Spider Installation Manual

The Spider Install Checklist is a guide for IT Staff (and PC School support staff!) to help assist with the installation of Spider, and the many settings that can make or break and installation.

Overview

PC School Spider is the web based component of PC School. It allows access to Result Entry and Markbook, Absent Roll Collection and Review, and also access to a number of reports.

Technically Spider consists of two parts:

Firstly, the Webapp program is a Visual Dataflex Web Service that provides a SOAP API to the PC School database. This component requires the Visual Dataflex Web Application Server to be installed.

Secondly, the Spider component is a .Net application that provides a front end client acessable via a web browser. It relies on the web services provided by Webapp to display data from your PC School database.

Once these components are installed properly, they, combined with PC School Security access a series of XML files to create context sensitive menus for users that log in. Users, ranging from Teachers to Families and Students have access to a range of items, including their classes and timetable, and where applicable, the ability to mark rolls and collect results.

This document runs through the steps required to install Spider, and get it to the point where users are able to Log in sucessfully. Further instructions on how to use Spider, and modify other aspects of it are beyond the scope of this manual.

Important!

This can be quite a lengthy setup process. We strongly recommend that you read the full instructions before proceeding. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you have a good knowledge os using IIS with Winders Server, and a grasp of how websites work. If you have any questions contact the PCSchool Help Desk.

If you would rather have one of the PC School Staff perform the setup, then this can be arranged though it is chargeable.

Due to the variety of different setups in schools using PC School, there is quite a few areas in which small problems can prevent the Spider from working properly. We have tried to document as many as we can here, but we are always adding this so please check back regularly for Updates. Also, don’t hesistate to contact the help desk if you have any issues.

Pre-Requisites

PC School Spider has the following system requirements:

  • Operating System: Windows Server 2000 or greater (preferably Server 2003 or more).
  • Internet Information Sysytems (IIS) installed.
  • a PC School Database, either installed locally or accessable via the network.
  • .Net Framework 2.0 or newer

Note that PC School Spider will requires IIS and will not work on other server technologies such as Apache.

Pre-Installation Setup

Before installing Spider, take a look at the following setup tips.

Data Execution Prevention

Data execution prevention can cause problems with Spider (and PC School in general). Please take the following steps to make sure it is setup in a way to avoid these issues. Windows 2003 server only

  • Open System Properties go to the Advanced tab
  • Click Performance Settings button
  • Select the Data Execution Prevention tab
  • Click the Turn on DEP for essential windows programs and services only radio button
  • Click OK, click OK
  • Reboot if required

Windows 2008 server only

  • From the Start Menu right click on Computer and select Properties
  • On the left below Tasks click Advanced system settings
  • Click Performance Settings button
  • Select the Data Execution Prevention tab
  • Click the Turn on DEP for essential windows programs and services only radio button
  • Click OK, click OK
  • Reboot if required

pcschool.ws File Settings

UNC pathing is a good way to share PC School over the network, as UNC pathing is a more universal method of accessing shared folders than drive mapping.

Open the pcschool.ws file in the main servers PCSchool\Programs folder with Notepad or some other text editor.

  • Set the Home= path to the UNC Path used by users to access PCSchool

images.ini Setup

Apply the same UNC pathing to the images.ini file:

  1. Open images.ini in the main servers PCSchool\Data folder with Notepad.
  2. Make your images.ini mirrors the following format:
    [BitmapPath]
    Path=\\PCSchoolServer\PCSchool\Bitmaps\Students\
    [Fields]
    IMAGE_NAME=True
    [BitmapField]
    IMAGE_NAME=True
  1. Set the Path= path to the UNC path used by users to access the PCSchool\Bitmaps\Students folder and make sure you include the tailing back-slash.

User Accounts

This manual will refer to a PC School Spider user at several point. This is a Windows user that you should create, and will be granted several privledges throught this document.

Installing the Web Application

PCRemote

Before installing the Webapp, the PC School Client needs to be installed on the server. If you can run PC School on this server, then the Client has been installed.

The PC School Client is installed via PC Remote. This is found in the PCSchool folder on your PC School server. This program will ask several questions in regards to the location of the PC School database, and may also require you to install the Visual Dataflex Client.

