Modified: 2009/07/02 11:18 by Bryn - Uncategorized
An instance of a Dataphor server is a running copy of the server, together with all its configuration information. Although the instance per se is not new to 2.2, many changes have been made to make configuration and administration of instances easier.


Instance Configuration

The most visible change from the configuration standpoint is that all the settings associated with an instance are now part of an instance configuration. Instead of specifying server settings as part of an in-process alias, or through the Service Configuration Utility, all server-specific settings are configured in one place in the instance configuration file. This file is located in the Instances folder in the common application data path for the machine. For example, on a typical Vista installation, this path will be:


The file ServerConfigurations.config contains all the known instances for the machine. Although this file can be edited by hand, it is also editable from both the alias selection form (described later), or the Service Configuration Utility.

The following sections describe the configuration options available for each instance.



This is the name of the instance, and will be used to identify the instance both in the Service Configuration Utility, and when selecting an instance to connect to from an alias in a Dataphor Client.

The default service instance is named Dataphor, and the default in-process instance is named LocalInstance.


Port Number

The port number to use to listen for connections. By default, the port number is 8061 for the default service instance, and 8062 for the default in-process instance.


Library Directories

This is a semi-colon delimited list of directories that are searched for libraries available to the Dataphor instance. The first library in the list is the default library directory, and is where newly created libraries are placed by default.


Instance Directory

This is the instance directory that is used to store all the instance-specific information for the Dataphor Server such as the Log file, the catalog, Frontend data, etc.,. By default, this directory is a subfolder of the machine instances directory with the same name as the instance. For example, on a typical Vista installation, the instance directory for the default service instance is:



Catalog Store Configuration

The CatalogStoreClassName and CatalogStoreConnectionString settings can be used to configure the type of store that the Dataphor Server will use to persist its catalog. By default, the server will use a SQL Server Compact Edition (SQLCE) store. For more information, see Catalog Store Configuration


Device Settings

Device settings allow for specific attributes of devices to be overridden in the instance configuration. For each device, any number of settings can be overridden. Each setting corresponds to the name of an attribute of the device. For example, to change the DatabaseName attribute of a SQL Server device, the following device setting can be used:

<devicesettings.devicesetting devicename="Sample.Pubs.Pubs" settingname="DatabaseName" settingvalue="test" xmlns="Alphora.Dataphor.DAE.Schema,Alphora.Dataphor.DAE" />


Alias Configuration

Because most of the configuration that was part of an in-process alias is now specified in the instance configuration, aliases are now much simpler. There are still in-process and out-of-process aliases, but an in-process alias only specifies an instance name, and an out-of-process alias specifies a machine name, an instance name, and an optional port override.

In order to allow for 2.1 and 2.2 versions to run side-by-side, the name of the aliases file was changed to Aliases.config, rather than ServerAliases.config.

Note that for out-of-process aliases, if a port override number is specified, the listener will not be used to try to obtain the connection URI for the server. Instead, the URI will be constructed directly from the host name, instance name, and override port number.



In addition to instances, a new listener service has been added that allows a Dataphor client to enumerate the set of instances available on a given machine, as well as request the port number for a given instance. This allows the port number to be configured as part of the instance rather than the alias.

By default, the listener service uses port 8060. Whenever a Dataphor server starts, it will attempt to start a listener service on this port. If it is unsuccessful, it assumes a listener service is already running and continues normal startup.

To configure whether or not an instance tries to start a listener, as well as the port that it uses, the application config file section can be used:

<listener shouldListen="true" port="8000" />


Service Configuration Utility

The service configuration utility is now aware of instances, and can be used to monitor, control, and configure all the instances on the machine. In addition, the service configuration utility can now install and uninstall each instance as its own service, dramatically simplifying the deployment and administration of multiple instances on a single machine.



The service is still capable of installing and uninstalling itself in the same way using the command-line, but the -name (-n) argument is now the instance name rather than the service name. The service will use the instance name to construct the service name.


D4 Runner

The D4 Runner executable has been updated to allow an instance name to be used to connect. The InstanceName argument can be used to specify an instance to connect to. Run D4 Runner with the help switch to display the available options:

D4Runner /?


In-Place Assembly Loading

In order to allow the same set of core executables to be used to run potentially differing sets of libraries, the Dataphor Server was changed to load assemblies directly from their library directories, rather than copying them into the executable directory of the server.

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