AskiaVista is a Web application, which means that there are two sides:
- A client (user) side of the software is accessible from web. This user access does NOT require any installation. See client section below
- A server side holds the computing power. The server is an IIS-based web service. If you have never performed a web-service installation before, please contact your IT department or Askia staff to perform the installation.
I. Client (Browser)
Version 5.x of AskiaVista is compatible with Internet Explorer 6 or higher only. Please make sure your browser settings are optimal.
We also highly recommend a minimum screen real estate of 1280px width * 1024px height.
The AskiaVista server is composed of two parts, which can be split depending on the architecture of your hosting centre and/or your load balancing needs (please refer to this article for more details on load balancing).
- The AskiaVista web-interface : This is the client-facing part. It is a series of front-end pages, hosted on Microsoft's Web-server: Internet information services (IIS).
- The AskiaVista calculation engine: this is AVServer.exe, a process that will crunch the data into tables, render charts and do all the leg-work. It sits on the file-system of the host and is kept running by a Windows service.
Most AskiaVista servers will host both the web-interface and the calculation engine. In case of bigger loads, a typical load-balanced cluster will contain:
- One customer-facing Windows server that will only be used for its web-server function. Only "Internet information services" will be installed.
- Other Windows servers (one or more) without IIS but with a lot of CPU/RAM power. It will host the server files contained in AVServer.exe.
Attention : the following section describes the minimum requirements on the host machine, assuming that it will be used to host the AskiaVista application only. Additional pre-requirements are also needed if the host machine is running other applications such as WebProd. Please refer to the corresponding pre-requirements sections in the AskiaField server installation page.
In case of a server application installation performed by Askia staff, the application will NOT be installed if one of these pre-requirements (or more) is not met for the host machine.
Before the installation: define user credentials that shall be used by AskiaVista
- Define an SQL user (only for a fresh installation)
AskiaVista writes in a SQL database. During the AskiaVista setup, it will attempt to create the 2 databases in which the application is later going to write data. Therefore, whichever SQL user is assigned to AskiaVista, this user must have "db_creator" rights on the SQL server during the installation process. It can then be removed for production.
During production, "db_owner" is required on the 2 created databases.
N.B. In the case of an installation performed by Askia staff, an "AskiaVista" SQL user will be created with enough rights to carry out the installation. Please contact Askia staff before the installation if a different user shall be used instead.
- Define a Windows user (only if the calculation engine needs to be installed)
AskiaVista is a Windows application (.exe) that will run on the server.
Therefore, the Windows user that will run the application (or the service, if the application is set to run as a service) must have the read/write/modify permissions on the Askia installation path (usually C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl).
In the case of an installation performed by Askia staff, the Windows login that is provided in order to log on to the server will be the one used to run the application. Please contact Askia staff before the installation if a different user shall be used instead.
Beware: The SQL password set for the AskiaVista user must not contains XML forbidden characters: "&" or "<" or ">".
- Define an Application pool user (only if the web-interface needs to be installed)
AskiaVista's front end is an IIS application. Therefore, it will use an application pool, which will be run by a specific user.
This user must have the read/write/modify permissions on the Askia installation path (usually C:\Program Files\Askia or C:\Program Files (x86)\Askia).In the case of an installation performed by Askia staff, IIS application pools will be created with default names, and "NETWORK SERVICE" will be the user of these application pools. Please contact Askia staff before the installation if a different pool or user shall be used instead.
- Define a main AskiaVista interface user (only if the web-interface needs to be installed)
When the installation is done, a login and password are required to login to the web interface as a super administrator.
Please contact Askia staff after you completed the last step of this guide to reset the super administrator account for the first connection.
In the case of an installation performed by Askia staff, the Askia representative will send you your initial administrator login and password, along with a notice to customize it.
Hardware and Software requirements
Recommended: Windows Server 2019 64-bit
|Processor||Intel Xeon 3xxx series or higher|
|RAM||8GB RAM (12GB recommended)|
|HD||40GB, plus enough space for survey data|
|Software||Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 & .NET Framework 4.5 & Access Database Engine x64 2013|
|Windows features (only for AskiaVista's front end)||
Microsoft IIS 7 feature ACTIVATED
ASP.Net 2.0 AND 4.0. ACTIVATED
.NET framework 4.5 ACTIVATED
Read more about adding roles and features from the official Windows server documentation
Note : In the IIS 7+ Management Console, click the Machine root (should be the first node in the tree), in the list you should see CGI and ISAPI restrictions (if you don't see it you're probably not on the top node).
Under CGI and ISAPI restrictions you should see two items with "ASP.NET v4.0.30319", if it doesn't appears then follow the first answer of this topic. In all cases make sure that the two items "ASP.NET v4.0.30319" are allowed.
If ASP.Net 4.0 is not listed in the "Isapi and Cgi restriction" in the IIS at the server level then you can run the following the command line (with Administrator privilege):
|SQL1||Microsoft SQL server 2008 R2 or higher, SQL Management Studio|
|VAS (recommended)||3GB RAM|
|Microsoft Security updates|
- Read our architecture document before installing
- Remote access for Askia technical support team
- SFTP Server
Run a new installation
The following section is extracted from the installation procedure document that can be found in any "ManualSetup" file from our AskiaVista download section http://installers.askia.com/helpdesk/askiavista/.
