How do I install DataDear on a server or a virtualised environment?

Learn how to install DataDear in larger setups having a terminal server or virtualised environment.

This article is primarily targeted to the IT administrators who need to install DataDear on more complex servers. For a normal installation of a computer or laptop, visit the :link: DataDear installation guide.

:information_source: These settings are also useful for virtualised environments such a citrix and terminal services.

Background

Every time Excel is opened, DataDear checks if there is a new version (via the DataDear Loader add-in) and the auto-update kicks in automatically. Auto-updates will not work in a multi-user environment (refer to the multi-user setup recommended below). It will also fail if the folder where DataDear is installed does not have necessary r/w access (typically this is located in %AppData%\Scope SaaS\ unless you use the advanced setup file which allows you to change the installation path).

The application uses normal internet ports including port 80 and port 443.

Command Line Utility Setup (suitable for multi-user environment)

The command line utility is designed to be installed on servers which give access to multiple users.

:information_source: Note: the DataDear Loader (which checks and downloads new DataDear versions) will not be installed as part of this installation.

The steps to follow are:

  1. Download the setup file from this link :arrow_down: directly on the server.

  2. Extract the zip file and open the file dd_config.ini. You will need to modify this file to point to the installation directory on the server. All other files are required libraries and need to be present in the same folder of the main executable file.

  3. Run the update file by running โ€˜DataDearUpdater.exeโ€™ on the server. This will create all necessary registry entries, download the latest update and extract it in the directory you chose. You can follow progress of the installation in the command console. In a multi-user environment, the best option would be to have each installation separate. If this is not possible, a common folder for multiple users can be used.

  4. It is recommended to schedule this application to run on a daily basis (such as by creating a windows schedule) so the users will always work on the latest version of DataDear. If scheduling is not an option, this can also be run periodically when a new version of DataDear has been released. Variables cannot be used in the updater as this will only update DataDear core files and not user files. User files are saved in the userโ€™s roaming directory and registry files.

  5. For each client / terminal that needs to use DataDear in Excel, a registry entry has to be created. Depending on how DataDear was installed, these entries might need to be created manually after the installation. Download this registry file :arrow_down: and change the InstallPath and the Manifest for both DataDear.ExcelAddIn and DataDear.Loader to point to the DataDear installation directory on the client.

The contents of this registry file are the following:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\DataDear.ExcelAddIn]
"InstallPath"="C:\\DataDear\\"
"Description"="DataDear Excel Add-In"
"FriendlyName"="DataDear"
"LoadBehavior"=dword:00000003
"Manifest"="file:\\\\\\C:\\DataDear\\DataDear Excel add-in.vsto|vstolocal"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\DataDear.Loader]
"LoadBehavior"=dword:00000000
"Description"="DataDear Excel Add-In Loader"
"FriendlyName"="DataDearLoader"
"Manifest"="file:\\\\\\C:\\DataDear\\DataDear Loader.vsto|vstolocal"

Since this is a command line installation, you will not be able to uninstall DataDear from the Windows Control Panel. You will need to remove manually the folder set in the config file and remove the two registry folders described below:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\DataDear.ExcelAddIn]
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Excel\Addins\DataDear.Loader]

Advanced Setup File (Not suitable for multi-user environment)

The normal DataDear setup file will not allow you to configure any parameters during the installation - you may also use the advanced setup file for single installations from this link :arrow_down:. This advanced setup file gives you the option of choosing the installation path of the application.

:warning: This is not suitable for multi-user environments due to the automatic updating of DataDear.

Installing DataDear

The advanced setup file allows you to choose the installation directory. The default folder (and the one we suggest) is the AppData because the add-in auto-updates without the need for any user intervention. The DataDear usage log files will still be saved in the userโ€™s directory (%AppData%\Scope SaaS\DataDear\logs) so this folder needs to allow the application to save some settings.

The following rules need to be in place to ensure a smooth usage of DataDear.

  1. Installation Directory needs to allow the application to have r/w access to its path and the logs.

  2. Ensure that the following urls are whitelisted on your firewall:

https://apps.datadear.com

https://api.datadear.com/info/downloadLatestDD (a zip file needs to be downloaded from this location)

  1. This process needs to unzip the dlls so kindly ensure this can be done on the server.