Installing FileCabinet CS on a SQL Server

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Non-Virtual Office / SaaS installations of FileCabinet CS (FCS) provide the option to use either the standard flat-file data format or the SQL database format. If you choose to use the SQL database format, you must have an IT Professional available to handle your SQL configuration and address any SQL errors that may come up during the life of its use with FileCabinet CS. Use the information below set up FileCabinet CS for use with SQL.

Install SQL

As of July 12th, 2022, Microsoft will end support for SQL 2012 across all operating systems. We recommend upgrading to or installing a later version of SQL.

The computer on which the data is located - running SQL Server or SQL Server Express - must be turned on for others to access the data. In addition, if this computer has a firewall, you must create an exception within the firewall for the instance of SQL Server that you are using (recommended) or disable the firewall (not recommended) to use the FileCabinet CS database. If you need help creating an exception for the instance of SQL Server you are using, please refer to your firewall's documentation.

Install SQL using one of the following methods.

  • Run the FileCabinet CS SQL Setup to install SQL Express 2014. The FileCabinet CS installation comes packaged with SQL Express 2014 and you can choose to install it during step 2 of the FileCabinet CS SQL Setup. For instructions, skip to the "Run the FCS SQL Setup" section and follow the steps through the rest of the article.
  • Download and install SQL Express free directly from Microsoft. For instructions, see Upgrading or installing a Microsoft SQL instance. If you choose this option, review the Configuration requirements section below. Your firm's IT professional is responsible for configuring your SQL instance.
  • Purchase a fully licensed version of Microsoft SQL Server from Microsoft and follow their installation instructions. If you choose this option, review the Configuration requirements section below. Your firm's IT professional is responsible for configuring your SQL instance.

Configuration requirements

If you choose to install SQL Express 2014 by running the FCS SQL Setup, you can skip this section. If you are installing using any other method, your firm's IT professional is required to configure your SQL instance as follows:

  • Use Mixed Mode authentication, not Windows authentication.
  • Enable TCP/IP and Named Pipes protocols.

See SQL Server best practices for CS Professional Suite applications for more recommended configurations and procedures.

FileCabinet CS works with both SQL Express and fully licensed versions of SQL. To see all the supported versions of SQL, see FileCabinet CS System Requirements.

Run the FCS SQL Setup

Running the FCS SQL setup allows you to:

  • Install Microsoft SQL Server Express 2014 (optional).
  • Create a new SQL instance or link FileCabinet CS to an existing instance.

Follow the steps below to run the FCS SQL setup.

  1. Go to the computer/server where your SQL instance resides (or will reside, if you are choosing to use the FCS SQL Setup to create a new instance).
  2. Log in to the computer/server as an administrator.
  3. Close all open applications, including background virus protection software.
  4. Browse to X:\WinCSI\CABINET\sql, (where X represents the drive or network path where FileCabinet CS is installed).
  5. Double-click the setup.exe to start the FileCabinet CS Database Setup.
  6. Answer the question on the Welcome to FileCabinet CS Database Setup screen.

    Be sure that you are located at the coumputer/server where the database will reside.

  7. Review the license agreement, and if you agree, mark the I accept the terms in the License Agreement checkbox.
  8. If you are promted to restart your computer with a Pending Restart Detected dialog, you can select the third option to Continue without restarting. If this prompt appears repeatedly, you will need to restart.
  9. When the Installation Steps appears dialog appears, click Next.

Installation Step 1, 2, and 3

The Installation Steps screen may appear several times throughout the FileCabinet CS SQL Setup.

A green checkmark next to steps 1, 2, or 3 denotes that the step is already complete. Click a step (blue link) if you want to repeat it. For example, to change the path in step 1, where FileCabinet CS is installed, or to link FileCabinet CS to a different SQL instance. If you click the Next button without completing all of the steps on this screen of the Installation wizard, the Incomplete step screen appears.

Step 1: Confirm where FileCabinet CS has been installed

Because your SQL data is located in a different location than the rest of the FileCabinet CS application files, you must use this step to link the SQL Server application to your FileCabinet CS application files.

Verify that the path is correct in the FileCabinet CS installation path field. If not, click the ellipses button and browse to the correct path. The Step 1 installation screen in the Installation wizard has more information to help you determine which path to choose.

Step 2: Configure Database Server

Use this step to choose which SQL instance to use with FileCabinet CS, or to create a new instance (which will automatically link to FileCabinet CS).

Choose this option to install an Express version of SQL (2014 or higher) .

Choose this option if you have a SQL instance already installed that you want FileCabinet CS to use. This could be the case if you have a fully licensed version of SQL, if you already use SQL for another program and you want to share the instance, or if you already have a dedicated FileCabinet CS instance that you need to re-link to.

See FileCabinet CS System Requirements for a complete list requirements on our website.

If you select this option, click Next, choose the SQL instance that you want to use, and then choose the Connect using Windows authentication option. After this step is complete, continue to Step 3.

Choose this option if you want to use a new Microsoft SQL Express 2014 instance with FileCabinet CS. This step may be appropriate if you do not have SQL installed, or if you use SQL Express 2014, but want a new instance for FileCabinet CS.

If you select this option, click Next, name the instance, and then click Next. After this step is complete, continue to Step 3.

