Many clients wishing to purchase RCM Desktop are asked some technical questions by their IT department. This page aims to answer those questions.
The Application Executable
The front-end executables are native Windows 32-bit applications written in Embarcadero Delphi along with supporting DLLs and ActiveX controls.
It is suitable for any 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows XP or later.
The front-end communicates with the back-end database via ODBC.
Single-user Version Licensing
The Single-user version is licensed to a single machine. The software licence is issued to the end user after installation and is tied to the physical hardware of the machine. The software attempts to connect to RCM Desktop's Licence Server the first time it starts up on any given day in order to validate its licence. If the licence cannot be validated (which is quite likely for a laptop working out in the field with no internet connection) then the software will still run provided it has been no more than 30 days since the last successful validation. So, the computer on which the Single-user licence is installed must be able to connect to the internet at least once a month.
Multi-user Version Licensing
The Multi-user version licensing is in three parts. Part One counts the number of simultaneous connections to the database. Part Two counts the number of running instances of the application. If either count exceeds the permitted value (usually a multiple of 5) then the user is not able to log in. The Multi-user version must be connected to the company network - ie it cannot be used stand-alone. Part Three is the Database Server Licence. The server attempts to connect to RCM Desktop's Licence Server once per day in order to validate its licence. Each time a client workstation launches RCM Desktop , it checks the date that the Server Licence was last validated; if it is more than 7 days ago then RCM Desktop will report this fact and will not run. So, the database server requires an internet connection.
RCM Desktop Application System Requirements
Whether Single-user or Multi-user, the RCM Desktop application has the following system requirements:
The back-end database is Mimer SQL Database Server v9.2. A full technical description of Mimer is available at
Setting up an ODBC DSN to define a connection to the database is done automatically during installation.
Any technical issues with the database are covered by our annual Maintenance & Support.
In single-user mode, the Mimer DB Engine runs on same PC as the application.
The application communicates directly with the database engine via ODBC drivers.
The storage space required for the RCM data is quite modest: 20GB will be more than adequate for many years even for the hardest working RCM Facilitator.
The user can back up the entire database to any media (eg USB stick or Network drive) at any time without having to shut down the local database server.
In multi-user mode, Mimer DB Server runs on a central (Windows) server which is accessible to the client workstations over the company network.
Communication between the client PC ODBC drivers and the Mimer DB Server is via TCP/IP; this is set up automatically during installation.
Mimer DB Server requires zero configuration, zero maintenance and zero administration.
Database backup can be performed using host filing system or the built-in backup utility (which can be used to schedule regular backups).
To minimise network traffic and maximise performance, data is only fetched when required and bulk operations (like copying or exporting a whole Analysis) are performed by the back-end database.
The Physical Database Server
Disk Space for Data: Storage requirements are quite small. A large database consisting of 150 Analyses with around 10,000 Failure Modes will occupy less than 1GB of disk space. Assuming you had 5 full-time "super-human" Facilitators working really hard, they might be able to add 50 Failure Modes each per day. Assume 235 working days per year. Over 5 years that would be just under 300,000 Failure Modes, which would occupy less than 30GB. So, a 100GB allocation is likely to last for many decades!
Disk Space for Install: 100MB.
OS/CPU: Any version of Windows Server from 2003 onwards with any CPU capable of running it. The database server (Mimer) requires only a modest Windows machine. The loading placed on the database server is very low (even if you did have 5 super-human Facilitators). A medium Wintel dual core physical server, or virtual equivalent, should be more than adequate.
RCM Desktop permits users to create links to files stored external to the database, such as photographs, drawings, technical manuals, etc. Clearly, we cannot predict the extent to which users will make use of this feature so provision of the storage space required for them is the customer's responsibility.
The server requires an internet connection.
If you purchase the Multi-user version, we need some information from you in order to build your installers...
1. DATABASE SERVER: the name of the network server on which the database will be installed
2. LICENCE FILE PATH: UNC path (eg " \\ServerName\RCM Desktop\Licence ") on which client licence files can be created.
3. SERVICE USER CREDENTIALS: the name and password for a Windows service user account used to launch the daily Scheduled Tasks (which validate the database server licence and backup the database). We only require this information if you provide us with remote access to the database server for us to do the initial installation.
To explain those...
1. RCM Desktop stores its data in an SQL database. The system used is "Mimer SQL Engine 9.2" and it needs to be installed on a Windows server which is accessible to the workstations via TCP/IP. Each instance of Mimer is tied to the server for which it is licensed, which is why we need to know the server name.
2. RCM Desktop multi-user version can be installed on as many PCs as you like, but only the licensed number (usually 5) are permitted to run at any one time and they must all be able to access the folder you specify. Each instance of the application creates a temporary licence file in this folder when it launches and deletes it when it shuts down. This mechanism allows the application to track the number of concurrent users. Users must have create/write/delete permissions on this folder. This folder is also used to store the permanent Database Server Licence File.
The database engine and the licence file folder can be on different servers but most clients choose to have them both on the same server
(eg "\\RCM_SERVER_01" and "\\RCM_SERVER_01\RCM Desktop\Licence" ).
3. The RCM Desktop database server launches the following Windows Scheduled Tasks:
These Scheduled Task need to be created with an account which has admin rights and which will never be required to change its password. If you provide us with remote access to your database server for us to do the initial installation and subsequent maintenance then we will need to know the name and password for a Windows Service User. If you do the installation yourself then we do not need this information.
Citrix / Virtual Machines
The Multi-user version can be deployed under Citrix. This facilitates quick and easy installation of updates when they are released. Alternatively, it can be installed on any number of physical client workstations.
The Single-user version cannot be used on Citrix or Virtual Machines.
Repackaging RCM Desktop Installers
Some IT departments prefer to repackage the RCM Desktop installers in order to provide themselves with an efficient centralised means of deploying RCM Desktop to their end users. This is perfectly acceptable, but there are some potential issues that you should be aware of, described below.
The main potential issue is the fact that the RCM Desktop installer calls another installer in order to install the 3rd party database engine (Mimer SQL). If the RCM Desktop installer sees that the Mimer database engine is already installed then it will not call the Mimer installer. This means that if you repackage the installation of an upgrade, then that package will not include the database engine. So, that package cannot be used to distribute RCM Desktop to PCs for the first time - the database engine will be missing (and this has happened to some users). So, you will normally need to repackage each RCM Desktop update two times: one for a new installation and one for an upgrade installation. Then you need to ensure that you distribute the correct one of those each time.