AFC Manager Overview
The AvaTax for Communications (AFC) Manager is an application that allows users to create and modify the different types of configuration files that may be used to modify the operation of the AFC engine. The main application for the AFC Manager includes the following components:
- Configuration File Wizard. This tool allows you to create or edit EZtax configuration files (EZtax.cfg) files that are used by the AFC system in order to modify the operation of the tax engine.
- Filelocs Wizard. This wizard allows you to easily create a filelocs.txt file that may be used by the AFC System in order to determine the location of its database files, and to specify the location of the output files produced by the tax engine.
The main application for the AFC Manager also serves as a container for additional components, which are described in the following sections.
AFC Manager Components
The AFC Viewer is a component of the AFC Manager that resembles the functionality of the AFC system. By using this tool, you may enter transaction information and view the tax calculation results as if the transaction was being processed by AFC.
AFC Sales and Use Viewer
The Sales and Use Viewer functions in a similar way as the AFC Viewer. By using this tool, you may view tax calculation results for sales and use transactions, and specify additional properties associated with this type of transactions.
The AFC RLM (Rate and Logic Modifier) is a powerful tool that will allow you to view the tax rate and logic information for any jurisdiction, and create override files that may be used within the AFC system. The override files produced by this tool may be used to modify tax rates for a specified jurisdiction, alter the tax logic for transaction/services, and add or remove taxes from transaction/services.
The AFC Bundler allows you to create bundle definition files that may be used by the AFC system. Bundle definition files allow you to associate a group of transaction/service pairs with a bundle transaction, and specify the percentage of the transaction amount that corresponds to each one. When processing tax calculations for the bundle transaction within the AFC system, AFC will calculate the appropriate taxes for each transaction/service associated with the bundle.
AFC Manager License Key
License Key File
In order to enable the additional AFC manager components mentioned in the previous section, you must copy your license.bin file into the installation directory of the AFC Manager. The license.bin file will be provided to you by Avalara, Inc. when signing up for one of these add-ons. You may also receive one or more temporary license key files in order to give you immediate access to your products. Follow the instructions provided to you by your Avalara, Inc. representative. These components will be available through the Tools menu of the AFC Manager application.
AFC Manager Updates and Data Files
Many of the additional components for the AFC Manager require a set of data files that must be updated on a monthly basis. These components are:
These data files are not included in the initial installation for each tool. However, a different installation program will be provided to you on a monthly basis, which will install or update the data files required by these components. The installation program for the monthly update will also update the executable files for the AFC Manager and its additional components if they are out of date.
The following software must be installed in your system prior to installing the AFC Manager:
- .NET Framework 4.0
- Windows Installer 3.1
Please note that the setup.exe file provided to you will check if these software components are already installed on your system. If they are not, this program will allow you to download the missing software components and guide you through the installation process.
Operating Systems Supported
The AFC system is supported on the following platforms:
Microsoft Windows 32/64bit
Windows 7, Windows Server 2008
The recommended screen resolution for the AFC Manager is 1024 by 768 pixels, although different resolutions may be used.
Pentium 4 CPU 2.00GHz or faster. 640 MB of RAM or higher.
Each component of the AFC Manager has its own installer. During the initial installation of the AFC Manager, you will be required to run each installer separately.
In addition, if you use the AFC Viewer, the AFC Sales and Use Viewer, the AFC RLM or AFC Bundler, you will also need to install the AFC Manager Update on a monthly basis (beginning during the initial installation of the AFC Manager).
The following steps must be taken in the specified order to install the AFC Manager application:
AFC Manager Setup
There are two files provided in order to install the AFC Manager:
- AFC Manager Setup.msi
The setup.exe program will determine if your system meets the minimum requirements to install the AFC Manager application. This program will also verify that Windows Installer and the .NET Framework are already installed on your system. If they have not been installed, the setup.exe program will allow you to download these software files and guide you through the installation process.
Once that setup.exe has determined that your system meets the minimum requirements to install the AFC Manager application, it will automatically run the AFC Manager Setup.msi file to begin the installation of the AFC Manager.
If you are certain that your system meets the minimum requirements, you may run the AFC Manager Setup.msi file directly without running the setup.exe file.
The setup wizard will then begin the installation of the AFC Manager application. The wizard will guide you through the necessary steps to install this software on your computer. During the setup process, you will be required to take the following actions:
- Accept the license agreement for the AFC Manager software. You must accept this agreement in order to resume the installation process.
