2a. Install and configure the prerequisites

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.7

The following applications are required to be installed on the same server on which you intend to install Perception. These programs must be installed and configured before you install Perception. Click on the individual program to see instructions and notes on its installation and configuration. Alternatively, you can use the Web Platform Installer to download and automatically install most of the prerequisites at once, instead of downloading and installing each application individually.

Before installing any of the prerequisites, use Windows Update to install all possible updates.

Required applications

Internet Information Services (IIS)

The version of IIS you'll need to install depends on what version of Windows Server you're using.

IIS 7/7.5 on Window Server 2008 R2

Windows Server 2008 R2 requires IIS 7 or 7.5 in order for Perception to function. You will need to ensure that you have administrative user rights on the server on which you plan to install IIS. 

To install IIS:

  1. Click Start | All Programs | Administrative Tools | Server Manager.
  2. In the Server Manager window, scroll down to Roles Summary, and then click Add Roles. The Add Roles Wizard will start with a Before You Begin page. The wizard asks for verification of the following:
    • The administrator account has a strong password.
    • The network settings, such as IP addresses, are configured.
    • The latest security updates from Windows Update are installed.
  3. Select Web Server (IIS) on the Select Server Roles page. An introductory page will open with links for further information.
  4. Select the IIS services to be installed on the Select Role Services page. Add the following modules, and click Next:
    • Static Content
    • Default Document
    • ASP
    • ASP.NET
    • .NET Extensibility
    • CGI
    • ISAPI Extensions
    • ISAPI Filters
    • Windows Authentication
    • IP and Domain Restrictions
    • HTTP Redirection
    • IIS Management Console
    • IIS Management Scripts and Tools
    • IIS 6 Management Components (or the whole IIS 6 Management Compatibility subtree)
  5. Click Add Required Role Services.
  6. Wait for IIS to complete installing, and click Finish.

Once IIS is enabled, make sure the ASP.NET State Service is running. To do this:

  1. Click Start | Administration Tools | Services.
  2. Locate and right click on the ASP State Service entry.
  3. Click Properties.
  4. Make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic.
  5. Click Start to start the service now.
  6. Click OK and exit out of the Services window.

Running 32-bit applications in 64-bit IIS

If you are planning to run 32-bit applications (i.e., Perception) in a 64-bit version of IIS, you will need to ensure that the correct settings are enabled. The settings are enabled by running specific commands and parameters from the command line. You will need to launch the command line prompt as an administrative user (you can do this by logging in as an administrative user or by right-clicking on the command prompt icon and clicking Run as administrator).

To enable 32-bit applications to run in 64-bit IIS, enter the following command at the prompt:

cscript %SYSTEMDRIVE%\inetpub\adminscripts\adsutil.vbs SET W3SVC/AppPools/Enable32bitAppOnWin64 1

To enable the 32-bit version of the .NET 2.0 Framework for use with Perception, you will need to run the following command:

%SYSTEMROOT%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

...or, if that is unavailable, try:

%SYSTEMROOT%\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -i

IIS 8 or higher on Windows Server 2012

Windows Server 2012 requires IIS 8 or higher in order for Perception to function. Before you install IIS, make sure you have run Windows Update and have installed all of the updates.

To install IIS:

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. Under the Manage menu, select Add Roles and Features.

  3. Select Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next.

  4. Select the appropriate server (local is selected by default) and click Next.

  5. On the Server Roles page, select Web Server (IIS) and then click Add Features.

  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Features page, select the following features and then click Next:
    • .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) (under .NET Framework 3.5 Features)
    • HTTP Activation (under .NET Framework 3.5 Features)
    • ASP.NET 4.5 (under .NET Framework 4.5 Features)
    • HTTP Activation (under .NET Framework 4.5 Features > WCF Services)
    • Named Pipe Activation (under .NET Framework 4.5 Features > WCF Services)
    • TCP Activation (under .NET Framework 4.5 Features > WCF Services)
    • TCP Port Sharing (under .NET Framework 4.5 Features > WCF Services)
    • Windows Process Activation Service (the whole tree including all three of its subfeatures)

