - taking a redundancy copy off to one side as it were. This provides additional safety, should any unforeseen technical difficulties arise (see Backing up and Restoring Your Altium NEXUS Server). It is advised to test out a new release of the Altium NEXUS Server on a different machine, before updating your production instance. Use of Virtual Machines can be invaluable in this respect.
To access the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard, you need to first download and run an executable – Altium NEXUS Server <VersionNumber>.exe. This executable is downloaded from the Downloads page of the Altium website, and can be saved anywhere on your hard disk.
Due to the observed unpredictable behavior of antivirus software, it is recommended to disable such software during the installation of the Altium NEXUS Server.
Running the Setup Wizard
Double-click the Altium NEXUS Server <Version Number>.exe file. The Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard will appear.
Initial welcome page for the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard.
The installation wizard provides a set of progressive (and intuitive) pages that collectively gather the information to effectively install the server.
Click Next to continue. The following sections provide a summary of the various pages you will encounter.
This page of the wizard presents you with the Altium End-User License Agreement (EULA).
Read and accept Altium's End-User License Agreement.
With the EULA read, continue with the install by enabling the I accept the agreement option and clicking the Next button.
Select Destination Location
This next page of the wizard allows you to specify the destination in which to install the Altium NEXUS Server. The default installation path is \Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium NEXUS Server. The Altium NEXUS Server requires at least 1.37GB of free disk space for installation.
To specify an alternate location, simply type the location directly into the field, or click the Browse button at the right of the field, and browse for the required destination folder (or create it on-the-fly).
Determine install location for the Altium NEXUS Server.
The Altium NEXUS Server doesn't just provide you with a repository for your managed content. It also provides the base platform from which additional services are 'plugged' and served. These services include the Vault Service (the Altium NEXUS Server itself), Identification Service, Search Service, Comments Service, Data Acquisition Service, Part Catalog Service, and Projects Service.
Once the install location is specified, click Next to continue.
Select Altium NEXUS Server Data Directory
Use this page of the wizard to specify the destination folders in which to store the database and revision files respectively. The default installation paths are:
To specify an alternate location, simply type the location directly into a field, or click the Browse button at the right of a field, and browse for the required destination folder (or create it on-the-fly).
When installing the server and using Firebird for the database, you also have the option to install a sample data structure. This can be very handy if you are new to the server technology, because it provides a best-practice structure of server folders in which to start creating your various data Items. To make use of this, leave the Install sample data option enabled. Disable this option to start with a clean install, with no structure, other than a Projects high-level server folder.
Determine install locations for server data.
Once the data folder locations are specified, click Next to continue.
Altium NEXUS Server Configuration
Use this next page of the wizard to specify the port numbers to be used by the Altium NEXUS Server for network connections. The defaults are:
HTTP Port (default 9780)
HTTPS Port (default 9785)
Synchronization Service Port (default 9790)
LDAP Service Port (default 9791)
If a port is already used, the Installer will search for the next available, and use that instead.
When choosing a port, note that it must not clash with any ports used by other applications - if a port is currently in use, you will be notified by the installer.
Set the port numbers for server communications.
Once the port numbers are specified as required, click Next to continue.
Select Altium NEXUS Server Database
Use this page of the wizard to specify the type of database used for the server. Two database types are available:
Firebird is the default database option. The Firebird 2.5 engine is used, on port 3050, creating a new database for the server, with native support and no additional options. The Oracle database type facilitates streamlined installation of the Altium NEXUS Server within organizations already utilizing this type of database as the back-end for their existing systems. Hosting the server on their existing infrastructure reduces installation and management complexity.
Select the type of database for the server's back-end.
Once the type of database is specified, click Next to continue.
Altium NEXUS Server Database Configuration
With the default Firebird database, there are no additional options to define. If the Oracle database type is chosen, this page will be presented. Use it to specify the following information:
TNS Alias - the TNS (Transparent Network Substrate) alias name assigned for the database.
Username - username portion of your database login credentials.
Password - password portion of your database login credentials.
Specify access to your company's Oracle database, which will be used by the Altium NEXUS Server.
All database parameters, including the user's password (in encrypted form), are saved to the LocalVault.ini file (located in the \Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium NEXUS Server folder for a default Altium NEXUS Server installation).
Once the database option are specified, click Next to continue.
Ready to Install
The Installer now has all the information it requires to proceed with the installation. If you need to change anything, click the Back button. If you want to cancel out of the install, click Cancel. To go ahead and proceed with the installation, click Install. The page will change from "Ready to Install" to "Installing" and the installation will proceed. Once complete, simply click Finish to exit the wizard.
The Altium NEXUS Server runs on top of the Microsoft Internet Information Services package (IIS). If this is not installed on the PC, you will be prompted to install it after the installation process begins.
Kick off the installation by clicking Install. Click Finish once installation is complete.
For your convenience, the final page of the Installer also presents URLs (HTTP and HTTPS) for accessing the server - either when signing into the server through Altium NEXUS, or when accessing the server through its browser-based interface.
Verification that the Altium NEXUS Server is running can be performed from the Windows Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager panel – accessed from Window's Administrative Tools window. Simply check to confirm the Altium NEXUS Server-related Application Pools are in the Started state.
Checking that the Altium NEXUS Server-related IIS application pools are started after installation.
Looking at the installed application pools, the Altium NEXUS Server pool is the base platform, into which the other services are plugged. The Altium NEXUS Server itself is plugged in as a service to this platform, and appears as the Altium NEXUS Server - Vault Service pool.
Installation from the Command Line
The Altium NEXUS Server can also be installed from the command line, using the following entries:
DatabaseName - name of the database (the database filename). Specify the path within double quotes, for example "C:\ProgramData\Altium\NexusServerData\DXPSERVER.dat", for the default install.
DataFolder - destination database folder. Specify the path within double quotes, for example "C:\ProgramData\Altium\NexusServerData", for the default install.
DBPassword - password portion of your database login credentials, for example MyPassword.
DBServer - the location of the database, in the format Host:Port. For example localhost:3050, for the default Firebird database install.
DBType - the type of database to be used. Enter one of the following values: Firebird, or Oracle.
DBUserName - username portion of your database login credentials, for example MyName.
InstallFolder - the location in which to install the Altium NEXUS Server. Specify the path within double quotes, for example "C:\Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium NEXUS Server\", for the default install.
InstallSampleSnapshot - control whether sample data is installed into the server (set value to 1) or a clean server install without data is made (set value to 0).
Log - use this parameter to change the location and filename of the installation log file. Specify the path within double quotes. If omitted, the default install location will be used (\Program Files (x86)\Altium\Altium NEXUS Server\install.log).
Port - the communications port, for example 9780 for the default install.
RevisionFolder - destination revision files folder. Specify the path within double quotes, for example "C:\ProgramData\Altium\NexusServerData\Revisions", for the default install.
VERYSILENT - use this parameter to run the installation without any dialogs popping up.
When entering the information on the command line, observe the following:
Start with the name of the installer executable, for example "Altium NEXUS Server <VersionNumber>.exe".
Enter each parameter, followed by the equals symbol (=), and then its value.
Separate subsequent parameteric entries with a space followed by the forward slash character ( /).
To run without any dialogs popping up, be sure to add the entry VERYSILENT at the end.