Synchroniser Setup

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The most common method of deployment of Accelerus across a school involves teachers predominantly working on offline files and not directly in the Accelerus database.

When a teacher is working in an offline file, all of their classes and comment banks are stored in the one file. This file has an .aof extension. The offline file is generally kept on the teacher’s laptop, USB memory stick, or in a separate folder for each teacher on the school’s network.

To begin with, these offline files must be either collected by teachers or exported out of the Accelerus database.

Thereafter, once teachers have their class files and they begin working on their students’ results, they periodically synchronise their offline files with the Accelerus database, so that the file and the database are kept in synch. This process also ensures that teachers receive changes from the database automatically, eg new students, new classes, etc.

These processes require the installation and setup of the Accelerus Synchroniser program, which is made up of three components, installed through a Management installation:

Synchroniser Service
Synchroniser Remote Control

Tech InstallSynch


minusThree synchronising methods

The synchronisation of teachers’ offline files may be carried out in three different ways. You must ensure that the correct components are installed on the appropriate computers for the methods you will be deploying and for your school's Accelerus setup.

Using the separate Synchroniser program which hosts the synchronisation of the offline files.

In this case, the Synchroniser may be controlled directly from the computer on which it is installed, or remotely, using Synchroniser Remote Control.


Using Synchroniser Service, running the Synchroniser as a Windows service, in conjunction with the Synchroniser Remote Control program.

If this method is to be used, you should refer to the special notes on the Accelerus website called Setting up the Synchroniser as a Service.

Directly from the Accelerus database, via Tools > Synchronise.

This method is only used as a backup by Accelerus administrators or in special situations, such as when a teacher has forgotten their password.


minusSynchroniser prerequisites

Where teachers are working on offline files, the appropriate Synchroniser programs must be installed and the following requirements met:

Determine which computer is to host the Synchroniser.This may be the same computer that holds the Accelerus database, may be a server or another computer on the network.
The Synchroniser computer must have a known, static IP address.
Determine what port numbers are to be used for teachers, and for the Synchroniser Remote Control, if it is to be used.
Unblock the firewall ports to be used.
If you are to run the Synchroniser as a service, ensure you have followed the notes on the Accelerus website, Setting up the Synchroniser as a Service, including setting up its configuration file.



Remember to edit the Setup.ini file with the Synchroniser IP address and port number, and store this file with the AccelerusInstaller.exe for use when performing an installation for teachers. Otherwise, teachers will have to enter this information manually.


minusSynchroniser program settings

Once you have installed the Synchroniser, it must be configured on the computer on which it was installed.

Tech SynchroniserWindow

Run the Synchroniser by clicking its desktop icon or selecting it from the Start menu.


Click the Browse button at the end of the Database field to bring up a Select Database box in which you:
Select the appropriate option of either an Access or SQL Database for your school's Accelerus database, ie the new one created or the one converted from MarkBook.
In the case of an Access database, enter its path and name, or click the Browse button to select it.

Tech SynchSelectDatabase

For an SQL Server database:
®Enter the name of the SQL Server and the name of the SQL Server database.
®Click one of the security options.
®In the case of SQL Server authentication, enter the SQL user name and password and, optionally, check the box Remember SQL credentials, useful if all at the school are using the same SQL user name and password.
The File Name Pattern field determines where offline files are to be stored on each teacher’s computer when first collected, and how the .aof file is to be named for each teacher.

For example, you could nominate that teachers’ offline files are always downloaded to C:\Accelerus\Offline Files, and have the name format <Teacher Surname> <Teacher Code>.aof.

In setting the file name pattern, you may select from a series of fields from the dropdown arrow at the end of the File Name Pattern field. These fields are encased within < > signs, eg <Teacher Code>.

<Document Folder> will download the offline file to the teacher’s My Documents folder.

Tech SynchFileNamePattern

Deselect the checkbox User can change path and file name if you do not want every teacher to be prompted to select the path and name for their offline file.
Select the Synchroniser IP address and port number.
Enter the message you want teachers to see when the Synchroniser is stopped and unavailable, ie not listening, if you want an alternative to the default text.
If you want to allow the remote control of the Synchroniser, eg by the Accelerus administrator, check the box in the bottom section of the Synchroniser, and enter or accept the port number for its remote control.

