Creating a multi-tiered (custom) Perception environment

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.4

This page includes the following sections:

What does a multi-tiered (custom) installation mean?

It is important to note that the following order of steps is just one possible suggestion that you can follow to set up a multi-tiered (or custom) installation of Perception. Although this section includes a specific order of installation steps, it is possible to follow a different order as you set up your multi-tiered environment. Your configuration may differ depending on your needs and look different from the one outlined here, as there are a number of different multi-tiered configurations that can be set up.

A multi-tiered (custom) install of Perception involves installing its various components across several servers and then linking these components to a database, which is usually hosted on its own server. For example, Perception Application Server is installed on one server, Assessment Delivery Web Server is installed on another server, and the ETL Services Server is installed on a third server.

This section covers how to setup a multi-tiered Perception environment, meaning that your environment will include the following:

  • Assessment Delivery Web Server server
    • Assessment Delivery Web Server will be installed on this server
    • The appropriate software prerequisites for the Assessment Delivery Web Server will be installed on this server
  • ETL Services Server server
    • The ETL service (the ETL Services Server) and the temporary ETL (ETL_Temp) database will be installed on this server
    • The appropriate software prerequisites for the ETL Services Server will be installed on this server
  • Perception Application Server server
    • Perception Application Server will be installed on this server
    • The appropriate software prerequisites for the Perception Application Server will be installed on this server
  • Database server
    • The database system (SQL Server or Oracle) you will be using will be installed on this server
    • The shared repository (Perception_REPO), Main (Perception_Main), and Results Warehouse (Perception_RW) databases will be installed on this server

It is recommended that you install and configure the components of Perception for a multi-tiered environment in the following order:

  1. Assessment Delivery Web Server
  2. ETL Services Server
  3. Perception Application Server

During installation in a multi-tiered environment, you will need to know certain information about the other servers you are installing on. You will need to determine the following information before installing Perception:

  • Perception server root - The URL used to access the system
  • QPLA location - The server where Assessment Delivery Web Server is installed
  • Perception Application Server IP address - The IP address where Perception is installed so that it can communicate with Assessment Delivery Web Server

The installation process (Get started!)

The installation process for a load-balanced Perception environment is as follows:

  1. Create the shared repository database on your database server
  2. Install a server OS on your Assessment Delivery Web Server (QPLA) server
  3. Install the prerequisites on your Assessment Delivery Web Server (QPLA) server
  4. Configure PHP on your Assessment Delivery Web Server (QPLA) server
  5. Install Assessment Delivery Web Server
  6. Install an OS on your ETL Services Server server
  7. Install the prerequisites on your ETL Services Server server
  8. Install a database system to handle the ETL_Temp database
  9. Install the ETL Services Server
  10. Install an OS on your Perception Application Server server
  11. Install the prerequisites on your Perception Application Server server
  12. Configure AppFabric
  13. Create an ODBC connection to your shared repository database
  14. Install Perception Application Server
  15. Create the Main and Results Warehouse (RW) databases
  16. Create the temporary ETL (ETL_Temp) database
  17. Configure the environment
  18. Create the shared repository
  19. Create the database links
  20. Migrating settings from the Perception Application Server to the ETL Services Server
  21. Launch Enterprise Manager and start the ETL service

Other installation steps for a multi-tiered installation include:

Setting up File Upload questions in a multi-tiered installation

Setting up firewall rules for a multi-tiered installation

Further custom installation options

If you intend on installing Perception in a configuration different from the one recommended above, click Other in the Custom Setup window. The following warning message will appear:

Warning: The instructions for installing Perception in configurations that are different from the multi-tiered installation documented above are beyond the scope of this installation guide. Installing individual components of Perception will require additional manual configuration, and it is recommended that the Other option is only used when directed to by a Questionmark representative.

Click Next in this window to take you to the Custom Setup window.

The Custom Setup window gives you the opportunity to install the following Perception components:

  • Enterprise Manager
    • EM Business Services
      • Analytics Zone Services - Internal services that allow Enterprise Manager, Analytics, and the ETL to communicate
      • People Zone Services - Internal services for authentication and authorization within Perception
    • Open ID Provider
    • EM Presentation Layer
      • Reporting Presentation Layer
      • Questionmark Portal
      • Open Authoring
      • Enterprise Manager & Scoring Tool
    • Shared Repository Manager & Service
  • Application Programming Interface
    • QMWISe - The programmable interface for Perception, needed if you plan to use Questionmark to Go or Printing and Scanning
  • ETL Service - This service extracts data from your shared repository and loads it into the ETL_Temp database before it is moved to the Result Warehouse
  • Delivery Zone
    • Questionmark Presentation Layer for Assessments - QPLA is responsible for producing the user interface and assessment interface the participant sees when they take an assessment
    • Questionmark Assessment Business Service - QABS is responsible for retrieving and sending assessment data from the shared repository to QPLA and back

If you want to install Perception in a full multi-tiered configuration different from the one documented in the above section, please speak to your Questionmark representative about our assisted install service.