For the benefit of others who might have the same issue…
The installers are .jar files but Internet Explorer unhelpfully interprets them as zip files and so downloads the jar file as a zip file. You can either just rename the file from xxx.zip to xxx.jar or download with Firefox or other browser. Thanks to Armin Mueller at Scope Set for hsi help there!
You only need the VSEE installation, whcih installs everything including the third-party tools used by the SSRDB (H2 and BaseX).
You need to start the SSRDB before starting the SSVT and SSDE tools. But first you need to start the BaseX server and H2 (short-cuts provided in the VSEE start menu), otherwise SSRDB will not start. This is not very user friendly and could easily be replaced by a simple script file which checks if they are already running and if not starts them up before starting SSRDB.
The SSRDB MMI will open as will a “Start SRDB” OSGI command window. You do not really need the SSRDB MMI (you can close it – press cancel) but you will need to leave the OSGI command window open. You will see in the SSRDB log window that a random user e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org is created, its not clear why, what it is used for or how this is changed.
By default the SSVT and SSDE connect to SSRDB on the local host to predefined port numbers. At first this did not seem to work for me then it just did.
To load the example VSD dataset into SSRDB you will need to load it into the SSDE and export it to the SSRDB as a new branch. You can then upload it into SSVT.
The management of the data is one of the most important but poorly documented aspects of the VSD. For example, The usage of working areas, reference areas, archive areas is not clear in the SSRDB documentation but SSVT will only load a working area. I notice the date of a saved data set is sometimes set as 1-Jan-1970 – not sure why or how to change it.