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Troubleshooting Guide: Pre-Deployment Verification and Troubleshooting Guide Eleventh Edition

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SummaryProject Center - Pre-Deployment Verification and Troubleshooting Guide Eleventh Edition
VersionNewforma Project Center Eleventh Edition
Question
Answer
Pre-Deployment Verification Preparation
Performing Pre-Deployment Verifications

Newforma Info Exchange Server Verification

Test # 1 – Operating System Test # 2 – Operating System Language
Test # 3 – Memory
Test # 4 – CPU
Test # 5 – DNS Name
Test # 6 – IIS
Test # 7 – SharePoint 2003 conflict
Test # 8 – WWW Service
Test # 9 – DNS Lookup
Test # 10 – HTTP Port
Test # 11 – SSL Port
Test # 12 – SSL Certificate
Test # 13 – Access to my.newforma.com

Newforma Project Center Server Verification.

Test # 1 – Operating System
Test # 2 – Operating System Language
Test # 3 – Memory
Test # 4 – CPU
Test # 5 – Service Account Privileges
Test # 6 – Batch Job Account Privileges
Test # 7 – Service Account Password Expiration
Test # 8 – SharePoint 2003 Conflict
Test # 9 – Domain Controller detection
Test # 10 – Exchange Server component conflicts
Test # 11 – IIS Installation
Test # 12 - SMTP
Test # 13 – WWW Service Installation
Test # 14 – Outlook Installation (Outlook shops only)
Test # 15 – Outlook 32-installed (Outlook shops only)
Test # 16 – Default Outlook Profile Configured (Outlook shops only)
Test # 17 – Test Access to Primary Account in Outlook profile (Outlook shops only) 
Test # 18 – Outlook Profile with Exchange Account (Outlook shops only)
Test # 19 – Outlook Exchange Relay (Outlook shops only)
Test # 20 – Office 2007/2010/2013 Applications
 

Pre-Deployment Verification Preparation

Newforma provides a pre-deployment tool to verify that both the Newforma Info Exchange server and Newforma Project Center Server(s) are configured properly to ensure the deployment process is as quick and as smooth as possible.

Notes:

  • .NET 4.5 is required as a pre-requisite for the Pre-Deployment tool to run.  If there are errors running the pre-deployment tool, please make sure .NET 4.5 is installed and is not corrupt.  .NET 4.5 is available at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30653.

  • If Errors continue with the pre-requisite tool, please make sure all of the necessary accompanying .dlls, .res, and .xml files were properly copied from the transfer.  There should be 99 files occupying 189MB of disc space in the pre-deployment folder.

  • The tests performed by this tool are designed to ensure a successful deployment of Newforma Project Center.  This tool does not verify that the performance of your server will meet your company’s business requirements.  For suggestions on appropriate server configurations, please refer to our Project Center System Requirements.

  • Be sure to extract the pre-deployment tool and all files from the zip file before running the executable or the tool will not work properly.
  • Steps 1 and 2 in the Preparing for Deployment - Newforma Project Center Eleventh Edition document must be completed prior to performing the Pre-Deployment Verification.

Performing Pre-Deployment Verification

  1. Download the Newforma Server Pre-Deployment Validation Tool.
  2. Copy the contents of the PreDeployment folder to both the Info Exchange Server and Project Center Server(s).
  3. Locate and Right-Click the PreDeployment.exe file and select Run as Administrator on it to begin the process.

    If the following error below is returned, it will be necessary to first run the vs_predist.exe file to ensure the proper Pre-Deployment pre-requisites are available on the server.User-added image

  4. The utility will ask if you are logged onto the machine as the Service Account under which the Newforma Project Center Server is to run (this step does not apply to Info Exchange but must be answered in the affirmative anyway).
  5. Select which server is being verified. If your server will be hosting both the Project Center Server and Info Exchange, check both options.

For Info Exchange Verification

  1. Enter the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) under which the Info Exchange web site will be accessed.  This name will correspond with the name under which the SSL Certificate was purchased (i.e. InfoExchange.CompanyName.com) NOTE: Do not add "https://" to the FQDN.
  2. Enter the HTTP port that Info Exchange will use for Outlook Calendar (if applicable – if not leave value as 80).
  3. Click OK to run the test.
  4. For items which do not pass, see the steps below in the Newforma Info Exchange Server Verification section.
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For Project Center Server Verification

  1. Enter an email address from which a test mail can be sent to verify the SMTP service and Relay Exceptions are properly configured.
  2. Enter an email address to which a test mail can be sent from to verify the SMTP service and Relay Exceptions are properly configured.
  3. Identify if Office 2007 or later is used at your office.
  4. Identify if Microsoft Outlook (.msg) file types are on the file servers.
  5. Identify if Microsoft Exchange is used in conjunction with Microsoft Outlook in your environment.
  6. Click OK to run the test.
  7. For items which do not pass, see the steps below in the Newforma Project Center Server Verification section for corrective action.

