NVivo Server product overview

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What is NVivo?

NVivo for Windows is a desktop application that lets users organize, analyze and visualize information—anything from PDFs and Word documents to web pages, video and audio recordings, or data from Twitter, Facebook and online surveys.

Users can code to organize their material by topic and run queries to uncover trends and emerging themes. The visualization tools let them create charts or models to present and clarify their discoveries.

On its own, NVivo supports basic teamwork, allowing users to track and analyze changes to a project based on user profiles. Team members can also work on individual projects and then import them into a master project—but they cannot work on the same project at the same time. This is where NVivo Server can assist.

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Store projects on NVivo Server

NVivo Server is a server-side application that manages NVivo projects in a centralized database repository—allowing users to work on the same project at the same time.


As server administrator, you can use the NVivo Server Manager to:

More complex maintenance tasks can be performed using SQL Server Management Studio—for example, migrating projects from one NVivo Server to another.

NVivo Server can host projects in NVivo 10 for Windows and NVivo 9 formats, however projects in NVivo 10 format cannot be opened with the NVivo 9 client software. Everyone working in a shared project should be using the same version of NVivo for Windows client software to connect to the server. Refer to Supporting connections from clients running different versions of NVivo for more information.

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Supporting connections from clients running different versions of NVivo

NVivo Server 10 and NVivo Server 10 R2 permit connections from any version of the NVivo 10 for Windows and NVivo 9 client software and can host projects in all NVivo 10 for Windows and NVivo 9 formats. All users, who are working together in a shared project, should be using the same version of the NVivo client.

NVivo Server cannot host NVivo 10 for Mac projects and the NVivo 10 for Mac clients cannot connect to NVivo Server.

The NVivo client provides backward compatibility—if a later version of the NVivo client attempts to open a project in an earlier format (for example, the NVivo 10 for Windows client attempts to open an NVivo 9.2 project), the user is prompted to convert the project to the later format. The original project is not changed; instead a converted copy of the project is created on the server.

The NVivo client does not provide forward compatibility—the user cannot open a project with a later format (for example, the NVivo 9.2 client cannot open an NVivo 10 for Windows project).

In this example (below), the NVivo server is hosting projects in both NVivo 10.0 for Windows and NVivo 9.2 formats:

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Network access to NVivo Server

As NVivo Server enables multiple users to access and work on each centrally stored NVivo project—it needs to be installed on a server that is connected to a network.

We recommend that client connections to NVivo Server are made via a low-latency 100 Mbps (or faster) network.

If you want users to access server projects via an Internet connection, you could use 'thin client' or VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) technologies, such as:

The QSR Technical Resource Center provides instructions for deploying the NVivo client using VDI technologies.

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Understand how your organization can benefit from NVivo Server

NVivo Server can help your organization to:

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Understand the different releases of NVivo Server 10

The main difference between NVivo Server 10 and NVivo Server 10 R2 is the database component that is installed and used to host projects:

Release Version of SQL Server installed
NVivo Server 10 SQL Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition SP2
NVivo Server 10 R2 SQL Server 2012 Standard Edition SP1

There are also some differences in system requirements and location of installed files. However there are no feature differences between NVivo Server 10 and NVivo Server 10 R2, so if you already have NVivo Server 10 installed there is no need to switch to NVivo Server 10 R2.

If you currently have NVivo Server 9 and want to upgrade your software, you should contact QSR International to discuss your upgrade options.

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