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Newsletter 76: Web+Center application server migration, backup and restore methods. January 2011

We get many support calls of users wishing to migrate their Web+Center help desk application to a new server. This article below will outline the steps to migrate your Web+Center application to a new server. It also defines how to proper backup your application so it can be restored completely in the event of a disk failure.

The Web+Center Help Desk Application is a web-based, database driven application, Certainly the most VALUABLE part of the application is the data and information you have put into the Web+Center. This value grows as you enter more and more solved support cases and customer information into the database that can be used as a resource for knowledge base searches or customer sales leads. You can always download a new version of the software if a re-installation is required but the data you put into the application can not! Proper regular backups of the Web+Center database is critical to keeping your application operational. You are responsible for your own database backups!

Recommended Application backup procedures
The Web+Center application consists of two primary components. The first component is the application code. It consists of ASP- active server page modules, include and some configuration files. All of these files can be found in folder and sub folders typically installed under

c:\Program Files\Internet Software Sciences\Web+Center 6.0\…
This file structure should be backed up fairly regularly, especially if you are making customizations to the Web+Center ASP code or if you are using the File download feature and storing attached file downloads that are associated with cases inside of a directory under the Web+Center folder. The attached files are NOT stored in the database and are stored simply as files on the machine. If you are storing related attached files in a directory outside of the Web+Center folder, it should also be backed up.

The Second component is the Web+Center database. For Access database users, the database will be the webcenter60.mdb file located in the database subdirectory and will be backed up as part of your folder backup if you are properly backing up the entire Web+Center folder. If you are running SQL*Server as your backend server database, you must separately backup the webcenter60 database using SQL*Server database backup tools at regularly scheduled intervals. If you have performed a Web+Center version database migrations, be sure that the database you are backing up is the database that you are currently pointing your Web+Center application with using your database DSN. It may be possible that the SQL or Access database that you are using is an upgraded webcenter30, or webcenter40 version so verify that you are backing up the correct database.

We recommend you backup your database daily and you should backup your application file directory tree probably weekly or every few weeks. We get calls all the time from Web+Center users who experienced hard-disk crashes on their web server and wondered what utilities we have for database recovery but we have to inform them that users are responsible for their own database backups.

Web+Center application Migration to a new server
The Web+Center application is an easy application to migrate or duplicate on a test server. The basic steps to migrating your Web+Center from one machine to another are outlined below. For more complete details on some of the steps listed below, please refer to the Web+Center installation guide.

  • Copy all of the Web+Center files to another machine. To be consistent, the files are typically installed under:
    c:\Program Files\Internet Software Sciences\Web+Center 6.0\…
  • Re-create the Web+Center web virtual directories consisting of tech60, customer60, pocket60, business60, language60, reservation60, and docs60 using IIS (Internet Information Server).
  • If you are using SQL*Server as the backend database, it must be backed-up and restored on the new server if it must be migrated to a new server. Access databases are just one file (webcenter60.mdb) located in the database sub directory of the Web+center 6.0 folder and it will be copied with all of the other files automatically when you copy the webcenter files.
  • Re-create the Web+Center ODBC DSN (webcenter60_db) on the new machine. For complete ODBC DSN configuration steps, please refer to the installation guide.
  • It will probably be necessary to re-register the ASP mailer dll called AOSMTP.dll located in the ASPMailer directory. To register this DLL, run the command “REGSVR32 aosmpt.dll” inside of the ASPMailer directory within a DOS command prompt window. You must first navigate to the directory or specify the path of the dll for it to be successfully registered.
  • The file security permissions for the Web+Center 6.0 folder and all sub folders must be set for Everyone (Full Control) and no other users. You must break inheritance from any directories above the Web+Center folder, especially if you are in the Program Files folder where inherited permissions are often set for child folders. A complete system reboot is required once file permissions have been applied to completely set all of the “Access control lists” required for proper operation.
  • Always verify the operation of the new Web+Center before switching users or deleting any code or databases.
  • When you ran the original webcenter60.exe installation executable, it did place some minimal information into the registry which is used when doing un-installs but these registry settings are not required for the web+center operation and re-installing from original executable is not necessary.
  • If you were running Integrated Active Directory Login methods, one must copy the file called ZcustomerHolder.asp located at the Web+Center folder level to retrieve the LDAP/Active directory configuration information. The file security permission for the DoAutoLogin.asp permission setting for Domain user or Authenticated user must be recreated.
  • If you have questions, please contact the Internet Software Sciences support center by using their web-based support site or call their support center at Toll Free 1 -(888) 949-0942 or (650) 949-0942. 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time.