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NetHelpDesk and SQL Databases

The database used by NetHelpDesk is Microsoft SQL Server. Any version of Microsoft SQL Server can be used from 2008 R2 onwards, including all latest versions, express (which is free, with a 10GB database limit) and full versions. Any version of Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio can be used to access the SQL database in any instance.

Manual Installation of Microsoft SQL Server Database

There are two options if not using the installer for the database:

OPTION SQL 1 Say “No”, and use an existing SQL Server instance on the same machine as the one that NHD is installed on, or a different machine, perhaps a dedicated SQL Server, and manually import the NetHelpDesk database, and manually create/adjust shortcuts.

or

OPTION SQL 2 Say “No”, and create another SQL Server instance on another machine, perhaps a dedicated SQL Server, and manually import the NetHelpDesk database, and manually create/adjust shortcuts

Whichever option you choose:

    1. NetHelpDesk supports all versions of SQL Server from Microsoft, version 7 onwards. We merely use examples below, and our team can assist if you get stuck.

    2. If Microsoft SQL Server is not yet installed on the machine you choose, it is best to use our installer, detailed in this guide.

    3. If the SQL Management Studio tool is not yet installed either, a free edition of Database Tools and Management Tools is available for download on the Microsoft website. This is recommended for queries and so on.

    4. NetHelpDesk recommends that you do not use Windows Authentication. Use SQL Server Authentication instead, using a SQL Server Administrator or “sa” account.

The sa account will automatically have full access to the instance you are using, and the databases within that instance. Using the “sa” login credential will ensure everyone on your domain can access NetHelpDesk without issue.

    5. The installer will create its own “sa” account for its own SQL instance for you. However, when manually setting up, if you are unaware of the “sa” login credentials, or not sure if one has been created, speak with your SQL Administrator about this account.

    6. If using an existing instance of SQL Server, and did not setup a ‘sa’ account, the user login you use must have full access to the instance.

    7. Some customers are not comfortable using the same sa credentials. You can create another account, or use a separate instance. We can help with all of this. The important thing is the high level of access to the NetHelpDesk DB.


Using a Pre-Existing SQL Server Instance

For Option SQL1, if the SQL Server instance is pre-existing, it will need some configuration checks before restoring the NetHelpDesk pre-configured database to it.


SQL Server Management Studio

Launch SQL Server Management Studio, and login using a high level access login to the instance. If the “sa” account exists, you’ll need to be able to log into the instance with it. When logged in:

    1. Right click on the Instance name at the top of the treeview, and select Properties.

    2. In the “Select a page” options, select Security and ensure that server authentication is set to SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode.


SQL Server Configuration Manager

Launch SQL Server Configuration Manager. Screenshots of steps follow.

    1. In SQL Server Services screen, check the SQL Server Browser’s Start Mode, and if it is set to Disabled , set to Automatic instead. This is changed in the “Service” tab in the Server Browsers properties, accessed by double clicking the entry.

    2. In SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for (INSTANCE NAME) and double click the TCP/IP protocol name, and on the Protocol tab, set Enabled to Yes.

    3. In IP Addresses tab, scroll to bottom of list and under IPAll; ensure:

      a) TCP Dynamic Ports is Blank (not zero).

      b) Ensure a unique TCP Port is specified, such as 14331. Click Apply to save.

    4. Go back to SQL Server Configuration Manager > SQL Server Services > Restart the SQL Server Service for your instance for changes to take effect.

    5. If you have Firewall software (Windows or 3rd Party software) running on the Server, add an exception/incoming rule to allow TCP Port 14331.

    6. Go to the “Manually Restoring a NetHelpDesk Database into a SQL Server instance” in this guide.

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Installing a New SQL Server Instance Manually

For Option SQL2, the SQL Server instance will be new, and it will need some configuration checks before restoring the NetHelpDesk pre-configured database to it.

You have several options available to you also:

    SQL Server Full: If you have a full version of SQL Server you wish to install, NetHelpDesk supports all versions of Microsoft SQL Server, version 7 onwards. We merely use examples in this guide, and our team can assist if you get stuck.

    SQL Server Express: Alternatively, in the …\NetHelpDesk\SQL folder, there are two applications included with NetHelpDesk Component 1, and they are versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express ready for you to use, which comes with a 10GB database size limit.

Use either 32bit of 64bit, depending on what System Type Operating System you have on the machine the instance is to be installed on.

    1. Launch the relevant application, and the SQL Server installer will begin.

    2. Installation Type should be a New Installation.

    3. Accept defaults until the Instance Configuration screen, and specify the Named instance and Instance ID. The Installer would call these both NETHELPDESK, but the default is SQLExpress. Whatever you choose, it doesn’t matter to the program, but make a note of what it is called, as you will need this later.

