I am starting to see a rise in questions on the processes involved in either migrating or upgrading the SELECTserver Application (SSA). Let’s start by defining the terms. An “Upgrade” would detail changing a previously installed SELECTserver application to a newer version on the same station. Please reference the blog “Updating your SELECTserver application is easy”. When “Migrating” you are attempting to relocate a functional SSA and place it onto a station where it did not previously exist. The importance of defining this difference comes down to one major point.
To place the SELECTserver Application into a different location you must “INSTALL” the application on the new station.
To focus on the migration aspect the questions usually involve wanting directions on how to get the SSA from the old “server 1” to the new “server2”. There is no extraordinary process for this. Installing the application is the only supported action by Bentley Systems if a migration is implemented. This action does raise an interesting point about the SELECTServer application. That needs to be made clear before moving on.
The SELECTserver application can be broken into two (2) separate parts.
· SELECTserver Administration
· Microsoft SQL Server
1) The SELECTserver Administration Site side of the application is exactly what its name implies. It is used to oversee the configuration of the SSA. You cannot install or update the SSA without accessing this page.
2) The Microsoft SQL Server is the 2005 Express version available to anyone from the Microsoft download site. It is a free download. Bentley Systems has made no proprietary changes to the application or its functionality.
The point here is that the Database functions and is managed exactly as Microsoft has intended. By design you are able to use Microsoft Studio Tools to manage the database. The job of the database in the SSA is to contain your actual Licensing and Usage information. When installing the SSA always check the Technical Requirements and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for updated information.
For this blog’s purposes when installing the SELECTserver application into a new location we completed a full installation which means the SELECTserver Administration and the SQL server Express parts have both been implemented on the new “server2”. This installation has no affect on the initial old “server 1” install. The installation allows you to see the Administration Site page and download your current licensing information into the SQL Express database. Your clients can now be directed to the new “server2”for licensing authentication. The old “server 1” can now be disabled, shutdown or uninstalled.
With said now comes the interesting point. The data contained in your old database “is not” in your new location. The SELECTserver Application does not supply any tools to manage the physical migration of the database information. The information can be migrated using the basic database Microsoft Studio Management Tools of backups and restores inside the SQL environment. The SELECTserver Application has a tool that’s job is to control how the SELECTserver Administration side connects to the Microsoft SQL Server side. It is called the SELECTserver Database Setup tool. If the desire is to bring the old data forward to the new server the process is do the following.
1) Use the Microsoft Studio Management Tools to BACKUP the old database
2) Use the Microsoft Studio Management Tools to RESTORE the old database to the new location
3) Use the SELECTserver Database Setup tool to direct the Administration side to connect with the now newly RESTORED old database
I intentionally did not get into the specifics of how this is done because the tools are Microsoft tools so it is very possible these steps may be updated in the future. A simple Google search on Microsoft Studio Management Tools will get you to the Microsoft site.
Renaming a computer will be problematic and I don’t recommended it if you can avoid it. SELECTServer has a dependency on IIS and SQL server which will be affected by renaming the server and may break. You will want to follow Microsoft’s recommendations for the OS using when renaming a system. Here are two such KB articles that might help.
After the name is changed you will need to ensure that the DNS records get updated with the new name. Next run the Bentley.SelectServer.Database.Setup.exe changing the name of the database server name. Next, each client machine will need to update their configuration to reflect the SELECTserver machine name.
Some alternative options:
Back up you SELECTServer database, reimage the server with the correct name then reinstall and restore the SELECTServer DB.
Switch to the Bentley Hosted SELECTserver option.
OK - so I have a SELECTserver V8i on a virtual machine called MS-SSXM. IS tell me that upgrading this to full production server status (backups, redundancy etc.) will according to their rules involve renaming it to VM-Something. What, if anything, would I need to change in the SELECTserver configuration?