Updating to BarTender 2019 Follow


BarTender Content Team

Welcome to BarTender 2019!

BarTender 2019 is one of our biggest software releases, and we're really excited that you've decided to update. This guide will help you plan and prepare for your BarTender 2019 update to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Major Changes in BarTender 2019

If you're upgrading from an older version of BarTender, there are some changes that you should be aware of. Here's a list of major things that you need to know.

  • All editions of BarTender are now licensed by printer.
    • BarTender 2016 Basic will be updated to a BarTender 2019 Professional, 1 printer license.
    • BarTender 2016 Professional will be updated to a BarTender 2019, 2 printer license.
  • BarTender 2019 has a new Licensing Service that replaces Seagull License Server. This Licensing Service is not backwards compatible with older versions of BarTender. This means that you must update your BarTender clients at the same time that you update your master License Server.
  • BarTender 2019 greatly simplifies the installation process, installing most BarTender components with every installation.
  • Since the release of BarTender 2019 R5, installing SQL Server Express is no longer a requirement. We now instead use LocalDB for internal application related storage. However, there are some BarTender features that require the use of a BarTender System Database stored on a local (possible for Automation and Enterprise Editions) or remote (Enterprise Edition required) SQL Server instance.

For a full list of new features in BarTender 2019, see our What's New in BarTender 2019 White Paper

If you are running BarTender 10.1 (or previous), we've created a community topic containing helpful information and webinars to assist with the update process:

Updating from BarTender 10.1 to BarTender 2019

Making an update plan

As with any software update, we recommend that you create an upgrade plan that covers your entire BarTender installation. A typical upgrade plan for BarTender 2019 might look like this:

  1. Backup BarTender documents (.btw).
  2. Backup Data Files (such as database files, transactional data, etc).
  3. Backup Integration designs (".tl" for Commander, ".btin" for Integration Platform).
  4. Backup BarTender System Database.
  5. Backup other resources such as BarTender components (.btc), graphic files, VBScript functions, etc.
  6. Document how each existing integration and BarTender document works. Verify other possible resources linked to BarTender and document / backup them.
  7. Export your printer driver settings if you’re also planning to update / reinstall your Seagull printer drivers.
  8. If using local security settings for your Active Directory user-based authentication, backup the security settings data file.
  9. Create a test environment that closely replicates your production environment.
  10. Complete comprehensive testing in the test environment.
  11. Upgrade the live environment during a stoppage (or slowdown) in production.
We strongly recommend creating a test environment before updating your version of BarTender.

What you need before updating

You'll need access to a few things before you can update BarTender.

  • The latest BarTender 2019 installer. You can download this here.
  • Your Product Key Code for BarTender with an active maintenance and support contract. You can find this in the PKC certificate that was emailed to you when you bought BarTender.
  • Administrator access to the computer(s) that you will updating.

Installing BarTender 2019

When you're ready, you can install BarTender 2019 "over the top" of an existing BarTender installation. This means you do not need to remove your older version of BarTender. Simply run the BarTender 2019 installer to perform the update.

Activating BarTender

During the BarTender installation, you will be prompted to activate Bartender. You can use your existing BarTender Product Key Code to activate.

Provisional Activation

When you're activating BarTender, you have the option to choose a "Provisional Activation". Provisional activation allows you to activate a BarTender 2019 license on one computer for a temporary period, while your older license remains active in production. Professional and Automation editions can provisionally activate for 30 days. Enterprise editions can provisionally activate for 180 days.

After this period, BarTender is automatically deactivated. Warning messages will be periodically displayed to inform you that BarTender is provisionally activated and will be deactivated after the specified period.

Provisional Activation is useful for two reasons:

  • You can use Provisional Activation to test BarTender 2019, while keeping your older version running in production.
  • Since older BarTender clients cannot communicate with the BarTender 2019 Licensing Service, you can use Provisional Activation to keep concurrent versions running while you migrate all older BarTender installations to BarTender 2019.

Upgrading the BarTender System Database

Once you upgrade BarTender, the new version will be unable to connect and log to an older version of the BarTender System Database. To continue logging information and/or using Librarian, you must also update the BarTender System Database.

In most cases, older versions of BarTender can log information to a new BarTender System Database schema. However, under some circumstances, older versions of BarTender might be unable to log information or use an upgraded BarTender System Database. Before you upgrade, we strongly recommend that you do the following:

  • Refer to the Backwards Compatibility section below to ensure that you do not lose any of your current database data or settings
  • Create a backup of your current BarTender System Database

The first time you launch BarTender following an upgrade, you will be prompted to upgrade the BarTender System Database.

Backing up the System Database

We strongly recommend that you create a backup of your current System Database before you upgrade to a new version.

To create a System Database backup:

  • Open Administration Console
  • Go to the System Database node
  • Click Administrative Tasks
  • Select Backup Database...
  • Follow the prompts to choose a location and create your backup

Backwards Compatibility with BarTender System Database

If you are still running an older version of BarTender, be aware that only BarTender v10.1 SR2 and higher installations can connect to a newer BarTender version of the BarTender System database to retrieve or write data. (This is a consideration only if you are running multiple versions of BarTender on the same network.)

Generally, after you upgrade to a new version of BarTender and the BarTender System Database, it is best to upgrade any other BarTender installations that are connected to that database.

Document Backwards Compatibility

Documents created in an older version of BarTender can always be used in a newer version.

Documents saved in a newer version of BarTender cannot be opened in an older version. Therefore, if you are using multiple versions of BarTender and sharing documents between these versions, you should consider saving all new documents to the oldest version available in your company.

To change the version format for a single BarTender document:

  1. Open BarTender and the document that you want to change
  2. Click the File menu
  3. Select Save As...
  4. In the File Type drop-down menu, choose the version you would like to save to

To automatically save all documents for an older version of BarTender:

  1. Open BarTender
  2. Click the Administer menu
  3. Click BarTender Document Setup
  4. Modify the Save Document As option
Saving documents to older versions of BarTender may remove some features that aren't supported in the older version.

Preview Releases

If you're interested to try out our Preview Release 2 for BarTender 2021 (our next major release of BarTender), visit the following community topic which contain details on what the preview release is, what new features it includes, who is it targeted to and what support will be offered for it.

BarTender 2021 Preview 2

Do you have feedback or questions on this article? We encourage you to post them on our Community Forums