Preparations for a FlexiCapture 12 Distributed Upgrade

Before upgrading the FlexiCapture 12 Distributed installation, it's required to complete the preparatory steps described below.

Important! Once the first system has been upgraded, no project changes can be transferred from lower-tier environments to higher-tier environments. Also, it's not possible to have two different versions of FlexiCapture 12 desktop stations, installed on the same machine. Once the FlexiCapture Server component has been upgraded, all FlexiCapture desktop stations must be of the same version.

The main preparatory steps are as follows:

  • Finishing the processing of all documents
  • Downloading the installer package
  • Saving all custom configuration settings
  • Enabling installation logs
  • Creating a backup of the project or projects
  • Creating a full backup of FlexiCapture

Important! Upgrading FlexiCapture will modify the structure of the database and existing projects. These changes can’t be reverted, with any downgrade requiring a complete reinstall of the Server and Stations, as well as a backup recovery.

Finishing the processing of all documents

All automatic processing tasks should be completed before beginning the upgrade.

Important! Make sure that all the Document Definitions in the project are published. Any Document Definitions that have unpublished changes will not be updated.

The time required for the upgrade process to complete will vary depending on the complexity of the projects and installation. If additionally FlexiCapture for Invoices is used, expect the upgrade to take more time, as the project will have more sources and might be more difficult to upgrade.

Downloading the installer files

The latest installer can be downloaded here.

The FlexiCapture installer doesn’t offer a built-in downgrade option. To downgrade, it's required to uninstall FlexiCapture entirely and either install an earlier version or restore it using a backup. Please be sure to keep the ISO file of the earlier version of FlexiCapture.

Earlier versions can also be obtained by contacting ABBYY Customer Support Team.

Saving all custom configuration settings

Before starting the upgrade, be sure to save all custom settings for the Application Server, Processing Server, and Processing Station components, as they will be reset to their defaults during the upgrade. In particular, the following settings will be reset:

  • IIS pool settings (be sure to save the corresponding *.config files to restore them after the upgrade)
  • Custom registry keys on the Processing Stations (be sure to save the corresponding registry keys to restore them after the upgrade — either as *.reg files or simply by copying them to a TXT file)

For instructions on how to fix certain problems that may occur during the upgrade, see Troubleshooting upgrade problems.

Enabling installation logs

If something goes wrong during the upgrade, it may help to refer to the installation logs. For instructions on how to log the installation process check the Installation problems article.

Creating backups of all projects

Creating project backups is crucial. If there are multiple projects, each one of them must be backed up.

If the environment is virtualized, the easiest method would be to take a snapshot of all FlexiCapture Servers before commencing the update. Otherwise, a full backup of all projects is highly recommended (the instructions are provided below).

Projects can be backed up using either the GUI of the Project Setup Station or FCAdminTools.

Tip: Consider compacting the project before commencing the backup. This can also be done using either the GUI or FCAdminTools. Compacting a project will reduce the size of the files to be backed up and speed up the entire process. 

Creating a project backup using the GUI

  1. On the Project Setup Station, open a desired project from the server. Note: Make sure no working batches are selected. When doing a backup of a project with working batches selected, all the exported working batches that are selected will be visible when opening the project locally but will be removed when importing or uploading the backup onto the FlexiCapture Server.
  2. Select Project > Export project… in the main menu, making sure that the Export data sets checkbox is selected.
  3. Click Save.
  4. After the project has been exported, open it on the Project Setup Station to validate its integrity.

Creating a project backup using FCAdminTools:

The following sample command may be used to back up the project:

C:\Program Files\ABBYY FlexiCapture 12 Stations\FCAdminTools.exe DownloadProject /Source=”https://FCSRV/1/SingleEntryPoint” /Target=D:\Projects /CopyTrainingBatches=All  /CopyTrainingSamples /U=user /P=password

Important! Be sure to save all training batches (i.e. specify /CopyTrainingBatches=All).

The methods above are intended only for saving a project and its configuration. For projects with a large number of training batches, these can be downloaded in chunks (by specifying individual BatchIds=2,3,7954). For details, please refer to the article.

Creating a full FlexiCapture backup

The complete state of the FlexiCapture installation can be saved by making a copy of both the File Storage directory and the FlexiCapture database. This procedure is described in detail here: Creating an ABBYY FlexiCapture backup.

Important! To ensure integrity, both backups need to be created at the same time to reflect the SAME system state. The recommended procedure is to stop the system before starting the backup. To do this:

  1. Turn off all document import tools to prevent documents from entering the system before you are ready.
  2. Stop the Processing Server and wait until there are no active tasks left.
  3. In the Administration and Monitoring Console, check if there are any open sessions. If yes, delete them.
  4. If possible, either stop IIS completely or stop the Default Web Site in the IIS Manager. This will stop users from accessing FlexiCapture and prevent external components from calling the FlexiCapture API.
  5. Create backups (either manually or using the PowerShell script which can be found here).

Once the steps above are completed, the upgrading of FlexiCapture can be started, as all users will be disconnected.

Important! If you end up with a corrupted project due to unsynchronized file storage and database backups, you will likely be able to restore the project from the project backup; however, all working batches will be permanently lost. For more information, see Troubleshooting upgrade problems.











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