Skip to main content
pdf?stylesheet=default
Blackboard Help

Install the Blackboard Learn Application Server and Database on Windows

The installer is launched from a command line prompt and may be run using the command line interface or the graphical interface. The installer presents a series of questions about the system. In many cases, the installer automatically detects the required settings and provides default values.

Where to Find the Installer

To request a current license file for this release and your institution and instructions for downloading the installer, contact your Blackboard Client Representative.

Before Running the Installer

Make sure that the system meets the supported software requirements and is properly configured before running the installer. To confirm that the system is ready for installation, see the Pre-Installation Checklist or the Load-Balanced Pre-Installation Checklist.

The instructions below assume the following:

  • You are currently logged in as the domain user, such as "blackboard."
  • The installer is run on a two server system. The instructions reference the application server and the database server. When installing on one server, these machines are the same.
  • The installer is run using the graphical interface. The command line interface requires the same inputs from the user. The only difference between the command line and the GUI interface is navigation. The graphical interface uses mouse-clicks instead of keystrokes to accept a value and continue. The command line places the default or anticipated value in brackets. You may either enter a new value or simply press ENTER to select the value in brackets.
  • The optional steps for installing content management. These steps are included for testing purposes. Blackboard recommends that content management be used only with Load-Balanced systems.
  • The user is logged in as the "domain user."

How to Run the Installer

  1. Place both the installer and the license file in a directory on the application server. The installer will automatically recognize the license file as long as it is named bb-license.xml and placed in the same directory as the installer. The following steps use C:\bb_installer as an example.
  2. Double-click the installer. Alternatively, open a command line prompt and navigate to the directory that contains the installer.
  3. Run the following command to launch the installer graphical interface:

    C:\bb_installer>java –jar installer_file

    To launch the installer command line interface, run the following command:
    C:\bb_installer>java –jar installer_file -text

    Remember that the rest of these steps assume that the graphical interface is being used.

  4. After reading the welcome message, press ENTER to continue.
  5. Provide the directory where Blackboard will be installed. To accept the default value of C:\blackboard, click Next. Blackboard does not recommend changing this default.
  6. To select the type of installation, type 1for Full Installation and press ENTER.
  7. After reading the License Agreement, click Accept to continue the installation. To refuse the terms of the agreement and close the installer, click Do Not Accept.
  8. Provide the path and location of the license file. To accept the default value, click Next.To search for the license file, click Browse and then click Next.
  9. Provide the location of the JDK. To accept the default value, click Next. To search for the JDK, click Browse and then click Next.  
  10. Provide the location of the Shared Content Directory, which is used to store the content files associated with Courses, images uploaded to the system, and all other files added to the system. The location can be a share on one of the application servers or on the database server, or it can be a SAN (storage area network) or NAS (network-attached storage) on a separate file server. In a load-balanced configuration, this location must be accessible by all of the application servers. To learn more about using a separate file server, see Set Up File System Storage for Windows. To accept the default value of c:\blackboard\content, press ENTER. It is recommended that you change this value to a location outside of the <blackboard_home> directory.
  11. Provide the name of the application server. The installer detects the machine name of the server it runs on and uses that to populate the default value.
  12. Provide the domain that hosts the application server. The installer detects this value and populates the default value. 
  13. Provide the port number for the application server. This is the port that the application uses for communication. The default value is 8009.
  14. Provide the port number for the Web server. This is the port that is used for http connections with users. The default value is 80.
  15. Click Next after completing all the fields on the page. The next page asks for information about the database server. Remember that single server installations use the same machine as both the application server and the database server.
  16. Provide the database server hostname. The default value is the current machine. This is the correct value for single server installations. If installing on two servers, enter a value for the separate database machine. Keep in mind that the hostname is represented by machine_name.domain_name.
  17. Provide the database instance. In most cases, the default instance, which has no name, is used.
  18. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next. The next page asks for the database passwords.
  19. Provide the SQL Server database administrator password. This is the password associated with the sa login. By default, the password for this account is blank.
  20. Provide the Blackboard database user password. This database login is used by the application to access the database.
  21. Provide the Blackboard database report user password. This database login is used by the application to access the reporting database.
  22. Optional step for Content Collection Users: Provide the content management database password. This login is used by the application to access content management database.
  23. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next. The next page asks where to store the database data files and the database log files.
  24. Provide the location where the database data files (.mdf) will be stored. This directory must be on the database server or on a storage device with a dedicated, high-bandwidth connection to the database server. On a single server installation, the default value is C:\blackboard\mssql\data\. Click Next to accept the default or click Browse to provide a new value and then click Next.
  25. Provide the location where the database log files (.ldf) will be stored. This directory must be on the database server or on a storage device with a dedicated, high-bandwidth connection to the database server. On a single server installation, the default value is C:\blackboard\mssql\data\. Click Next to accept the default or click Browse to provide a new value and then click Next.
  26. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next.
  27. Optional step for Content Collection Users: Provide the storage directories for content management:

    /courses - The default value is blackboard_directory\storage\courses.

    /institution - The default value is blackboard_directory\storage\institution.

    /library - The default value is blackboard_directory\storage\library.

    /orgs - The default value is blackboard_directory\storage\orgs.

    /users - The default value is blackboard_directory\storage\users.  

  28. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next.
  29. Provide the collaboration server hostname. In a one or two server environment, the default value is the application server. In a load-balanced environment, select one of the existing application servers to also act as the collaboration server. Though not typically required, a separate server may be dedicated as the collaboration server exclusively. To learn more, see Set Up a Collaboration Server. The collaboration server runs Virtual Classroom and chat sessions.
  30. Provide the TCP port number for the Collaboration server. The Collaboration server uses TCP/IP as the preferred communication method for performance reasons. The default port number is 8010.
  31. Provide the HTTP port number for the Collaboration server. The Collaboration server uses HTTP as a backup method of communication if TCP/IP is not available. The default port number is 8011.
  32. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next.
  33. Provide the location of the SMTP server and click Next. The SMTP server is used to send out email communications. Enter the hostname as machine_name.domain_name.
  34. Provide the Blackboard Learn Administrator password. The Administrator account has full privileges.
  35. Provide the Blackboard Integration password. The integration user is used only to facilitate Snapshot operations. This account cannot be used to log in through the GUI nor does it appear in any lists of users in the user interface. To change the password for this account, on the Administrator Panel, under Building Blocks, click Integration Password.
  36. Provide the Blackboard root administrator password. The root_admin account has full administrative privileges including the management of Virtual Installations through the Administrator Panel. When the root_admin account user views the Administrator Panel, the Manage Virtual Installations link appears at the top of the panel. The root_admin can log in to any Virtual Installation and access the Virtual Installation management features from this link. While it is necessary to enter a password for this account, it is very rare that a system with Virtual Installations will be run on one server or two servers.
  37. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next.
  38. Provide the following information about the administrator and the institution:
    • Name and email address of the administrator
    • Name of Institution
    • Type of Institution - The value must be one of the following: K-12, Higher Education, Continuing Education, Corporate, Professional Association, or Hobby
    • City, State, Country, and ZIP Code of the institution's address
  39. After completing all of the fields on the page, click Next.
  40. Select the Server Type. This is information is used for better management of centralized services. Options include: Production, Staging, Test, and Development. Properly categorize each server when running the installer.
  41. Click Next.
  42. Click Next again to install the software. If the installer was launched from the command line, do not close the command line window or any of the other windows that pop-up during the installation.

If the installer failed, check the installer log and see Troubleshooting to diagnose and fix the problem.