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How to Install a BASIS Product Remotely
By Amer Child and Nick Decker
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How many times have you needed to install or update a customer's software, but the customer was miles away and you didn't have enough time to travel to the site? This is a common scenario for many Business Basic developers. They have a number of customers that are located across town, in different cities and sometimes several states away.

Physically traveling to each site to install or update software can be a challenge, but it's possible to maintain your customer's software remotely without ever having to leave your office! If you've got a network connection and can connect to your customer's machine, then it's easy to install, update and add licenses to your customer's server from your computer. Here, we outline some of the more common Microsoft Windows and UNIX network scenarios to help you save time and money by keeping your customer's software up to date without having to travel.

Remotely Installing A BASIS Product Via A Client

    Windows Remote Installation

To install a BASIS product to a remote Microsoft Windows system, you will need to use remote control software such as pcAnywhere, WinVNC, Carbon Copy, etc. These packages allow you to connect to the remote machine over a phone line or the Internet and control the remote machine from your computer.

SCENARIO 1: Installing the BASIS Product Directly on to the NT Server
In this scenario, both your computer and the remote NT server will be running the remote control software. The first step is to connect to the NT server. Once connected, have your customer ensure that the BASIS product CD is in the remote NT server's CD-ROM drive. Double-click the remote machine's 'My Computer' desktop icon and then select its CD-ROM drive. You are now exploring the BASIS product CD. Select the rev2.2x directory. Locate the product you are installing and double-click that directory. Once you're in the desired product directory, you may install the product by selecting the setup.exe program. The installation and registration process that follows is exactly like a local installation.

SCENARIO 2: Installing the BASIS Product on to the NT Server From a Client Machine
This scenario is less common but exists when the NT server doesn't have the remote control software installed. In this scenario, your computer and a workstation on the remote LAN will be running the remote control software. The remote workstation must have a drive mapped to the NT server. The first step is to connect to the remote workstation. Once connected, have your customer ensure that the BASIS product CD is in the workstation's CD-ROM drive. Double-click the remote workstation's 'My Computer' desktop icon and then select its CD-ROM drive. You are now exploring the BASIS product CD. Select the rev2.2x directory. Locate the product you are installing and double-click that directory. Once you're in the desired product directory, you may install the product by selecting the setup.exe program. During the installation process, you should select the 'Network Install' option and choose the NT server's mapped drive as the target installation directory.

The registration process is slightly different in this scenario than when installing directly on the NT server because the BASIS product must be registered to the NT server rather than to the workstation to which you've connected to run the remote installation. To complete the registration, you will need the HOSTID for the NT server, which can be either the server's network card MAC address or its hard-drive serial number.

To Obtain the NT Server's Network Card MAC Address:
Open a DOS session on the remote workstation and ping the NT server by executing the following command:

ping <NTSERVER>

where <NTSERVER> corresponds to the NT server's host name. When the ping succeeds, make a note of the NT server's IP address.

Next, do an arp request by executing the following command from the DOS prompt:

arp -a

Find the server's IP address in the list. The server's MAC address can be determined by locating the alphanumeric sequence in the physical address column that follows the server's IP address. Enter this sequence, without the hyphens, into the registration field where it asks for the HOSTID.

To Obtain the NT Server's Hard-Drive Serial Number:

Open a DOS session on the remote workstation and change drives to the drive mapped to the NT server. Once you are at the mapped drive, execute the following command:

dir /p

Make a note of the NT server's hard-drive serial number, which is located on the line that begins with Volume Serial Number. Enter this sequence, without the hyphens, into the registration field where it asks for the HOSTID.

    UNIX Remote Installation

To install a BASIS product to a remote UNIX system, you will need to have a network connection to the remote machine so that you can open a telnet session and log in to the remote server.

After logging in, the next step is to create the BASIS home directory on the remote machine. This directory is usually called "basis" and all of the BASIS products will be installed in subdirectories underneath it. After creating the basis directory, you will need to copy the desired product into that directory.

SCENARIO 1: A High Bandwidth Connection to the Remote Server

If you have a fast network connection between the two machines, you can copy the product files over the network from your machine to the remote server using FTP or RCP. If you have the BASIS product CD, you can copy the necessary files directly from your CD to the remote server. Or you can download the files to your computer from the BASIS Web or FTP sites and then copy the files to the remote server.

SCENARIO 2: A Low Bandwidth Connection to the Remote Server

If you have a slow network connection to the remote machine, such as a modem link, you should have your customer mount the BASIS product CD on the remote server's CD-ROM drive. The product may then be copied from the CD-ROM drive to the basis home directory on the remote server. If the remote server has a fast Internet connection, you can use FTP on the remote server to download the files from the BASIS FTP site directly to the remote machine's basis home directory.

Once the product has been copied into the BASIS home directory, the installation and registration process that follows is exactly like a local installation.

    Registering A License

By following these suggestions, you'll be able to get a customer's software up and running in no time. To facilitate both remote and local licensing, you can register for licenses via phone, e-mail, the Web or by fax. Be sure to check out the newest way to register for a license using the Web registration method, located at http://www.basis.com/cgi-bin/register.cgi. From a browser on any machine, you can receive product licenses instantly over the Internet or request that the licenses be delivered to a fax number or e-mail address you specify

 
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