About NVivo Collaboration Server

NVivo Collaboration Server

NVivo Collaboration 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.

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Understanding NVivo and NVivo Collaboration 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 Collaboration Server can assist.

NVivo Collaboration 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 the NVivo Collaboration Server administrator, you can use the NVivo Collaboration 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 server to another.

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

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

  • NVivo Windows

  • NVivo 12 Windows

  • NVivo 11 Windows

  • NVivo 10 Windows

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  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.


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

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Network access to NVivo Collaboration Server

As NVivo Collaboration 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 Collaboration 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

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NVivo Collaboration Server can help your organization to:

  • Streamline project management—users can store all NVivo projects in a central database repository on NVivo Collaboration 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 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 Collaboration Server projects, unlike standalone NVivo  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 Collaboration Server Manager.

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Upgrading from NVivo Server

If you are currently running NVivo Server and want to upgrade your software, refer to Upgrade from NVivo Server.

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