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Frequently Asked Questions for PHDwin V3

What is the cost for current supported clients to get PHDwin V3?

The PHDwin V3 upgrade is a free upgrade for licensees who are currently up to date with payments in TRC’s PHDwin support and maintenance program. Supported clients can access and run both PHDwin V2 and V3 concurrently, based on their named user accounts.

Please note that clients not currently up to date on support and maintenance will have to pay an upgrade fee to gain access to the newest version of the program. Please contact TRC for a quote regarding any applicable upgrade fee.

Will PHDwin V2 still be supported?

In an effort to allow clients an organized transition to V3, TRC will support PHDwin V2 for the foreseeable future, though the majority of TRC’s future development efforts will be in PHDwin V3. PHDwin Support will answer both V2 and V3 questions. TRC will maintain both V2 and V3 documentations on the client portal.

Are PHDwin V2 files compatible with PHDwin V3?

PHDwin V3 has the ability to import PHDwin V2 files. This import upgrades the dataset to the Microsoft SQL Server automatically, and where possible, converts V2 methodology to V3 mythology. An example of a methodology update is how PHDwin V2 Partners are converted into V3 Scenarios. In this case, no functionality is lost, but significant new features are available in the V3 upgrade.

For the list of feature differences between V2 and V3, please refer to the following document on the client portal:

Please note that:

  • PHDwin V2 is not forward compatible.
    • PHDwin V2 does not run V3 databases.
    • PHDwin V3 cannot be converted to V2 databases.

If you are working with a company that needs to receive a PHDwin V2 file, it is recommended you take advantage of the fact that all supported clients can use V2 and V3. A .PHZ file is a V2 file that can be opened in either program. A .PHZ3 file is a V3 file that is specific to PHDwin V3.

What are the System Requirements for PHDwin V3?

Note that Network multi-user MS SQL instances will need additional resources proportional to the concurrent user count.

How do I get PHDwin V3 setup?

You can find a video outlining the installation process along with the installation guide here:

How do I request a license for PHDwin V3?

Information on how to request a license file can be found here:

PHDwin Licensing

How do I move my PHDwin V3 licensing from one machine to another machine for a standard installation?

Information on how to move an installed seat can be found here:

Where can I find the build notes for PHDwin V3’s releases?

All of the build notes and even the .MSI installers that do not bundle Microsoft SQL Server Express for those with managed IT and full versions of Microsoft SQL Server can be found on our IT Resources page here:

IT admins can have their own client portal login as long as they register with the email address that belongs to the company’s domain.

What is the difference between a purchased and leased PHDwin V3 licensing?

The License purchase option offers perpetural licensing. License lease options offer term (time-based) licensing. The “Lease to Purchase” option is a hybrid program where a license can be leased for a period of time, and upon satisfactory completion of the lease term, a perpetural license is awarded.

With perpetural licensing, a licensee will always have access to the software version licensed and its data. For this option, PHDwin support and maintainance is optionally sold with annual renewals. Support and Maintainnce must be maintained each year if the licensee wants to be licensed for the latest version. If the Support and Maintainance option is declined by the licensee, the licensee will only have access to use the last version and build released within their previous Support and Maintenance term.

Unlock code files unlock the software for a term period or perpeturally depending on user requests. In most cases, the first years support and maintainance is included in the purchase price. Currently (12/2021) annual support and maintenance is 14% of the non-discounted purchase price of all licensed rights. Pricing is subject to change without notice. Pre-purchase of future support and maintainance is allowed to lock in future costs. Support and Maintenance terms are sold in increments of 1 year from the anniversary date of the original purchase.

With term-based licensing (leased software), access to the software is limited to the lease term. Access to project data outside of the license term will only be by direct database access or through licensed PHDwin installs. Lease terms are in increments of  one year or three months (quarterly leases). Unlock code files are limited to the licensed period. For leased licensing, unlock code files will need to be renewed at each term renewal. Support and Maintainnce is included in the term licensing cost.

Mixed licensing (owned and leased) is only allowed where support and maintainance for each type is continuous.

Please note that with V3, data can always be accessed on the back end with MS SQL Server.

Financially, the total cost of ownership is less for perpetural licensing if the licensee plans to use PHDwin for more than 3 years.

What is the difference between a standard installation and a network installation of V3?

Another choice a licensee needs to make is how the software will be deployed in their organization. PHDwin offers two different use (unlock) control deployments. These include:

  1. Common centralized control using an unlock application installed on a network. This unlock deployment is called “Network Licensing Control”. This deployment allows:
    1. Centralized unlock management and license use control with an unlock “check-out” feature.
    2. Installation of PHDwin on an unlimited number of computers with concurrent user limits.
    3. Better utilization of software in environments where many people need limited access to the software.
    4. This option is required for all Virtual Machine (VM) environments or where underlying hardware used to run PHDwin may change.
    5. This option is a common choice for larger deployments on corporate networks.
  2. Individual endpoint computer unlocking. This unlock deployment is called Standard licensing control. This deployment allows:
    1. Unlocking of specific individual computers.
    2. Guaranteed access to the software for high use individuals.
    3. Access to the software when the users are off the licensing network. This is common when traveling users need to access PHDwin from remote locations.
    4. Lower entry costs for individual users.
    5. This is a common deployment for individual users or small companies.

