This guide provides detailed information about installing ACL Analytics – Network Edition (ACL Network) and ACL Workstation. You should read through the guide before starting the installation.

ACL Network provides the same functionality as ACL Analytics, but with ACL Network your organization can install a single copy of the main application on a shared network computer that individual users access across the network using ACL Workstation, which is simply a desktop shortcut. The only way to run ACL Network is to use ACL Workstation.

You can install ACL Workstation on as many end-user computers as you want, but the number of concurrent ACL Network sessions that can be run is controlled by a software key that enforces the maximum number of sessions specified by your license agreement.


The hardware key (HASP key/dongle) is no longer supported by ACL as a method of license management. However, current ACL customers with existing HASP keys can continue to use these keys with ACL Network version 10.x.

If you want to modify the number of concurrent users assigned to your existing license, or if you encounter technical issues that prevent you from using ACL Network 10.x with the HASP key, you will be required to exchange the hardware key for a software license management key.

Who should read this guide

This guide is intended for audit administrators, and for IT staff such as network administrators, responsible for planning and completing the implementation of ACL Network in your organization.

Locations where ACL Network can be installed

ACL Network can be installed on any computer that is continuously available to audit department end users:

You also have the option of installing ACL Network on each user’s computer. For more information about the various installation options, see ACL Network configurations.

Summary of installation steps


ACL Network must be installed (or upgraded) before ACL Workstation.

You need to complete the following steps to install ACL Network:

  1. Check the configuration of the computer that will host ACL Network to ensure it meets the minimum software and hardware requirements. For more information, see ACL Network and ACL Workstation system requirements.

  2. Ensure that you have Administrator rights on the computer on which you are performing the installation.

  3. Download the ACL Network installation package from the ACL Support Center (http://support.acl.com/supportcenter/downloads.aspx).

  4. Install the application using the instructions in this guide.

  5. Copy the software key file (acl.ini) provided to you by ACL into the folder where you installed the ACL Network application executable (ACLWin.exe). If you have an older version of the software key file called aclnet.ini, and it is still valid, you can rename it acl.ini and copy it into the ACL Network application executable folder.

You need to complete the following steps to install ACL Workstation:

  1. Check the configuration of the computers ACL Workstation will be installed on to ensure they meet the minimum software and hardware requirements. For more information, see ACL Network and ACL Workstation system requirements.

  2. Run the ACL Workstation setup wizard on each computer that requires ACL Workstation.

    If users will be installing ACL Workstation themselves, they require the appropriate rights and folder permissions. For more information, see Rights and permissions required by ACL Network.

    You can also optionally install ACL Workstation on the same computer that is hosting ACL Network, by selecting ACL Workstation while running the ACL Network setup wizard.


    If you install ACL Network and ACL Workstation on the same computer, you cannot locate the security directory required by the software key on that same computer. For more information, see About the software key and the security directory.

Upgrading from a previous version

The ACL Network and ACL Workstation 10.5.1 installers perform an installation of version 10.5.1, or an upgrade of version 10.x. The installers do not upgrade versions of ACL Network or ACL Workstation prior to 10.0.

You can uninstall versions prior to 10.0 in a separate operation, or you can install ACL Network and ACL Workstation 10.5.1 side by side with one of these previous versions.

Installing different versions or editions side by side

ACL Network and ACL Workstation 10.5.1 can be installed side by side with version 9.3 or earlier. Unicode and non-Unicode editions of ACL Network or ACL Workstation can never be installed side by side, regardless of the version number.

ACL projects and data files

When you install or upgrade ACL Network, any ACL projects that users previously created, and any data files, are not affected and are available to use in the new version.

Settings for configurable options

If users have ACL projects with project-specific settings for configurable options (Options dialog box settings), these settings are preserved when you install ACL Network 10.5.1. Project-specific settings exist if a preferences file (.prf file) exists in the Windows folder containing the ACL project.

