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Land F/X Installation Best Practices

Mar 13, 2017
Video Length:  1:09:09
Presented By:  Forrestt Williams & Michael Cota

 

What is it that we always ask ourselves when it's time to install something new – “What's the first thing I should do?” When it comes to using software that keeps you in business, it's important to make a checklist of items to go over. When it's time to transition to the latest and greatest version of Land F/X, we all want to make sure we have everything just the way it was on the old version. Your data is the most important part of Land F/X, and ensuring that you have a backup of this data is the biggest key to maintaining it. These subjects are what we aim to cover in this webinar, which will help you understand what to do first and foremost before installing Land F/X software. Making sure that the software is going to work is also a big part of this webinar. So let's review the best practices of backing up/installing and configuring the Land F/X plugins.

 

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Cloud vs. MySQL
  • Where to Put the LandFX Folder (and Why)
  • How to Move the LandFX Folder After Installation
    • Moving the LandFX Folder to a New Location After Installing One of the Land F/X Plugins
    • Moving the LandFX Folder Outside Parallels (Mac)
    • Using a Shared Online Folder for Land F/X Cloud Data
  • Server Migration
  • The Net Use Command & Miscellaneous Troubleshooting Tips
  • Troubleshooting MySQL
  • Backup

0:00– 2:49: Intro/TOC

2:50 – 10:59: Cloud vs. MySQL

Land F/X essentially consists of three components:

 

  • Database: Cloud or MySQL

The database includes the project list. It also contains the database populates the Project Managers (Plant Manager, Irrigation Manager, Reference Note Manager, etc.), allowing you to associate data with blocks to make them “smart blocks.”

 

  • Folder

Plant blocks, irrigation blocks, site blocks, details, Admin & CTB files, software files.

 

  • Cloud Content Libraries

Plant database, Irrigation Manager database, site manufacturer database, CAD blocks (our blocks are cloud-based, which means they download automatically as you place them).

 

 

Cloud Database vs. MySQL Database (6:16)

MySQL Database:

  • Database on local server
  • Local workstations
  • Remote users DO NOT have access to the database

 

Cloud Database:

  • Database on cloud
  • Local workstations
  • Remote users DO have access to database

 

Pros and Cons of MySQL and Cloud (7:45)                      

 

MySQL Database (7:45):

Pros:

  • Not reliant on Internet connection
  • Speed
  • Local database backups

 

Cons:

  • Self-troubleshooting
  • Tricky to configure manually
  • Remote user issues

 

Cloud Database (9:43):

 

Pros:

  • Easy!
  • Multi-location
  • Remote users
  • No tricky MySQL issues

 

Cons:

  • Requires Internet connection
  • Connection speed depends on Internet speed

11:00 – 15:06: Where to Put the LandFX Folder (and Why)

  • -The LandFX folder should be on your office server (if you have one). This will allow all users in your office to access it.
  • -The LandFX folder should have full read-write permissions.
  • -Should be easily accessible.
  • -Should be mapped to a letter drive instead of a UNC path.
    • Example of a good location: L:\LandFX
    • Example of a bad location: L:\Landscape\Apps\CAD\Land_fx\Installer

 

LandFX Folder Directly on Workstation (12:45):

  • Other workstations DO NOT have access to the LandFX folder

 

LandFX Folder on Server (13:00):

  • Other workstations DO have access to the LandFX folder, BUT …
  • … remote workstations still do NOT have access to the LandFX folder.

 

Some Other Solutions (13:30):

Local LandFX Folder & VPN (13:30):

  • Remote users DO have access to the LandFX folder, BUT …
  • … VPN file transfer rate is slow!

 

LandFX Folder on Dropbox (or Other Cloud File Storage Solution) (13:58):

  • Remote users DO have access to the LandFX folder

15:07 – 31:50: How to Move the LandFX Folder After Installation

A Few Options for Moving Your LandFX Folder (16:08):

 

Move the LandFX Folder to a New location on the Same Server:

  • Easy steps to follow
  • Specifically for moving Land F/X post-installation to shared location on same server

 

Move Land F/X Outside Parallels:

  • Keeps your data outside of Parallels
  • Takes less than 5 minutes to set up
  • Use this method if you want Land F/X included in your Time Machine backups (recommended)

 

Move to a Shared Online Folder:

  • Good option if you don’t have a server.
  • Your team will always have access to updated files.
  • Can be used for remote users.
  • Use the cloud option when setting up.

