1. Introduction

WIN-911 2021 now supports the latest Microsoft operating systems and newer versions of Microsoft SQL Server, and upgrading to 2021 is a great time to consider moving away from older OS versions and to deploy onto new hardware or virtualized environments. However, you may find yourself wanting to keep your previous configurations from an existing V3/V4 system. Thanks to the modularity of WIN-911, this can be done. Wherever possible, though, we do advise re-configuring your system with 2021, as the new Workspace integrates better with our modern service structure and is quick and easy to use. Please be advised, this migration process is not automated, and may require some advanced access to your system and your SQL Server setup. Proceed with caution if operating in a production environment.

NOTE: Performing this migration has the same requirements as upgrading "in-place" to 2021:
- Please remove Mobile-911 information from your configuration before continuing.
- TAPI Modems are not supported in 2021, and any configuration information for a TAPI Voice Gateway will be lost (voice connections will be preserved).

- Encrypted passwords may not be preserved. Please ensure you have all passwords necessary for connecting to your data sources and notifier gateways.

2. Preparations

In order to get started with the migration to another computer system, we have some preparations that need to occur.

A. SQL Server Configuration Backup of Previous System

WIN-911 stores its configuration in several SQL Databases on a singular SQL Server instance. You will need to ensure a full backup exists of all databases in your WIN-911 System. This includes the Alarm Log Database, the Support Module Databases (Dispatcher, Navigation, and Reporting), your Data Source Database(s) (e.g., iFIX, FTAE, InTouch, OpcDa...), and your Notifier Database(s) (e.g., Email, Mobile, SMS, Voice).

For the simplest backup to be taken, open the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, and log in to your WIN911 instance. Expand the Databases folder, and locate your list of configuration databases. This should be formatted as [logicalSystemName].Default.[moduleName]. Then, right-click the database, and go to Tasks > Back Up...

This will open the Back Up Database prompt. Ensure the correct Database is selected, and that the Backup Type is Full. Then, make sure to have a proper backup location set in the Destination section. You may need to remove the default entry located in the C:\Program Files directory and instead add your own location.

Click OK in order to perform the backup. You should then be able to locate the file created, which is your specific database backup. 

Repeat this process for all databases in your system. For more information on how to perform these backups, you may want to review the full backup and restore procedures for WIN-911 V3/V4 here. 

B. Clean WIN-911 2021 Installation

After confirming you have a good backup of your previous configuration databases, you can continue to prepare for the migration by installing a copy of WIN-911 2021 to the destination computer. If you don't already have a copy of our latest release, you can download it from here. Extract the installation package, run the setup file, and follow the prompts.

NOTE: Please take care when selecting your SQL Installation settings!

If you select "Create New", a copy of SQL Server Express will be installed and will set the user running the installer as sysadmin. We advise running the WIN-911 installer as the user that you want to run the WIN-911 Services so that the automatic setup process works.

If you select "Use Existing" when prompted for a SQL Server, please make sure that the SQL Server you define later in the setup already has a login defined for the user specified in the WIN-911 setup with sysadmin permissions. The username and password entered will not only be used to run the WIN-911 services, but also to create the databases and read the configurations.

When prompted for what modules to install, please make sure the chosen modules are the same as your previous system. You can add new modules (such as installing the Mobile module when your previous system didn't have it), but do not take away any modules. 

Once the installation finishes, reboot your system and ensure that you can open the WIN-911 Workspace without any errors. If you run into errors after installing WIN-911 2021, please consider contacting our Support line, or opening a ticket with us. As long as the Workspace loads a blank configuration with no errors, the setup is complete.

3. Migration

Now that you have a good backup of the databases and a clean copy of WIN-911 2021 installed, we can proceed with the migration process.

A. Stop WIN-911 Applications and Services

WIN-911's Services and Applications interact with the SQL Server to get the system information and configuration items for the WIN-911 System. As such, in order to change the configuration, no application can be accessing the SQL Servers while we perform the migration.

Open the Windows Services app (services.msc), or locate the Services snap-in within Computer Management or Server Management. Scroll through the list till you find the WIN-911 Services section. Stop all running services.

Once this is completed, ensure that the WIN-911 Workspace, WIN-911 Log Viewer, WIN-911 InTouch Runtime, and WIN-911 iFIX Runtime are not open or running in the background. To be perfectly sure, you can open the Task Manager and visit the Details tab, making sure that no process starting with WIN911 is active on the system.

B. Restore Configuration Databases

Once you've confirmed all services and applications are not running, open the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio, and connect to your SQL Server instance that you set up with WIN-911 2021. For a default installation, the server name will [hostname]\WIN911. If you specified 'Use Existing', you will need to locate the server and log into it instead.

If you connect to the server and find yourself unable to make any changes, you may be logged in as a user without sysadmin rights. To rectify this, find the shortcut to the SQL Server Management Studio, hold Shift as you right click the icon, then select "Run as different user". Enter the credentials to the WIN-911 service account, and the Management Studio should adjust the Windows Authentication to the account with proper rights.

After signing in properly, we can now start to restore the previous version's databases over the new ones. To do this, select a database, right-click, then select Tasks > Restore > Database...

This will open the Restore Database window. Click on the Device radio button, then click the triple dots to browse for your backup file. Once you've selected one, make sure the Destination Database is correct. It often times will reset to the name of the previous database/previous system. For example, if you try to import a backup of SERVER1-911.Default.Dispatcher to a SQL Server on SERVER2, you may see the Destination Database change to SERVER1 instead of keeping your original SERVER2 selection.

