Installing A3 Platform on Windows

Having download the installer file of A3 Platform, either from Visual Paradigm official site (if you are going to evaluate A3 Platform) or from Visual Paradigm Customer Service Center (if you are our customer), unzip it, start it and walk through the steps show on screen to complete the installation. Here are the steps in detail:

Starting A3 platform

  1. The file downloaded is a .zip file. It contains the installation of A3 Platform in a ready-to-run state. De-compress the downloaded zip file to where you want A3 Platform be installed. This produces a folder a3-platform.
    Extract the zip of A3 Platform
    Extract the zip of A3 Platform
  2. Run a3-platform\scripts\startup.bat. This starts a command console with start-up script executed. Keep the command console opened. If you close it, A3 Platform will be terminated.
    Startup A3 Platform
    Startup A3 Platform
  3. Start your Web browser such as Internet Explorer/Firefox/Chrome/Safari.
  4. Visit in the Web browser. This opens the setup page of A3 Platform. The fields labeled in red are required fields you must enter in order to continue. Labels in white are optional fields that can be skipped.
    The Setup page
    The Setup page

Step 1 of 3 - Setup

  1. The top of the page asks you to enter the database setting. A database is required to store data produced/read by A3 Platform. Therefore, you must prepare a database yourself and supply the connection information to that database here.

    The Database option Embedded DB is provided to users who are unable to setup an external database or have little or no knowledge about database. However, if you are going to use A3 Platform for production purpose, it is NOT recommended to use Embedded DB because its performance is a bit lower than other available database options.

  2. The Files Folder field, under the System Setting section, stores files user uploaded via A3 Platform, if any. By default, the path would be filled in as %A3 Platform%\files. If you have no idea where to store the files, just leave it unchanged.
  3. The Temp Folder field specifies the folder to store any temporary files A3 Platform may produce during any operations. By default, the path would be filled in as %A3 Platform%\temp. If you have no idea where to store the files, just leave it unchanged.
  4. The Log Files Folder field specifies the folder to store the log files which records errors reported by A3 Platform, if any. By default, the path would be filled in as %A3 Platform%\logs. If you have no idea where to store the files, just leave it unchanged.
  5. A3 Platform can only run when a valid, non-expired license key exists. Paste the key content in the License Key box.
    License key pasted
    License key pasted

    For evaluation - Check your Email box and look for the Email sent by Visual Paradigm, which contains the information of license key. Copy the key content written in Email, and paste here.

    Copy license key content
    Copy license key content

    For purchased user - Download the key file from Customer Service Center. Open it in any text editor. Copy everything inside the text file and paste here.

  6. Paste the copied key content to the License Key field in the installation page.
  7. Administrator is the person who can create users, projects, read and update license keys. You can optionally change the name of admin login in the Admin Login field. After that, enter the administration password in Admin Password and Confirm Password fields.
  8. The A3 Platform Server URL will appear in Email sent by A3 Platform (if Email notification is enabled). Email recipient can then click on the URL in Email to open a page in A3 Platform. Therefore, it is important to fill in a correct URL (if you use Email notification). If the IP of the server machine is, the correct URL should be Remember not to use or localhost because the address can only be accessed by this machine, not other machines.
  9. When something happened, for instance someone has assigned an Activity to another one, you may want the assignee be notified via Email. To do this, enable Email notification by selecting Enable email notification and fill in the server address and port.
  10. Click Install. The installation takes several minutes to complete. Do NOT close the Web browser or else the installation will be terminated.

Step 2 of 3 - Create users

Once the setup has passed, the Manage User screen will be displayed. A user means someone who can login to A3 Platform to do something (depending on the type of user you create). 

You need to create users here. To create a user:

  1. Click Add User at the top left of page.
    Create a user
    Create a user
  2. On the right hand side of the page, fill in the Full Name, Login Name and Password for the user to add.
    Fill in the basic information of a user
    Fill in the basic information of a user
  3. If you have enabled Email notification in the setup page, enter the Email of the user here and check Notify assignment and updates. Otherwise, he won't receive any Email when there is Activity/Issue assignment/updates.
  4. Tel (Telephone), Fax (fax number), Description are optional fields. You can decide whether or not to enter.
  5. Left to the text fields you can set the photo of the user. This will be used as an graphical representation of this user. If you want to change the logo image, you can either click ... to select one from the default logos or click Attach a file to upload an image file on your own.
    Selecting a logo for user
    Selecting a logo for user
  6. It is possible to set the user active or inactive by changing the value of Active. An active user is one that can participate in a project. If a user is set to be inactive, he/she cannot be assigned to any projects, thus cannot take part in them. If such user was assigned to a project before, he/she will be removed from that project.

    Also note that our license model counts only active users. That means, if your license entities you to have 10 users, this means that you can have 10 active users in the system.

  7. Set the type(s) the user belongs to. Select a type and click > to set.
    User type set
    User type set

    The three available types of users are administrator (hidden type), project director and user. One system can have only one administrator. In other words, you can only edit the existing one but not to create a new one. Project director maintains the right for project management such as to create, edit and delete projects. He/she also can join projects, while an administrator cannot. Among all, user is the most general one who can join projects but have no right to create, edit or delete projects. The following chart outlines the roles as well as their responsibilities.
    User Type Responsibility
    Project Director Manage project, Participate in project
    User Participate in project
    Responsibilities of different types of users
  8. Click Save.
  9. Repeatedly add all users. When users are all added, click Next to continue.
    NOTE: It is not a must to add all users at this stage because you can always login to A3 Platform and add/edit/delete users when you want to.

Step 3 of 3 - Create projects

After creating user(s), you need to create projects. A project is a collection of Requirement, Activity, Issue, Artifacts under a named domain. Different teams have different interpretations of what a project is. Some treat project as equivalent to the system/software product going to build. E.g. "Banking System". Some create projects for different parts of their system. E.g. "Back-End", "Public". A3 Platform does not impose a strict definition of project. It is up to your preference what projects should be created.

  1. Click New at the top left of page.
    Create a project
    Create a project
  2. Enter the Name and Description of project.
    Fill in the basic information of project
    Fill in the basic information of project
  3. URL Alias will be appended to the URL of A3 Platform so that people can open the project by visiting the combined URL in quick. Enter a short and descriptive word to be the alias.
  4. Add users into the project. Select a role in the list of project role. Then, click + at bottom right. Note that there must be at least one project manager. In other words, you must add at least one user to be project manager. You can select project manager by selecting the user from the drop down menu of Project Manager, or by selecting Project Manager in the list of project role and click +.
    Add programmer user
    Add programmer user
  5. In the popup window, select the user(s) to add and click OK to return to the Manage Project page.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Finish. This completes the installation.
Chapter 2. Installation Table of Contents Part II. Home view

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