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Upgrading to the latest version

Upgrading an existing HelpMaster installation is a relatively straight-forward task.  Please read through the following information before upgrading, and feel free to contact PRD Software for assistance.

Where can I get the latest HelpMaster installation files from?

The latest installers can be downloaded from the Updates and Service Packs download page (you'll need to be logged into this website to download files)

32 bit vs 64 bit?

The 32 bit version is recommended unless you are using Microsoft Outlook 2010 64 bit edition, in which case you will need to use the 64 bit version.* 64 bit version can only be installed on 64 bit operating systems and requires a 64 bit version of Microsoft Outlook.

 .msi vs .exe?

The .exe file contains HelpMaster, Crystal Reports 2011 runtime engine, SQL Server 2012 SP1 Express, SQL Server SMO, SQL Server Native Client, SQL Server CLR Types, Windows Installer 4.5, Microsoft .net 3.5, and other installation dependencies.

The .msi files only contain the HelpMaster executables.  It does not contain SQL Server, the Crystal Reports runtime engine, or any other product dependencies.  The .msi is only included here for those who only need to install the HelpMaster Desktop on client machines and wish to do so via a .msi rollout.

It is recommended that you use the .exe version for all HelpMaster installations, and only choose the components that you wish to install.

Have the technical specifications changed?  Do I need to upgrade my operating system / hardware etc?

For further information, see System Requirements

Can a previous version of HelpMaster be installed on the same computer at the same time?

Yes, however older versions will not be able to connect to a newer database.  Running multiple versions of HelpMaster on the same computer should only be done if evaluating a higher version on that computer.  Once you upgrade to a higher version of HelpMaster, your agreement to the end user licence agreement (EULA) requires that you uninstall all previous versions HelpMaster and not use them again.  Please read the end user licence agreement (EULA) for further information about this.

Which versions of HelpMaster can I upgrade from?

You can upgrade from any version of HelpMaster v6 and above.  If you would like to upgrade from v5 (Microsoft Access database), please contact PRD Software - we will upgrade your database for you at no charge.

Do I need to upgrade my database to use the latest version of HelpMaster?

Yes.  The new features in the latest releaes require that your database is upgraded.  Use the Database and Reports Wizard to do this.  If you are upgrading to v12, please read this important information.

Will I lose any data or system configuration during the upgrade?

No.  No data is ever lost during an upgrade.  All data and configuration settings are stored in the HelpMaster SQL Server database and these will simply be updated to support the latest format.  This means that all your jobs, system codes, Email Manager and Priority Manager, Active Directory profiles, Web settings etc will remain intact.

Will my custom reports still work after the database upgrade?

Most probably.  It depends on the data source you used to create the reports.  If you based your custom reports against any of the standard HelpMaster report queries (those prefixed with "rpt"), your custom report will work.  If you based your reports on tables or other database objects, there is a chance that your custom reports may not work.  Please contact PRD Software if this is the case and we can advise on the best way to migrate your reports to use the new database version.

Will my custom code that I've written with the HelpMaster API still work?

Most probably.  The programming interface and function calls of the API remain unchanged.  Any development work you have done against the v8, v9 or v9.1 API should work with the latest release without any modification to your code.  All you have to do is reference the latest HelpMaster API .dll in your source code.

How long will an upgrade take?

This depends on your environment and which modules of HelpMaster you are using.  Generally speaking, a full upgrade of HelpMaster in an ideal environment should only take a few hours.  It is highly recommended that you perform a "test" upgrade of all modules to determine any compatibility or functionality issues.  Please refer to the upgrade documentation for a specifc upgrade steps.

What are the basic steps in a HelpMaster upgrade?

  1. Download the latest HelpMaster installation package
  2. Uninstall existing HelpMaster versions
  3. Install the HelpMaster components on the appropriate machine...
    • Desktop and Job Monitor on each workstation as required
    • Web Interface on your webserver (a machine running IIS)
    • Database and Reports Wizard, Email Manager, Priority Manager, Active Directory on a "HelpMaster server"
  4. Run the Database and Reports Wizard to upgrade your database (make a backup!)
  5. Run a Desktop edition to connect to your upgraded database
  6. Enter your registration code if prompted

For complete upgrade information, please refer to the HelpMaster helpfile which is installed with HelpMaster.  An on-line helpfile is available also.

