Network installation instructions for Practice CS

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  • Practice CS uses Microsoft SQL Server (including 2008 Express Edition and later) for storing data. The computer on which the data is located (the SQL server) must be turned on in order for others to access the data. In addition, if this computer has a firewall installed, you must create an exception within the firewall for the instance of SQL Server you are using (recommended) or disable the firewall (not recommended) to run Practice CS. If you need assistance in creating an exception for the instance of SQL Server you are using, please refer to your firewall’s documentation.
  • If your database server is currently running any edition of Microsoft SQL Server or SQL Server Express Edition earlier than 2008, you will not be able to install the latest release of Practice CS until you apply SQL Server 2008, SQL Server Express Edition, or a later version, to your database. Please refer to the topic Upgrading or installing a Microsoft SQL instance to evaluate your Practice CS configuration and plan your upgrade.
  • The computer where the shared files are installed must be turned on in order for the application files to be available to users (workstations).

This topic contains information about installing Practice CS on a network server.

If your firm chooses to install Practice CS in a terminal server environment, be sure to rely only on a qualified and certified terminal server professional to handle the installation. Please refer to Terminal Server Best Practices for CS Professional Suite Applications for general information to provide to your firm’s terminal server technician.

If you are installing Practice CS on a network, you must be present at the database server during the initial installation.

Perform the following procedure to install Practice CS to the network or to a standalone workstation. If you purchased a license for the network version and install the application files on the network, you need only perform this procedure once. You should then install the license files on the network and perform a workstation installation on all other computers that will access the application.


  • You can download and install Practice CS from our website. Because a full application download involves a large amount of data, downloading and installing from the website is recommended only if you have a high-speed internet connection.
  • The installation process may require that you restart the computer on which you are installing the application. If you are installing the application on a network, be sure that your network administrator selects a time to install when all other users have logged off the network.
  1. Verify that you are logged in to your computer or server as an administrator.
  2. If you have previously installed Practice CS, view the System Information portlet on any Practice CS dashboard to verify the Database server/instance name and the Integration/Datasharing path before you begin the installation process.
  3. Close all open applications, including background virus protection applications.
  4. Visit the Downloads page of our website at, and follow the instructions to save the installation EXE file to your local drive.
  5. After the EXE file has been downloaded, double-click the file to start the installation wizard.

    Note: If you do not yet have a web account, you will be prompted to establish one when you attempt to download applications from our website.

  6. When Practice CS Setup starts, click the Install Practice CS link.
  7. On the Welcome to Practice CS Setup screen, click Yes to verify that you are installing the application on the computer that you want to designate as the Database Server. Click Next to continue.

    Note: If you click the No option, you will be prompted to start again on the computer that will function as your database server.

  8. Read the CS Professional Suite License Agreement, mark the I accept the terms in the License Agreement checkbox, and click Next to continue.
  9. For Installation Step 1, click Next to select where the Practice CS shared files reside. Files shared by Practice CS installations are used for integration with other applications, for storage of configuration settings, and for workstation installation files. Click the More More button button, then navigate to the appropriate folder.
    • If you are not going to run Practice CS on a network, this folder is usually C:\WINCSI.
    • If you run Practice CS on a network, select a shared network folder such as X:\WINCSI or \\<name of network share>\WINCSI.

    Click OK, and then click Next to continue.

  10. The setup wizard now provides the option to allow Remote Entry, which enables your staff to perform functions such as time and expense entry without a connection to your office network. If you want to allow Remote Entry, click the Allow Remote Entry to be enabled on other computers option and then click Next.
  11. For Installation Step 2, click Next to configure this computer as the database server for Practice CS. Practice CS requires an instance of SQL Server. If your computer does not have an instance of SQL Server, the only available option will be Install a new instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. If your computer already has a supported version of SQL Server, you may use an existing instance or use the CREATIVESOLUTION instance.
    • If you choose to use an existing CREATIVESOLUTION or other existing instance of SQL Server, mark the option and click Next to select that instance and configure the instance for use with Practice CS. To use an existing instance, it must be version 2008 or later.
    • If you choose to install a new instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express Edition, mark the option and click Next to install and configure the instance for use with Practice CS. You will need to provide a unique name for the new instance. Click Next to specify where you want your Practice CS database to reside. This cannot be a network folder. SQL requires this folder to be on this computer.

      Note: If Practice CS has been previously installed, you can select the instance used during the last installation, unless that instance is older than version 2008. If you choose to use a different instance or install a new instance, you must back up your database before continuing. After installation is complete, start Practice CS and restore your database.

    When finished, click Next to continue.

  12. You may be prompted that the sample database already exists. Click Yes to replace the database with a fresh copy, or No to preserve your existing copy of the sample database.
  13. For Installation Step 3, click Next, then determine whether the Practice CS files should be installed on the computer that also functions as your database server.
    • If you want to run Practice CS on this computer, click the Install Practice CS so that I am able to run it on this computer option and then click Next.
    • If you want this computer to function only as the database server, click the Skip installing Practice CS on this computer, this computer will be used as the Practice CS database server only option. Then click Next, and skip the following step before continuing.
  14. The installation application now installs Practice CS and the necessary components. Any components without a check mark will be installed. Click Next to install Practice CS and any components without a check mark. Your computer may need to be restarted one or more times during this step.
  15. The setup wizard now displays instructions for completing the Practice CS setup for a network. You will need to run the desktop setup application at each computer that will run Practice CS. You can save or print these instructions. Click Next to continue.
  16. When you are prompted that the installation is complete, click Finish. If you want to immediately launch Practice CS, leave the Run Practice CS checkbox marked.

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