Do you need to move nShift On-premises to a new server and would you like to do it yourself? This tutorial will explain how to. However, we do not recommend moving nShift On-premises yourself unless you have knowledge of setting up SQL servers.
Consignor On-premises changed name to nShift On-premises in August 2021. Depending on your version, your software may still be called Consignor On-premises but the procedure described in this article is the same.
Important note: When you have moved nShift On-premises to a new computer /server, you can no longer use the old installation. If you do, shipment and package numbers will be reused which could result in penalties from carriers and lost or returned shipments.
Consider checking our system requirements here before getting started, to make sure you have the hardware needed. This guide is for installations of nShift On-premises with the SQL database on the same machine. We also recommend that you update your nShift On-premises BEFORE making a server move. Making sure that everything runs with the latest version reduces the risk of problems related to the server move.
Follow these steps to move nShift On-premises to a new server:
- Step 1. Make a backup of your database
- Step 2. Install Microsoft SQL server
- Step 3. Install nShift On-premises
- Step 4. Restore and update the database
- Step 5. Move the installation ID
- Step 6. Redirect clients to the new server
- Checklist - things to remember after the move
- Trouble shooting
Step 1. Make a backup of your database
To move nShift On-premises you need a new backup of the database. Make sure the backup is new to avoid reusing any shipment or package numbers. (Please note that the following backup procedure is based on an SQL Express installation).
- Stop any Import and Export setup running in your nShift On-premises. Go to Setup, locate any Import Setup and Export Setup icons, open them and remove the check mark in Import Active and Export Active.
- Go to File > Backup and Shrink.
- Under Settings, set the Destination path and click Backup. It is a good idea to choose a network path that the new server has access to, so you easily can copy the file to the new server.
- The backup is complete when you see the text Backup.bpl completed in the bottom left-hand corner of the nShift On-premises window.
- Move the backup file to the new machine. A database backup can only be restored from a local drive.
- Stop and deactivate the ConsignorServer service.
Step 2. Install Microsoft SQL server
First step on the new machine is to install Microsoft SQL Server.
You can download an installation package from Microsoft here. The express version can be downloaded for free.
You may also download Microsoft SQL Server 2019 from nShift here. Note that this version is prepared for nShift On-premises and assumes that you install a database named nShift and have the SQL database and nShift On-premises on the same machine.
We recommend using Microsoft SQL server 2019 or future versions. Please note that .NET framework version 4 or newer is required to benefit from all features in nShift On-premises.
Step 3. Install nShift On-premises
- Download and install nShift On-premises on the new server: SetupSRVC.exe.
- Enter your SQL credentials when you reach the Create nShift On-premises Database screen. The Database Server Name and the User Password is the instance and the password you created during the SQL server installation. If you don't see your Database name in the drop-down menu, try to click Previous and check Advanced Options before clicking Next again. The user you use must have access to the Master database. Once you have entered the correct information, click Next. (If you used the SQL version from nShift, no changes are needed in this step).
- Click Start to start creating the database.
- When you launch nShift On-premises for the first time, it will ask for a product key. Click Cancel.
- nShift On-premises will now start and is ready to restore the database.
Step 4. Restore and update the database
- Go to Tools > Advanced > SQL Explorer.
- SQL Explorer inside nShift On-premises is password protected for security reasons. Contact nShift Customer Service for help to enter the control code. (Entering the Password Safezone inside On-premises is always the customer's own responsibility!).
- In SQL Explorer, right-click on the nShift database and select Restore database.
- Select the database backup file you made on the old machine and click Restore.
- After the database is restored it must be updated. Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Consignor and locate the program file UpdateDatabase. Run the file as administrator.
- Click Update. The update will take a few minutes. Click Close when it is complete.
Step 5. Move the installation ID
nShift On-premises depends on a number of web services and requires that you move the installation ID to work properly.
- Go to Tools > Advanced > Move installation.
- Move Installation is password protected for security reasons. Contact nShift Customer Service for help to enter the control code. (Entering the Password Safezone is always the customer's own responsibility!).
- Choose the second option and enter the name of your old computer and click Move.
- When you see a message confirming that your Installation has been moved, you will need to restart nShift On-premises. We also recommend restarting Windows at this point.
Step 6. Redirect clients to the new server
- Go to Edit > Server Connection.
- Enter the new server name and click Test connection.
- If the connection is successful, you must restart nShift On-premises and it will now point to the new server.
If you are running Windows Firewall on the new server, you need to add an exception in the Firewall to allow the clients to connect. See our article Opening Windows Firewall for client connections to server.
Checklist - things to remember after the move
When you're done with the On-premises installation and moving the database, there are a few things to remember. Not all of the points below are relevant for all installations.
- Remember to stop the ConsignorServer service on the old server if you didn't do this in step 1.
- Activate Export and Import setup on the new server. Remember to change paths if relevant and check that there is access.
- Test your printer settings, try printing a test label and an A4 document.
- If the ConsignorServer service is running on a specific user, this user must have all the necessary rights.
- If you have remote Clients, make sure to enable the TCP/IP configuration for the Consignor instance in SQL Server Configuration Manager. This is needed in order for a remote Client to be able to connect to the SQL Server. The Named Pipes protocol is NOT needed.
- Check the connection from your clients to the server. If the connection is not working, we recommend reading this guide: Opening Windows Firewall for client connections to server.
This section will explain some of the most commonly known errors you may experience when moving nShift On-premises to a new server. If you encounter any problems not described here, we recommend contacting nShift Customer Service for support.
Problems with database backup
Making a database backup as described in step 1 fails.
Try to make the backup from SQL Management Studio instead. It is also possible to make a database backup from SQL Explorer which can be opened in nShift On-premises by going to Tools > Advanced > SQL Explorer.
Installation ID already in use
nShift On-premises says that the Installation ID is already in use.
Your installation ID has not been moved correctly to the new installation. Try to perform Step 5. Move your installation ID again. If the warning persists, contact nShift Customer Service who can help you fix the issue.
Problems with connection between clients and server
The move went well but you cannot connect to the server from your clients.
Suggested solution: A broken connection is often related to the ports used or Windows firewall blocking the connection. We recommend trying to follow this guide:
Opening Windows Firewall for client connections to server
No data in Portal
If for some reason you have not been able to shut down the old nShift server completely after the database backup was made, or you have restored an older database, shipments on the old installation and on the new installation will have identical IDs in Portal's database and Portal upload will fail.
You can reset the shipment IDs - go to Tools > Options > Restricted and click Reset Shipment Global Unique Id.
Make sure that Portal is enabled. Go to Tools > Portal status and click Enable Portal.
SQL error on stack
Clicking on a stack in Outbox generates an SQL error
Run a database update
Other trouble shooting tips:
- Service user account: Some customers use a specific user account to run ConsignorServer service but forget setting this up on the new server. This could result in some processes not working because of lacking access rights. Often error messages do not reflect issues due to access rights so make sure the service user has the appropriate rights.
- SQL user rights: Make sure your SQL user has the correct access rights and you are running Mixed mode authentication.
- Uninstall old service: Uninstall the ConsignorServer service on the old machine if the machine is still in use. We occasionally see customers who restarted the old machine and caused the old ConsignorServer to restart, resulting in duplicate data/imports.