How can I get help with the upgrade process?

For those with a current Annual Maintenance Subscription (AMS), technical help is available by contacting PRD Software.

The HelpMaster discussion board also offers community-based support

PRD Software also offer a remote installation service.  Use this service for a quick, complete and pain-free upgrade experience.

If you have any questions about licencing, registration or upgrading, please contact PRD Software to discuss your needs

Registration codes

Do I need a new registration code to use with the latest version of HelpMaster?

  • No, if you are currently within your Annual Maintenance Support (AMS) period.  (See Help > About within HelpMaster)
  • Yes, if your Annual Maintenance Support (AMS) period has expired.  (See Help > About within HelpMaster)
  • Yes if you are upgrading from v10 or older
  • Yes if you are changing your SQL Server name, HelpMaster database name, or moving your HelpMaster database from one server to another.

How can I get a registration code?

Contact PRD Software when you're ready to go / have gone live with your updated HelpMaster environment and we'll send you a full registration code.  Please note the time-sensitive process as outlined below.

For other registration matters, please contact PRD Software.

My live registration code has expired.  HelpMaster won't let me register the code I was sent.

Live registration codes automatically expire 72 hours after they are created.  Please contact PRD Software to have a new code reissued to you.  See the registration section below for further information.

My evaluation registration code has expired!

If you require more time to evaluate HelpMaster, please contact PRD Software for an evaluation extension.

HelpMaster is saying that it is running in "Test only" mode.

This means that the environmental operating conditions of your HelpMaster database have changed since your registration code was initially applied.  You should not use HelpMaster in this mode for a live use.  Certain functionality is reduced, and data is truncated.  Please contact PRD Software to discuss.  Please refer to the EULA for more information.

I am running multiple HelpMaster instances (databases) where I work.  How does this affect me?

Each database will require a separate registration code to be applied.  You cannot use the same registration code to register mutliple databases.

Upgrade eligibility for the latest version of HelpMaster

In order to upgrade to the latest version of HelpMaster, you will need to have a current annual maintenance subscription (AMS).  If you do not have a current AMS subscription, please contact PRD Software sales team for a quote for the upgrade price.

If you do not have a current AMS and would like to evaluate the latest version of HelpMaster, please contact PRD Software and we'll send you one.

The registration process

All versions of HelpMaster since v10 use a time-sensitive registration process that will require some coordination from both the business using HelpMaster and PRD Software.  The registration code that is generated by PRD Software will expire 72 hours after it was created.  This means that you will need to register your live version of HelpMaster within 72 hours of requesting and receiving your  registration code.

Before requesting your registration code, please ensure that you have either...

  1. Upgraded your existing HelpMaster environment and are ready to "go live"...or
  2. You are confident that your upgrade can be achieved within this 72 hour timeframe.

If you require a temporary registration code to test and/or evaluate HelpMaster, please contact PRD Software.

How the registration process affects you

When you initially apply your registration code, the database that you are connected to at the time of registration will become the "licenced database server".  This database is uniquely identified by a combination of software factors.  If these identifying parameters ever change, the licence for that database will automatically revert to a "test only" mode with reduced functionality.  If this occurs for legitimate reasons, please contact PRD Software to receive a new registration code.

Further information is available in the End User Licence Agreement (EULA).

Annual Maintenance Subscription (AMS)

How do I know if I have a current Annual Maintenance Subscription (AMS)?

Check the "About" screen within HelpMaster (Help menu > About).  The AMS details are displayed on the Licence tab.  You can also contact PRD Software to check.

What does AMS cover?

Please refer to the AMS support terms and conditions for details about this

How much is AMS?  What does it cost?

Your Annual Maintenance Subscription renewal price is calculated at 20%, or 30% of the value of the HelpMaster licences you hold, depending on the level of support you opt for

How can I tell how many licences I currently own?

Check the "About" screen within HelpMaster (Help menu > About).  The number of licences you hold are displayed on the Licence tab.  You can also contact PRD Software to check.

How can I renew my AMS?

Please contact PRD Software to get a quote and/or to renew your AMS.  PRD Software will automatically contact you 1 month before your AMS expired with all the details and pricing for renewal.  If you do not receive this correspondence in this time, please contact PRD Software.