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Newforma Info Exchange Server Verification

Test # 1 – Operating System

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 2 – Operating System Language

Make sure the recommended server specifications are met

Test # 3 – Memory

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 4 – CPU

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 5 – DNS Name

Make sure that the Info Exchange Server’s Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) is a valid name (not an IP address or containing any illegal characters like an “underscore”).
 

Test # 6 – IIS

Internet Information Services (IIS) are required to successfully deploy the Newforma Info Exchange Server.  To install IIS, please follow the appropriate instructions:

Test # 7 – SharePoint 2003 conflict

Since Info Exchange, which requires .NET, sometimes shares a server with SharePoint there may be a conflict to consider.  According to Microsoft (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/techcenter/HA100806971033.aspx), having .NET  installed could cause problems for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (not 2007).
Note: The underlying SharePoint framework, which is called SharePoint Services, is not affected by the installation of .NET 4.0.

Test # 8 – WWW Service

See Test # 6 (the solution for the failure of Test 6 or 8 are the same)
 

Test # 9 – DNS Lookup

For Info Exchange to work, it needs to be addressable from the outside world. 
This test attempts to open a connection to the URL specified in the test dialog.  If the test fails, it may be due to one of the following:
  • A firewall setting preventing HTTP connections

  • The Info Exchange Server box may not be properly connected to a DNS source.

  • Your ISP my not have published (or too recently published) the FQDN and external IP mapping of your Info Exchange Site

  • The firewall or a router may not be configured to send connections to the external IP address to the desired Info Exchange Server box.

  • An external A record for your Info Exchange site has not been created.

Test # 10 – HTTP Port

This test ensures that connections to the Info Exchange Server can be made via port 80.  If the test fails, check machine, firewall and IIS settings to ensure that port 80 can access the Info Exchange Server.

 

Test # 11 – SSL Port

Similar to test #10, this test ensures that connections to the Info Exchange Server can be made via SSL on port 443.  If the test fails, check machine, firewall and IIS settings to ensure that port 443 can access both the machine and website in which the certificate is installed.

Test # 12 – SSL Certificate

In order to provide the highest level of confidence for your external project team members (consultants, partners, etc.) and to ensure that data transferred between those external project team members and your Newforma users is secure and encrypted, Newforma has designed its Info Exchange software to leverage Secure Certificates from trusted root authorities. 

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) makes it possible for sensitive data to be safely transmitted over the Internet. The information is encoded by your browser using proprietary technology and NOT decoded until after it arrives at its final destination. Therefore, even if the information were to be intercepted along the way, it would be totally useless to anyone other than the intended recipient.

This makes it possible for your customers to submit sensitive data via their browser such as credit card numbers without worry of the data being intercepted by a third party. Likewise, it allows you to present sensitive data to your customers without fear of interception.

To enable secure, trusted and encrypted communication between Newforma’s Project Center, Project Center Server, and Info Exchange web clients, a third party Server Certificate is required.  Certificates are provided by trusted Certification Authorities and can range in cost depending on the provider. Though different levels of encryption are available, Newforma presently supports up to 128 bit encryption.

Complete the following steps to set up the certificate:
  • Prepare the certificate
  • Acquire a third party certificate
  • Process the certificate request
For instructions on preparing, acquiring, completing and binding a certificate please see the  Configuring Windows Server 2008 R2 for Newforma Info Exchange or Configuring Windows Server 2012 for Newforma Info Exchange.
 

Test # 13 – Access to my.newforma.com

Newforma Eleventh Edition and many of its supporting applications (mobile apps, Newforma Model Viewer, etc.) leverage Newforma ID which is centrally managed at the my.newforma.com website.  To allow your site to leverage these new tools, your Info Exchange site and my.newforma.com website need to be able to connect to each other via “HTTPS” (port 443) .  There are several possible reasons why a server may not be able to access the site including proxy servers, DNS, firewall configurations, etc.
 

