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Next lesson:
Understanding Process Pooling

How to deploy your WebApp

Lesson 4: Automating the installation process

The deployment process can be automated through scripting or the creation of a complete installer. These are components that will be discussed, and then examined to show how the installation of each can be automated.

  • Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)
  • DataFlex WebApp Server
  • Web Application Workspace 
  • Database Server

Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS)

Since a web application is being deployed, the target deployment server often is already properly configured with IIS, but it is still important for the script or installer to check IIS for the necessary settings.

The installer for the DataFlex WebApp Server makes this easy because it does all the work. When the installer is chosen to configure IIS it will check the target system and…

  • Fully configure IIS if it is not already installed – or - 
  • Add any missing IIS configuration settings required by WebApp Server – or - 
  • Leave IIS alone if it’s already configured properly

This automatic management of IIS is the default option for the WebApp Server installer.

DataFlex WebApp Server

The server installer can be scripted or completely embedded in the application installation giving the developer complete control over all aspects of the installation, including:

  • The level of interaction with the user, including full (this is what we saw in Lesson 3), minimal (all options controlled by the installer and acceptance of the license agreement) and silent (which presents no user interface at all)
  • IIS configuration
  • Location of the server files
  • Language support files
  • Optional example applications

Recommendation: read the documentation section “Controlling Installation with Command Line Parameters” for complete information on all the installer options.

Server Installation Samples

How to control the server installation:

    The first sample shows the name of the server installer using a minimal user interface, and deploying the German language support files into C:DataFlex 19.1 without the WebApp examples, and using a network style installation. This option should always be used when automating installation. The automatic configuration of IIS will take place in this case because it is the default action.
  2. “DataFlex 2019 Server” /exenoui /qn DESTINATION=”C:\DataFlex 19.1” NO_EXAMPLES=1 SKIP_IIS=1 NETWORK=1
    The second samples shows the name of the server installer using a silent installation into C:DataFlex 19.1 without the WebApp examples, without any automatic IIS configuration and using a network style installation.The English language support files will be used because that is the default action.

Web Application workspace

The application workspace and pared it down to only those folders needed for deployment.

The script or installer will place the deployment workspace in an appropriate location based on the server configuration. It’s important that the destination is in a shared location on the server that will be accessible by any network users and also the system account that runs the server service. Once the workspace location is known, the WebApp must be registered with both IIS and the DataFlex WebApp Server. This is a two-step process because the Administrator is not being used.

Creating the Web Share

The DFManageVDir executable (located in the Bin folder) creates the web share. Command line arguments are to be used for the IIS website name (if left blank it will use the default website), the name of the virtual directory (this is used in the URL), the full path to the AppHTML folder and using the overwrite option is recommended. The example…

“c:\program files\DataFlex <rev>\bin\dfmanagevdir.exe” create “” “WebOrderMobileClone” “C:\DataFlex 19.1 Examples\WebOrderMobileClone\AppHTML” /overwrite

…installs the WebOrderMobileClone application previously created in Lesson 3.

Register the WebApp

The last action to be taken is to register the web application with the server. This is done with registry entries that control all the options that would normally be set using the Administrator. An existing registry block can be imported or the installer can be used to set them. The example shown would set up our WebAppMobileClone with the same settings chosen in Lesson 3.

See the section titled “Installing Your Web Application” in the documentation for complete information.