Upgrading from Perception 5.4

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

This section provides guidance on upgrading to Perception 5.7 from 5.4, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • You have installed Perception 5.4 on Windows Server 2008 or R2
  • You are using SQL Server 2008

To upgrade to Perception 5.7, you will need to:

Before you upgrade, you should create a backup.

Create a backup

It is recommended that your shared repository folder and your shared repository database are backed up before upgrading, in case you need to revert back to a previous version for any reason.

By default, the shared repository folder can be found in the following location:


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

By default, the shared repository database is named Perception_REPO. This is the database that needs to be backed up in SQL Server 2008.

Delete the MAIN, RW, and ETL_Temp databases and database users

You'll need to delete the Perception_MAINPerception_RW, and Perception_ETL_Temp databases and the corresponding database users before you can upgrade to Perception 5.7.

For instructions on how to delete database users, please refer to the appropriate documentation for your database system.

You will not be able to create reports in Analytics until you have successfully installed Perception 5.7, configured/reconnected your databases/database users, upgraded your shared repository via the configuration application, and an ETL has run, repopulating the Results Warehouse.

SQL Server 2008

To delete these databases in SQL Server 2008:

  1. Open SQL Server Management Studio
  2. In Object Explorer, expand the server instance, and then expand the Databases folder
  3. Right-click on the Perception_MAIN database (or whatever you named it when you created it), and then click Delete
  4. Confirm that the correct database is selected, and then click OK
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the Perception_RW and Perception_ETL_Temp (or whatever you named them when you created them) databases

Install MVC 3 + Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Security Update MS14-059 (KB2990942)

Perception 5.7 requires ASP.NET MVC 3, so it must be downloaded and installed before you can upgrade to 5.7.

(Do not uninstall ASP.NET MVC 2 as the configuration application still requires it.)

You can download ASP.NET MVC 3 from:

To download and install:

  1. Navigate to the above site.
  2. Use the Web Platform Installer to install MVC 3, or use the direct link to download the installer.
  3. If you chose to download the installer, double-click on the file to launch the installer.
  4. Accept the end user license agreement and allow it to install.
  5. Click Finish to close the installer once the program has completed installing.

If you're installing Perception 5.7 with Service Pack 2, you'll need to also install the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Security Update MS14-059 (KB2990942).

In a multi-tiered Perception environment, you'll need to install MVC 3 on your Perception Application Services Server.

Install PHP 5.5.21 and the corresponding Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 as well as PHP Manager for IIS

Perception 5.7 requires PHP 5.5.21, so it must be downloaded and installed before you can upgrade to 5.7.

You can download the Non-Thread Safe version of PHP 5.5.21 (php-5.5.21-nts-Win32-VC11-x86.zip) from:

You can download PHP Manager for IIS from:

In a multi-tiered Perception environment, you'll need to install PHP 5.5.21 on your Assessment Delivery Web Server.

Deactivate your Perception license

You will need to deactivate your Perception 5.4 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, which 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 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 5.4 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/database users 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 the databases/database users 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/database users 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: