WCM install on own server issues

After trying a 2 server installation in a test environment, and running into some major performance issues, we're attempting to run a 3 server install, which is a little closer to how we intend to end up; that's an iMIS app server, a database server, and a Web server.

The database server and iMIS app server seem to be setup just fine.

The WCM/Web server is something of a mess.

Per the iMIS installation documentation, we added the Web Server role to the server. For ASP.NET 3.5 support we ended up enabling the Application Server role as well.

We then followed the instructions at http://docs.imis.com/15.1/33598.htm:

"Run the iMIS 15 installer on each web server and use the Custom installation option to install only the Web Content Management component. This installs only the code needed to support WCM websites and enable them to interact securely with your iMIS database. It also installs the publishing service (AsiPublishing15) used for publishing new content to the WCM websites on this web server, defines a corresponding publishing server in the iMIS database, and it sets up a dedicated IIS application in the IIS Default Web Site, to use for hosting WCM websites."

However, while the site loaded and we were able to login, actually attempting to create a Web site failed, due to some missing directories in the Net directory. After copying over a number of directories I did some more research and per http://docs.imis.com/15.1.1/33598.htm just attempted to copy over the entire Net directory.

Now it appears that there's permission issues when attempting to create a new master page.

So after even further research I find http://www.imiscommunity.com/installing_wcm_only_on_webserver which details files that needed to get copied over, seemingly after a fresh WCM RC install, and http://www.imiscommunity.com/how_to_set_up_an_independent_website_with_and_without_wcm which suggests that it's going to cover setting up a WCM-only install, but in fact doesn't, and which refers to even more files that need to get copied over.

Did we miss something in the documentation? Or is it really this confusing?

If you know permissions for C:\Program Files\ASI\iMIS15\Net\Templates\MasterPages\ (they seem to be fine looking at our App server) that would be great; our testing team is using the official docs to setup their first site and refuses to deviate from it. Setting up a new site with an existing template/master page seems to work just fine.

Install path: 15.1.2.4260 and patch 4972.

Grrr.

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As far as I know, the

As far as I know, the permissions should be Full Control for the user the app pool is impersonating (Network Service by default, IIRC), on the Net folder (inherited to all child folders).

The 15.1.2 WCM-only install should have all the required files and folders and should set permissions correctly out of the box; the only reports we've received of trouble with that that I know of are against 15.1.1.

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

Thanks Eric; those are the

Thanks Eric; those are the permissions that our App server had on the directory, and I confirmed that they are the same on the Web server directory.

So can I take it that http://www.imiscommunity.com/how_to_set_up_an_independent_website_with_and_without_wcm is no longer relevant now that the final release has been launched?

One of the directories completely missing that I started with was C:\Program Files\ASI\iMIS15\Net\AsiCommon\Controls\ContentManagement\WebsiteDesigner\ - does that suggest any steps we may missed (not that there are many steps required as it is ...)?

That article is pretty out

That article is pretty out of date; most of the article could be replaced by "use the iMIS installer's WCM only option, or the iMIS multi instance utility with an existing WCM-only install, to create the needed files/folders/permissions/publishing servers".

WebsiteDesigner shouldn't be required for a WCM-only install; what are you trying to do that it's causing an issue? (WCM-only installs are intended to serve as the public-facing website, so that the appserver doesn't need to be exposed outside a fiewall. You can do all of your WCM tasks such as managing websites and content on the appserver even if you have a separate WCM server.)

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

Ah ha

Well that clarifies things a bit Eric. We were under the impression that content had to be worked on on the Web server, which is why you would install WCM (Web Content Manager) to it. But it sounds like WCM, by itself, just displays the content.

So how does the surf to edit functionality work in such a case then? Do content editors need to browser against the App server?

Sounds like we need to replace the Net directory with a backup and change up our testing.

Content editors can work on

Content editors can work on either the WCM or app server; in cases where the WCM server is at a different hosting center than your appserver/database, you will probably want them to work on the appserver for performance reasons. It's also not terribly convenient to create new content on the WCM server (due to lack of a convenient link), unfortunately.

Websites, sitemaps, tags, and most of the WCM setup options (such as Content Types, Content Layouts, etc) (currently) must be managed on the appserver.

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

IIS 7.5

So since we're running IIS 7.5, and they've changed what user is used, as soon as I gave IIS AppPool\Classic .NET AppPool the same rights as NETWORK SERVICE to the Net directory, master pages could be created just fine.

Otherwise creating new directories and files in the Net directory worked without this change, so I'm a little stumped on why creating a .master file wouldn't have ...

The .aspx files (except for

The .aspx files (except for the initial Default.aspx file when you create a new website) are created by the Publishing Service, which runs as whatever the default service user is (probably Local Service, maybe Network Service or System). Master page files and the App_Theme directory are created by the iMIS app server, which runs as the app pool user.

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

Ah ha 2

And there's another ah ha moment.

Did I miss a document that covers these more technical/in-depth aspects, or are they just kept close to the chest?

I don't believe we have

I don't believe we have documents at that level of detail, although I don't believe it's because of any desire not to make that knowledge available. We haven't worked extensively with IIS 7.5 yet, so the installer probably doesn't set that up correctly. I'll point our doc and installer folks at this issue so that we can make sure we handle it.

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

Invaluable

Thanks Eric. Your answers to these questions have saved many hours of confusion.

Per this discussion I've rolled back our Net directory to post initial WCM install, and given the appropriate rights to just the Net\App_Themes\ and Net\Templates\ directories. I'll be sure to update this item on whether that works, as well as any additional IIS 7.5 weirdness we run into.

Again, thanks for the help.

My pleasure. :) Eric

My pleasure. :)

Eric Means
System Architect, ASI

Net does need added security

In order for a new Website to work on IIS 7.5, by selecting a design from the template gallery when initially creating it, it appears the entire Net directory, on both servers has to have the app pool user listed with appropriate rights.

Additionally, the default.aspx page from Net\sitename\Default.aspx has to be copied over (even though the folder is created), the new master page has to be copied from the App server to the Web server (Net\Templates\MasterPages\) and as does the theme from Net\App_Themes\. A bit of error text alludes that this might be the case, so that's not too much of a surprise.

WCM will not work with IIS 7.5

We have just been through 2 months of troubleshooting all sorts of problems with WCM and found that it will not work with IIS 7.5.  Just last week, we re-installed it on Win 2003 and IIS 6.  To quote our technical person on the project, "No, it will not work at all under any circumstances."  It will appear to work initially and some things will work fine.  As the amount of activity increases, it starts doing very unpredictable things and generating errors that don't seem to make any sense.  Before reverting back to the earlier versions, it took me 4-5 hours to get one page created.  Now it only takes minutes.   

A belated thanks

Hi Carolyn.

A belated thank you. Sounds like we're moving back, despite what our network folks would prefer, to supported versions. Having done the installs and upgrades twice already, at least we'll be well practiced :)