SQL Client Manager v12 - Manual

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Introduction

The PhraseExpress Professional Edition for Windows can connect Microsoft or Firebird SQL servers to share text templates in professionel network environments.

SQL server advantages

  • Phrases are shared with multiple users from a central server.
  • Multiple users can edit the phrase database simultaneously. No need to wait until a user has finished editing.
  • The phrase contents are transmitted to the client in the moment of insertion. This keeps the client lean and efficient.
  • Read and write access rights for individual phrases can be configured for each user.
  • Clients can simultaneously use individual and shared phrases.
  • SQL Servers are designed to handle a large number of clients.
  • The centralization simplifies data backup and maintenance.

Special PhraseExpress benefits

  • PhraseExpress can connect to multiple SQL databases and load local phrase files at the same time.
  • Personal phrases roam with the user to any workstation he is logged in ('roaming profiles').
  • The free PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager allows the administrator to centrally manage users, licenses and client versions & settings.
  • The user interface of individual clients can be restricted to prevent operating errors and to minimize user training.
  • E-Mail notifications keeps the administrator up-to-date about the server status.

Client/Server Architecture

PhraseExpress with a SQL Server involves three different programs:

Component Description

Firebird SQL Server
Firebird SQL

MS SQL
Microsoft SQL

The SQL server provides the phrase database to all PhraseExpress clients.

Client Manager icon

SQL Client Manager

The PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager initially creates phrase database and manages users, licenses and PhraseExpress clients.

The SQL Client Manager requires an internet connection for the short time of license authorization and to check for updates. Offline authorization is available on request for 10+ licenses

Client icon

PhraseExpress clients

The clients provide the PhraseExpress functionality on the local workstations.

The software is identical to the stand-alone client.

System Requirements

The PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager requires a Firebird SQL v2.5 or Microsoft SQL Server.

Installation

Installation of PhraseExpress in a client-/server environment consists of the SQL Client Manager installation and the installation of the user clients.

SQL Client Manager Installation

Video tutorial

  1. Install the Firebird SQL or Microsoft SQL server on your server computer.
    If using a Microsoft SQL server, follow the important MS SQL configuration requirements.
  2. Download and install the PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager, ideally on the server computer running the SQL server.
  3. Launch the PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager. The initial installation wizard guides you through the creation of the phrase and license database.
  4. If you have purchased PhraseExpress, register the license keys. Without license keys, you can evaluate PhraseExpress with all features. After 30 days, PhraseExpress will start showing license reminders.
  5. Download and install the PhraseExpress clients on all workstation computers.

Client Installation

  1. Install the PhraseExpress client (download) on all workstations.
  2. The SQL Client Manager sends UDP broadcast polls to the PhraseExpress clients in the network.
  3. The clients connect to the server and automatically switch from the local phrase file to the SQL database.

If UDP is blocked in the network, open the PhraseExpress client and select menu command File » Open » Connect to SQL server, and enter the SQL database location (as shown in the SQL Client Manager tab "Database").

You can also specify the SQL database location by installing the clients with a command-line parameter for the client installation file.

Installed clients can alternatively be configured with a client configuration file:

  1. In the SQL Client Manager, switch to tab "Database" and click "Create client configuration file". The generated file config.xml contains the SQL database location.
  2. Exit all PhraseExpress clients.
  3. Copy the config.xml to the common(!) application data folder ("C:\ProgramData\PhraseExpress\config.xml") on all client computers.
  4. Delete the configuration file config.xml in all user(!) application data folder ("C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Roaming\PhraseExpress\config.xml") on all clients. Any client settings will be deleted!

The SQL database will be loaded on next client launch.

Moving data to a SQL Server

Move your existing phrases with this easy procedure:

  1. Install the PhraseExpress clients and the SQL Client Manager, as described above.
  2. Important: If access restrictions are applied to individual phrase folders, launch the PhraseExpress client under a Windows account from which you have access to all phrases!
  3. Open the PhraseExpress client's main program window and load the phrase file with the command File » Open » Local phrase file.
  4. Create a new phrase file node with the command File » Open » Connect to a SQL server and confirm to load the SQL database as a new file node.
  5. Drag & drop desired phrases with the mouse from the local phrase file to the SQL server phrase node. The conversion may take a while…
  6. Remove the local phrase file from the phrase tree view.

Done! Your phrases are now stored on the SQL server and are ready to be shared with others.

Using the SQL Client Manager

The PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager is your central hub to manage users, clients and licenses.

While it is running, it also allows clients to find the SQL database on the network and optionally sends email status notifications.

Monitor Tab

The Monitor tab shows status information and a list of all licensed clients.

Use combinations of the SHIFT- and CTRL-keys to highlight multiple users in the list.

Monitor columns

Right-click the title bar of the user list to add/remove columns.

Click a column title to sort the users in the list. Click again to invert the sorting order.

Column Description

Check boxes in column "W" (for "write access") define whether a client is generally allowed to edit phrases. If unchecked, options to add/remove/edit phrases are disabled in that client to prevent operating errors.