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    4. Accept defaults until the Database Engine Configuration screen, where we recommend that you:

      A. Select Mixed Mode (SQL Server authentication and Windows authentication), and,

      B. Specify an appropriate password for the default SQL Server System Administrator (sa) account, and,

      C. If you must use Windows Authentication, add the users to the SQL Server administrators list who will have unrestricted access to the Database Engine.

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      5. Continue until the Instance has installed, and the SQL Server installer confirms that it completed successfully.


    SQL Server Configuration Manager

    As before, in the OPTION SQL1 steps, you will need to make some changes in the SQL Server Configuration Manager. Screenshots of steps follow.

      1. In SQL Server Services screen, check the SQL Server Browser’s Start Mode, and if set to Disabled to Automatic. This is changed in the “Service” tab in the Server Browsers properties, accessed by double clicking the entry.

      2. In SQL Server Network Configuration > Protocols for (INSTANCE NAME) and double click the TCP/IP protocol name, and on the Protocol tab, set Enabled to Yes.

      3. In IP Addresses tab, scroll to bottom of list and under IPAll; ensure:

        a) TCP Dynamic Ports is Blank (not zero).

        b) Ensure a unique TCP Port is specified, such as 14331. Click Apply to save.

      4. Go back to SQL Server Configuration Manager > SQL Server Services > Restart the SQL Server Service for your instance for changes to take effect.

      5. If you have Firewall software (Windows or 3rd Party software) running on the Server, add an exception/incoming rule to allow TCP Port 14331.

      6. Go to the “Manually Restoring a NetHelpDesk Database into a SQL Server instance” in this guide.

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    Manually Restoring a NetHelpDesk Database into a SQL Server instance

    Whether selecting Option SQL1 or Option SQL2, a database for NetHelpDesk to use will need to be added to the instance of SQL Server. NetHelpDesk uses this database to store and retrieve data and configuration to the main NetHelpDesk interfaces.

    In the \\…NetHelpDesk\SQL folder, we have included a pre-configured blank NetHelpDesk database file for you to use, called NetHelpDesk.bak. This file is suitable for use in SQL Server v2005 onwards.

    Please note: At this point, you will need to have SQL Server Management Studio installed to be able restore the database .bak file into the SQL Server instance.

    You can use any version of SQL Server Management Studio to access the instance, as long as the version is the same or newer as the SQL Server version that is installed.

    If at any time you get stuck, or you’re unsure how to proceed, please speak with a member of our team.

    To Restore the .bak Database:

      1. Open SQL Management Studio, and log into your instance using your “sa” or relevant high level access account.

      2. Right click on Databases and left click Restore Database.

      3. In the Destination for restore section, in the To database field, enter a name for the database (e.g. NetHelpDesk).

      4. In the Source for Restore section, select From device, and set the path by browsing using the ellipsis button.

      5. Click Add on the Specify Backup screen.

      6. Navigate to the NetHelpDesk.bak file downloaded in Step 1 above

      (e.g. …\NetHelpDesk\SQL\NetHelpDesk.bak). Click OK.

      7. Ensure the checkbox in the Restore column is selected.

      8. Click OK, and then click OK. Again.

      9. Once completed, the database will be ready to connect to.

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    Configuring a new UDL file for use with SQL Server

    With Option SQL2 or Option SQL3, the data link file, which links the NetHelpDesk interfaces to the SQL Server database, will need to be updated. The data link file is called NetHelpDesk.udl, and one is automatically created and configured for you if following the installer.

    If not, you will have to do this manually. To achieve this:

      1. In the …\NetHelpDesk\Win folder, a sample SQL compatible UDL file called SQLServer.UDL can be found.

      2. Copy this file and paste into the root of the …\NetHelpDesk folder, and rename it to be called NetHelpDesk.udl.

      3. If one already exists, replace that existing file with this one.

      4. Double click the file to launch the OLE DB Core Services program to edit.

      5. In the Connection tab, specify the name of the server or the IP address, followed by “,14331” or whatever TCP port number you have specified in the Configuration Manager previously.

      6. We strongly recommend that you Use a specific username and password, and use the ‘sa’ account mentioned previously.

      7. If you must Use Windows NT Integrated Security, make sure that the users connecting have full access to the SQL Server instance, similar to the ‘sa’ account mentioned previously. If not, the connection will not work.

      8. Select the SQL database created above, whether upsized or empty.

      9. Test the connection, and you will see the confirmation screen below.

      10. If the test does not succeed, switch off the firewall on the server, to ensure this is not blocking connectivity.

      11. Any other errors will be mostly due to permissions issues with the login(s) you are using. If using the “sa” account, these rarely, if ever, happen.

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Our software is available on multiple platforms...

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