Microsoft places limits on SQL Server 2014 or higher Express by enforcing a maximum database size. If your FileCabinet CS data exceeds 40GB in size, you must purchase SQL Server 2014 or higher, exit the installation and repeat this step after SQL Server 2014 or higher is installed. Installing a new SQL server instance are the only options available in the Installation wizard when one is not already installed.

Step 3: Update FileCabinet CS configuration files

This step is required to complete the setup and save any changes that you may have made during steps 1 and 2. There are no options or actions required; the update process completes automatically. If this step completes successfully, the Installation Complete screen is displayed. Click Finish to complete the installation.

Add a database data location

When you run the FileCabinet CS SQL Setup, be sure to add a data location in FileCabinet CS or, if a data location for your SQL data has already been set up, verify that you can see the appropriate data.

Use the following steps to add a data location in database format.

  1. Open FileCabinet CS.

    Note: If you receive an SQL error when opening FileCabinet CS, or if the application hangs or crashes, see There is a problem accessing the SQL server.

  2. Choose Setup > System Configuration > Data Locations tab.
  3. Click the Add/Modify Data Location button.
  4. In the Data Location Format screen of the Installation wizard, click the Database format option, and then click Next.
  5. Use the Enter the database server where the FileCabinet CS database will reside drop-down menu to choose the database server.
  6. Use the Enter the database name field to change the name from the default (fcabdatadb). You can also choose an existing name from the drop-down, but do not choose a database that is associated with an application other than FileCabinet CS.
  7. Enter an alias for the data path.
  8. Click OK.

Repeat these steps for each SQL database location that you want to add. Each location must have a unique alias.

Add drawers to data location

If you need to add FileCabinet CS drawers to your SQL data location, you can either restore a backup or copy drawers from another data location to your SQL data location. If the drawers you want to copy are not already in SQL format, they will automatically be converted during the copy process - however, there are some additional steps and considerations.

For instructions on restoring backups, see Restoring or merging drawer data. If you receive a message that there are no backups to restore, see Error: "The file does not contain any backups..." when restoring a SQL database. If you restore a backup, you can skip the Convert data section.

Preparing for conversion

If you renamed a user-defined folder in the Setup > System Configuration > Document Folders dialog for the data location you are converting, we recommend that you rebuild folder links to ensure that documents are associated with the same user-defined folders after the converion to database format (not required if user-defined folders have not been renamed).

Note:This process may take several minutes, depending on the number of drawers and documents.

Use the following procedure for each data location in the structured storage format that to convert to database format when user-defined folders are renamed. All other users should exit FileCabinet CS during this process.

  1. Choose Repair from the Help menu.
  2. In the Drawers tab, click the Rebuild Folder Links button.
  3. Click the Select All button to select all drawers.
  4. Click the Rebuild button, then click Yes when notified that the process can take several minutes.
Steps to convert

Converting data may take a substantial amount of time, depending on the number and size of drawers being processed. All other users must exit FileCabinet CS during this process. Follow these steps to copy and convert drawers to database format.

  1. Add the database data location by following the steps in the previous section.
  2. Make the data path from which you are converting the current path.
  3. Choose Copy Drawers from the File menu.
  4. Choose the database data location from the drop-down list for the Destination location field.
  5. Select the drawers to copy, or click the Select All button to select all drawers.
  6. Mark the Automatically create folders checkbox to add user-defined folders in the current data location to the database data location.
  7. Mark the Enable application lock during copy process checkbox to enable an application lock during the copy process to ensure that no other users can access FileCabinet CS.
  8. Click the Copy button, then click Yes to continue with the copy process.
  9. If a drawer already exists in the destination location, you will be prompted to overwrite the drawer. If you do not intend to monitor the copy process while it is running, we recommend that you click either the Yes To All or No To All button to keep this dialog from opening for other drawers that also exist in the destination data location.
  10. Allow the conversion to run uninterrupted. When the process is complete, you may receive a message that all drawers were successfully copied. If any drawers were not copied, the Copy Drawers Results dialog opens, listing the drawers that were not copied. Click the Copy to Clipboard button to paste the results into a text program such as Notepad or Microsoft Word for future reference.
Removing the old data location

The data location from which you copied drawers is not deleted during the copy process. Follow these steps to remove the path from the list of data locations. This will prevent FileCabinet CS users from storing additional documents in that location.

  1. Choose Setup > System Configuration > Data Locations tab.
  2. Highlight the data location you want to remove from the list and click Delete.
  3. Click OK when notified that data will not be deleted.
  4. The original data in structured storage format can be deleted if you would like to clear it from your drive. However, it is recommended that you keep a backup of this data until you have verified that all the drawers and documents were successfully converted to the SQL database format.

When drawers are converted to the database format, they retain their links to archived documents that are stored in volumes. The volumes are not converted to the database format; they remain on your drive in the standard format. However, you can still view and restore all archived documents from a data location that uses the database format. By default, archives are stored in the $Archive directory within the data directory, so be sure to retain the $Archive directory if you choose to delete the original data and have created archives in that location.

Add the FileCabinet CS location to other CS Professional Suite applications

The new database data location must be selected as the print destination in other CS Professional Suite applications. To do this, open each CS application you want to integrate with FileCabinet CS. The menu where you add or modify data locations varies from program to program, but you can likely find it in Setup > System Configuration or Setup > File Locations.

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