How can I setup separate database and application servers?

Answer: Some customers desire to have separate database and application servers.  This can be done fairly easily with ExpressMaintenance and the SQL database engine.  There are basically three methods to accomplish the setup of separate servers.

1. Install and Copy Method (recommended)

  1. Login in as Administrator at the server computer where SQL Server is installed.
  2. Install ExpressMaintenance in the ExpressTech folder on the SQL Server computer. Run ExpressMaintenance at that server and follow the steps to create the database. Once the database is created and the program is properly registered, exit the program.
  3. When you exit the program, it will write to the Connection.ini file in the ExpressTech folder. Open the Connection.ini file with Notepad and make sure it contains at least the server name and database name. The server IP is better but the name will do.
  4. Next, copy the Maintenance.exe, ExpressRequest.exe, ExpressMaintenance.chm, ExrpessRequest.chm and Connection.ini files to the application server in a folder of your choice preferably named ExpressTech.
  5. Run the program at the Application Server and it will read the Connection.ini file and connect to the SQL server properly.
  6. Create shortcuts on the workstations pointing to the Maintenance.exe and ExpressRequest.exe files on the Application Server. For more details on this see the tech bulletin at the following link: How do workstations determine the server and database connection?
  7. Once everything is working properly, delete the ExpressTech folder on the original SQL Server computer.
  8. When you download and install updates in the future, simply install them at the application server computer.

The reason for first installing and running on the SQL server computer is to make initial creation of the database and connection.ini file simple. It can be done without all that but this is the simplest method.

2. Database Creation Method

If for some reason you cannot install the application on the server then you can use ExpressSQL to setup the database at the computer where SQL Server is installed.  To do this using ExpressSQL, follow these steps.

  1. Install ExpressMaintenance on the application server computer.
  2. Copy the ExpressMaintenance_Data.mdf and ExpressMaintenance_Log.ldf files from the ExpressTech folder on the application folder to a temporary folder on the server computer where SQL Server has been installed.
  3. Login in as Administrator at the server computer where SQL Server is installed.
  4. Make sure you are on the computer (server) with the SQL/MSDE installed.
  5. Download and install the latest release of ExpressSQL from our website at:
  6. After installing, run ExpressSQL at the server computer.
  7. Click on File / Register New Server to Setup the server using the user name of  “sa” and the password of “welcome” (blank) or the proper password as set by your company.
  8. Connect to the server by clicking on the server name.
  9. Connect to the Master database by clicking on the database name.
  10. Right click on list of databases and left click the “Create New Database”  option and follow steps of the wizard.
  11. You will be prompted for the new database name (recommend ExpressMaintenance).
  12. You will be prompted for the source model database files which can be found in the ExpressTech folder.  The files are “ExpressMaintenance_Data.MDF” and “ExpressMaintenance_Log.LDF” as placed by you in the temporary folder.
  13. You will be prompted for the destination folder where the SQL database will reside.  This is usually the folder of “\Program Files\MSSQL\Data” or \MSSQL7\Data” but may be different on your computer depending on where SQL was installed.
  14. Click Next and Finish to have the database created.
  15. You must now click on the server name to refresh the list of available databases.
  16. Click on the newly created database.
  17. Next, right click on the list of users and select the option to Add the special etuser account..
  18. The database is now properly setup on the SQL Server computer and you can exit ExpressSQL and return to the application server setup.
  19. Next, you will need to create the ExpressMaintenance.ini file on the application server in the same folder ExpressMaintenance is installed and Maintenance.exe resides.  The ExpressMaintenance.ini file should contain the server name or IP address and the database name as shown below.

    [Connection Info]

  20. Run the ExpressMaintenance shortcut at the application and the application should run connecting to the new database based on the information in the ExpressMaintenance.ini file.  If not, make sure you have the server and database information correct in the ExpressMaintenance.ini file.
  21. A new serial number will be generated and you will need to Email Support to obtain a permanent registration code.

3. Use SQL Enterprise Manager

You can also use SQL Enterprise Manager to attach the database.  See your SQL documentation and books online for information on how to attach a database.  You will want to get the ExpressMaintenance_Data.mdf and ExpressMaintenance_Log.ldf files that are installed with ExpressMaintenance to the SQL server computer and attach them as the new database.