  8. Click Next again. The Role Services page opens.
  9. On the Role Services page, select the following IIS role services and then click Next:
    • Default Document (under Web Server > Common HTTP Features)
    • Directory Browsing (under Web Server > Common HTTP Features)
    • HTTP Errors (under Web Server > Common HTTP Features)
    • Static Content (under Web Server > Common HTTP Features)
    • HTTP Logging (under Health and Diagnostics)
    • Logging Tools (under Health and Diagnostics)
    • Static Content Compression (under Performance)
    • Request Filtering (under Security)
    • Windows Authentication (under Security)
    • .NET Extensibility 3.5 (under Application Development)
    • .NET Extensibility 4.5 (under Application Development)
    • Application Initialization (under Application Development)
    • ASP (under Application Development)
    • ASP.NET 3.5 (under Application Development)
    • ASP.NET 4.5 (under Application Development)
    • CGI (under Application Development)
    • ISAPI Extensions (under Application Development)
    • ISAPI Filters (under Application Development)
    • Management Tools and all of its 8 subfeatures 
  10. Click Install
  11. Once installation has finished, click Close.

.NET 2.0 SP2

Windows Server 2008 R2

On Windows Server 2008 R2, the .NET 2.0 Framework is installed by default. No further action is required.

Windows Server 2012

On Windows Server 2012, .NET 2.0 is installed by default, but it needs to be enabled along with .NET 3.5 through Server Manager.

To enable .NET 2.0:

  1. Open Server Manager.
  2. Under the Manage menu, select Add Roles and Features.
  3. Select Role-based or feature-based installation and click Next.
  4. Select the appropriate server (local is selected by default) and click Next.
  5. On the Server Roles page, click Next to skip to the Features page.
  6. Select the .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) (under .NET Framework 3.5 Features) and then click Next.
  7. Click Next again. The Role Services page opens.
  8. Click Next again to skip this page.
  9. Click Install.
  10. Once installation has finished, click Close.

.NET 3.5 + SP1

Windows Server 2008 R2

The .NET 3.5 Framework is already installed on Windows Server 2008 R2, but it needs to be enabled. To enable the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows Server 2008 R2:

  1. Click Start | Administrative Tools | Server Manager.
  2. Select Features.
  3. Click Add Feature.
  4. Select the .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features feature.
    • Also make sure to check the HTTP Activation feature (under .NET Framework 3.5.1 Features > WCF Features).
  5. Click Add Required Feature.
  6. Click Next followed by Install.
  7. Once it has finished installing, click Close.

Once setup, you will need to enable the WCF portion of the .NET Framework 3.5. To do this:

  1. Launch the command line.
  2. Navigate to: 
    C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v3.0\Windows Communication Foundation\
  3. Enter the following and press Enter
    ServiceModelReg.exe -iru

Windows Server 2012

On Windows Server 2012, .NET 3.5 is installed by default, but it needs to be enabled through Server Manager. To enable .NET 3.5 (and .NET 2.0 along with it), follow the same instructions in the Windows Server 2012 subsection of the .NET 2.0 section above.

.NET 4.0

You can download .NET 4.0 from:

Microsoft .NET Framework 4

Once downloaded, double-click on the installer and follow the instructions to install .NET 4.

.NET 4.5 

If you're installing Perception 5.7 with Service Pack 2 or using Windows Server 2012, you'll need to install .NET 4.5.

If you're installing a pre-Service Pack 2 version of Perception 5.7 on Windows Server 2008 R2, .NET 4.5 is not required.

You can download .NET 4.5 from:

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5

Once downloaded, double-click on the installer and follow the instructions to install .NET 4.5.

ASP.NET MVC 2

You can download ASP.NET MVC 2 from:

ASP.NET MVC 2 RTM

To download and install:

  1. Navigate to the above site.
  2. Download AspNetMVC2_VS2008.exe.
  3. Once downloaded, double-click on the file to launch the installer.
  4. Accept the end user license agreement and allow it to install.
  5. Click Finish to close the installer once the program has completed installing.

ASP.NET MVC 3 + Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Security Update MS14-059 (KB2990942)

You can download ASP.NET MVC 3 from:

ASP.NET MVC 3

To download and install:

  1. Navigate to the above site.
  2. Use the Web Platform Installer to install MVC 3, or use the direct link to download the installer.
  3. If you chose to download the installer, double-click on the file to launch the installer.
  4. Accept the end user license agreement and allow it to install.
  5. Click Finish to close the installer once the program has completed installing.

