Astra Schedule Help (7.5)

Create a Test Environment from Production

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Create a Test Environment from Production

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Create a Test Environment from Production

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When you wish to create a New Astra Schedule Test installation on a clean server, it is often desired to use the existing Production data.  The typical process for this is similar to the initial installation with some slightly altered steps.


This document details the installation of the new instance by the following:


Install current production application version on test server

Copy the Production database to the test environment via the application installation

Configure test environment to connect to a current test SIS environment


noteNOTE:  It is required that a database backup be run on the production site before attempting to create the Astra Schedule test site.


noteNOTE: This document assumes that the all server preparation indicated in the Technical Readiness Checklist has already been completed,  and that the Crystal Reports Client, and Oracle Clients have been installed as necessary.

Installing the Test Application Instance and Copying the Production Database

1.Install and launch the Control Panel, as described here.


2.From the Control Panel window, select the Application option "Install New Application Instance" and the Database option "Copy database” and click Start.



3.Enter a new instance name for the new test system and click Next to continue. 


4.Enter the Source (currently the existing production) database information to be copied into the Astra Schedule Test Environment, and click Next to continue.


noteNOTE:  If using Microsoft SQL Server, confirm the following information:


The username

The password

The host name or IP address of the database server

The Server SA username (required prior to 7.5.10)

The Server SA password (required prior to 7.5.10)
NoteNote: The requirement that SA credentials be used to perform upgrades in MSSQL environments was removed for later builds of 7.5.10 and 7.5.11.  The Astra database user is now made the Astra database owner during installation.  Because existing installations will still have the SA user as the owner, an administrator will need to manually make the Astra database user the owner of the Astra database before upgrading a database created with a build prior to or You can use the following commands to change database ownership.  (replace database_name and astra_user_name with values from your environment)


USE database_name

DROP SCHEMA astra_user_name

DROP USER astra_user_name

ALTER AUTHORIZATION ON DATABASE:: database_name TO astra_user_name


If using Oracle, confirm the following information:


The TNS Name for the Test Database

The Schema username

The Schema password

The database SYS username, required

The database SYS password, required


5.Enter the database information for the Target database for the new Astra Schedule Test Environment and click Next to continue.
If desired, place a check in the box to encrypt the database connection information.  (Click here for more information.)

noteNOTE:  If over-writing an existing MSSQL database, the existing database must be deleted via SQL Management studio prior to the completion of this step.


 If over-writing an existing Oracle schema a warning will be generated from the installer to confirm that this is the correct action.  If it is then click Yes to continue.



6.Enter in the appropriate organization name, system admin user email (typically a fake email address), verify the Institution Name, and click Next to continue. 

7.Enter the appropriate IIS settings information and click Next.


IIS Application Options


The Astra Application URL will be the instance name for the web site that needs to be different than the previously named Production application instance if Production and Test reside on the same server.
Virtual Directory Names

Specify the virtual directory alias for the application(s) being installed.

Application Pool


The current default application pool for IIS will be selected by default. It is required to create a new Application Pool on Windows 2008 x64 servers.
It is recommended that each instance has its own application pool as not to interfere with anything else that resides on the web server.




8.Leave the File Share Settings to the default and click Next.

9.Click the Install button to perform the installation.


10.When completed, click Next to continue.


noteNOTE:  If an error message is encountered, or the database copy does not complete, the log files can be checked to investigate further. These files will be required by Astra Schedule Technical Support to troubleshoot any potential issues.


To find the log files, browse to the application directory where the Control Panel was installed. The following locations are the default locations for the MSI:


MS SQL Server:


C:\Program Files\Ad Astra\7.X.X.X \Instances\AstraCP.log for MS SQL Server logging and overall logging.




C:\Program Files\Ad Astra\7.X.X.X \Instances\AstraCP.log for logging and AstraCP-DB.log for database creation logging.



11.Click the VII Astra Schedule logo button to test the application.  The guest portal page will be opened in the server’s default browser.


12. Click the Finish button to complete the application install process.


noteNOTE: The Astra Task Agent (required for Astra Schedule to function properly) has not been created at this point.  Do not forget to run through the next set of steps in these instructions to install this service.

Installing the New Task Agent

The Astra Schedule Task Agent is a Windows service installed on the machine that is responsible for coordinating transactional processes with other systems (i.e. SIS integration) as well as performing scheduled tasks like events workflow, report subscriptions, batch jobs, sandbox scheduling runs, and events notifications.

noteNOTE:  The Task Agent is a required component for proper functioning of the application.  Features such as the room assignment optimizer, event workflow notifications, and section imports will not work without the Task Agent.


1.At the top of the Control Panel, click the Task Agent link.




2. Select the option to "Install a new task agent" and click Start.

3.Select New Task Agent, enter the Instance Name of the application created previously, and click Next

4.Select the applicable Astra Schedule application database platform and provide login credentials for the application instance previously installed and click Next to continue.




5.Select the SIS interface type and connection information for the Test database, and click Next to continue.


noteNOTE:  See the applicable Help SIS Addendum for additional details.
noteNOTE:  The Production Task Agent may contain customized files such as SIS Import/Export Spoke files, Customized Reports, or Room and Resource Images. Ensure these are copied to the new Test Application Site.


6.Leave the File Share options as the default and click Next to continue.


7.Click Install.

8.Wait while the task agent is installed.  

9.Once complete, click Next to continue.


10. Click Finish.


The Installation is now complete.


Users may now log in to the new Test Instance of the Astra Schedule application and test with Production data.