The port number for the remote control should be different to that for the Synchroniser – it is the port through which the person controlling the Synchroniser has access.

You must also run and set up the Synchroniser Remote Control on these computers, once finished.

Ensure you click the Apply Changes button to store your settings.
You should click the Start button so that the Synchroniser is listening.

As teachers connect to collect and synchronise their offline files, the Current Connections pane in the Synchroniser will display information about the connections and progress.

Keep the Synchroniser listening and waiting for connections from teachers during the course of the report run, until you are ready to print reports, at which point you may wish to:
Change the Not Listening Message field.
Stop it listening.


minusSynchroniser Remote Control

On any Accelerus administrator computer from which the Synchroniser may be controlled remotely, the Synchroniser Remote Control should be configured.

Tech SynchRemoteControl

Run the Synchroniser Remote Control by clicking its desktop icon or selecting it from the Start menu.


In the Administrative Address field, enter the IP address of the computer hosting the synchronising of offline files, whether via the Synchroniser or Synchroniser Service.
Enter the port number through which the person controlling the Synchroniser has access, and which was entered in the Synchroniser's settings.
Click the Connect button.

The Synchroniser Remote Control should then display all of the settings of the Synchroniser.

If required:
Make any changes to the Synchroniser's settings in the Synchroniser Remote Control.
Click the Apply Changes button.
Click the Stop or Start buttons in the Synchroniser Status section in the left of the window.
You may close the Synchroniser Remote Control - it is not necessary to have it running and listening all of the time, like the Synchroniser.


minusSynchroniser school settings

Before teachers collect or receive their class files, a series of settings need to be set in the Accelerus database by the Accelerus administrator, in the School Settings window:

In Accelerus, go to Tools > School Settings, and select the System Items tab.

Tech SynchSettings

In the System Defaults section, set the default system date, which should be a date that falls in the current academic cycles that teachers will be working on.

The cycles in which the date falls will be selected by default in the Academic Cycle Selector. What is then displayed automatically in the Welcome Screen for anyone who logs into Accelerus, whether in an offline file or directly in the database, will be the classes that belong to these cycles. This date also applies to teachers using Accelerus Web.

The default system date may be:

Automatically set to use the current date.

In this case, whatever date is set on the computer running Accelerus will be the default system date.


A specified date may be entered, using any valid date format, or selected by clicking the calendar icon.

Where the current date is used, it is not necessary to change the default date as cycles change, eg at the beginning of each semester or term.


In the Synchroniser section:
Enter the IP address of the Synchroniser computer and the port number to be used for the Synchroniser, as entered when setting up the Synchroniser.

Note that the IP address and port number entered here are used by the export offline files process so that this information is stored in the created offline files, making it unnecessary for teachers to manually enter these details when logging in to their offline files.

The Synchroniser start and end date fields determine which cycles of data will be available to teachers in their offline files. Only cycles which fall within these dates will be available in the Academic Cycle Selector when teachers are working offline.

For example, above, all cycles in 2012 will be displayed in the offline files, as the date range is 1 January to 31 December 2012.

The Synchroniser will automatically remove any classes from teachers that fall outside this range, eg the classes from 2011.



The Accelerus administrator must remember to change the default system date, and the Synchroniser date range fields each cycle in order that teachers synchronise and receive the correct files.


The first of the checkboxes - Only allow one offline file to be collected - should be checked if you do not want teachers to be able to keep collecting offline files.

It applies whether teachers are collecting offline files via the Login window or, when logged directly into the Accelerus database, via the Welcome Screen.

It is highly recommended that this box is checked. Otherwise, the teacher may keep collecting a new offline file, rather than synchronising the one they have already collected.

The Include classes without assessment items checkbox should be checked if you want teachers to receive all classes in their offline file, whether they contain assessment items or not.

This setting affects not only the collection of offline files but also their synchronisation. For example, if an offline file was exported that included classes without assessment items, but the checkbox was not ticked in the School Settings window, when the teacher next synchronised, any classes without items would be removed from the offline file.