  • This document presumes yopu’ve used the the default install path C:\Program Files\PCSchool\. If you have installed the client to a different directory then you will need bear this in mind when following this guide.
  • Once the client is installed Double check the C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs\PCSchool.ws files home= path to make sure that it is the UNC path set section above.
  • Once PC School is installed, run it and make sure it works correctly. In particular it’s a good idea to check the following.
    • Test printing of reports with images
      • if you have problems try the Crystal Images fix [1].
    • Test exporting to pdf via the Crystal Report preview
      • if you have problems try the Crystal PDF Export fix [2].
  • Note if printing won’t work in PC School, then it also won’t work in Spider. Contact the help desk if you have problems here!

Install Web Application Server

Install the Web Application Server onto the designated server.

  • Download the latest Webapp Installer[3]
  • Note: this will install and old version of the webapp. This webapp must be updated for Spider to work correctly. Instructions on this are found below.

Windows 2008 ONLY

  • Enable ASP
    • Navigate to Internet Information Services -> World Wide Web Services -> Application Development Features
    • Enable ASP. Enabling ASP will also automatically turn on ISAPI Extensions
  • Configure the IIS 7 environment for IIS 6 compatibility
    • Click Start, click Administrative Tools and then Server Manager
    • In the left navigation pane, expand Roles, and then right-click Web Server (IIS) and select Add Role Services
    • On the Select Role Services pane, scroll down to IIS 6 Management Compatibility
    • Enable all the IIS6 options listed
    • Click Next from the Select Role Services pane, and then click Install at the Confirm Installations Selections pane
    • Click Close to leave the Add Role Services wizard.
  • Enable 32-bit Applications
    • Open Server Manager
    • Expand Roles -> Web Server -> Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager
    • On the tree on the right, click on Application Pools
    • On the panel to the right, select DefaultAppPool
    • From the Action panel, select Set Application Pool Defaults
    • In the General group, highlight Enabled 32-bit Applications
    • From the combo, select True
    • Click on OK
  • Enable Network Discovery
    • Open the Control Panel (Classic view)
    • Click on the Network and Sharing Center icon
    • Click on the down arrow to the right of Network Discovery to expand it
    • Turn on network discovery
    • Click the Apply button

  • Run the installer install to the PC School client path (default: C:\Program Files\PCSchool\)
  • Make sure you register the Visual DataFlex Web Application Server. Trial registration details can be found in the downloaded zip file, or you can contact the help desk to obtain your schools registration details.
 
VDF Service Settings Example
  • Once install has finished, set the Visual DataFlex Application service logon account to PCSchool network user.
  1. In Administrative Tools, open the Services panel.
  2. Find the Visual Dataflex 11 Web Application Server.
  3. Right click it and select Properties
  4. In the Log On tab select the PC School user account previous created by clicking the Browse button, add the password and click Ok.
  • Copy the documents from the C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Documents folder to the equivelent folder on the main server

Install Document Updates

Download and extract the latest Documents into the PCSchool\Documents\ on the main server.

Install Webapp updates

Download and extract the latest Webapp update into C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs\

Post Installation Settings

A range of permissions and settings are required to run the Webapp correctly. Please apply the following before continuing.

2003 Server only

  • Grant Read permission for C:\Program Files\Visual DataFlex 11.0\Bin to Network Service user account (fix to 401.3 ACL error in WSO browser preview)
  • Grant Read permission for C:\Program Files\PCSchool\AppHtml to Network Service user account
  • Grant Modify permision for C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs to Network Service user account (fix to Error ID:317/318 in event log ‘cannot create webapp.log’)
  • Grant Modify permision for PCSchool\Documents on the main server to Network Service user account

2000 Server only

  • Grant List permission for C:\ to PCSchool user account

All Servers

  • Grant Full Control for HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Data Access Worldwide to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Read permission for C:\Program Files\Visual DataFlex 11.0\Bin to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Read permission for C:\Program Files\PCSchool\AppHtml to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Modify permission for C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Modify permission for the share specified in the UNC home path on the main server to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Modify permission for PCSchool\Data on the main server to PCSchool user account
  • Grant Modify permission for PCSchool\Documents on the main server to PCSchool user account

Running and Testing the Webapp

Now that the Web Application server and PC School client has been installed, we can start the Webapp program.