 

Moving the LandFX Folder to a New Location After Installing One of the Land F/X Plugins (16:50)

  • Close CAD.
  • Copy the LandFX folder (except the Data folder) to the new location.
  • Reconfigure CAD to see the new folder location.

 

Important points:

  • Leave the old LandFX folder in place for existing MySQL
  • Old LandFX folder contents should only contain the Data folder.
  • Old LandFX folder contents should have all folders and files EXCEPT the Data folder.

 

Demonstration of moving the LandFX folder from an individual workstation to an office server (18:18)

Clicking the Installation and Server Info button in the General Preferences screen to see the location of your LandFX folder and your project data server (18:18)

 

Navigating to the present location of the LandFX folder (18:40)

 

Creating a new LandFX folder in the desired new location (19:10)

 

Copying everything EXCEPT the Data folder from the original LandFX folder to the new LandFX folder in the new location (19:20)

 

Removing the copied items from the original LandFX folder (19:45)

Note: It’s important to avoid having duplicates of all these items on your server. They should only exist in one location: the LandFX folder you plan to use with your installation. Duplicates of these items (especially the file LandFX.vlx) can confuse your installation and impair performance.

 

Running the workstation installer (setup64) to configure the workstations on the network so they can read the LandFX folder on the server (20:58)

 

Note: You can also configure the workstations manually (generally for troubleshooting purposes – we generally recommend configuring the workstations by running the setup64 file).

 

Viewing the new LandFX folder location in the Install and Server Info dialog box (available from the General Preferences) (22:30)

 

Moving the LandFX Folder Outside Parallels (Mac) (22:57)

  • Open Parallels and locate the LandFX folder.
  • Copy everything except the Data folder to the new LandFX folder on your Mac.
  • Tell CAD where the new LandFX folder is.
  • Verify that Time Machine backs up your LandFX folder.

 

Important points:

  • If you have Parallels, we recommend moving your LandFX folder within your Mac directory. Create a LandFX folder under the following directory before moving it over: Mac\Documents\LandFX
  • Copy everything except the Data folder to the new LandFX folder on your Mac.

 

Demonstration of moving the LandFX folder outside Parallels (23:26)

Verifying that the Support File Search Path is correct (25:00)

 

Using a Shared Online Folder for Land F/X Cloud Data (26:30)

  • Create a shared LandFX folder on Dropbox, Carbonite, etc.
  • Copy all contents into the shared online folder. Rename the original to LandFXold.
  • Map your shared online folder as a letter drive on your workstation.
  • Download the Land F/X installer from LandFX.com.
  • Move the setup64.exe file into the LandFX folder on the shared online folder, and run it.

 

Important points:

  • If you are using Cloud Data, enter the following as your F/X Data server: LandFX.com
  • Open your Details Preferences to update the new location of the Detail Library.
  • When prompted, click NO to avoid overwriting your files.
  • Run the installer on your other CAD workstations to get them configured.

 

Example of a LandFX folder setup on a shared folder such as Dropbox (27:00)

Note: We update the Workstation installer file (setup64) periodically. It’s important to verify that you have the latest version, and to then run this file from your workstation. (27:54)

 

Important: If you plan to move your LandFX folder onto this type of shared online folder, we recommend using Cloud Data. (28:45)

 

Changing the location of the Detail Library (29:30)

Take care not to overwrite your Detail Library (if you’ve already copied your Detail Library to the new location). Click No when prompted. If you have NOT already moved them, you can click Yes to move them to the new folder automatically.

