Atlas SQL Alias Manager

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The Atlas SQL Alias Manager, or SAM, is used in the process of creating and maintaining a database connection (DBC) files referred to as SQL Aliases. These aliases are used by Ares when performing any database operation. Connections between the versions of Ares that use the .NET framework and the SQL Server are managed using the SQL Alias Manager.

The SQL Alias Manager shows available products and DBC files listed on the left with database connection information for the selected DBC file in the middle. Login accounts for Shared Server systems are listed on the right.

If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, you will need to open the SQL Alias Manager using the Run as Administrator feature. Do not double-click the Alias Manager icon to open it. Instead, right click on the Alias Manager icon and select Run as administrator.

The .DBC File

The SQL Alias Manager creates a logon dbc file that stores the SQL server connection string information and the Ares site information and password. This file is encrypted and it can only be opened using the SQL Alias Manager. If you have already specified this file using the SQL Alias Manager, it will automatically open the next time you open the SQL Alias Manager. You can have multiple logon dbc files on a machine and each one you've opened in the SQL Alias Manager will be listed.

Location of the .DBC File

Where you save this file is stored in the registry and will be used by all the different Ares components on that machine that use the Alias Manager. The current default DBC file for the machine is displayed at the bottom of the Alias Manager in the status bar. To select a specific DBC file to use for the system, choose it on the list on the left and hit the Set Default button in the ribbon.

Enhanced Security

Since the SQL Alias Manager encrypts the logon dbc file, a staff user can't see any passwords saved in the file. Opening the file in the Alias Manager will not display the passwords and will also not allow copying of the passwords using the clipboard.

Creating a New Database Connection

Each computer that will be using the Ares Client will need the SQL Alias Manager (SAM) installed and configured in order for Ares to work. The SAM will be installed by default when installing the Ares Client and a shortcut will display on the desktop.

You will likely need to right click on the SQL Alias Manager icon and select Run as Administrator to complete the configuration steps below.

  1. Right click on the SQL Alias Manager icon and select Run as Administrator.
  2. Click the New button on the ribbon interface. A menu will appear.
  3. Click Ares to create a new profile for Ares.
  4. In the middle Database Connection column, fill in your Ares server address.
  5. Fill in your Ares Database name. The default is AresData.
  6. Leave the Connect Timeout checkbox blank. This will be populated with the default values when the profile is saved. Also, leave the Username and Password fields blank unless instructed otherwise by your database administrator.
  7. If your SQL server supports SSL, you can check the Secure box. This will encrypt the connection to the SQL server.
  8. Click Save to save the profile alias. Atlas recommends saving the file as your databasename.dbc (e.g. Aresdata.dbc) in the folder where the client program files are saved. The default is C:\Program Files(x86)\Ares\logon.dbc. Please see Creating a New DBC File for more information.
  9. After saving the alias, click the Set Default button to set that alias as the default alias to use on that computer.

Setting an Alias for the Web Pages

This step is exclusively used when setting up a locally hosted server, not for desktop Client installation.

Ares uses the dbc file exclusively to connect to the database so an additional .dbc file needs to be created for the web pages. After updating Ares, create a new dbc file for the web pages. This file should be located in the same folder as the ares.dll, which is by default inetpub\wwwroot\ares.

Removing an Alias

Because the aliases are directly attached to .dbc files, removing an alias can be done simply by deleting the associated .dbc file.

Using an Alternate Username and Password

If you have configured your Ares server with a different username/password or if your server has multiple sites, you will need to enter that different username/password in the fields for the alias. Atlas can provide you with those alternate values as needed. Otherwise, the default values assigned while making the alias will work best.

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