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Technical Overview and the Server Admin Tool

As seen in Figure 1 Hansoft is based on a server/client setup including these components:

Hansoft Server Service

The Hansoft Server Service is a process or service (depending on server operating system) that acts as the actual server for Hansoft. It can run on a physical or virtual machine on Windows, OS X or various Linux distributions. The Hansoft Server Service is fully self-contained and no additional software (e.g., middleware or database) is required. Several Hansoft Server Services can be run on the same physical virtual machine if you want to share processing resource and/or centralize administration.

Databases

A Hansoft server can host one or more databases. The Hansoft database appears in a folder system in the host file system and contains all information related to the projects created in this database including stored documents and historical data. Usually there is one database per organizational unit. Using more than one database per server can be beneficial for distributing work over multiple CPUs/Cores, but this gain in server work efficiency will have to be weighed against having different projects separated, which is not always beneficial.

Hansoft Clients

The Hansoft clients are used to connect to the server and one client is installed on each user’s machine. Just like the Hansoft Server Service, the client can run on Windows, OS X or various Linux distributions. The client software will automatically synchronize and update to the same version of Hansoft that the server is running meaning that after installation there is no additional maintenance work to keep clients updated.

Integration Service

The Hansoft SDK license gives access to different ready-made integrations for connecting Hansoft with external systems, for example the LDAP integration and the Git integration. The ready-made integrations are running as separate services. We recommended these services to be running on a separate Windows machine. The SDK license also allows you to build custom solutions and integrations utilizing the Hansoft programming API. SDK applications can be written in C, C++, Java or any of the .NET languages.

Although you can have multiple databases per service instance we recommend you to have one Hansoft service instances per database with the different Hansoft service instances being accessible on different ports. The reasons are:

  • When starting up the Hansoft server service it loads all databases in sequential order. Not until all databases are loaded will the server start responding to connection requests. Spreading the databases across several service instances allow the start-up time to be reduced by spreading the work across several CPU cores. Also, small databases will be available much faster.
  • In the rare event that the Hansoft server service stops working, all databases connected to this server will become inaccessible. Hence, by spreading the databases across several services you isolate any issue with the server service to affect a single database.
Installing your server

There are basically two ways for you to get started with Hansoft:

  1. Fast track – Download the trial version of Hansoft which includes the server, client and an already prepared database with a few example projects. You can find the trial at http://www.hansoft.com/try-hansoft
  2. Slow track – Download the server and client independently and set up everything yourself. Below is a summary of the required steps.
  • Download the Hansoft server and client for your operating system from http://www.hansoft.com/downloads.
    No additional or software such as database server is needed.
  • You will need to provide a name for the database, port number to run the service on, Administrator password (for the built-in user with the name ‘Administrator’).

If you want to install multiple Hansoft Servers on the same physical or virtual server you need to pay attention to the default port number to which the service in installed on. You will pick this port during installation and you can choose any free port in the system, you can choose a port close to the standard port 50256. 

 

The Server Admin Tool

On the machine where the Hansoft server was installed you can find the Hansoft Server Administrator tool. If you can’t find it: click on the Start button in Windows, click ‘All programs’ – ‘Hansoft’ – ‘Server’. It should be in that folder.

As shown in Figure 3, this tools gives you access to server and database settings. You login as the user ‘Administrator’ with the password ‘hpmadm’ for the provided example database or with the password you provided yourself during the installation.
The bottom left panel displays the settings for the currently selected database while the panels on the right allows for configuring the server and licenses.

If you do not have any database listed here, create a new one and specify the name, database file location and a new password for the Administrator user for that database. Note that database files by default are stored in the subdirectory ‘Databases’ of the directory where you installed the Hansoft server software.
We recommend you to look over the security settings and changing the administrator password before continuing.
If you have chosen to download the complete trial there is a 9-user license included. If you need more users you can contact support@hansoft.com to order one.

In the License & Server Settings you can update the license by pressing “Upgrade/change license” and paste a license key there which you can obtain from Hansoft as mentioned above.

There is an alternative way of adding licenses to Hansoft using the Admin tab in the client. Using that alternative also give you an option to order licenses within the system.

Backups

There are two main alternatives for backing up Hansoft. They can be used individually or in combination:

  1. Snapshots
    By taking a snapshot of the entire machine on which the Hansoft Server is running and the database files stores you could easily restore the environment if needed. Snapshot functionality is covered in a later lesson, see Project History.
  2. The backup functionality in the Hansoft Administrator Tool
    Backups can be scheduled in the Server Administrator by pressing Backup settings (see Figure 3). It is recommended that you enable automatic backups at least once per day. By having each database backed up separately you can more easily restore accidental deletes and changes of project for a single database. It is also recommended to place the backup directory on a networked drive.

Security

Hansoft features state-of-the-art security with 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) for communication/storage and SHA-256 for password hashing. These standards are well established and AES is used by, for example, the US Government for “TOP SECRET” classified information.
As explained in Figure 4, there are a few options for data isolation if for example security or regulatory constraints require this.

By separating data between different projects in the same database you can control the isolation through the user management within the client. By keeping the project data separated between databases but on the same server a higher level of isolation is achieved as there may be different database administrator passwords and that they are not stored in the same file on disk. However, the highest level of isolation is achieved by also separating the servers from each other.

SMTP settings

In order to get e-mail log messages from the server you will need to setup a connection to an SMTP server. Below is an overview of how this is done:

  1. Open the Hansoft Server Administrator tool
  2. Click on the E-mail options
  3. Configure the outgoing SMTP server:

 

Note that this configuration concerns status messages regarding the technical aspects of the Hansoft server. You can also configure Hansoft to send emails to end users when tasks are assigned to them and similar but that is done in each respective database and project: https://support.hansoft.com/hc/en-us/articles/204517752-E-mail-configuration

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