31:51 – 54:22: Server Migration

Move the Database to the New Server Manually (31:51)

  • Install Land F/X at the new server location.
  • Stop MySQL on both servers.
  • Copy the database from the LandFX folder to the same location on the new server.
  • Start MySQL on the new server.
  • Open F/X CAD or AutoCAD, and reactivate your workstation.

 

Before you start MySQL:

  • Copy the database:
    • Copy the ibdata1 file from LandFX\Data on the new server, in the same location where you grabbed it from LandFX\Data.
  • Delete the following error log files:
    • ib_logfile0
    • ib_logfile1
  • Reactivate Land F/X:
    • Type REACTIVATE in the Command line and re-enter your Support ID.
    • Submit a ticket for your Support ID if you aren’t sure.
    • After the migration is complete, make sure the old server location has MySQL disabled for Land F/X.

 

Create a Manual Database Dump (32:23)

  • Create a MySQL database dump.
  • Back up the LandFX folder.
  • Install the F/X Server.
  • Import the database.
  • Restore the LandFX folder contents from the old server copy.
  • Reconfigure the workstations.

 

Important points:

Because this is a more technical method, we recommend that your IT staff handle it.

  • Database dump created through the Command line
  • MySQL needs to be stopped prior to backing up.
  • Data files are copied after the Import Database.

 

Reconfigure workstations:

  • Uninstall/reinstall Land F/X Workstations.
  • Verify full permissions.
  • New workstations just need to be mapped and installed.
  • After the migration is complete, make sure the old server location has MySQL disabled for Land F/X.

 

Automated Migration Process (32:50)

  • Download our automated backup script. Run the backup script on the old server.
  • Install Land F/X on your new server.
  • Move LandFXcopy to the LandFX folder on the new server.
  • Use the LandFX-backup-resotre.bat file to restore your database.
  • Reconfigure your workstations.

 

Important points:

  • Migrating your database is a simple process. It’s easy enough for anyone to carry out.
  • After the migration is complete, make sure the older server location has MySQL disabled for Land F/X.

 

Move the New Database Manually to the New Server (33:10)

  • Install Land F/X at the new server location.
  • Stop MySQL on both servers.
  • Copy the database from the LandFX folder to the same location on the new server.
  • Start MySQL on the new server.
  • Open F/X CAD or AutoCAD, and reactivate your workstation.

 

Before you start MySQL:

  • Copy the database:
    • Copy ibdata1 file from LandFX\Data on the new server, in the same location where you grabbed it from LandFX\Data.
  • Delete the following error log files:
    • ib_logfile0
    • ib_logfile1
  • Reactivate Land F/X:
    • Type REACTIVATE in the Command line and re-enter your Support ID.
    • Submit a ticket for your Support ID if you aren’t sure.
    • After the migration is complete, make sure the old server location has MySQL disabled for Land F/X.

 

Demonstration of moving the database from one drive to another (33:40)

Important: Make sure CAD is not running and MySQL is stopped.

  • Copy the ibdata1 file from the original LandFX folder into the new LandFX folder on the new server.
  • Delete the logfiles:
    • ib_logfile0
    • ib_logfile1
  • Open CAD.
  • Start the MySQL service.
  • Reactivate the license with the REACTIVATE command.

 

Steps of the Manual Database Dump  (40:00)

  • Open the Command prompt and type the database dump commands as shown on our Land F/X Server Location: Manual Steps documentation page.
  • A file named landfxdump.sql will be created in the LandFX\Data folder in the original location.
  • Close CAD, and make sure MySQL is running.
  • Open the Command prompt.
  • Type the same MYSQL database commands you typed in the Command prompt before – except you’ll have the arrow pointed to the left for importing.
  • Ensure that the landfxdump.sql file is directly inside the LandFX folder on your C: drive.
  • Press Enter after the last command. The dump will be completed.
  • Reopen CAD on a new workstation. Your project list should repopulate automatically as a result of the data dump.
  • Remember to reconfigure any additional workstations by uninstalling and reinstalling the Land F/X Workstation component.

You may also need to map a letter drive on new workstations so they can see the LandFX folder in its new location.

