The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


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Installing Spectra on a Network

If you want to install Spectra on a network in order to use the software on more than one computer, make sure your network is properly set up and then follow the steps below. You will be installing the Spectra program on each of your workstations and your data files only on your server. If you do not have a dedicated file server, you can choose a designated workstation to work as your file server.


StudioPlus does not provide technical support for networking. We recommend using a local network hardware provider to assist and help maintain your network.

About Wireless Networks: Technology is advancing all of the time, but the farther a computer is located from the wireless access point (WAP), the slower the network connection will be. Wireless networking is also subject to interference from cell phones, wireless phones, microwaves, and other wireless devices. These can hamper (or even cut off) the network database connection, leading to poor performance at best and corruption of the database at worst.


If you are using Spectra on a network, these are the optimal operating systems:

  • Workstations:  Windows 7 (Professional or Ultimate), Windows 8, or Windows 10
  • Dedicated File Server*: Windows Server 2008 or Server 2012

*A dedicated file server is not required to run any of the single studio versions of Spectra on a network (Express, Standard or Professional). The only version that requires a dedicated file server is the multi-location Spectra Enterprise.


Spectra does not support the following operating systems:

  • Windows ME
  • Windows 95
  • Windows 98
  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista

If you are using one of these operating systems on any of your network computers OR on your dedicated file server, your Spectra data may become corrupt!  

In addition, for optimal performance on a network, please avoid using the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7 Home Basic or Home Premium

STEP 1 - Setting Up a Shared Folder

The first step is to set up a shared folder, one that all your workstations can access and write data to. You will need to do this whether or not you are using a dedicated file server. This shared folder is where your Spectra data files will be stored so each computer can access the same data files.

  1. Decide which computer you will be using to store your data files. If you have a dedicated server for your network, use that. If not, choose one central workstation for your data storage.


For better administration we recommend you map to the same shared drive from all your workstations. Use the same drive letter for the shared folder where the data files will be stored. Even the computer where the files reside should use a drive mapping of the same drive letter (not the "C:" drive; although the files may be on the "C:" drive, you will still need a separate mapping in order to be consistent on all the computers).

NOTE: If you are using the Spectra digital imaging features this is a system requirement.

  1. Locate your shared folder or create a shared folder on a networked drive on the computer you have chosen.

  2. Then create a sub-folder for Spectra called “SpectraData.”

STEP 2 - Installing Spectra on Your First Computer

  1. On your first computer, go through the basic installation process. See also: Basic Installation

  2. When choosing the type of installation you must select the Network - First Workstation option for the software you have purchased.

  3. Type in the multi-user product code(s) for the software you have purchased. If you have not purchased multi-user codes you cannot install Spectra onto your network. Then register your software.

  4. The installation will ask you where you want to put the data files. Select the shared folder and the “SpectraData” sub-folder you created in step 1.

  5. Complete the installation process.

STEP 3 - Installing Spectra on Remaining Computers

  1. Go through the normal installation process on each of your computers.

  2. When choosing the type of installation, select the Network - Workstation Add-On option.

  3. The installation will ask you where the data files are located. Select the shared folder and the “SpectraData” sub-folder you created in step 1.

  4. Compete the installation process on each computer.

See also

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