Installing, Licensing & Managing the Altium NEXUS Server

Modified by Jason Howie on Sep 7, 2018
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Parent page: Altium NEXUS Server

Installation of any software application should be straightforward, intuitive and, perhaps above all, fast. Furthermore, when you have that software installed, you want to be able to update it as and when you deem necessary, and in a streamlined fashion.

The Altium NEXUS Server is installed through use of an efficient, intuitive installer - an installer that not only expedites the initial installation process, but lets you update with ease to a later version, at any time in the future. In addition, tools are available to monitor the health of your server, and to back-up and restore your valuable design data.

For information on how to access your NEXUS Server from within Altium NEXUS, and working with it from a design perspective, see Accessing a Server from Altium NEXUS, and Working with a Managed Content Server, respectively.

Initial Install

Related page: Installing the Altium NEXUS Server

Installation of the Altium NEXUS Server is performed using the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard. This is accessed by running 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.
Each version of the Altium NEXUS Server has its own dedicated installer.


Streamlined installation, courtesy of the Altium NEXUS Server Setup wizard.

Licensing the Altium NEXUS Server

Related page: Altium NEXUS Server Licensing

Licensing for the Altium NEXUS Server essentially consists of the following two components, that together comprise a two-tiered licensing system:

  • Server License - this license makes the features and services of the Altium NEXUS Server installation available to the organization.
  • Client Access License - this license enables users within an organization to access, and sign-in to the organization's Altium NEXUS Server.

Licensing for the Altium NEXUS Server can be handled through the cloud, or locally through license files (*.alf).

A single licensing pair is available, irrespective of whether you are using an Altium NEXUS Server with the standard Firebird database, or your own Oracle database - Altium Nexus Server and Altium Nexus Server CAL.


Getting your Altium NEXUS Server licensed is a breeze, thanks to self-serve licensing from those licenses available to you through your account.

Both Server and Client Access Licenses are timed licenses, lasting 12 months. Subscription must be renewed on an annual basis in order to provide continued access to the Altium NEXUS Server for the users in an organization, as well as to access new features and functionality developed by Altium as part of the Altium NEXUS Server. If this annual subscription renewal lapses, a single Server and CAL license will be provided to access your data for backup and configuration purposes.

Updating to a Later Version

When you want to upgrade to a later version of the Altium NEXUS Server, the Altium NEXUS Server Setup Wizard can handle this automatically for you. Run the installer for the later version. The older version will be detected, and you will be asked if you wish to upgrade to the later version - click Yes. As part of the installation process, the Installer will make a backup of the current server data, using the Backup & Restore tool. The default backup folder is \ProgramData\Altium\NexusServerData, but can be changed as required. The backup data is stored in a file with the format _NexusServer<Version>_backup.zip.

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. Additionally, 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.


When updating to a later version of the server, a backup of your data will be made, before the old server is removed,
and the new one installed.

Altium NEXUS works seamlessly with your existing Altium Vault (2.0 or later). However, as a standalone product, Altium Vault (and specifically version 3.0) is the last release with new capabilities. The technology will continue to evolve and advance as a core part of Altium NEXUS through the Altium NEXUS Server - exposing new capabilities for collaboration, data management, and process management.

Switching over from your existing Altium Vault, to the (on-premise) Altium NEXUS Server is simply a case of upgrading, by running the Altium NEXUS Server installer - just as you would have updated your Vault in the past. The existing Altium Vault will be detected, and you will be asked if you wish to upgrade to the Altium NEXUS Server - click Yes. As part of the installation process, the Installer will make a backup of the existing vault data, using the Backup & Restore tool. The default backup folder is \ProgramData\Altium\VaultServerData, but can be changed as required. The backup data is stored in a file with the format _VaultServer<Version>_backup.zip.

Upgrading to the Altium NEXUS Server requires that the existing Firebird database PAGE_SIZE be 16kb. Depending on the version of Altium Vault you currently have installed, this may well be 4kb.

While you could change the PAGE_SIZE manually, a batch file (firebird_increase_page_size.bat) has been prepared to quickly increase the page sizing for your current Vault's Firebird database from 4k to 16k - efficiently, hassle-free, and all with a single click! Download the zip file, extract the batch file, and copy the file to the following location (assuming C drive - change as necessary for your installation):

C:\Program Files (x86)\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\bin

Then, bring up a CMD window and navigate to that same folder by typing:

cd C:\Program Files (x86)\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\bin

Finally, run the following at the command prompt:

firebird_increase_page_size.bat "C:\Program Files (x86)\Firebird\Firebird_2_5\bin" "C:\ProgramData\Altium\VaultServerData\DXPSERVER.DAT" sysdba masterkey

Uninstalling

Uninstalling the Altium NEXUS Server is performed from the standard Programs and Features page (accessed from the Control panel in Windows). Right-click on the entry for the Altium NEXUS Server <VersionNumber> and use the Uninstall command from the context menu. A couple of dialogs will appear, in turn, asking:

  1. If you want to completely remove the server - click Yes.
  2. If you want to delete all your data - click Yes. If you wanted to keep your data, for example you are manually updating to a later version of the server, click No.
  3. You will be asked to confirm this a second time - click Yes or No accordingly.

A final confirmation dialog will appear once the uninstall is complete.


Uninstalling the Altium NEXUS Server.

 

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