- Select the installation folder for the application. It is recommended that you leave the default location.
- You will also be asked if you want to install this application for every user on your system or only you. By selecting “Everyone,” a shortcut to the application will be placed on the desktop and start menu of every Windows user on your PC.
Upon resuming this step of the installation process, the main application for the AFC Manager will be installed in your system. The next step will be to install any additional components that you may have purchased for the AFC Manager.
If setup.exe is run from a command prompt, some parameters may be specified. These are optional but may be useful if the installation is to be run from a script or batch file. The available parameters are as follows:
/s – Run the installer in silent mode; install with minimal user interaction.
/t [directory name] – Specify the target directory where the program will be installed.
setup.exe /s /t "c:\EZtax Manager"
This will silently install the program to the “EZtax Manager” folder on the C drive.
AFC Manager Update
You will be required to run the AFC Manager Update.msi file after you have installed the AFC Manager application and any additional components. This setup program will install important data files that are required by the AFC Viewer, the AFC Sales and Use Viewer, and the AFC RLM.
You will also be required to run the AFC Manager Update on a monthly basis in order to update these data files. The AFC Manager application will not run properly if these files have not been updated.
In addition, the AFC Manager Update will also update the executable files for the AFC Manager and any components that you may have previously installed if they are out of date.
Similar to the setup files for the AFC Manager components, the AFC Manager Update will be able to determine the location where the AFC Manager application was installed in order to install or update the files in the appropriate location.
Installing on a Network Drive
You may install the AFC Manager application on a network drive in order to allow users to run the application from a client PC.
Pro Tip - To install AFC Manager to a network drive:
- Install the AFC Manager application locally.
- Copy the application from the local install location to the shared drive.
By default, the .NET Framework will impose several restrictions on an application that is being run from across the network for security reasons. In order to run the AFC Manager from a network drive, you’ll need to create a security policy for the application. You may create a security policy for the AFC Manager, you may use the Caspol (Code Access Security Policy) tool, which is included with the .NET framework. The following is an example of how to run this command from a command prompt:
[.NET Framework Path]\caspol -machine -addgroup All_Code -url "//[server]/[application directory]/*" FullTrust -name CodeGroupName
Replace [.NET Framework Path] with the directory where your .NET Framework 4.0 is installed, [server] and [application directory] with the path where the AFC Manager is installed.
Below is an example of a batch file that may be run from any client machine in order to create the security policy for the AFC Manager. Simply replace the path for the .NET Framework and the path for the AFC Manager application.
@ECHO OFF set PATH=%PATH%;C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.50727 caspol -polchgprompt off caspol -machine -addgroup All_Code -url "//Server/EZtax Manager/*" FullTrust -name EZtaxManager caspol -polchgprompt off
Alternatively, you may also create a security policy by using the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Configuration tool.
- From the control panel, select Administrative Tools, and open the Microsoft.NET Framework 4.0 Configuration tool.
- Expand the My Computer node, then Runtime Security Policy, Machine, and Code Groups.
- Right click in the All_Code group and select “New…”
- In the dialog window that will be displayed, enter a name for the code group (for example, “EZtaxManager”).
- Click “Next” to select a condition type. Select “URL” from the combo box. Type the path where the AFC Manager application is installed on the network. Make sure you write an asterisk at the end of the path as shown in the previous examples to apply the policy to all files in the AFC Manager folder and subfolders.
- Click “Next” to select a permission set. Use an existing permission set and choose “Full Trust” from the list.
- Click on “Next” and then “Finish” to create the security policy.
You only need to create a security policy for the AFC Manager once on each client machine.
Uninstalling AFC Manager
In order to uninstall the AFC Manager, you must open the Control Panel from the Windows Start menu and select “Add or Remove Programs.” You will see a list of programs that are currently installed on your computer.
In this list you will see the AFC Manager and its additional components. To fully uninstall the application, you must select each component and click on the “Remove” button.
From the Add or Remove Programs utility you may also repair the installation for the AFC Manager in case if the installation files become corrupted or deleted for any reason.
It is strongly recommended that you do not move, delete, or add any files in the directory where the AFC Manager was installed manually. Please follow the proper uninstall procedures to uninstall the AFC Manager or any other component.