 

Steps of the Automated Migration Process (48:16)

  • Use the automatic backup script, available on our Land F/X Server Migration page.
  • Install Land F/X on the new server
  • Move the folder landfxcopy to the new server
  • Open the backup file to restore your database
  • Uninstall and reinstall the Land F/X Workstation component on each workstation.

 

Question: If I want to take my laptop to remote locations to work (like the mountains), do you recommend Cloud or MySQL? (50:50)

Answer: We recommend Cloud Data. That way, you’ll be accessing the same data remotely – as long as you have Internet on vacation. If you don’t have Internet, we recommend running a local MySQL database, or not working remotely at all.

 

Question: Our office has Land F/X on a server, but we have a remote user who works from home. Is there a good solution to make this situation simpler? (51:45)

Answer: Yes, we recommend Cloud Data. If you don’t have a shared online folder such as Dropbox, you can also maintain a local copy of the LandFX folder on your remote desktop, making sure to overwrite it with the newest version periodically. (This is an especially good option if your office isn’t constantly creating new custom content.)

54:23 – 1:01:59: The Net Use Command & Miscellaneous Troubleshooting Tips

The Net Use command  (54:33)

The Net Use command allows our installer to see Admin account network resources. You can use this command when Land F/X is unable to, for example, see the LandFX folder on a letter drive.

 

Running the Command prompt as an Administrator, then running the Net Use command (56:00)

 

Running the Workstation installer (setup64 file)

 

The MENULOAD command in AutoCAD for troubleshooting (57:26)

The MENULOAD command allows Land F/X to see the correct menu folders, which in turn allows you to use all the Land F/X tools. It’s a common general troubleshooting step.

 

How to unload and load your menus (58:10)

 

Testing your database connection using ODBC (58:45)

This is another common general troubleshooting step to determine whether your computer is able to talk to your database.

 

How to troubleshoot and configure the ODBC database connection (59:00)

 

Question: What if I’m on Cloud Data and my Internet goes down? (1:00:30)

Answer: You’ll lose the ability to work. However, you can also tether your Internet through your cell phone.

If the Internet AND your cell phone are down, we recommend that you don’t work until you can get one of them to function.

1:02:00 – 1:05:19: Troubleshooting MySQL Issues

Error writing to my.ini file (1:02:00)

Uninstall the following components:

  • F/X Server
  • F/X Workstation
  • MySQL 5.5 and 5.1

 

Delete the following MySQL folders:

  • -C:/program files/MySQL
  • -C:/program files (x86)/MySQL
  • -C:/programdata/MySQL (hidden folder) (You’ll need to be able to view your hidden files and folders to be able to delete this folder.)

 

Reinstall the F/X Data Server and Workstation Components

Note: This error message is rare. When it does occur, we recommend removing all Land F/X-related components. You can then reinstall. This is related entirely to MySQL and can result from a corrupt file or bad install.

 

Worst-case scenario: Switch to Cloud!

 

 

Our Recommendation: Just Go Cloud! (1:03:10)

Cloud Licensing (1:03:10):

  • Ideal for multi-location companies to use the same license pool
  • Still requires MySQL
  • Licenses are managed automatically.
  • Requires an Internet connection.

We still recommend keeping your LandFX folder on a server for workstations in individual offices to share.

 

Cloud Data (1:05:00):

  • Database is kept on the cloud.
  • No extra charge.
  • LandFX folder stays local.
  • Can be used from any location.
  • Requires an Internet connection.
  • MySQL not required.

Cloud Data is the ideal choice and does not require MySQL – just a reliable Internet connection. It’s also the best option if you have a VPN that is painfully slow.

1:05:20 – end: Backup

Back up the LandFX folder.

 

Back up the Land F/X database.

 

Verify that your standard automated backup procedures include your LandFX folder.

 

Note that the automated backup procedure will NOT back up the database. That requires special care.

 

Some options:

  • Use our script to create a “data dump.”
  • Use our other script to stop the MySQL service, back up the database file, then start the service.
  • The key is that the file itself will not be able to be copied when the service is running.

 

Remember: Computers will fail! Save your work by backing up.

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