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A sample network installation

This page gives a step-by-step description of the installation of a network version of Cardbox. It takes the simplest approach, but we point out to you when a different configuration might make more sense if your requirements were different.

The system configuration

All computers on this network run Windows.

The network file server is called AGNES. It does not have an Internet connection.

There are three workstations, called FELICITY, PERPETUA and ANASTASIA.

1. The Cardbox Server

Where to install it

The computer that is to run the Cardbox Server has to be permanently connected to all the others - or at least, connected whenever they want to use Cardbox. For this reason the network file server is usually the best choice, and so we will use AGNES.

How to install it

Log in on AGNES, as an administrator.

Click on this button to download the Cardbox Server installer:

Cardbox Server (Windows)


Run the downloaded installer program.

Accept the suggested location for the program, C:\Program Files\Cardbox Server. There is no need for this folder to be shared on the network, and in fact it is better if it is not shared (to prevent accidental modification by users).

Once the installation is complete, the Server Settings control will open.

Where to store shared databases

Designate a folder that will hold the databases that are to be shared among Cardbox users. Choose the folder name according to your own system conventions. If at all possible, do not make the folder accessible to users across the network: this is so that an adventurous user won't be tempted to browse to a database file and open it directly, denying access to other users. We're going to assume a location of C:\Data\Cardbox Example.

Server Settings control: Server page

Set "Access to Databases" to "Read/Write".

Turn on "Automatic Directory".

Press the Browse button and browse to C:\Data\Cardbox Example.

If you want users to be able to create databases in this directory, turn on "Allow Users to Create Databases".

Server Settings control: Start page

Select "Run the server as a system service".

Select "Start the server automatically when Windows starts".

Press the Start button to start the Cardbox Server.


Close the Server Settings control.

You don't need to be logged on any more, so if you don't want to stay logged on for other reasons, log out as Administrator.

2. The workstations

Log in to FELICITY, preferably as an administrator. [This is not essential, but if you do it then Cardbox will be accessible to all users on FELICITY].

Click on this button to download the Cardbox installer:

Cardbox on its own Cardbox with sample databases


Run the downloaded installer program.

Accept the suggested location for the program, C:\Program Files\Cardbox 3.0.


Once the installation is complete, you can remove the CDROM and log out.

Repeat the same installation procedure on PERPETUA and ANASTASIA.

How we could have done things differently

A large installation

In a very large installation it can get boring going from one computer to another and downloading and running the installer on each.

Putting the Cardbox program files in a shared folder

Suppose that you used FELICITY to install Cardbox to a shared folder called \\AGNES\Resources\Cardbox Program.

Then, on PERPETUA, you would navigate to \\AGNES\Resources\Cardbox Program and double-click on cardbox3.exe. Cardbox would then set up any necessary shortcuts and registry settings on PERPETUA. You would then do the same thing on ANASTASIA.

Despite this simplicity (and the relative simplicity of installing upgrades should they ever be necessary) we don't recommend this approach. It increases network traffic, and if an upgrade ever did need to be installed, keeping it on the server could mean (for reasons to do with the perversity of Windows) that the server would have to be rebooted for the upgrade to take effect.

If the file server has an Internet connection

If AGNES has a direct Internet connection and you don't want remote users (eg. staff working at home on their laptops) to have access through this connection, open the Connections page of the Server Settings control, and instead of All Connections, enable just the connection that links AGNES to FELICITY, PERPETUA and ANASTASIA.

© 2016 Martin Kochanski
"Cardbox" is a registered trademark.
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