This global write permission setting overrides any folder-based access permissions configured in the clients.

To change settings for all clients in one go, (un)check the check box in the title row and transfer this setting with the Set button. The check boxes in the title bar also define the default settings for new clients connecting for the first time. If you uncheck the "W" check box in the title bar, any client connecting for the first time will have no write access to the phrase file by default.

Clients are updating this setting in intervals, which can be configured in the client's configuration file (tag <Network><SQLPingInterval>). If zero, or if the client has a locally registered license, this setting is retrieved on client launch only.

The check boxes in the column "C" (for "configuration") define whether a client can access program settings. If unchecked, access to program settings is disabled to prevent configuration errors.

To change settings for all clients in one go, (un)check the check box in the title row and transfer this setting with the Set button. The check boxes in the title bar also define the default settings for new clients connecting for the first time. If you uncheck the "C" check box in the title bar, any client connecting for the first time will have no write access to the phrase file by default.

Clients are updating this setting in intervals, which can be configured in the client's configuration file (tag <Network><SQLPingInterval>). If zero, or if the client has a locally registered license, this setting is retrieved on client launch only.

Licensed: The client has successfully received a license from the SQL license database.

Demo: The client has no license and is running in demo or freeware mode.

Local License: The client is registered locally and does not require a license from the central license pool (if any).

The SQL Client Manager accumulates the time and money savings of all PhraseExpress clients.

The money savings accumulate the plain figures and don't reflect different currencies.

Avoid removing write access while a user is working on the phrase file as it may confuse the user.

Release unused licenses

  1. In the SQL Client Manager, switch to the "Monitor" tab.
  2. Select the users you wish to remove from the list. Those must not be connected to the database.
  3. Click the Remove button.
The licenses return to the pool of available licenses for other users. If the removed user reconnects, it may take a license again.

Define a Master User

Right-click any of the users in the list and select the corresponding context menu option to promote the user to "Master" status. This status is indicated with green color.

We recommend to promote the administrator as the Master.

Additional master rights:
  • The Master can access all phrases regardless of any access restrictions.
  • The Master can redefine the owner of any phrase (via the client access restrictions dialog).

Central Master Configuration

The PhraseExpress program settings of the Master client can be applied to other clients:

  1. Right-click the Master and select the corresponding context menu option. This will be indicated with green colored bold text.
  2. Remove the checkmark in the "C" column for all users that shall use the program settings of the master user.

The selected users will use the master client program settings with the next start of their PhraseExpress clients. As they do not have configuration permission, they cannot alter the master user program settings.

Database Tab

The tab "database" provides overview about the SQL database. You can create a configuration file that contains connection information for the clients.

To create a new database or to load an existing one, press the "New" button in the "Database" tab of the SQL Client Manager and proceed as follows:

  1. Enter the Sysdba password, that you may have configured in the Firebird SQL server (default password is "masterkey").
  2. Define an administrator account that is used to authorize access to the SQL Client Manager later.
  3. Enter the path to the SQL database without the file name. The database must be located on the server computer running the SQL server.

Press OK to create the phrase and license database.

If you never changed the phrase file location on the clients (e.g. after initial installation) and if the clients can access the SQL Client Manager via UDP, the SQL Client Manager will transmit the SQL database location and the clients will load the SQL database automatically.

Users Tab

The tab "Users" is only shown if you chose "Use Windows user account authorization" when you created the database.

The left window side shows all users and groups as provided by the Windows ActiveDirectory service for the selected domain.

You can use the search box to pick specific users and copy them to the list on the right that contains all users allowed to connect to the SQL database.

Users with granted access permissions are green-colored in the left-hand list.

You can revoke access rights from selected users from the right-handed list with the Delete / Backspace-key or by pressing the Arrow Left -button.

License Keys Tab

If you have purchased PhraseExpress licenses, you need to register them in the SQL Client Manager:

  1. Launch the SQL Client Manager and switch to the tab License Keys.
  2. Copy the list of license keys into the Windows clipboard and paste it into the license key input area. If you want to add license keys to an existing set of license, please just append the new license keys to the list.
  3. Make sure that the SQL Client Manager can access the internet and click the Update button to start the online validation process.

If the PC has no internet connection, install the SQL Client Manager on any other PC within your network that has network access to the server PC and access to the internet and validate the license keys from there. If you don't have any internet connection, we offer offline license keys for 10+ licenses on request.

If you are using a proxy server, make sure to configure the proxy settings in the SQL Client Manager as well.

The license authorization sends your licenses together with a server PC based identification to our license server.

Licensing

PhraseExpress is licensed per user connection to the server.

A user is identified by one of the following combinations:

Combination Notes

A user is identified by its Windows Logon user name.

This setting is recommended only, if all users have unique names. You may not want to use this setting if multiple users in your organization share the same user name.

A user is identified by the combination of the user name and the workgroup. This setting is suitable if there are multiple users with the same Windows user name in different workgroups.

A user is identified by the combination of the workgroup, computer name and user name.

