Installation Guide

PDXpert PLM Software Installation Guide

Advanced install: PDXpert Application Server

The PDXpert Application Server and the SQL database server must be installed on the same computer.

Do not install the PDXpert Application Server on a read-only, compressed, network-mapped, or external (e.g., USB) volume.

You must have administrator rights to your computer, and be the only user logged into Windows.

If you want to use a specific edition of SQL Server instead of Express edition, or you want to ensure a particular release of SQL Server (2008, 2008R2, 2012) is installed, then you must install your preferred version before installing the PDXpert Application Server. For more information, see the preceding section: Advanced install: SQL Server.

Installation procedure

To install the PDXpert Application Server:

  1. Run the PDXpert system installation program from your server's CD drive or hard disk.

  2. During installation, you will be required to accept the PDXpert software license agreement. If you agree with the terms of the license, mark the acceptance checkbox, and click the Next button.

  3. The PDXpert system installation program will upgrade your server to Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended (".NET 4E"). If your system's permission profile blocks PDXpert setup's installation of .NET, cancel the installation. Upgrade your computer to .NET 4E using Microsoft's installer(s), and then start the PDXpert server setup program again.

  4. If a PDXPERT instance of SQL Server database cannot be found, SQL Server Express will be downloaded from Microsoft and installed. Installation is automatic, but takes several minutes.

  5. Although you can specify options for the PDXpert Application Server, we recommend using the default values to simplify administration and technical support.

    The installer creates a folder for your database and library on your system drive. If you prefer to use another location for your data, allow the installation to proceed. After installation is complete, use the Settings tab on the PDXpert Application Server console to select your preferred location for the data folder.

  6. When the installation is complete, click the Finish button. On the Windows Desktop, there are two icons:

    • The PDXpert client application is used for administrative tasks (license entry, user account management, etc.) and normal product data management activities.
    • The PDXpert Application Server is used for database management tasks such as backup, restore, relocation and reset.

Installation error

The PDXpert System Setup downloads and installs Microsoft SQL Server. If you see a Setup Failed message with a  log file  link, the most common problem is that your computer's antivirus software has blocked installation of the SQL Server database.

To verify, click on the  log file  link, and scroll to the bottom of the log file. SQL Server setup is blocked if you see text similar to:

[xxxx:xxxx][date]e000: Error 0x8xxxxxxx: Process returned error: 0x8xxxxxxx

[xxxx:xxxx][date]e000: Error 0x8xxxxxxx: Failed to execute EXE package.

[xxxx:xxxx][date]e000: Error 0x8xxxxxxx: Failed to configure per-machine EXE package.

[xxxx:xxxx][date]i319: Applied execute package: SQLEXPR_x64_ENU.exe, result: 0x8xxxxxxx, restart: None

[xxxx:xxxx][date]e000: Error 0x8xxxxxxx: Failed to execute EXE package.

Solution: Temporarily disable your antivirus or configure it to allow SQL Server to be installed. Then re-run the PDXpert system setup. Or, manually install SQL Server, then install PDXpert system setup.

Important post-installation considerations

With the PDXpert server console displayed, press the F1 key on your keyboard to open the help topic for configuring the PDXpert Application Server. In the help file Contents, open the How to... section, and review each topic of interest.

For stable operation and good performance:

  • After installation is complete, visit the Microsoft update website to obtain the most recent patches and service packs for SQL Server and the .NET framework.

  • Ensure that you have a frequent and reliable automated backup process. The built-in PDXpert backup facility is a short-term, on-demand solution. Preferred solutions may include one (or a combination) of Windows Backup, third-party utilities that are "SQL aware" and a home-grown scheduled backup.

  • The PDXpert Application Server and the PDXpert clients require exclusive uninterrupted access to the SQL Server database instance called PDXPERT. Avoid stopping, restarting, or otherwise disrupting the SQL Server service or the hosting computer while PDXpert clients are logged into the system.

  • Do not allow the server computer to go into standby or sleep mode during hours when clients may access the database. The SQL Server service may take several seconds to wake, and may sometimes require a hardware restart to begin operation.

  • Do not install other databases into the PDXPERT instance.

  • The PDXpert Application Server communicates with PDXpert clients using up to four TCP ports beginning at 48084. Ensure that no other services use ports 48084 to 48087.

  • Some antivirus (AV) software can interfere with the PDXpert Application Server, and should be tested for problems while users perform normal database and library file tasks — especially while attaching large or compressed files. If in doubt, exclude the PDXpert server's data directory from antivirus scanning. The following image shows the data directory location, as displayed on the PDXpert Application Server console's Manage tab.

    Exclude the Data folder from antivirus scan

    On client workstations, aggressive or slow antivirus scanning may interfere with file attachments, particularly large or compressed (e.g., .zip, .rar, .iso) files. If necessary, create a staging directory on the client computer and set the AV software to exclude the folder. Move a file into the excluded folder before attaching it to a record.

  • To extend PDXpert server's file indexing capabilities, you can install utilities (called IFilters) that can parse specific file types. For more information, refer to the Fast file content searches using IFilters application note.

  • For best performance within an extremely large library (and provided you have no 16-bit applications installed), disable 8.3 short filenames using the Windows fsutil.exe utility.

  • If you're using SQL Server Express and you have more than 10 users, consider installing a more capable edition.

  • To simplify technical support, download and save the PDXpert TeamViewer for later use.

Using the PDXpert Application Server with a public IP

To allow CAD, MRP or other applications access to PDXpert public views, the PDXpert System installer adds and enables a Windows firewall exception for SQL Server. Set your server's firewall to allow only LAN (private) access to SQL Server before exposing your server to the internet.

Client-server communication via a public IP address requires a strong password policy. In particular, ensure that the default user account admin has a strong password — do not leave the password empty.

When logging in on the remote client's Welcome to PDXpert PLM window, enter the server's public IP address into the Server computer's machine name textbox. In PDXpert 9.0 and later, users should mark Encrypt my connection on the client log-in window.

To permit a PDXpert client to access the PDXpert Application Server, the server's firewall and antivirus must be configured to allow communication using these TCP ports:

  • 48084 Used to send software updates to PDXpert client application.
  • Effect of closing this port: The PDXpert client application can't download code, so upgrades must be manually installed on the remote client workstation.
  • 48085 Used for unencrypted communications, usually local workstations on a trusted network or VPN.
  • Effect of closing this port: The PDXpert client must be set to use an encrypted connection (on the client log-in window, mark Encrypt my connection).
  • 48086 Used for encrypted communications, usually remote workstations on the public internet.
  • Effect of closing this port: The PDXpert client must be set to use an unencrypted connection (on the client log-in window, clear Encrypt my connection).
  • 48087 Reserved for future use.

If you allow remote connections from the internet, open the internet-facing firewall ports 48084 and 48086 only; closing port 48085 blocks an unencrypted client. The firewall for trusted networks can keep all 4 ports open.

Using the PDXpert Application Server with a VPN

To enable a PDXpert client access to the PDXpert Application Server over a virtual private network (VPN) connection, the VPN must be configured to allow communications using four TCP ports 48084 through 48087.

For releases prior to PDXpert 8.0, ensure that the client workstation can access the SQL Server instance (e.g., TCP port 1433). Since the SQL Server instance is named PDXPERT, you can configure a static port for that named instance and open VPN access to that port. For proper operation, the SQL Server instance must have been installed with Mixed Mode authentication.