Database Migration

Moving a database from one SQL Server Instance to another

Database Migration

Moving a HelpMaster database is a relatively simple thing to do. Remember that when you change the name of the database, or the server it’s located on, you’ll need to get a new registration code from PRD Software and re-apply the HelpMaster registration code. Please remember this before you start your migration.

Migrating a database can take some time, depending on how large your database is, backup times and additional configuration. Plan for downtime to your HelpMaster system.

Migration Procedure

Here are the steps involved in moving the HelpMaster database to a new SQL server or SQL instance.

  1. Let PRD Software know when you expect to do the migration. We will create a new registration code for you and send it to you. Please note that these codes expire after 3 days, hence the reason why you should contact PRD Software with a date in mind.
  2. Ensure that no-one is using HelpMaster. Use the Administration > System Administration > Logoff users feature if need be.
  3. Stop any of the HelpMaster services that you may be using e.g. Email Manager, Priority Manager, Active Directory, and Automation services.
  4. Stop the Web Portal. Log onto the IIS machine hosting the HelpMaster Web Portal and stop the HelpMaster web application. Remember not to stop all of the websites running under IIS - you just want to stop HelpMaster only.
  5. Make a FULL backup of your live HelpMaster database using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio or the HelpMaster Database and Reports Wizard.
  6. Once the backup has completed, take the HelpMaster database offline using SQL Server Management Studio or detach it using the HelpMaster Database and Reports Wizard. This will ensure that no users or services will be able to connect to it. Don't delete it just yet!
  7. Restore the backup to the new SQL server or instance. Give it any name you want - it does not have to be the same as the old name.
  8. Log into the machine where the HelpMaster services are hosted from and launch the HelpMaster desktop edition. At the logon screen, create a new database connection to the new database and delete the old connection from the logon screen. Logon to HelpMaster with the new database location.
  9. If you are able to login in restricted mode, apply the new registration code from the Help > Registration menu. If you are unable to login you will be prompted with a licensing error dialogue. Browse to the license file you copied in step 1 and apply the new license file.
  10. Use the Automation > Service Setup option to update the database connection string of each of the HelpMaster services that you are using.
  11. Restart the HelpMaster services. Ensure they start correctly. Monitor the Windows event logs for each of the HelpMaster services for any issues and warnings.
  12. If using the HelpMaster Web Portal or WebAPI, manually update the database connection string that is located in the “appsettings.json” file that is in the IIS folder hosting the site.
  13. Now on each workstation that is running HelpMaster, use the Desktop edition and at the logon screen, create a new database connection and delete the old one.
  14. Alternately copy and deploy the file 'C:\ProgramData\PRD Software\HelpMaster\HelpMaster Application Settings.xml' from the new SQL server to the same location on all workstations requiring access to the HelpMaster client, and overwrite the existing file which will be pointing to the old HelpMaster database location.
  15. Ensure that everything is working OK. Once you are satisfied that the transfer has been successful and complete, you may wish to delete the original HelpMaster database that is on the old server.

See Also

Database and Reports Wizard

Database growth

Hardware and Software Requirements - Microsoft SQL Server