Installing EPLAN

EPLAN Electric P8 Installation Guide

Intended Audience: EPLAN P8 users with license dongle, EPLAN versions 2.5 and newer

Congratulations,  the day has finally arrived, your EPLAN license dongle has arrived. Many weeks have passed since you first began considering upgrading to EPLAN and now it’s time to begin using it. EPLAN does provide some excellent information to help new users get started via their “EPLAN Quickstart” page, but there are a few issues that tend to arise that cause problems for new users during the initial installation. I have installed EPLAN many many times and thought that I would write this article to help you navigate the installation process like a pro.

The Essential Items
When you install EPLAN you will need a handful of items and some of these items are often overlooked which complicates the installation.

You will need:

• A properly prepared Windows PC
• An EPLAN USB license dongle.
• Drivers for the license dongle.
• Your EPLAN Customer ID

Your Windows PC
The exact approved PC configurations can be found on the EPLAN Quickstart webpage, but essentially you will need a Windows PC with a 64 bit OS installed to run any current version of EPLAN. You might also try the EPLAN Help file which is an online resource.

EPLAN also requires the use of a third party database program to run the EPLAN Parts Manager database, which stores all the manufacturers parts info and links to important reference documents & macros.

EPLAN currently approves the use of Microsoft Access or SQL Databases.

MS Access Database Option

You do not need to actually have a version of MS Office with Access installed, but you will need a 64 bit version of office installed and then an Access Runtime patch. I use Office 2016 Home & Business with a 64 bit Microsoft Access Database Engine Redistributable and it works just fine.

Here is a link to the various Access redistributables, just select the x64 variant when offered.

If your running:

Use this redistributable (Choose the X64 variant after clicking Download)

Office 2010 32 Bit

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=13255

Office 2013 32 Bit

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=39358

Office 2016 32 Bit

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=50040

 

SQL Database Option

This will be the most robust path moving forward but it can be a bit intimidating for the first time user. If you are in a larger company with an IT department, then the SQL path may be pretty easy to implement. For users with 32 bit or 64 bit versions of Office, SQL is a robust alternative to a shared Access database. EPLAN works just fine with both SQL and SQL express and I have even seen SQL express set up on a windows file share for team use.

The Shipping Box

When you purchase a standalone license from EPLAN you will receive a fairly large box with several items in it, some of these items are  overlooked which then complicates the installation. There are essentially four items that you must have to install the application:

The box contains an inner box that contains your license Dongle. EPLAN used to ship the CDs of the software in this box, they no longer ship CD’s but they still use the boxes to ship the USB license dongle. Guard this dongle with your life; this is a perpetual license and a lost or stolen dongle is a lost EPLAN license.

The Envelope
The shipping box also contains a large envelope which contains several important documents, this envelope is often grabbed at shipping & receiving and sent to other departments. The envelope contains:

Your EPLAN Welcome Letter
This letter includes IMPORTANT customer information and important information on how to properly install EPLAN, if you would just take a few moments to read it EPLAN will install without issue.. but most won’t bother. One of the included documents also includes:
EPLAN Customer #: Very Important, write it down somewhere now!
Dongle #: Very Important, write it down somewhere now!

Validation Key Retrieval Instructions
Most users don’t pay much attention to this unless you know what a validation code is, Trust me, it is important. This document walks you through a process to “retrieve it online”, there is also another manual process that is not mentioned. Typically the first validation key that you generate will last 30-45 days after which time your sales rep will contact you to inform you that a new validation code is available. What happened was that for the first 30-45 days you were using a temporary val code until your payment cleared and the new official key is available.

Everything else
There are other documents such as software agreements and copies of the invoice but to the end user, the two documents listed above are what you are interested in. Make some copies.

Software Download
You will now need to go to the EPLANUSA support website to download the desired version of the software since CDs are no longer shipped. You will need to register to access the download area which will require your dongle # and customer ID. Most users will download and run the most current version of EPLAN but you are also welcome to install an older version if desired.

Drivers for the License Dongle

This step trips up a lot of users. The supplied license dongle needs drivers to run in most cases and they are not always loaded when EPLAN is installed. When you install your dongle into a USB port on your PC it should light up, you should also see it in your device manager under USB Controllers

 

The drivers are supplied with your EPLAN install files but they are pretty hard to find unless you know where to look. Download the EPLAN install files from the support center and unzip them, look for a path similar to: EPLAN_Electric_P8_2.7.zip\Electric P8 2.7.3.11418\ELM\Services (x64)\Drivers

Then look for HASPUserSetup.exe and install it, you dongle should now be recognized.

EPLAN Installation

Refer to the installation walk through found on the EPLAN quick start page, the actual install is rather straight forward, with one exception:

In the screen below consider the following:

System Master Data

This is the default installation path, please use it if you can. Even if you plan to set up EPLAN to function in a shared team environment, it is important to ALSO have the default install files. These files come in handy when you call the support team or when you you want to use EPLAN when you are not connected to your company network. EPLAN has tools for switching quickly between local master data and networked master data.

Company Code

When the Master Data folders are created EPLAN will also create several sub folders with your company code, enter a short version of your company name here, typically 3-7 digits, but it can be longer.

Measuring Units

I recommend using the default units of (mm) for the installation, it is fairly simple to change these settings from inside EPLAN later on.

Help System (not shown)

The current EPLAN help system in a web based service, if you almost always have a good fast connection then select the “online” option. If you frequently find yourself using EPLAN while also having no internet access, then select the offline or “local” option. In this case EPLAN will download the files to your PC.

If you have any additional questions, leave a reply, send me an email or give me a call, I would be happy to help.

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