Readerware Client/Server Edition

Readerware Client/Server edition is designed to allow multiple users to connect to a central database. It can be used on home networks to manage personal collections. It can also be used in libraries, churches, schools and enterprise locations to catalog and manage a library.

The Readerware server can run on any platform. It does not need a dedicated server, it will run in the background on any machine, you can even run both client and server on the same machine.

You can have any mix of clients, Windows, Mac and Linux users can all access the same Readerware server.

You can publish your database in read only, checkout or update mode. Selected users can be given update access. So for example you could publish your database in checkout mode so that all users can browse the database and check items out. Selected users can be given update access so that they can add new items and maintain the database.

Installing the Readerware Server

The Readerware Server is included in all distributions. Installation is a little different on each platform but you just need to make sure that the Readerware server component is selected during the installation process.

Before you start the server you must setup your Readerware database(s) on the server machine.

If this is a new installation you can create a new empty database using the normal Readerware program, select File->New Database.

If you have an existing database you can use backup & restore to transfer it to the server machine.

Running the server as a Windows service

On Windows the Readerware Server is run as a Windows service, you must first install it. Start the RWServer Config utility using the Windows Start menu. On Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the Readerware Server Configuration Utility requires administrator rights so Windows UAC might prompt you to approve the program before it is launched. Select the Service->Install RWServer Service menu item, this will install the Readerware server as a Windows service that will be started automatically every time you start your computer. You can also use the Service menu to check the status of the server, stop and start the server etc.

Once installed, another way to stop and start the server is by using the Windows Services Control Panel. The Windows Services Control Panel can also be used to change the server properties. Locate RWServer in the list and double click on it to open the properties dialog. There are a couple of settings you might want to change:
Startup type - The default setting is Automatic, Windows will start the Readerware Server as Windows starts. You can change this to Automatic (Delayed Start). Windows will still start the Readerware Server automatically but not until Windows is fully launched. Choose this option if you need to have other processes start before the Readerware Server. For example you might have your Readerware database on an encrypted disk. If started right away the disk may not be available. Using the delayed start option gives you a chance to load the encrypted disk first.

Log on as - By default the Readerware server runs as a local system account. This normally works fine unless you have your database stored in a folder owned by a particular user. In this case the system account may be denied access to the database. You can fix this by providing the appropriate log on credentials and Windows will start the Readerware Server under that account.

Running the server on Mac OS X

The RWServer and RWServer Config applications are included in a separate Mac OS X distribution and should be installed into your Applications folder.

The RWServer application does not open a window but runs in the background.

You can shut down the server from the RWServer Config Utility.

Running the server on Linux

You can start the Readerware Server from the desktop by selecting Applications->Office->RWServer.

A startup script is also provided which you can use to launch the server:

You will find the script the Readerware installation folder.

You can shut down the server from the RWServer Config Utility.

Configuring the Readerware Server

You configure the Readerware server using the configuration utility. You run this on the server machine.

Note: Mac users need administrator rights when running the configuration utility. You will receive an error when saving the configuration if you do not have administrator rights.

Port configuration

The Readerware Server uses two TCP/IP ports for database communications, and one TCP/IP port for mobile communications..

The control port is used by both the configuration utility and the Readerware client to communicate with the Readerware server. The default control port is 9010

The data port is used to send data between the client and server. The Readerware server only has one data port which is used by all databases. The default data port in 9001.

The mobile port is used to sync your databases to a mobile device. The default data port in 9002.

You should use the default ports unless there is a port conflict with another application.

If you are using firewall software you must ensure that all three ports are open.

Database configuration

Each database is configured separately, click on the appropriate tab. i.e. Server (Books).

You need to provide the location of the database which can be done by clicking on the Browse button.

The access mode must be set to one of the following:
Read only - All users can view the database but cannot make any changes to the database, this includes checking out an item.

Checkout mode - All users can view the database and check books in and out. No other updates are permitted.

Full Access - All users have full access to the database.

