ACP Server License


Any user of Analytica, even the Free 101, can share models with end users to run in a web browser via the Analytica Cloud Player (ACP). ACP is hosted on a Lumina cloud server for individual and Group ACP subscriptions. An organization can also purchase an ACP license to install on its own server computers. The advantages of running ACP on your own server are:

  • You can get reliably higher performance using a dedicated server that your organization is not sharing with other users.
  • There is no limit on CPU time per session and the number of users (other than the capacity of your server computer).
  • Your own IT department may configure custom firewalls and security options to protect confidential and proprietary data and models.
  • You may purchase the Optimizer add-on and [1] for challenging optimization problems.

Please contact sales@Lumina.com or call us at (+01)-650-212-1212 for more information and pricing for an ACP server license.

Here is an overview of the ACP server requirements, architecture, security, installation process, and updates.

Server Requirements

The Analytica Cloud Player requires:

  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2012, XP, Vista, 7, or 8.
  • Internet Information Server (IIS), 7.0 or later preferred, with ASP.NET
  • Minimum 4 GB RAM. 16GB+ recommended.
  • You will need a 64-bit Windows operating system if your model requires more than 3GB of memory to run.
  • (Optional) If you want to use HTTPS instead of HTTP, you need to have an SSL certificate installed.

The Microsoft .NET framework 3.5 or later will also be installed if not already present during ACP installation.

ACP Architecture

End users access and run ACP models via a standard internet browser, such as Internet Explorer, Fire Fox, or Google Chrome, running on each client computer. Your browser must have Adobe Flash Player installed. The web page loads ACP's ShockWave files (*.swf). Both the browser directly and the ACP shockwave communicate with the ACP server.

ACP runs on a Windows server computer running any recent edition of Windows Server Operating System.

ACP Data Flow.png

The ACP server has these software components, shown in the architecture diagram above:

  • IIS/ASP NET web server support
  • ACP Middleware DLLs using ASPX/ASPM.
  • ADE: The Analytica Decision Engine (ADE) which runs Analytica model files created using Analytica on a desktop computer.
  • Database: Optionally, ADE may read from and/or write to a database or spreadsheet, which may be installed on the same server or another database server. It accesses a database using the same ODBC and SQL language query functions supported in Analytica. In this case, you will need to install a database ODBC server, such as Microsoft Analysis Services, My SQL, or other standard database that supports ODBC.
  • Spreadsheets: Optionally, your models may access Excel spreadsheet files to read and/or write. It uses the same spreadsheet access functions available in Analytica. To support this, you will need to install Microsoft Office with Microsoft Excel on the server.

ACP Security

You can configure ACP to run using HTTP or HTTPS. HTTPS provides industry-standard security for transferring data encrypted information over the internet. It is the same protocol used for example for online banking. To use HTTPS, you will need to purchase and install the SSL certificate for your server.

You can also encrypt your model files before uploading them to ACP, using standard features in Analytica Enterprise and Optimizer. Open your model in Analytica and from the File menu select Save a copy in.... This will display this dialog:

Locked and encrypt.png

Check the Lock and encrypt the copy checkbox indicated above to save a model in encrypted form. Analytica and ADE can run encrypted models, but there is no way to decrypt the source file. So, make sure to retain an unencrypted version of any model before encrypting it.

ACP users' credentials are setup the same way as ACP on AnalyticaCloud.com. ACP maintains an internal database with the users' credentials stored. The internal database is actually an Analytica model file. The passwords are encrypted using a one-way encryption algorithm. What this means is that the passwords are encrypted and can be only used by ACP to see if sign-in credentials are correct, but cannot be decrypted or viewed. If a user forgets their password they should click Forgot your password? in the Sign on page (see below) to be emailed information to let them create a new one.

Forgot password acp.png

ACP does not currently support other authentication systems like Windows or Kerberos. Please ask Lumina if you are interested in doing so.

Installing ACP

You will need a computer server running Window server and IIS. ACP is usually installed on a server via remote desktop connection by a Lumina technical support person a working with an IT person in your organization who has admin privileges on the server. These are the key steps:

1. Install ADE

The first step is to install Analytica Decision Engine (ADE). You can download the ADE installer from the Lumina at http://lumina.com/support/downloads/ Usually you will want to use the ADE 64 bit edition (blue arrow below). If your server is 32 bit (rare these days) then you should download ADE 32 bit instead.

ADE Download.png

When installing ADE you will need a valid Activation Code which Lumina will provide you when you purchase a license. If you want to run models using the Analytica Optimizer functions, you will need a license and Activation Code for ACP with Optimizer.

ADE Installer Activation Key.png

2. Configure IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS) is the Window's web server and ACP is installed as an "application". Once ADE has been installed, you need to configure the server to allow IIS to launch ADE. From the windows start menu, run dcomcnfg.exe and then give the IIS user name (usually DefaultAppPool) permission to launch ADE. Here's an screenshot from a Windows 2008 Server illustrating the process:

ACP dcomcnfg.png

Here's an example of installing ACP as an application on Windows 2008 Server with IIS 7:

ACP IIS Add Application.png

3. Install ACP Bundle

The ACP files required are distributed as a "bundle" which is typically a compressed archive like a "zip" file. The bundle will be made for your particular server. When configuring IIS, a folder for installing ACP was chosen. You will extract the zip files into that folder.

4. Set Windows Security

Usually, you will need to set access permissions for users to the folder in which you have installed ACP. Here is an example of setting up access permission in Window's Explorer, to give all Users access to the ACP folder:

ACP explorer security.png

Updating ACP for a New Release

Lumina periodically issues new releases for ACP with new features and bug fixes. For as long as you have active maintenance and support (included free for 12 months when you purchase an ACP license or subscription), Lumina will provide you free updates. We will provide instructions on how to perform each upgrade. Generally, the update consists of a few files to be copied into the ACP directory.

See Also

Comments


You are not allowed to post comments.