You can configure the user identification in the License key tab of the SQL Client Manager. This licensing system assures that PhraseExpress provides each user's personal phrases independent of the computer the user is logging on ('roaming profiles').

Licensing Variations

PhraseExpress is available in two licensing variations that you can choose during your purchase:

License Variation Explanation

Each PhraseExpress user is permanently tied to a particular license key which is taken from pool of available license keys with the first connection of the user client. The license <-> user association still applies, if the user is not currently using the software.

This licensing type is recommended if a fixed number of permanent users are using PhraseExpress on a regular basis.

You can unbind a particular user from a license key in the Monitor tab of the SQL Client Managers by deleting the entry.

Each PhraseExpress user gets a temporary license key from the pool of available license keys for the time, the user is connected to the SQL server. The license is automatically put back to the pool of available licenses if the user is disconnected from the SQL server.

This licensing type is recommended for part-time workers in a company.

Concurrent User licenses are available for purchases of 10+ Professional/Enterprise Edition licenses on request.

De-registering License Keys

You can unregister license keys at any time by removing the license keys from the SQL Client Manager license key input field and pressing the Update button.

Addition information

  • If all license keys are occupied by users you can either remove users from the user list or purchase additional licenses and add them to your current installation at any time.
  • Named- vs. Concurrent User licenses can be mixed: Register the "Named User" license keys on the SQL Client Manager first and launch the clients first which shall take these licenses. Then, register the Concurrent User licenses in the SQL Client Manager which will be temporarily associated to floating users.
  • PhraseExpress adds the string "_TS" (without "") to the computer name if installed within a TerminalServer session. This allows you to simultaneously use PhraseExpress within a TerminalServer session and on the host PC which runs the TerminalServer.
  • You can install PhraseExpress on an unlimited number of computers in the network. The number of license keys defines the number of users that can simultaneously access the SQL server.

Notifications Tab

The SQL Client Manager can send email to the administrator in case of specific events, such as general database errors, software updates or if the server is running out of available licenses.

E-Mail setup and the desired event notifications can be configured in the tab "Notifications".

The SQL Client Manager must be running at all times to detect events and to dispatch emails.

Data Backup

PhraseExpress does not create SQL database backups. Please use 3rd party tools to create such backups. Information about Firebird SQL database backups can be found in the Firebird SQL FAQ

Frequently backup your phrase and license database to different storage media to eliminate the slightest risk to lose your data in case of hard disk failure.

Hard disks can break - And they do when you don't expect it!

Software Updates

We continuously improve PhraseExpress and you can keep the program up-to-date with the built-in Internet update check.

To check manually for updates, connect your computer to the Internet and in the SQL Client Manager select the tab Online Updates » Check now.

Make sure that all clients have the same version number

If clients are loading phrases from a (SQL) server, the local update check feature is disabled to prevent version inconsistencies in the network.

Uninstallation

The PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager can be removed with the standard Windows feature to add/remove programs.

Before uninstalling PhraseExpress, make sure to de-register any license keys.

Trouble-Shooting

Following trouble-shooting tips should be able to help you if you experience issues:

General

  • Make sure to use the latest software version. Please note that the PhraseExpress clients must have the same major version number. You cannot mix PhraseExpress v10 with PhraseExpress v8 clients. You can find the latest product versions on our download page.
  • Make sure that the computer running that all computers running the PhraseExpress clients have a network connection via TCP port 3050 to the server PC.
  • Check whether any firewall or any other “security” program may PhraseExpress from accessing the network.

Server PC Trouble-Shooting

  • Launch the SQL Client Manager and switch to the "Monitor" tab. Red-colored status text indicates potential issues.
  • If you ran out of available licenses please purchase additional licenses or remove license key association if you wish to use a license for another user.

Microsoft SQL Server Trouble-Shooting

Please check following Microsoft SQL server settings:

  • Open the Microsoft SQL Configuration Manager and switch to "Client protocols". Make sure that the protocol is activated you wish to use for communication (screenshot).
  • Under "Server Services", make sure that the services "SQL server" and "SQL Server Browser" are running (screenshot).
  • In the SQL server properties, select the same authentication method that you choose in the PhraseExpress SQL Client Manager when setting up the PhraseExpress SQL databases (screenshot).
  • Install the "Microsoft SQL Server - Native Client" on all client computers and the computer running the SQL server (Microsoft Download).

Client Trouble-Shooting

  • Important: If using a Microsoft SQL server, the "Microsoft SQL Server - Native Client" must be installed on all client computers and the computer running the SQL server (Microsoft Download).
  • Do you see the PhraseExpress icon in the lower right of the Windows task tray? If not, the PhraseExpress client doesn't seem to be running or it is not even installed yet. Please follow the PhraseExpress client installation instructions.
  • Hover the PhraseExpress task tray icon. In many cases, the yellow hint popup provides information about the program status.
  • Open the PhraseExpress client main program window and make sure that Networking is enabled. If not, check the option and restart the PhraseExpress client.
  • Make sure that the PhraseExpress client is connected to a SQL phrase database.
  • Please find additional troubleshooting tips in the PhraseExpress client manual.

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