About NVivo Server

NVivo Server 11 R2

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

If you are using NVivo Server 11, refer to About NVivo Server (NVivo Server 11).

On this page


Understanding NVivo and NVivo Server

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 social media 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 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.

NVivo Server is a server-side application that manages NVivo for Windows 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:

  • Manage licenses and user access to the server
  • Monitor projects and user connections
  • Perform basic maintenance tasks such as backing up, repairing and restoring projects

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

Top of Page

Supporting connections from clients running different major versions of NVivo for Windows

NVivo Server 11 R2 permits connections from the following versions of the NVivo client software:

  • NVivo 12 Windows

  • NVivo 11 Windows

  • NVivo 10 Windows

  • NVivo 9

All users who are working together in a shared project should be using the same major version (and service pack) of the NVivo for Windows client.

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 12 Windows client attempts to open an NVivo 11 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 11 client cannot open an NVivo 12 Windows project.

In this example (below), the NVivo server is hosting projects in both NVivo 12 Windows and NVivo 11 formats:

NOTE NVivo Server 11 R2 cannot host NVivo for Mac projects and the NVivo for Mac clients cannot connect to the NVivo Server.

Top of Page

Supporting connections from clients running different editions of NVivo

The NVivo 12 client software is available in two editions—Pro and Plus. Users working in a shared project may connect to the server from either edition of the NVivo 12 client.

Some features are not available in all editions of the software—if a user needs features that are available in another edition, they can upgrade their license key. For more information about NVivo product editions, refer to About NVivo.

Top of Page

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 a 'thin client' or VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) technologies, such as:

  • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

  • Citrix XenApp

  • Quest vWorkspace

Top of Page

NVivo Server can help your organization to:

  • Streamline project management—users can store all NVivo projects in a central database repository on NVivo Server. You can monitor, maintain, backup and keep track of all projects in one secure location.

  • Promote collaboration—team members can work in the same project at the same time, and see each other's updates as they work. To speed things up, large sources such as datasets can be analyzed by multiple researchers at once.

  • Enhance security—role-based permissions cater for different levels of server access. Specified users (or groups) can create new projects while others can only view and edit existing projects. In individual projects, Project Owners can assign user roles to control access. Users access the server using authenticated Windows login credentials.

  • Work with small or large projects—NVivo Server projects, unlike standalone NVivo 11 for Windows projects, can be larger than 10GB—project size is only limited by available storage capacity.

  • Setup and manage user access with the easy-to-use browser-based NVivo Server Manager.

Top of Page

Upgrading from earlier versions of NVivo Server

If you currently have an earlier version of NVivo Server and want to upgrade your software, refer to Upgrade NVivo Server.

Top of Page