Upgrading from Perception 5.1 or 5.2 | Questionmark

Upgrading from Perception 5.1 or 5.2

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.4

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

  • You have installed Perception 5.1 or 5.2 on Windows Server 2008 (or 2008 R2, 32-bit or 64-bit)
  • You are using Oracle 11g or 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 5.4, you will need to:

  • Install the necessary prerequisites on your server(s)
  • Install a local version of SQL Server 2008 or Oracle 11g
  • Run the installer
  • Configure the databases and reconnect/upgrade your shared repository

However, before you upgrade you should:

Create a backup

Perception Version 5.4 adds several modifications to the template and XSL files that were shipped with Version 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.

Install the prerequisites

The prerequisites for Perception 5.4 are different to those of Perception 5.1/5.2. While PHP is still the same, 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 2 (Install and configure the prerequisites).


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

  • .NET 2.0 Framework
  • PHP

However, you will need to install the items listed below:

  • .NET 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0
  • Windows Server AppFabric
  • ASPMVC Framework
  • MSChart Control

Once you have installed the necessary prerequisites, you can start installing Perception.

Install a local version of SQL Server 2008 or Oracle 11g

You will need to install and setup a local copy of SQL Server 2008 or Oracle 11g. This will be used to store the temporary ETL database 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).

Install Perception

Download the installer to your Perception server. You can download the latest version of Perception 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 5.4:

  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. Click Next >
  6. Make sure the Install Questionmark Perception Server 5.4 to textbox points to the current location where Perception 5.1/5.2 is installed. Select Browse to change this if you installed Perception in a non-default location.
  7. Make sure the Install Repository Files to text box 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.
  8. Click Next > to continue
  9. 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.
  10. Click Next >
  11. Select Yes or No to determine if the server is to enable the automatic upgrade functionality for Authoring Manager, and click Next >

  12. Click Install to start the upgrade process
  13. Click OK on the PHP warning message, and let the installer run

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

Configure the databases and reconnect/upgrade your shared repository

Now, you need to run the configuration application (follow step 11 [Create the Main and RW databases] through step 15 [Create the database links] for details) to set up the rest of the databases, as well as reconnect and upgrade your shared repository. This can be done by navigating to the following address in the web browser of your Perception server to launch the configuration application:


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

Once the webpage has loaded, refer to steps for details about setting up the databases and upgrading your shared repository. When you reach the Create/modify the repository section, ensure to 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

If you are upgrading and existing repository, you will be shown a screen similar to the following in the Create/modify the repository section of the configuration application:

To select a repository to configure:

  1. From the Choose a repository list, enable the option button next to the shared repository you would like to upgrade.

    You will be informed of the Selected repository version and the Required repository version.

  2. Click Continue.

    The following screen will be displayed. If you are accessing the configuration application locally on the server, you can click Launch SRM to load the Shared Repository Manager. If you are not logged in locally, you will need to log in to your Perception server and launch the Shared Repository Manager from: Start | All Programs | Questionmark | Perception 5.4

  3. 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...

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 should be reported as 5.4.x.x.

  8. Now that the repository has been upgraded, you can continue with the process of configuring Perception by returning to your browser window and clicking Continue

  9. You will be shown the following screen. In the Enter a Display Name textbox, enter a name that you would like to associate with your shared repository. This name will be shown on the screen when an administrator logs into Enterprise Manager.

  10. Click Continue. You will be presented with a success screen and asked to continue. For the next set of install steps, please refer to step 13 (Create the database links).