DonorWise TM
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Installing DonorWise



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What you need to understand about the DonorWise installation

Like many programs, DonorWise is composed of two parts: 1.) The DonorWise software program and 2.) the data that is stored in a database.  The database is managed by another software program called “SQL Server”.  So really, two software programs are needed;  DonorWise and SQL Server.

DonorWise is also able to ‘integrate’ or communicate with some General ledger programs like Solomon (Microsoft Dynamics SL).  So in ‘integrated GL mode’ DonorWise needs to be able to communicate with two different databases; The DonorWise database and the GL (Solomon) database.  Solomon’s database is also managed by SQL Server.  So SQL Server can be used to manage the databases for both DonorWise and Solomon.

If DonorWise is going to be installed on more than one computer or on a different computer than Solomon GL, then those computers need to be able to communicate with one another.  This is done through a ‘wired’ or ‘wireless’ network.  SQL Server does not use regular network ‘file sharing’ to be able communicate with other SQL Servers.  But there are certain software components that need to be installed with DonorWise to make the communication possible.  These should be installed automatically, but sometimes communication problems do occur.

The best design for you

You will need to decide whether DonorWise will have its own installation ‘instance’ of SQL Server or use an existing one (like the one used for Solomon).  The decision is based on a couple of factors: 1.) How will the backups of DonorWise and Solomon be managed. 2.) Whether the DonorWise database will need to be portable on a laptop.

For the easiest backups and the least amount of installation, DonorWise and Solomon should share the existing Solomon SQL Server.  For portability, DonorWise should have its own ‘instance’ of SQL Server installed on the laptop.  But note, if it is integrated to Solomon, the integration will only work while connected to the Solomon computer.  It is also not recommended to have a DonorWise database or a Solomon database on a laptop because of the greater possibility of loss.

DonorWise can run on SQL Server 2005 (that is the one that installs with DonorWise if you choose) or it can also run on SQL Server 2000 (used with Solomon 6.0 or earlier).

Security Concerns for notebook users

Your DonorWise database contains a lot of personal information that you are obligated to guard carefully. In addition to the ethical responsibility you have to donors, in some countries, if the information in the database is compromised through carelessness, you or your ministry could be held liable for any resulting damages and civil actions could be taken. Safeguarding your DonorWise information is imperative!

If you must install your DonorWise data on a portable computer, the best protection for your data is to use strong encryption of some sort. There are numerous ways to encrypt data on your computer. However, all of them are beyond the scope of this document, and beyond the scope for support available through IFM or the DonorWise support team. You will need to decide for yourself what works best for your ministry and how to implement it.

DonorWise installation

If DonorWise is already installed on your computer and you want to upgrade it, simply open DonorWise and use the help menu item “Check for updates on the web”.

DonorWise is installed from the web.  The link is A CD s also available, if needed. To install DonorWise, run the file named SetupDonorWise.exe. You will need to maintain a connection to the internet during the DonorWise installation so that it can download any needed files to complete the installation.

These instructions apply whether this is a first-time installation or an upgrade.

The download link

Type : into your web browser.

Run Screen

Click the Run button since DonorWise needs to remain connected to the internet to complete the installation.


The installation will perform a scan of your computer for any needed software components.  If any are found they will appear on this screen and be downloaded and installed. Click Next.

Install Prerequisites

The components will install.

Welcome to DonorWise Setup

Click Next.


License Agreement

Accept the license agreement and click Next.

Install SQL Server

The Install Wizard will scan your system for instances of Microsoft SQL Server.

If you are not using an existing instance of SQL Server, then DonorWise will need install SQL Server 2005 Express on one computer.  Other clients will need to be able to connect through a network to that computer and it will act as the server.

> If you want to install a separate instance of SQL server for your DonorWise database, then check the box, "Install Microsoft SQL server Express".

> If this is a client computer, uncheck the box, "Install Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express". Client computers that will connect to a SQL Server on another computer, do not need to install the SQL Server 2005 express edition.

> If you are using the SQL Server that is used for Solomon, uncheck the box, "Install Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express".

Note: If using Solomon GL, it is possible to have two SQL Servers on the same or different computers.  One for DonorWise and another for Solomon GL.  These communicate to each other for the integration of DonorWise to Solomon.  Consult with your AFM or IFM about this if you have questions and think you should set it up like this.

Leave the box checked to install SQL Server Management Studio.

Click Next.

File Location

DonorWise will display the default location for its files (C:\Program Files\Donorwise).  In general you should choose this location.

The other options are fine, unless you want only the currently logged in user to Windows to have access to DonorWise. Then you should check the 'Just Me' box.

Country and Language Settings

Allow DonorWise to connect to the internet (for Program updates).

IMPORTANT!: Select the country for this database.   This should be your ministry's country.

Select a language from the list. This is the language that will be used in the DonorWise program interface (and in some cases the Help).

Note: It is possible for multiple languages to be used in the same office. For example, one user could use English, another in Spanish.  It will not cause problems in the database.

Click Next.

Ready to Install

DonorWise is now ready to Install.

Click Install.

The length of time to install will vary depending on the speed of the computer, and whether SQL Server is also being installed or not.

The installation includes some or all of the following components:

The DonorWise program
The translation files that allow it to be used in an available language
The Help files (currently English and Spanish only)
SQL Server if it is being loaded

Install Complete

If SQL Server is not being installed, the entire installation from start to finish could be as short as 2 minutes.

Run DonorWise Now

At this point, DonorWise is ready to run. When you click Finish, the next screen will be the Login screen.

See Making or Restoring Backups, or Creating a new database.


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Comments on this Help Topic

mattmartin26 wrote re: Installing DonorWise
on 15 May 2013 1:18 AM

How do you find & open the Donorwise database on another computer, assuming that the network is already set up?

Troy Wolbrink wrote re: Installing DonorWise
on 15 Jun 2013 3:55 PM

Hi Matt, You may have already found an answer to this question, but once the network is setup the "Server name" when you login to DonorWise is the name of the computer hosting DonorWise.  --Troy

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