Newforma Project Center Server Verification

Test # 1 – Operating System

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 2 – Operating System Language

Make sure the recommended server specifications are met

Test # 3 – Memory

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 4 – CPU

Make sure the recommended minimum server specifications are met

Test # 5 – Service Account Privileges

The login credentials under which the Newforma service is to run needs to be able to logon as a service so you don’t have to keep it logged in as a user at all times.  To do this, you can add the service account Log on as a service permissions in the Local Security Settings (which is under the Administrative Tools from Control panel)

Test # 6 – Batch Job Account Privileges

The login credentials under which the Newforma service is to run needs to be able to start a batch job to start scheduled tasks so you don’t have to keep it logged in as a user at all times.  To do this, you can add the service account Log on as a batch job permissions in the Local Security Settings (which is under the Administrative Tools from Control panel)
 
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Test # 7 – Service Account Password Expiration

The password on the service account under which the Newforma Project Center Server is to run should be set so that the password on that account never expires.  If the password expires, the services that Newforma uses may stop running.

Test # 8 – SharePoint 2003 Conflict

Since Info Exchange, which requires .NET 2.0, sometimes shares a server with SharePoint there may be a conflict to consider.  According to Microsoft (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/techcenter/HA100806971033.aspx), having .NET 2.0 installed will cause problems for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 (not 2007). 
 
Note: The underlying SharePoint framework, which is called SharePoint Services, is not affected by the installation of .NET 4.0.

Test # 9 – Domain Controller detection

Domain controller machines do not have a local administrator group.  Newforma requires the ability to run as a local administrator and therefore is not supported on such a machine.

Test # 10 – Exchange Server component conflicts

Microsoft does not support Outlook in conjunction with Exchange server or admin tools.  Newforma requires that Outlook be installed on the Project Center Server and is therefore incompatible with Microsoft Outlook Exchange Server components.

Test # 11 – IIS Installation

Internet Information Services (IIS) are required to successfully deploy the Newforma Project Center Server.  To install IIS, please follow the appropriate instructions:

Test # 12 - SMTP

Newforma Project Center Server needs to send mails for Info Exchange account notifications, Reminders for transmittals and issues, etc.  The server needs to be set-up with SMTP services to relay the mail through your companies Outlook Exchange server.  The reason we use SMTP to forward the mail is so that if there is a network outage or the Exchange Server goes off line, the SMTP service on the NPCS box can queue the mails and send them when the connection is re-established.  Otherwise, there is a chance that the mail could be lost. 

The SMTP service is configured to only allow the server itself to relay mails (making it very unlikely that it could be leveraged for spamming purposes) and to relay the mails from the NPCS box to the Outlook Exchange server (or other SMTP enabled mail tool – which does not include POP services).


For instructions on how to configure the SMTP service, please see SMTP Configuration for Newforma Project Center Server Eleventh Edition.

Test # 13 – WWW Service Installation

IIS v6 World Wide Web Services needs to be installed and configured for website support.

Test # 14 – Outlook Installation (Outlook shops only)

The Microsoft Outlook client must be installed on the system running NPCS to assist in helping index the message (.msg) files. 
There are three set up steps to complete to make the Outlook client to function properly on NPCS:
  1. Create a Newforma email account for use with NPCS (e.g. newforma@[company].com)

  2. This account should be configured with the same credentials under which the Newforma Project Center Server domain service account will run.

  3. Install a licensed copy of Microsoft Windows Outlook® 2007, 2010 or 2013

  4. After installing Outlook, configure the default Outlook profile as the Exchange account for the Newforma email account created in the previous steps.  Outlook along with the Newforma email account is required to resolve Exchange user names (e.g. John Doe) into SMTP addresses (e.g. jdoe@newforma.com). Resolving email addresses is necessary to support filtering in the Project Email activity center.
     

Test # 15 – Outlook 32-installed (Outlook shops only)

The Project Center Server requires that a 32 bit version of Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2013 be installed to allow the Project Center Server service to connect to the Exchange server and perform auto-file and other mail related tasks.

Test # 16 – Default Outlook Profile Configured (Outlook shops only)

This test validates that Outlook is configured with an account (per the steps outlined in Test #15)

Test # 17 – Test Access to Primary Account in Outlook profile (Outlook shops only)

This test validates that Newforma can access the primary Outlook account set-up on the Project Center Server

Test # 18 – Outlook Profile with Exchange Account (Outlook shops only)

This test validates that Outlook is configured with an Exchange account (per the steps outlined in Test #15)

Test # 19 – Outlook Exchange Relay (Outlook shops only)

The Project Center Server, via SMTP, relays mails to your Outlook Exchange server.  Depending on whether you have Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013 will depend on which of the configurations you employ in the SMTP Configuration article.  If Exchange is not utilized at your firm, please let us know and we can figure out how to relay through your mail system:

Test # 20 – Office 2007/2010/2013 Applications

If you are using Office 2007/2010/2013 documents as project data, Office 2007/2010/2013 needs to be installed to be able to index and search the document content.

Important: If Office is being installed in a non-Outlook Exchange environment, it is critical that when the office tools are installed, Outlook IS NOT installed.

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