Updating SQL and server migration

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Insight is a website which accesses data from the SIMS database and from its own Insight database. The databases are hosted on an SQL server and the website is hosted on an IIS server. Typically the SQL server and IIS server will be different servers/different virtual machines.

When migrating Insight, you may be migrating the SQL server (databases), the IIS server (the website) or both. The instructions to migrate the SQL and IIS server are shown below. If you are migrating both the SQL and IIS server, you should migrate SQL first.

Migrating the Insight Database / Migrating SQL

You first need to migrate the SIMS database to the new SQL server instance. The Insight database then needs to be moved to sit alongside the SIMS database. To do this:

  1. Make copies of the SIMS_INSIGHT.MDF and SIMS_INSIGHT.LDF files from the existing SQL server instance.

  2. Update the local/shared connect.ini files on the IIS server hosting Insight. The servername field in these files needs to be set to the new SQL server instance. The connect.ini files are typically found in c:\program files\sims\sims. net\connect.ini and s:\sims\connect.ini

  3. Delete the web.config file for Insight (typically found via C:\inetpub\wwwroot\INSIGHT)

  4. Download and run the latest Insight service pack from the TASC Software website (http://www.tascsoftware.co.uk) on the IIS server. This will create a new, empty INSIGHT database will be created on the new SQL server instance alongside the SIMS database. There will be no users or settings in the new empty database.

  5. Use SQL Management Studio on the new SQL Server instance to locate the physical paths to the new, empty database using: Right-click -> Properties -> Files (scroll nearly all the way to the right to see the "Path" column).

  6. Stop the SQL service using SQL Management Studio (right-click on the server name -> Stop), and replace the new, empty SIMS_INSIGHT.MDF and SIMS_INSIGHT.LDF files with your backed-up "filled" versions from the old server.

  7. Restart SQL on the new server instance (right-click on the server name -> Start).

  8. Re-run the Insight service pack (from step 3) on the IIS server that hosts the Insight website.

Migrating the Insight Website / Migrating IIS

Installing Insight on the new server

  1. First perform a new installation of Insight on the new IIS server (see the installation page for instructions).

  2. Make a copy of the _Personalisation folder from the old Insight server. The _Personalisation folder is found in the Insight directory which is usually c:\inetpub\wwwroot\INSIGHT\_Personalisation Copy this folder into the Insight directory on the new server.

  3. Update the local/shared connect.ini files on the new IIS server. The servername and database fields in these files needs to be set to the SQL server instance. The connect.ini files are typically found in c:\program files\sims\sims. net\connect.ini and s:\sims\connect.ini

  4. Re-run the Insight service pack on the new IIS server. On the Data tier tab, make sure that the Connect INI location field matches the location for the local connect.ini file on the new IIS server. If you have changed this location go to the Commit tab and click Begin.

  5. Delete the Insight website from the old IIS server using IIS Manager.

Making Insight externally available

At this stage Insight will work using internal addresses such as localhost or the server name in the URL. To make Insight work externally you will need to copy the site bindings and any other IIS rules from the old IIS server.

At this point you should be linking your SSL certificate to the site. Please see here for further details.

The SIMS Agent process

Once you are sure your site is securely available externally, you will probably need to update your SIMS Agent service configuration.

Insight runs a service called SIMSAgent to collect data from the SIMS database and store it in the Insight database. It is important for this service to run correctly so that the data in Insight is correct.

By default the agent will try to use a "localhost" address to contact the web site. Depending on your web site SSL and proxy setup this may no longer be allowed, and so the service may need to be informed of the updated address.

Use a text editor such as Notepad to open the following file C:\inetpub\wwwroot\INSIGHT\bin\SIMSAgent.exe.config
There is a "hub" setting that shows a URL that the service will use to access Insight.

Make sure that the URL specified can be reached using a browser on the server. If not it is unlikely to be the correct address, but it might also be that proxy reconfiguration is required.

If connecting to the specified address is only possible via a proxy , please ensure that your proxy details are correctly configured within the simsagent.exe.config file, ensuring that the proxy address is given as a valid URI and any credentials are accurately given.

If you have had to make changes to the configuration then use services.msc to restart the InsightSIMSAgent process with the new settings.

Batch PDF Processes

If you were previously using, or plan to use, Insight to batch convert SIMS reports to PDF format then you will need to take to install all the necessary components from the original server. Please follow the steps on this page:
Batch PDF processes

You may want to attempt to convert a single document to prove the re-configuration was successful.

School Dinners

If your original server was configured to link to a cashless catering system, you can simply copy the relevant initialisation (INI) file from the \bin folder of the old server to its counterpart on the new. Alternatively to configure the link again from the beginning, please follow the steps on this page:
School dinners