If you're installing Perception 5.7 with Service Pack 2, you'll need to also install the Microsoft ASP.NET MVC Security Update MS14-059 (KB2990942).

Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

You can download Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 from:

Microsoft Chart Controls for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

To download and install:

  1. Navigate to the above site.
  2. Download MSChart.exe.
  3. Once downloaded, double-click on the file to launch the installer.
  4. Accept the end user license agreement and allow the program to install.
  5. Click Finish to close the installer.

PHP 5.5.21 and the corresponding Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 as well as PHP Manager for IIS

PHP 5.5.21 and the corresponding Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2012 is required for Perception 5.7.

You can download the Non-Thread Safe version of PHP 5.5.21 (php-5.5.21-nts-Win32-VC11-x86.zip) from:

PHP 5.5.21

You can download PHP Manager for IIS from:

PHP Manager for IIS

Once you have installed PHP and PHP Manager, you will need to make sure that PHP is configured appropriately for Perception. This will be discussed later in step 2c (Configure PHP).

Windows Server AppFabric

The version of AppFabric you'll need to install depends on what version of Windows Server you're using.

AppFabric 6.1 on Windows Server 2008 R2

You can download Windows Server AppFabric 6.1 from:

Windows Server AppFabric 6.1

For complete instructions about how to install AppFabric, please refer to the following:

Windows Server AppFabric 6.1  installation and configuration guide

To install AppFabric:

  1. Double-click the file you downloaded to launch the installer.
  2. Select Yes to accept the terms and conditions, followed by Next.
  3. Select your preferences for the Customer ExperienceHelp Improve, and Critical Updates options, and click Next.
  4. Select the following features and click Next (uncheck the other options so that only the following features are selected):
    • Runtime Features (automatically checked when the option below is checked)
      • Caching Services
    • Administration Tools (automatically checked when the option below is checked)
      • Cache Administration
  5. Click Install to start the installation process.

Once AppFabric is installed, you will be asked if you want to configure it. For the time being, uncheck the checkbox and exit the installer. Once you have finished installing all the requisites, you will need to come back and configure AppFabric. Configuring AppFabric for Perception will be discussed later in this guide in step 2f (Configure AppFabric).

AppFabric 1.1 on Windows Server 2012

You can download Windows AppFabric 1.1 from:

Windows AppFabric 1.1

For complete instructions about how to install AppFabric, please refer to the following:

Installing Windows AppFabric 1.1 for Windows Server

To install AppFabric:

  1. Double-click the file you downloaded to launch the installer.
  2. Select Yes to accept the terms and conditions, followed by Next.
  3. Select your preferences for the Help Improve Setup, Customer Experience Improvement Program, and Microsoft Update options, and click Next.
  4. Select the following features and click Next (uncheck the other options so that only the following features are selected):
    • Runtime Features (automatically checked when the option below is checked)
      • Caching Services
    • Administration Tools (automatically checked when the option below is checked)
      • Cache Administration

  5. Click Install to start the installation process.

Once AppFabric is installed, you will be asked if you want to configure it. For the time being, uncheck the checkbox and exit the installer. Once you have finished installing all the requisites, you will need to come back and configure AppFabric. Configuring AppFabric for Perception will be discussed later in this guide in step 2f (Configure AppFabric).

SMTP (optional)

Perception can be configured to send emails to participants at the end of assessments or with Email Broadcast. If you do not want to configure Perception to send emails, however, this is not required.

It is possible to configure Perception to send emails using a local SMTP service in IIS or connect to an external SMTP service (for example, one that is provided by your internet service provider).

To find out more about installing and configuring SMTP, please refer to:

Configure the SMTP service

Use the Web Platform Installer to download and install the required prerequisites

Microsoft's Web Platform Installer makes it easy to download most of the necessary prerequisites for Perception in one place and install them automatically. The Web Platform Installer will download and all of the software required by Perception that does not have to be installed manually.

Microsoft Web Platform Installer 5.0 can be downloaded from:

Microsoft Web Platform Installer 5.0

The following programs must be installed manually, using the installation instructions in the above section (i.e., they are not included in the Web Platform Installer):

  • Internet Information Services (IIS)
  • Microsoft Chart Control for Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
  • PHP 5.5 and PHP Manager for IIS
  • Windows Server AppFabric

Click one of the following link to launch the Web Platform Installer and download and install the prerequisites: