Network Installation

Picto-Selector uses Firebird database server as database engine. By default, Picto-Selector uses Firebird embedded which is installed implicitly. Picto-Selector is very much self-contained.

If you prefer using Picto-Selector in office/school environment where people using multiple copies of Picto-Selector will share the same set of pictosheets, a standalone Firebird database server should be installed.

Assuming that you have installed Picto-Selector on computer "MyClient1" and are going to use computer "MyHost" to host the database and linked files, here are the steps:

1. Download and install Firebird database server.

  • Download Firebird for Windows
    Firebird is an open source FREEWARE program that can run on Windows, Linux and Unix. Please visit http://www.firebirdsql.org for general info about Firebird. It is recommended that you use the latest 2.5 production version of Firebird.
  • Install Firebird
    Generally, the host machine is a server machine in your Local Area Network. For example, you may install Firebird on computer "MyHost".
    During the installation, the installation program will ask you whether you want the database sever to run as a Windows service or Windows application. In general, you should make it run as a Windows service.
  • Prepare Firewall
    Make sure that any firewall program or antivirus program on the host machine allow Firebird to listen to client requests.

2. Prepare the first client "MyClient1"

  • Run setup.exe.
  • Run Picto-Selector after finishing the setup
  • Select the "Local Storage in application folder" option on the first start. This will create a database in a "data" sub folder of the application executable.

3. Prepare database files on the server

Assuming the server machine is "MyHost".

  1. Create a secured directory (for example "D:\SecuredData\PS") not accessible across the network but the Firebird database server only.
  2. Move database file "PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb" from MyClient1 to "D:\SecuredData\PS". Thus, no client computer should be able to access the database file directly through networking file sharing, but through Firebird database server only.
  3. Optionally copy the files installed on the first client to a application folder on the server.

The INI file created on each client contains pointers to to the picto sheet database, as shown in the example below.

[primary storage] ConnectionType=Network
HostName=MyHost
PortNumber=3050
DatabaseName=D:\SecuredData\PS\PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb
UserName=SYSDBA
PassWord=RM5pT6LoQsK

The user name/password pair is used for authentication to the Firebird databases "PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb". This file is located in " D:\SecuredData\PS\" of the host machine "myhost". Thus, Picto-Selector knows it should connect to server "myhost" and talk to the Firebird database server there. Then the database will process the database file in the host machine's D drive and authenticate the user name/password pair.

4. Start the first client. The database has been moved so it will ask to choose the database. Select Network and the options as shown above (change the path to your own configuration)

5. Test. Picto-Selector should now run with the database on the server.

4. Install Picto-Selector on each of the workstations (client machines)

After positive result of the test, you may start clone the program and shortcut on every workstations.

  1. Run setup.exe.
  2. Run Picto-Selector after finishing the setup
  3. Select the Network option on the first start. Use the "D:\SecuredData\PS\PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb" location as database and other options as above. Another option is to copy the PictoSelector.ini file around.

Notes

  • It is perfectly fine to install Picto-Selector in a network share directory, so all client machines may use the same copy of Picto-Selector program files. So you only need to create shortcuts on each workstation. The drawback is the slower picto list because it is slower to get the symbols from the network. (and there are a lot of them!)
  • A common error was to set the database path to a network path, for example
    database=\\SomewhereInNetwork\PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb
    or
    database=Z:\here\PictoSelectorDatabase.fdb
    where Z is a mapped network drive. This won't work.
  • It is also possible to install Picto-Selector on each workstation locally and tell it to synchronize with a network server. The installation is almost the same but instead of configuring the clients for network, configure them to store and use the database locally. After this a synchronization wizard can be run as a Administrator in Picto-Selector which will prepare the databases for synchronization. Make sure to create a unique database for the database server. Each created database receives a unique ID, and synchronization is only possible between databases with different ID's.
  • It is always possible to create a new database by moving or deleting a local database and restarting Picto-Selector.