Tech Docs: Installing on Multiple Computers

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Installing Facil or a Facil Update on a Larger Number of Computers

When you have Facil on a significant number of computers, it can become tedious and time consuming to install the program or a program update.  First read the Technical Documents "Getting Started" for new installations and/or "Installing Updates, License Upgrades".  Once you are comfortable with the basics of installation, take advantage of these tips to save time in installing the program or an update on a larger number of workstations.

1) Copy the installation CD to your network server.

Create a directory ("Facil Install") to hold the contents of the installation CD; the best place for that new directory is as a subdirectory to the directory containing the Facil data file.  The new directory should default to the same permissions as the Facil data directory; i.e. it will be available to all Facil users.  Just copy all the files from the Program installation CD into the new directory.  The installation will run exactly the same across the network as it does from the CD.  To perform an install on any workstation, just navigate to the "Facil Install" directory on the server and run Install.exe.

There are several benefits to this: you can't lose the installation; it's always available from any workstation without hunting down the CD; problems with damaged CDs or unreliable CD drives are eliminated; and the install will run faster from the server then it does from the CD.  When you get a new version of Facil on a new CD, just remove all the old files from your "Facil Install" directory and copy in the new ones.

2) Avoid the delay of connecting each workstation's newly installed program to your shared Facil data file. 

A new version or update of Facil always defaults to using the demonstration data file.  To begin working with your own shared data file, you must select it on the Admin menu, Select Data File.  This can take significant time - as much as several minutes.  If you're installing or updating a number of computers, this really adds up, but it can be avoided.

This tip is particularly useful when installing either a new version or an update of Facil in an environment where Facil is already in use and your users are ready to go directly to work with your existing data file.  If you are installing Facil for the first time, it's probably better to leave the program set to use the demonstration data file for learning purposes.  When you're ready to change one or more workstations to use your shared data file, then use this technique.

The data file "connection" information is stored in the Facil program file on each workstation - that's the file Facil.mde in the Facil program directory.  Since the location of the shared data file is the same for every workstation, you can take a Facil.mde program file that already has your data file location in it and put that program file on other workstations.  When you run Facil on the new workstation, it will already be set to your data file location.

Step by step:  Install Facil on one workstation, run the program, and select your data file.  Close the program; that copy of Facil.mde now has your data location in it.  Copy that Facil.mde to the installation directory on your server replacing the one that's already there.  Now you can simply copy the Facil.mde from the server to the Facil program directory on any workstation where Facil is installed, and it's ready to use.  This just takes a couple of seconds instead of the possible minutes for reconnecting to your data file.  Note that if you do a complete new install from the server "Facil Install" directory, it does not use your Facil.mde file; you must still copy that file as a separate step after you do the Facil installation.

3) Combine these ideas to easily distribute a Facil program update.

When there is a Facil update to install (not a new version), you receive a new Facil.mde file.  Copy it to any one Facil workstation, replacing the old Facil.mde program file.  Run Facil and set your data file location.  The Facil.mde program file on that workstation is now the new update and is connected to your data file - copy it to your "Facil Install" server directory.  Then at each additional Facil workstation, simply copy the Facil.mde program file from the server to the local program directory and it is ready to use in just seconds. 


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