Any changes users have made to the global settings for configurable options are preserved when you upgrade from ACL Network 10.x to version 10.5.1. Changes made to global settings in ACL Network 9.3 or earlier are not preserved in version 10.5.1. After completing the installation, users can recreate any customized settings in the Options dialog box.

If ACL Network 10.5.1 is installed side by side with ACL Network 9.x, preference settings specified in either version are treated separately and do not affect one another.

For more information about project-specific and global settings for configurable options, see the ACL Analytics User Guide.

Date fields automatically converted to datetime fields

When users open a 9.x ACL project in ACL Network 10 for the first time, it is converted to a version 10 project, and any fields with a Date data type are automatically converted to fields with a Datetime data type.

Users can still open the converted project in version 9.x, but the datetime fields are not converted back to date fields. Datetime fields cannot be read by version 9.x, and if you open a version 10 project in version 9.x any datetime field definitions are deleted, which prevents the date information from appearing. Users can manually redefine the fields as date fields in version 9.x, although manually redefining can be a lot of work depending on how many fields are affected.

If users think they might want to revert to using version 9.x for a particular ACL project with date fields, they should consider maintaining two copies of the project, one for use in version 9.x and one for use in version 10.

As an additional safeguard, when users convert a 9.x project to 10, ACL Network automatically creates a copy of the project with a .OLD extension. This copy (<project name>.ACL.OLD) is not changed in any way, so users can always go back to this project, and rename it – for example, <project name>_v_9.ACL – and open it in version 9.x without any issues.

ACL sample data files

When you install or upgrade ACL Network any existing ACL sample data files are overwritten if they are in the ACL working directory you specify during the installation or upgrade. (The default location is C:\ACL DATA\Sample Data Files) If changes have been made to any of the sample projects or data files that you want to keep, save the files elsewhere before installing or upgrading, or rename the folder containing them. Do the same with the associated command log files if you want to preserve them.

Changing between Unicode and non-Unicode editions of ACL Network

You cannot use the ACL Network installer to upgrade non-Unicode ACL to Unicode ACL, or vice versa. To change editions of ACL Network at the same time as you upgrade versions requires that you first uninstall the existing installation of ACL Network, and then perform a fresh installation of the new version.

Conversion of non-Unicode ACL projects to Unicode

If you use a Unicode edition of ACL Network to open an ACL project created in a non-Unicode edition, you have the option of automatically converting the project and the associated log file to Unicode, or cancelling the operation. If you proceed with the conversion, copies of the original non-Unicode project and the log file are saved with the file extension .OLD, and are not altered. The project data files (.fil files) are not converted to Unicode and remain unchanged.

Once you have converted a non-Unicode project to Unicode, you are no longer able to open it in non-Unicode editions of ACL Network, and ACL cannot convert it back to non-Unicode. You must use a Unicode edition of ACL to open and work with Unicode projects.

Language support

ACL Network is available in seven different languages, including English. The table below summarizes the available languages, and the support for non-Unicode and Unicode editions across the available languages.


Editions supported




non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode




non-Unicode, Unicode


non-Unicode, Unicode

Product name change

Prior to version 10.0, ACL Analytics was called ACL Desktop. In the online help and user guides, the short version of the name continues to be ACL.

To distinguish between the desktop- and network-based editions of ACL Analytics, the full names of the different editions are ACL Analytics – Desktop Edition and ACL Analytics – Network Edition. In this installation guide, ACL Analytics – Network Edition is referred to as ACL Network.

Both the desktop- and network-based editions of ACL Analytics are available in Unicode and non-Unicode editions. Unicode and non-Unicode are not part of the product names, however the application installers are identified as Unicode or non-Unicode. Additionally, in the dialog box containing the product serial number and the software version number (Help > About ACL Analytics), Unicode editions of ACL Analytics display the word Unicode after the version number. Non-Unicode editions display only the version number.

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