The update password is used in read only and checkout modes. The Readerware client allows users to request update access. The user must provide this password to get full access to the database.

If you have purchased Readerware you must supply your registration name and code to register the server program. If running in evaluation mode, leave these fields blank.

Use the Save Server Configuration button to save your changes.

To test the server you can click on the Restart Server button. You should ensure that no clients are accessing the server before you restart it.

To shutdown the Readerware server select the File->Shutdown Server menu item. You should ensure that no clients are accessing the server before it is shut down. This will do a controlled shutdown of the server and terminate the task. If you need to restart the server after a shutdown, you have to do this from the operating system.

Configuring the Readerware Client

To use Readerware in client/server mode you must select the advanced open dialog option. Select the Preferences menu item, then Database, then Access.

Now when you open a Readerware database, select File->Open Database, you will see the advanced open dialog. Select the option to connect to a Readerware Server and enter the server name or IP address and the control port. The control port must be the same as the control port set in the server configuration utility.

Readerware will connect to the server and display your database as normal. Readerware remembers the last accessed database and will open it automatically the next time the program is started. So normally you set up Readerware to connect to the server once and Readerware connects to your server each time the program is started.

Readerware Server Log File

The Readerware server logs basic activity and errors to a log file. The file is called rwserver.log and it will be created in your Documents folder, Readerware->Logs.

If you experience any problems, the answer can normally be found in the log file. This is a plain text file and can be viewed in any text editor.

Connection problems

If the client cannot connect to the Readerware server it is normally one of the following issues:

The Readerware server is not running or does not have the appropriate database open. Check the rwServer.LOG file on the server machine to verify that the Readerware server has started normally and that the database is open. If you start the server and open a Readerware and ReaderwareAW database but do not open a ReaderwareVW database, then you will receive an error if you try to connect from a ReaderwareVW client.

The operating system cannot resolve the server name. The first thing to check is that the two machines can communicate. From the remote machine, open a command prompt and enter the following command:
ping servername
where servername is the name of the machine running the Readerware server. If the ping works, then we know the two machines can communicate. If not there is some sort of networking problem between the two machines. Try using the machine IP address in place of the server name. Readerware will accept either.

Your Firewall is blocking the server ports. If the ping works but Readerware is still unable to connect, then it is probably your firewall software blocking the ports Readerware is using.

It is often easier to get started by running the server and client on the same machine. That takes things like firewalls out of the picture. Once you get it running on the same machine, you know the server is configured correctly and you can then try connecting from another machine.

Database Maintenance

You should perform periodic maintenance on your Readerware server databases.

As you add new items to your server databases, the database will grow in size and should be compacted for better performance and to reduce disk space usage. As your databases stabilize and you are no longer adding a lot of new items, the need to compact the database will be reduced.

Use the RWServer Config utility to compact your databases, select from the Database menu. Depending on the size of your database, it may take a while to compact a database. The server will be placed in maintenance mode while the database is compacted. No new connections will be accepted until the operation completes. You can not interrupt the process while the database is being compacted, it must be allowed to complete.

It is a good idea to backup your database before compacting it.

The Compact Database Wizard will guide you through the process. The first screen displays the full path of the database and the current database size. Verify that you are compacting the correct database and click Next to start compacting.

When the operation completes the Next button will be enabled. Click Next to display the results screen. RWServer Config will display the original size of the database and the new compacted size. This should give a good idea of how often your databases needs to be compacted.

Readerware Mobile Database Synchronization

If you are using mobile devices you can configure the Readerware Server to allow mobile devices to copy the databases from the server.

The default port for Readerware Mobile sync is 9002. It is recommended that you use the default port unless there are port conflicts with other applications. Click on the Ports tab to change the mobile sync port.

Each database is configured separately, click on the appropriate tab. i.e. Mobile (Books). Check the mobile sync option and optionally define the fields and lengths that you want to transfer to your mobile devices.

When done save the configuration and restart the server. You can now sync your mobile devices by connecting to the Readerware Server using the IP address displayed and port 9002.

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