FAQ: How do I install to a shared hosting environment?

Version: AbleCommerce 7.x Asp.Net

Last Update: 05/31/12

 

 

How do I install to a shared hosting environment?  Using your hosting Control Panel and FTP.

This document describes the process for installing AbleCommerce to a shared hosting environment.  It is important that you check with your hosting service provider before installing AbleCommerce to make sure that you have met the minimum system requirements required to run the application.  

AbleCommerce can be deployed using FTP.  Once you can access the installation page, the web-based installation can be completed easily with a browser.

There are many hosting service providers that run in Medium Trust.  AbleCommerce does support this environment, however, you must manually set a machine key in order for the decryption of the config files to work properly.   

The most difficult task will be setting permissions on the folders.  It may be necessary for your system administrator to do this for you, or you may have this ability using a hosting control panel.  We have written instructions specific to GoDaddy hosting so that you can setup your own permissions.  It is possible that other hosting control panels will have similar capabilities.  

 

System Requirements

  • Before installing AbleCommerce, you need to check with your host to make sure the server has met the minimum system requirements.

  • You will need to have FTP access to your website.

  • You should also have access to a hosting control panel or the ability to set permissions on the applicable folders.

  • FREE Hosting services are not supported due to built-in advertising that interferes with the AbleCommerce code.

 

 Install AbleCommerce

  1. After downloading AbleCommerce, unzip the files into a temporary location on your local system.

  2. Using FTP, upload all the AbleCommerce files to the root of the website.

  3. If possible, your host will need to set permissions on the AbleCommerce folders:  

    • Give the Network Service (or ASPNET on 2000) user read and write permissions to the folders where the AbleCommerce files are placed.

    • Or, there are instructions in the next section for "Setting up Permissions through the GoDaddy Hosting Control Panel"

  4. Open a browser and access the page ~/Install/Default.aspx (e.g. http://www.mystore.com/install/default.aspx)

  5. If you can access this page, then continue the installation per the normal procedure.

  6. If you cannot access this page, then either you have not met the minimum system requirements or the permissions are not setup properly.

 

Setting up Permissions through a Hosting Control Panel

There are many types of control panels used for hosting services, and it may be necessary to ask your host for assistance.  Before the installation can continue, you must have permissions to the appropriate folders.

AbleCommerce will check to make sure that the necessary permissions are available before allowing you to install.

The folders that need full permission are:

  • App_Data

  • Assets

  • webcharts

  • App_Themes

 

If you can access the /install/default.aspx page successfully, then your permissions are fine, and you may continue the installation.

 

 

Creating a Machine Key

The database.config and encryption.config files are saved in an encrypted form, so that your connection string and encryption key remain protected. If you are installing AbleCommerce to a web farm or clustered environment, you must take additional steps so that this file encryption will work properly.

You may experience a problem with having to continuously login.  You may also experience MAC validation errors.  If this happens, follow the steps below:

1) Visit this URL: http://aspnetresources.com/tools/keycreator.aspx

2) The default values for key generation are correct (64/24/SHA1), click Generate

3) Copy the resulting machine key.

4) Open the web.config for the store, and paste the copied machine key after the line that says

<system.web>

6) Save web.config and restart the IIS application service.

When you don’t specify the machine key in web.config, ASPNET automatically generates one for the application.  If something causes the application to recycle, the key is regenerated.  If the application recycles between requests, then any data that was downloaded by the browser was recorded with the first key, and validated with the second.  This turns into the MAC validation error, because the keys are not the same.  This is why the error mentions clustered environments, because the same issue occurs if you move from one server to another between requests.

When you set the key in the web.config file, ASPNET uses this key rather than auto generating.  That ensures that even if an application recycle takes place, the validation will be correct.  This is used for things like session cookies, authentication, viewstate validation, event validation, and so on.

 

 

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