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Network Server Frequently Asked Questions

This document describes how the NodeXL Network Server works. What is the NodeXL Network Server?
It’s a Windows command-line program that downloads a network from Twitter and stores the network on disk in several file formats. It can be run directly from a command line, but is typically scheduled to run on a periodic basis via the Task Scheduler that is built into Windows. Who are its intended users?

The Server is meant for use by people with moderate system administration skills. It is not difficult to use, but it is not intended for the same audience as the NodeXL Excel Template, where ease of use is of high priority. How do you run the Server from the Windows command line?

Like this:
NodeXLNetworkServer.exe NetworkConfiguration.xml
The program takes a single argument, which is the path to a configuration file that specifies which network should be downloaded and how the network should be saved to disk. A particular configuration file might specify “Get the Twitter search network for people whose tweets contain ‘Sociology,’ add an edge for each ‘mentions’ relationship, limit to 100 people, include tweets, include statistics, and store the network as a GraphML file in the C:\NodeXLNetworks folder.” The program immediately gets the requested network, saves it to disk, and exits. On its own, it does not run on a periodic basis. How do I create a configuration file?

You create a configuration file by copying a provided template file and editing the copy in Notepad. The template file is named SampleNetworkConfiguration.xml and is stored in the same folder as the program. The file is in XML format and the XML tags are clearly named and documented. In what file formats can be the network be saved to disk?

You can save the network to either GraphML, which can be imported into a NodeXL workbook; directly to a NodeXL workbook; or both. Do you typically run the program from the command line?
No. Instead, you...
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