Before you click OK to start the restoration process, click on the Options page in the top left of the Restore Database window. We need to set the WITH REPLACE option, to make sure that the database is imported successfully without any remnants of the new configuration.

At this point, click OK to restore the database. If you have any errors about the database being in use, please verify that all apps and services are still closed. You may also need to take the database offline and bring it back online, then restore immediately after to make sure that no other services try to hold the database while you work on it. Any further issues, please make sure that the WITH REPLACE option is set. You may also reach out to our Support line, or open a support ticket with us.

Repeat this restoration with all databases from the previous system. Do not start the WIN-911 Services yet.

Note: The .LOG database contains the alarm event history for the system, as well as some tracking information for Dispatcher event handling. If you do not need the alarm history, then it is not necessary to restore this database. It also does not have a specific migration process, as the Log Viewer and Dispatcher will adjust and rebuild this database as required.

C. Perform Database Migration

Now that the databases have been restored to the correct places, we have to run a utility to migrate them from the V3/V4 format to the 2021 (V5) format. This makes use of a utility called InitializeDatabase.exe.

Open an elevated Command Prompt, and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\WIN-911 Software\WIN-911. If you do a directory listing (DIR command), you should see folders for each module installed. Each module contains its own InitializeDatabase.exe specific to its own database. This is the list of possible modules that can be installed:

  • ArchestrA
  • Dispatcher
  • Email
  • FTAE
  • iFIX
  • InTouch
  • Mobile
  • Navigation
  • OpcDa
  • Reporting
  • SMS
  • Voice
  • WebStudio

This following list are folders that do NOT pertain to modules, and can be ignored for this step:

  • Documentation
  • Module Mapper
  • Standby Activate
  • V7 Importer

From the WIN-911 folder, change directory (cd command) to one of the installed modules (we recommend starting with the Dispatcher). Then, run the following command:

InitializeDatabase.exe migrate

You will not receive any feedback on whether or not it succeeded or failed. The diagnostic output of this utility is instead sent to a file called "LogDatabaseInitializer.txt", stored in the Local AppData Temp folder of the user that ran it. You can access this folder by navigating to "%localappdata%\Temp".

For a successful migration, you should see a line at the end stating "DB Migrate Successful"

If you see any errors, or any further trouble in this step, please open a ticket with WIN-911 Support. There may be an issue with the backup created, or it may have gotten corrupted/changed during the restore. Also, this change requires exclusive access to the SQL Server as well as administrative permissions, so please ensure you run the migrate command as a user with local admin rights as well as sysadmin permissions to the SQL Server.

Repeat this migrate command for all installed modules from the first list. Do not start the WIN-911 Services yet.

D. Start WIN-911 Services and Module Map

At this point, if all restorations were completed, and all migrate commands result in a successful log message, the configuration has been updated to work with the new WIN-911 system version. At this point, we can return to the Windows Services app and start all WIN-911 Services.

Once all of the services have been started, do not start any WIN-911 applications. Part of the configuration stored in the SQL Databases is information on how the modules locate each other. This 'module map' needs to be updated before the services will properly start and communicate to each other.

Open the Start Menu, locate the WIN-911 program group, and launch the WIN-911 Module Mapper.

When you start the Module Mapper, it will scan the system for all running WIN-911 modules and report them. This example image has more modules than a typical system would have, but you should see something similar:

First ensure that the Green icon matches your Logical System name (computer hostname with '-911' appended). Next, ensure that the Blue icon matches your local system hostname. Finally, ensure that all modules that we have installed and restored and migrated are listed in red icons. If you are missing any red modules, click the refresh button in the bottom left to scan again. If they still do not show, verify that the services are still running, and restart them if necessary. If they still do not show up, please contact WIN-911 support.

If all modules do show up, and the other information is correct, click the Save button in the bottom right to write the module map to the configuration. If you receive any errors at this point, please note which module the error indicates, and verify there was no errors in the log file when running the migrate command. If there was an error, you can attempt to restore the database again and re-run the migrate command, or contact WIN-911 Support for further assistance.

The Module Mapper will then request you restart all WIN-911 host computers. This is because all WIN-911 Services and Applications must be restarted for this new map to take effect. If you are unable to restart the computer, you can simply restart all the WIN-911 Services. An easy way to do this is to restart the CodeMeter Runtime Server service, as this license server is a dependency for WIN-911's Services.

After this, give the system a few minutes to load the configuration and stabilize communications between modules, then open the WIN-911 Workspace. If all has gone well, the Workspace should load the migrated configuration. 

4. Review

Please note that with the new Workspace interface comes some differences between the previous system and WIN-911 2021.

  • Contacts will be created from Connections and stored in the new Directory view.
  • Strategies and Tactics will be converted to the new Notification Policies.
  • Compatible Gateway settings will be loaded into entries for your services/modems.
  • Data Source filters and routes have been converted to Subscriptions.

We recommend looking over all settings as you may find some tag/block definitions and filter routes have been set to a default "Notify All Contacts". These will need to be set to the appropriate Notification Policy in order to work as expected. Also, as previously mentioned, encrypted passwords may not carry over properly. If you are having difficulty connecting to a system that uses a username and password combination, please try re-entering the credentials and seeing if this fixes the issue.

Technical Support

To create a support case, you will need either your Customer Care Code or your Serial number. You can create a Case online or contact the product support line: (512) 326-1011.