Please note that these deployment options are not mutually exclusive. It is common in larger deployments for a mixed usage to be deployed where high usage, mission critical users have individual endpoint (standard) unlocks, while less critical users share concurrent unlock licensing control.

What are the benefits of the optional annual V3 support and maintenance service for clients with purchased installations?

PHDwin’s annual support and maintenance program includes five benefits during the supported period. These benefits are:

  • Phone and email support for questions about PHDwin deployment and usage (currently both V2 and V3 are supported)
  • Access to software maintenance releases, software updates, and version upgrades. Please note that the software version upgrade from Version 2 to Version 3 was a free upgrade for all Version 2 users that were up to date on support and maintenance at the time of release.
  • Discounts for additional purchases.
  • Access to the PHDwin client portal. This Portal offers regularly updated on-demand:
    • Training and support documentation for both PHDwin V2 and V3. This documentation is presented in both video and written form.
    • Current and historical builds of both PHDwin V2 and V3 with release notes.
    • Topical PHDwin Week presentations from industry leading individuals.
  • Guaranteed access to PHDwin Week.

Unsupported clients will be required to pay an upgrade fee to renew PHDwin Support and Maintenance. This fee will be dependent upon the unsupported term, but not larger than the cost to repurchase.

How is PHDwin V3 deployed? Does PHDwin support cloud-based deployments?

TRC licenses the PHDwin software for licensee managed deployments. This offers licensees the option to deploy PHDwin within their own or subcontracted infrastructure. These deployments can be cloud-based within the comapny, cloud-based through a third party, network-based and/or individual computer-based. All client managed deployments are supported.

For larger companies, mixed deployment is both possible and usual. How the software and its databases are deployed, and thus the data and confidentiality is managed, is completely within the licensees control. This allows licensees the flexibility to conform PHDwin to the unique security and compliance (SOX) models, pre-existing or desired within each licensed company.

TRC Consultants does not capture your business by capturing your data. TRC Consultants does not require licensees to use TRC’s data and/or hosting services or force a SOX compliance or security model that may not meet a companies specific needs. Depending on the project, PHDwin data may contain both public and/or private data. Differing levels of security and/or SOX compliance may be required. PHDwin allows licensees the flexibility and benefit of managing their own data in the infrastructure that works best for them.

This deployment model allows licensees to retain their own data regardless of their relationship with TRC. Because the licensee manges their own data and deployments, a licensee can be confident that their work is not available to unauthorized users. In a hosted environment, confidential data will necessarily be available to the hosting companies employees. This data often gets used by the hosting companies in both testing and the creation of derivative works. TRC cannot profit by creating derivatives of your work for resale or direct exploitation.

PHDwin also supports the .PHZ3 format that allows databases to be transported between parties in a non-MS SQL Version specific format. This allows users to move complete or partial projects to other operators, banks, consultants, and other users without complicated database version considerations. For this reason, .PHZ (version 2) and .PHZ3 (version 3) files are common in A&D data rooms.

If you would like more information please let us know, or we could give IT access to a trial license to experiment as well.

Can I run PHDwin V3 on .mdb or MSDE databases?

PHDwin is built on a native Microsoft 64-bit client server MS-SQL Server data engine implementation to guarantee ongoing Microsoft compatibility and minimize security issues. PHDwin V3 does not support older 32-bit desktop databases.

The Jet database engine (.mdb) was only released as a 32-bit program. It cannot run natively under 64-bit versions of Windows or Windows programs. This means that native 64-bit applications (such as the 64-bit versions of SQL Server) could not access data stored in MDB files through ODBC, OLE DB, or any other means, except through intermediate 32-bit software (running in WoW64) that functioned as a proxy for the 64-bit client. This methodology does generate security risks and should be avoided. For ongoing compatibility with 64-bit programs including operating systems, the .mdb (JET Data engine) and Microsoft Database Engine (MSDB) have been deprecated by Microsoft (in 2007). MS SQL Server Express is the designated replacement.

How do I import ARIES .mdb or .accdb files into PHDwin V3?

ARIES files in .mdb, .accdb, and MS SQL Server formats can be directly imported. PHDwin V3 includes both pre-mapped and user-definable ARIES import scripts. User definable scripts lever a comprehensive set of import tokens to address variations in ARIES database schemas and set ups. ARIES command lines can also be programmatically interpreted and converted into PHDwin equivalents. Most common command line conversions are supported. With a good understanding of the ARIES data schema and PHDwin’s import tokens, most users can script their own ARIES conversions. More information can be found in the client portal.

How do I export an ARIES .mdb file from PHDwin V3?

PHDwin V3 does not have .mdb or .accdb export functionality. PHDwin V3 is built on a native Microsoft 64-bit MS-SQL Server data engine implementation which does not support 32-bit databases. Please note that 32-bit .mdb files (JET database) have been deprecated by Microsoft in 2007. See “Can I run PHDwin V3 on .mdb or MSDE databases?” for background above.

Also see:

Some consultants have developed manual workarounds for backward conversions.

TRC can recommend:

Courtney Stephens, CEO
QED Energy Associates
9575 Katy Freeway, Suite 120
Houston, Texas 77024
[email protected]
832-581-3758 (main)
832-715-3982 (mobile)


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