Installing The THERAPIST on a Network

The THERAPIST has the capability for multiple users running it and accessing the data at the same time. If you have purchased a single user license and wish to have more than one user using the program at one time, contact Beaver Creek Software at (800) 895-3344 to purchase additional network licenses.

If you have a network administrator, please consult him or her before installing The THERAPIST on your network. There may be many issues to consider beyond the scope of this article.

Most network-related issues apply equally to a server based network and a peer-to-peer network. A server-based network is one where you have a separate computer that acts as a repository of files and programs. The server is never used as a workstation and usually runs a special operating system. A peer-to-peer network is one where there is no file server and all computers on the network can contribute file storage or other services. The THERAPIST works equally well in either configuration.

When you install The THERAPIST on a network, you have some choices to make. The first choice is whether to have all workstations run the program from one network location or to install The THERAPIST on each workstation. Our strong recommendation is to install the program separately on each workstation. This strategy has two significant performance benefits. The primary benefit is that program will load faster and you will have quicker response. This is because accessing the program from the local hard drive is much faster than across network wires. The secondary benefit is that you will not be degrading the overall network performance by making the program access its modules across the network.

If you install The THERAPIST on each workstation, the program is able to upgrade itself over the network if you install the upgrades on a central location and tell the workstations where to find them. This feature requires some setup and is described below.

The second decision you have to make is where to put the data. For networks using one or more dedicated file servers, your choice is obviously to put the data on a file server. If you have a peer-to-peer network your choice should be guided by several practical factors including the relative speeds of the computers on your network, who will be using the program most often, whether one computer is less prone to crashes, etc.

When you install The THERAPIST on a workstation always select to use the Custom/Network installation. That way you get to specify where the data will be located. The standard installation always puts the data below the program folder.

If the workstation will not be the data repository, you have to indicate where the data files are or will be located. Be sure you have mapped the necessary network drives and the data files are visible to the workstation. On the installation screen where you indicate your data destination, there is a Browse button. When pressed it allows you to select the drive and folder for your data files.

Other Considerations

One of the primary issues with multi-user systems and networks is security. This is a much broader topic than merely hiding sensitive information. The integrity of the system and the data must be protected against both intentional and unwitting damage. This is addressed primarily by requiring that users login with secret passwords and assigning those users different levels of permission to alter the system. On networks this can mean that each user can have the ability to perform different actions in different folders. Specific actions that affect using The THERAPIST are the ability to create files and folders, read, modify, and delete files. It may also be necessary to delete folders.

Initially, all of these rights are necessary to install The THERAPIST on a network. This may mean that a network administrator is needed to install The THERAPIST. On restrictive networks, the administrator can create the program folder and assign more flexible rights to that folder and all folders below it. Then anyone can install the program into that folder.

Automatic Workstation Upgrades

With The THERAPIST installed on each workstation, the program is able to upgrade itself over the network. There must be one copy of The THERAPIST, whether on a file server or on one computer on a peer-to-peer network, that all workstations can access. The easiest way to do this is to use the same computer, whether a server or a workstation, where the data is stored. Use the standard installation setup with the data folder below the program folder. If you stay with these default locations, it will greatly simplify upgrades later and will also help should you need technical support.

More information about network installations can be found in the installation guide (Adobe Acrobat file).