The purpose of this documentation is to assist the eBECAS version 9 network administrator to install and maintain eBECAS client and connections to the database service. It is rare for EIT to provide a self hosted option. All eBECAS installations now are hosted by EIT in the cloud, with EIT providing updates automatically, support and backup. There will be an extra charge for non EIT hosted systems.
eBECAS uses a SQL transaction based database called Firebird. Firebird uses a single database file (ends in fdb). This file is only accessed by the Database application running as a service on the server, and never by a workstation. Each workstation communicates over the LAN (or Internet) using the TCP/IP protocol, to the server that runs the Firebird database application service.
The eBECAS application, which is executed (run) by each workstation, communicates with the Firebird database application service running on the server, asking the server to send the data back to the workstation. The data is stored on the server on disk or in memory. This is an important concept, as you CANNOT take a copy of the database file off the server and use it as a backup copy. If you copy the database file while the service is active, you can corrupt the database.
All workstations need Microsoft Office, although eBECAS only uses Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. You can install and use any version of Microsoft Office on the workstations.
The server should be a computer running Microsoft Windows xxxx Server or later. We have provided tools specifically to backup and restore the database and schedule routine backups on Microsoft Windows servers. You can use Linux as the server to host the database service with improved reliability and performance but you will have to manually schedule backups using the Linux operating system cron task.
The server requires internal Firewalls on that computer to be turned off for ports 3050 and 3060, as communication from eBECAS to the database on the local area network (LAN) from workstations is via tcp/ip.
There is no fixed memory requirements on either the workstations or server.
EIT supplies the files and software to get eBECAS up and running on a LAN based network.
The following steps are involved in this process:
- Create the folders as detailed below
2. Download and extract the database backup, and place the file (file ends in .FBK) in the folder \BEC_DATA
3. Download and install the FIREBIRD database service on the server as detailed here.
4. An email will be sent with the eBECAS.exe, fbclient.dll, mscvr71.dll, libeay32.dll, ssleay32.dll and eBecas.dat file. Extract the files from the zip and place them all in the folder \BECAS
5. Open the file eBecas.dat in the folder \eBECAS with NOTEPAD.exe and adjust and change the connection information as detailed below.
6. Copy the fbclient.dll from the \eBECAS folder to the folder \BEC_DATA you will now have a copy of the fbclient.dll in both folders, \eBECAS and \BEC_DATA
7. Download the eBecaDBConfig.exe and place the program in the folder \BEC_DATA.
8. Restore and create the new database from the backup file using eBecasDBConfig.exe
There must be 2 separate folders on the server. One shared, one not. We generally recommend folder names:
\BEC_DATA which is not shared
\eBECAS which is shared and gives read and write access to all eBECAS client workstations.
Folder \bec_data which is not shared, is where the database file is located e.g. college.fdb, files located here are:
- the administration tool eBecasDBConfig.exe
- and the latest update file Updates.eit
Folder \eBECAS – shared, create, read and write access for workstation clients, other files located here are:
- all templates (*.dot)
For separate step-by-step instructions regarding the installation of the server database software.
All eBECAS client workstations need to have two options enabled. Below are instructions to enable these options
1. Create a shortcut to the file ebecas.exe located in the shared \eBECAS folder on the server.
It is a good idea to have all workstations setup to have the same shared drive accessing the \eBECAS folder on the server. This also allows users to access the templates, which are usually stored in the \eBECAS folder on the server.
In the \eBECAS folder there is a file called eBecas.dat which contains the name of the server and the database that the workstations are using. All workstations automatically access the ebecas.dat file when running becas.exe in the \eBECAS folder.
The eBecas.dat file must be edited to specify the server name and location of the database. You can use Notepad.exe to edit the ebecas.dat text file.
The file consists of 3 lines:
The top line MUST be left as is PROTOCOL=TCP/IP
The next line is the name or IP address of the server. The name of the server can be found via:
Start – Control Panel – System – Computer name
The name is the text and any numbers before the first full stop (.) in the Full computer name.
For exampled, my Notebook has as the Full computer name 600m.Eqware.local. Therefore, the server name is 600m, so if I wanted to access the computer remotely, the second line would read: SERVER=600m. Please note it can NEVER be localhost.
The next line specifies the location of the database on the server. This can never be a shared drive, the drive MUST be physically connected to the server computer.
eBecasDBConfig Maintenance Tool
Equator IT provides the program eBecasDBConfig.exe version 9x. This is the maintenance tool to be used for eBECAS to provide optimization, backups, restores, updates and patches to the eBECAS database.
Place the eBecasDBConfig.exe in the same folder as the eBECAS database.
To run eBecasDBConfig.exe, pleasemake sure you have all the files needed as specified in the above link. If the database needs to be created, specify the location (folder) on the settings screen and database name on the server local drive, not on a mapped drive. If the database exists, check if eBecasDBConfig can make a connection by pressing the test button on the settings screen. You can press the Browse button and locate the database file, which will end in .FDB