  1. Run Visual DataFlex 11.0 – Web Application Administrator from the start menu
  2. Click File – New Web Application
  3. Choose Local Application Configuration next
  4. Enter C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs\webapp.exe for the program file location
  5. Enter C:\Program Files\PCSchool\Programs\webapp.log for the log file location next
  6. next
  7. Virtual Directory name – PCSchool next
  8. Application name – PCSchool finished

2003 Server only

If installing on a Windows Server 2003 please do the following:

  1. Open Internet Information Services console
  2. Find the Web Service Extension branch on the IIS console tree
  3. Select the Visual DataFlex 11.0 Web Services Web Service Extension and select Allow

IIS Settings

Once the Webapp is running, make the following settings in IIS:

 
IIS Settings for Visual Dataflex Sample
  1. Open Internet Information Services console
  2. Find the PCSchool virtual folder in the Default Web Site, right click – properties
  3. Enter PCSchool for the Application name
  4. Set Execute Permissions to Scripts only
  5. Select the Directory Security tab
    1. Click edit under Anonymous access and authentication control
    2. Remove all checks from the check boxes under Authenticated access
    3. Click browse beside User name and select the PCSchool user account
    4. Uncheck the Allow IIS to control password check box
    5. Enter the PCSchool user password
    6. Click OK
  6. Click OK

2003 Server 64 bit edition only

Visual DataFlex 11.0 Web Services are only 32-bit therefore IIS must be running in 32-bit mode Error messages might include %1 is not a valid Win32 application. or 500 internal server error when viewing the web services driectly throught a web browser. For more information [5]

Run the following two lines from the command prompt to enable 32 bit mode

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1

%SYSTEMROOT%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

Test the PC School Web Services

Before proceeding with the Spider Client installation, it’s important to make sure that the basic functionality of webapp works correctly. To do so perform the following steps:

  1. Select the PCSchool virtual folder in the IIS console
  2. Right click the WSO_Login.wso file and select browse
  3. A Visual DataFlex Web Service information pages should display listing the operation avaliable from the service

Install the Spider Client

To installed the Spider Client

  1. Download the latest Spider Client
  2. Install Spider your Web Server.
  3. Use all of the default for the install.

Install Spider updates

  • If spider has already been installed and you are only doing an update backup the following file C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\PCSchoolSpider\web.config
  • Remove all of the existing files and folders from C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\PCSchoolSpider\
  • Download Spider v2.0.1 and extract the latest update into C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\PCSchoolSpider\

2003 Server only

  1. Open Internet Information Services console
  2. Find the Web Service Extension branch on the IIS console tree
  3. Select the ASP.NET v2.0.xxxxxx Web Service Extension and select Allow. Current version is v2.0.507727

IIS Settings

Open Internet Information Services console:

  1. Find the PCSchoolSpider virtual folder in the Default Web Site, right click – properties
  2. Select the Directory Security tab
    1. Click edit under Anonymous access and authentication control
    2. Remove all checks from the check boxes under Authenticated access
    3. Click browse beside User name and select the PCSchool user account
    4. Uncheck the Allow IIS to control password check box
    5. Enter the PCSchool user password
    6. Click OK
  3. Select the ASP.NET tab
    1. Set ASP.NET version to 2.0
    2. Click Edit Configuration button
    3. Select the Application tab
      1. Check Local inpersonation
      2. Enter the PCSchool user name in the format of Domain\User. ie YourDomain\PCSchool
      3. Enter the Password
    4. Select the General tab
      1. Under Application settings edit the following Key values and replace Localhost with the server name that is hosting the PCSchool webapp (Note: you only need to change these if the webapp is not on the same server)
        1. LoginWebService.LoginWebService
        2. GeneralWebService.WSO_General
        3. CurricWebService.WSO_Curric
        4. CrystalReportWebService.WSO_CrystalReports
        5. SelectionListWebService.WSO_SelectionList
    5. Click OK
  4. Click OK

Web Report Setup

Publishing default reports

 

Sample report alias setting

Run PCSchool and open the Scholastic Module. Under the Utilities menu select Report Alias Settings and select the following reports and check the Web Publish for Teachers check box . Don’t forget to save the record!

