Upgrading from Perception 5.1/5.2

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.7

This section relates to upgrading from Perception 5.1/5.2, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You have installed Perception 5.1 or 5.2 on Windows Server 2008 (or either the 32- or 64-bit of 2008 R2)
  • You are using SQL Server 2008

If you don't meet the above criteria, you will need to upgrade the necessary component(s). For information about this please, refer to Upgrading from a previous version of Perception.

To upgrade to Perception 5.7, you will need to:

Before you upgrade, you should create a backup.

Create a backup

Perception 5.7 adds several modifications to the template and XSL files that were shipped with Perception 5.1 and 5.2. If you have modified any of your templates, XSL files, or CSS files (if you created new templates, XSL files, or CSS files, you will not need to back them up, but it is recommended as best practice), you should create a backup of these so that you can reapply the changes once you have upgraded. The following default folders are updated/modified when upgrading:

  • C:\Perception5\Repositories\shared\<MyRepository>\resources\system\css
  • C:\Perception5\Repositories\shared\<MyRepository>\system\defaults
  • C:\Perception5\Repositories\shared\<MyRepository>\system\devices
  • C:\Perception5\Repositories\shared\<MyRepository>\system\templates
  • C:\Perception5\Repositories\shared\<MyRepository>\system\xsl

You should backup the content of any of the above folders or preferably backup the whole shared repository folder at:


...where <MyRepository> is the name of your shared repository.

If you modified the default files, you will need to make the same modifications to the new files from your backups. This will ensure any modifications you made to the default templates and CSS files will be reapplied.

You should also back you your shared repository database. By default, the shared repository database is named Perception_REPO. This is the database that needs to be backed up in SQL Server 2008.

Install the prerequisites on the appropriate servers

The prerequisites for Perception 5.7 are different to those of Perception 5.1/5.2. There are several new components and technologies used that require the installation of additional software. For information about the prerequisites and how to install them, please refer to step 1 (Install and configure the prerequisites).


For this upgrade, you will not need to install the following:

  • .NET 2.0 Framework

However, you will need to install/enable the items listed below on your Perception server:

  • .NET 3.5 + SP1
  • .NET 4.0
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • PHP 5.4

.NET 3.5 is installed by default on Windows Server 2008 R2 but must be enabled.

For information on the prerequisites you'll need to install on your ETL server, please refer to step 3 (Install the prerequisites on your ETL server).

Once you have installed the necessary prerequisites, you can continue on to next section, installing a database system on your ETL server.

Install SQL Server on your ETL server

You will need to install and setup a local copy of SQL Server 2008 R2 on the server that will house Perception's ETL service (referred to in this install guide as the ETL server). This server will also be used to store the temporary ETL database, which is used during the ETL process. For information about installing and setting up this, please refer to step 4 (Install a database to handle the ETL_Temp database).

Deactivate your Perception license

You will need to deactivate your Perception 5.1/5.2 license before installing Perception 5.7. To do this:

  1. Login to Enterprise Manager as the root manager user for your Perception installation
  2. Select the Settings tab, click Server Settings, and then click Update License
  3. Click Activate Current License
  4. Select Unactivated from the drop-down list in the Activation Status column
  5. Insert your Communities email address and password, and click Activate
  6. Click Finish to finalize the deactivation process

Your license has now been deactivated, and you're now able to install Perception 5.7 without issues.

Run the Perception 5.7 installer

Download the Perception 5.7 installer to your Perception server from the Questionmark Downloads page on the Questionmark website.

By default, users do not have administrative user rights if you are logged on as a user other than the built-in administrator. This is also true even if you were added to the local Administrators group on the computer (this is a new security feature in Windows Server 2008 called Local User Administrator). Log in as the built-in administrator account, or explicitly invoke applications as the built-in administrator by using the Run as administrator... command. If you are logged on to an account other than the built-in local administrator account, you may see the following security alert dialog box. You will need to make sure you are logged in as an administrator when completing all the sections below.

To upgrade to Perception 5.7:

  1. Launch the installer
  2. Enter the password for the installer. This password should have been sent to you by email. Please contact Questionmark if you have not received this email.
  3. If a previous installation of Perception 5 is detected, the following message will be displayed. Click Yes.

  4. Click Next > to start the upgrade process and follow the onscreen instructions and accept the end-user license agreement
  5. Select the Typical install and click Next >
  6. Verify that the Install Questionmark Perception Server 5.7 to field points to the current path where Perception 5.1/5.2 is installed. The installer should automatically detect the correct location.
  7. Click Next >
  8. Verify that the Install Repository Files to field points to where your current repository files are located. Select Browse to change this if you installed Perception repository files to a non-default location or you previously upgraded from Perception 4.
  9. Click Next >
  10. Define the root URL/domain name that will be used to access the Perception server by selecting User Defined and entering the valid name, or select This Computer if you will be accessing Perception by using the server name
  11. Click Next >
  12. Select Yes or No to determine if the server is to enable the automatic upgrade functionality for Authoring Manager
  13. Click Next >

  14. Click Install to start the upgrade process

Once the necessary files have been added to your server, you will be prompted with the following screen:

Select Launch Questionmark Configuration Application and click Finish to launch the configuration application. Now you can continue to the next section.

Do not open perception.php before upgrading your shared repository. Follow the instructions in the section below to set up your databases and upgrade your shared repository immediately after the installer finishes the upgrade process.

Configure the databases and reconnect/upgrade your shared repository

Now, you need to run the configuration application (follow step 10 [Create the Main and RW databases] through step 14 [Create the database links] for details) to set up your databases as well as reconnect and upgrade your shared repository. If you did not choose to launch the configuration application in the previous section, this can be done by navigating to the following address in the web browser of your Perception server:


...where <server_name> is the domain name associated with this server.

Once the configuration application has loaded, refer to steps mentioned above for details about setting up the databases and upgrading your shared repository. After you complete steps 10 through 14, follow the Upgrading the shared repository section below.

It is important to ensure that the same DSN name, database login and database password for the migrated shared repository is used, or the necessary connections to Perception identifying the shared repository will not be able to be made.

Upgrading your shared repository

Now you need to upgrade your shared repository. To do so:

  1. Launch the Shared Repository Service. It can be found at the following location on your Perception server: Start | All Programs | Questionmark | Perception Server
  2. Once the Shared Repository Manager is loaded, you should see all your shared repositories listed. Select the one you want to upgrade now and click Repository Upgrade Wizard... in the Management tab on the left

  3. Enter the root administrator User name and Password and click OK
  4. Click Next >

  5. Click Stop IIS and SRS on this machine and then click Next >. It is possible to upgrade without stopping IIS or SRM; however, if participants are taking an assessment, this will result in a loss of results and could possibly lock files from being upgraded.

  6. The Repository Upgrade Process screen will display showing you the progress of the upgrade. Once it has finished, you will be shown the following screen. Click Start IIS and SRS on this machine and then click Finish.

    You will now be taken back to Shared Repository Manager, where your repository version number should be reported as

Reactivate your Perception license

Now that you've upgraded your shared repository, you'll need to reactivate your Perception license to complete the upgrade progress. For information on how to do this, please refer to the following section of this guide:

ADV1. Licensing Perception