Installing Perception on a multi-tiered Windows environment

Applies to the following products: 
Questionmark Perception
Applies to the following Perception versions: 
Perception 5.2
Perception 5.1

The Perception Server install program is available from the Download area of the Questionmark web site. Once it has been downloaded onto the target machine, the install application can be run by double-clicking the install program icon.

Ensure you have completed the steps in Configuring your server to ensure the successful installation of Perception. If you are installing Perception Server on a non-English operating system, please refer to Installing Perception Server on a non-English operating system prior to running the install application.

Installing Perception in a multi-tiered environment is a case of using the installation application to only install the necessary parts on each server. For example, QABS is installed on one machine and QPLA on another.

It is recommended that you install Perception Server in a multi-tiered environment in the following order:

  1. QABS
  2. QPLA

During the installation on 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 before installing:

  • Perception Server Root - The URL used to access the system
  • QPLA Location - The server used to install QPLA
  • QABS Server IP address - The IP address for the QPLA and QABS to communicate

If you are installing Perception on a multi-tiered environment that includes a Linux/Unix, please refer to the section:

The install application requires you to enter a password before it will install Perception Server. This password should have been sent to you by email. Please contact Questionmark if you have not received this email.

For installation instructions please refer to the following sections:

Step 1: Installing QABS

The install application will guide you through each step in the installation process, prompting you to specify your preferences at each stage. Copy the installation application to the server and follow the steps below.

The install application will guide you through each step in the installation process, prompting you to specify your preferences at each stage. You must be logged in to Windows as a local system Administrator. If you do not have these privileges Perception Server will not install correctly. Alternatively, if you know the administrator user name and password but are not logged in as that user you can right click on the install application and select Run As Administrator. You will be prompted to enter the username and password of a valid administrative user before being able to continue.

To install QABS:

  1. Launch the installer application as an administrative user, see above for details.
  2. Select Custom from the Setup Type window
  3. Select the Install everything except the Questionmark Presentation Layer for Assessments option

  4. Determine the location of where you want to install Perception Server (system files) and the Repository files by entering the information in to the appropriate text-boxes
  5. In the Perception Server Root window choose the required setting

    The settings include:

    • User Defined if you intend for Perception to be accessed through a defined URL. Enter the URL in the appropriate text-box. For example, www.mycompany.com
    • This Computer if the users will be using the computer name as the URL to access Perception

    If you are intending to access the Perception Server using an IP address you must select the User Defined setting and enter the IP address in the text-box. Failure to do so will cause certain functions in Perception to work incorrectly. For example:

    • File upload questions will not work correctly, by not allowing participants to upload answers
    • Links to reports that a participant has access to will not work
  6. In the QPLA Server Location window you will need to enter the URL used to access the QPLA server.

    The QPLA Server Location can be:

    • A defined URL that is used by the QPLA server. For example, www.qpla.mycompany.com
    • The computer name or IP address of the QPLA server
  7. In the Installation Options window you will need to define which installation options you want to enable.

    The installation options include:

    • Whether you want the installer to automatically create the virtual directories or not. For further information about the virtual directories created and required by Perception, please refer to the Creating your own virtual directories section.
    • Whether you want the authors connecting to the Shared Repository through Authoring Manager to automatically be given the chance to upgrade to the latest version of Authoring Manager or not.
  8. Follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation on this server
  9. Launch the Shared Repository Manager and follow the instruction in the Creating a repository section to create a shared repository 

Step 2: Installing QPLA

The install application will guide you through each step in the installation process, prompting you to specify your preferences at each stage. Copy the installation application to the server and follow the steps below.

The install application will guide you through each step in the installation process, prompting you to specify your preferences at each stage. You must be logged in to Windows as a local system Administrator. If you do not have these privileges Perception Server will not install correctly. Alternatively, if you know the administrator user name and password but are not logged in as that user you can right click on the install application and select Run As Administrator. You will be prompted to enter the username and password of a valid administrative user before being able to continue.

To install QPLA:

    1. Launch the installer application as an administrative user, see above for details.
    2. Select Custom from the Setup Type window
    3. Select the Install only the Questionmark Presentation Layer for Assessments option
    4. Determine the location of where you want to install Perception Server (system files) and the Repository files by entering the information into the appropriate text-boxes (Please note, that the Repository files folder will not actually be created on this server as it is only needed on the business logic tier)
    5. In the QABS Server IP Address text-box insert the IP of the server where you installed QABS, see above

    6. In the QABS Virtual Directory Name text-box insert the name of the virtual directory used for QABS. If you:
      • Created your own web share in the steps above enter this in to the text-box
      • Allowed the installer to create the web shares leave the default value in the text-box. The default web share for qabs
    7. Click Next >
    8. In the Installation Options window you can choose to allow the installer to automatically create the virtual directories or not. For further information about the virtual directories created and required by Perception, please refer to the Creating your own directories section
    9. Click Install to begin the installation

A warning will be displayed indicating that PHP will need to be installed before the application will be functional. Ensure you have completed the steps indicated in the Installing PHP section and click OK.

If you have not installed PHP, click OK to install Perception 5 and carry out the instructions in the Installing PHP section before attempting to access Perception.

  1. Follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation

Step 3: Configuring your servers to use the File Upload question type

Once you have installed both portions of Perception Version 5 on to the separate servers you will need to ensure that the QPLA server can write any File Upload questions on to the QABS server.

Please refer to the relevant section for your operating system.

Now that Perception is installed follow the steps in the Verifying your installation sections.

Step 4: Setting up your Firewall rules (optional, only if you have a firewall between the servers)

If you have a firewall between your QPLA and QABS server you will need to ensure that certain web shares will need to be accessed through the firewall. These are:

  • /<repository>_sys
  • /<repository>_res
  • /<repository>_togo

The contents of these web shares need to be accessed by the QPLA server or the participants browser. You will have to do this by creating a routing rule for an external address that points to these shares.

You then need to ensure that the Repository server setting in Enterprise Manager points to the external firewall address you created. You can tighten security further by filtering out requests using the firewall that do not have the correct host header.

Once this has been done your installation of Perception Version 5 is ready to use. Refer to the section Configuring and verifying to ensure everything you require is configured and working.