Today we start with deploying and configuring the Self-Service portal “A web-based interface into Service Manager“. The Self-Service Portal in System Center 2012 – Service Manager is a SharePoint website that is accompanied by a set of Microsoft Silverlight applications.
The Self-Service Portal consists of two elements: a SharePoint website and a web content server. The SharePoint website is accompanied by a set of applications that are built with Silverlight. The SharePoint environment provides a foundation on which the portal can be customized. It also provides a set of building blocks for extending the features that users can access through a web browser.
The web content server is a Web Application that forms the interface between the Silverlight application and the Service Manager database. The web content server provides a path for data from the Service Manager database to the Silverlight-based application that is running in the browser.
Download Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 and fire up the installation wizard and choose Install Software Prerequisites
It’s a good thing if you have an internet connection to the server as the next wizard would install the available components and download any missing ones from the internet and install them for you. if you do not have an internet connection you are going to have to manually download the listed components.
Wait for all components to be installed.
Choose the Server Farm option.
Choose the Complete installation option. this way we can choose a SQL Server to use.
Choose to run the Configuration Wizard.
Click Yes ..
Create a new server farm.
Point to the SQL Server for the Database settings, and specify the account that the machine will use to connect to the database
Choose a password for the configuration data.
Change the port number for the central Administration website if needed. i am just going to leave it on the defaults.
Review the summary and then proceed.
Wait for the SharePoint components to be configured.
Ok .. the Configuration completed successfully
So now that we have finished the SharePoint installation let’s start installing the prerequisites for the Self-Service Portal.
Download and Install Microsoft .NET Framework 4
Download and Install Microsoft SilverLight
Now start the Service Manager installation wizard and click on Service Manager Web Portal
As mentioned before there are two parts of the Self-Service Portal, the Web Content Server and the SharePoint Web parts. we are going to install both components on the same server
Click Next on the Prerequisites Check
Configure the Self-Service Portal name and Port, i will leave them on the defaults and configure them later on.
Point to the Service Manager Database on the SQL Server.
Specify the Server and Database that will be used to store the content for this SharePoint site, and then specify the URL for the web content server.
Configure the Service Manager SharePoint Application pool account
Setup has completed successfully. make a note of the provided URLs for both the Web Content server and the Service Manager Portal.
Congrats ! we have finished installing the Self-Services Portal and you can now open the portal using the URL https://SMSSP:444/SMPortal
Instead of using https://SMSSP:444/SMPortal we can choose something more simple for our users like http://helpdesk.lab.com, something more recognizable without the port or sub URLs or even having to type https.
now I know this can be done through SharePoint Alternate Access Mappings, where you can define different URLs for your SharePoint Website. but since SharePoint is not really my thing I am going to use my way that i have always used with Microsoft’s Exchange Server, using IIS to perform URL and HTTP to HTTPS redirection. for people interested in SharePoint’s Alternate Access Mapping you can check this video here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/video/configure-an-alternate-access-mapping-in-sharepoint-2010.aspx
Open the IIS Management Console, go to Sites and click on Add Web Site
Fill in the details for the web site, with the hostname HelpDesk.lab.com
Go to your website you have just created and click on HTTP Redirect
Click on Redirect requests to this destination: and type the SSP URL.
Check the redirect behavior as shown below
Create a DNS ( A ) record on you DNS Server with the hostname helpdesk that would point to the IP Address of the Self-Service Portal server
Now go and try to browse for http://helpdesk.lab.com, it should now automatically redirect you to https://smssp:444/smportal which is configured in the http redirect settings for the helpdesk website.
one problem now that needs to be fixed is the web certificate, as you can see now you are receiving a certificate error in the address bar because of a name mismatch between the presented URL and the Certificate used by the website which in this case the Server’s self signed certificate we had chosen during the installation of the Self-Services Portal.
In the IIS Manager go to the Web Server node and click on Server Certificates
You can see here the self signed certificate which is currently used by the SSP Portal. Click on Create Domain Certificate
Fill in the required information, the most important one is the Common Name, this should match the SSP Portal name which in our case is SMSSP.
If you receive the below error, it is because you are trying to issue a certificate using a user “SCSMAdmin” that has no permission on the certificate template “Web Server” on the certificate authority server. your solution for this is to login with a user that is member of the Domain Admins active directory group and issue the certificate, or you can assign the SCSMAdmin the appropriate permissions on the Web Server Certificate template which i do not recommend.
okay now i have logged in with the domain administrator and repeated the steps above. now i got the certificate with the common name SMSSP.
From the IIS Manager go to the Service Manager Portal website, and edit the bindings
Choose the new certificate “Self-Services Portal Cert” from the drop down menu.
We are done. the new certificate has been installed and the certificate error is resolved.
In this article we have went through installing the Service Manager Self-Services Portal, starting with installing the SharePoint 2010 and then installing the SSP, we have also configured additional steps for simplifying the URL for the SSP website.
In the next part of this series we will go through the upgrades that has been released till the date of writing this article including SP1 and R2, what’s new, how to upgrade to those versions and solutions to problems that you might face while upgrading.