  • CHKLSTST.RPT
  • CLLIST1P.RPT
  • FMLIST1P.RPT

PDF image quality

Basically you need to change one value in the registry that controls the level of magnification when exporting images in PDF.

  • Go to start | run | regedit, and then to the following hive:
  • HKEY_Current_user\Software\Seagate Software\Crystal Reports Designer Component\Export
    • You should see entries on the right hand side.
    • “BitMapMagnifDenominator” = dword:00000001
    • “BitMapMagnifNumerator” = dword:00000001
  • Double click BitMapMagnifDenominator to open the ‘Edit Dword Value’ dialog box and set the ‘Value Data’ to 1.
  • Double click the BitMapMagnifNumerator to open the ‘Edit Dword Value’ dialog box and set the ‘Value Data’ to 2. You can set the ‘Value Data’ to 3 or 4 but your export from CR may take longer to process.
  • Close the Windows Registry Editor and reboot your computer(you might not have to reboot if using windows 2000/2003). Go back into the Windows Registry Editor after reboot to ensure the settings are saved.
  • Try the exporting process again.

User & Identity Creation

Spider users are not the same as PC School users, and are based on the Identity file. These Identity records may not exist in your system, but the is a process to create them all. Please refer to the Spider Identity Setup Tech-Tip for more information.

Ready to test!

Once all this is all done, Spider can be tested by browsing http://localhost/PCSchoolSpider. Depending on where you’re located, you may need to replace localhost with your servername.

Error Messages

Running Webapp

Cannot write to the INI file VDF

The navigating to one of the Webapp .wso files the browser reports:

Error during Web Application Server session initialization, please try again later.
Fatal error occurred during child process initialization: Ini file error Cannot write to the INI file VDF Error#: 4409 in line: 4794.
Please check the Windows event log for further information about the problem.

This usually suggests that the ProgramsPath in the pcschool.ws file is pointing to an incorrect location.

Filelist not where it’s expected to be

The navigating to one of the Webapp .wso files the browser reports an error simliar to “Filelist not where it’s expected to be”. Try checking that Filelist and Datapath values in PC School.ws and ensure that they are correct. If you’re sure they’re correct and it still doesn’t work, try swapping to the UNC path or Mapped drive path. If this still doesn’t work, then double check that the Spider us has permissions to access these folders. 99% of these errors are caused by the user not having the correct permissions.

Running Spider

The current identity (HMS\PCSchool) does not have write access to ‘C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files’.

  • Replace HMS\PCSchool with the user name of your account mentioned in the above errormessage
  • Start – Run %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -ga HMS\PCSchool

Meta base access denied error message on windows 2000

  • Start – Run %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -ga IWAM_<machinename>
  • Start – Run %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

404 Error Message when tring to display aspx webpages

  • Start – Run %systemroot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

System.Web.AspNetHostingPermission

Generally caused by a Windows Sharepoint Services installation. To fix:

  • Browse to the root level web.config file (usually c:\inetpub\wwwroot\web.config) and open in a text editor
  • Search for the string trust level=”
  • Change the entry so that it reads trust level=”Full”
  • Search for the string enableSession state
  • Change the enable session state value to true
  • Enable the Session HttpModule

The source was not found, but some or all event logs could not be searched. Inaccessible logs: Security

Error occurs when the ASPNET or Network Service user does not have access to write to the application event log

  • Start -> Run -> regedit.exe
  • Navigate to My Computer > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\EventLog
  • Right click this key, select Permissions, and grant the Network Service (for Windows 2008) or ASPNET (for Windows 2003) account read/write permissions as described above
  • Restart IIS (start -> Run -> iisreset)
  • Retry the page that generated the error

If the problem still occurs:

  • Go in Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Local Users and Groups
  • Select Administrator Group -> Right Click -> Add to Group Users Network Service (for Windows 2008) or ASPNET (for Windows 2003)

The above information is for users of PCSchool Student Management School Software.

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About studentmanagementsoftware

Director Student Management School Software PCSchool
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One Response to Spider Installation Manual

  1. Pingback: PCSchool ‘Spider’ | PCSchool Student Management Tech Support

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