THIS PROCEDURE IS ONLY FOR A FRESH INSTALLATION
It requires local administrator privileges on the host server throughout the installation process. In most of the cases, right-click and select "Run As Administrator" to be sure to run the installation correctly.
It also requires a SQL access with db_creator during the installation.
I. Setting up the host
- Make sure that all minimum physical requirements are met by the host server, as well as Feature and Software requirements.
- Download the latest version of the setup: http://installers.askia.com/helpdesk/askiavista/ (e.g. ManualSetup_AskiaVista_188.8.131.52_and_184.108.40.206.zip)
- Check that the setup is unblocked
Right-click on the setup file then click on "Properties".
If there is a clickable button named "unblock" please click on it, before validating with "OK".
- Extract the contents of the .zip file to an easily accessible directory on the server. You will need the various directories and files for the next/ following steps:
II. SQL SERVER DATABASE INSTALLATION (Applies only to a new cluster installation)
- Open SQL Server Management Studio.
- Create a database named "AskiaVista".
- Run the file "AskiaVista.sql" in the ManualSetup files under /Askia/AskiaCtrl/ (with SQL Management Studio, or another SQL engine).
- Select the "AskiaVista" database (from the "Available databases" drop-down) and run the script.
- Create a database name "AskiaVistaReport"
- Run the file "AskiaVistaReport.sql" in the ManualSetup files under /Askia/AskiaCtrl/ (with SQL Management Studio, or another SQL engine).
- Select the "AskiaVistaReport" database and run the script.
- In SQL Management Studio go to Security/Logins.
- Right click and create a new login with the following details:
- Login name: askiavista
- SQL Server Authentication with password: askiavista
- Uncheck "Enforce password policy" / "Enforce password expiration" and "User must change password at next login".
- Select AskiaVista and AskiaVistaReport with db_owner role
III. SETUP WEB APPS (Applies only to AskiaVista's web-interface machines)
- Copy and paste the folders from the ManualSetup files /wwwroot/ to the C:\Inetpub\wwwroot\ of your server (AskiaVista, AskiaVistaReader, AskiaVistaReader.Net4, AskiaVista6).
- Set enough rights to the user IIS_IUSRS or to the user that will be associate with Application pools (full control).
- The user of the Application pool must be able to read / write / modify / execute in AskiaVista/ folder.
|Name||.Net Framework version||Managed pipeline mode|
|AskiaVistaPool||.Net Framework 2.0.50727||Classic (<= 220.127.116.11); Integrated (>= 18.104.22.168)|
|AskiaVistaReaderPool||.Net Framework 2.0.50727||Classic|
|AskiaVista6Pool||.Net Framework 4.0.30319||Integrated|
|AskiaVistaReaderNet4Pool||.Net Framework 4.0.30319||Classic|
If not, Right-click on the application pools and select "Advanced settings". Change the "Identity" parameter to "Network Service" and click OK.
- Right click on the project folder and select "Convert to application".
- Select the matching application pool from the ones that were just created and click OK.
The web interface of the Vista application is now set up.
IV. SETUP SERVICES (Applies only to calculation engine machines)
- Copy the folder /Askia/ from ManualSetup files to C:\Askia\
- Set enough permissions on the AskiaCtrl\ folder to the IIS_IUSRS user or to the user associated with the AskiaVista Application pool.
The user (identity) of the Application pool must be able to read / write / modify at least.
Example : in IIS, if "Network Service" is the identity that runs the application pools, make sure that it is listed in the Askia security properties and possesses read/right/modify permissions.
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run the VCRedist_x64.exe [Visual C++ 2013 =< 22.214.171.124; Visual C++ 2015 >= 126.96.36.199 ] (with Administrator privilege).
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run the AccessDatabaseEngine_x64.exe [Microsoft Access Database Engine] (with Administrator privilege).
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run APIRegister.bat [AskiaAPI.dll, AskiaVistaCtrl.dll, XlsGen.dll registration] (with Administrator privilege).
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run AskiaVista.reg (with Administrator privilege) -> Validate the message to update the database registry.
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run AskiaVistaConfigurator.exe (with Administrator privilege).
- Verify the path and URL in storage & links tab.
- Set the databases connection string under the database tab.
- Save the configuration (that should generate a file name Askia.config in the AskiaCtrl directory and update the database registry).
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run AskiaVistaManagerInstall.bat [Install windows service] (with Administrator privilege).
If you also have a CCA installation, you may want to go into the "CCA Servers" tab of the AskiaVistaConfigurator.exe tool. Click the "New" button, and enter in your CCA Server Name and SQL Connection to the "Surveys" database.
This populates the [AskiaVista].[dbo].[AV_CCAServers] database.
(The name is just for organisation; the connection string is the important part.)
Provider=sqloledb; Data Source=(local); Initial Catalog=Surveys;Trusted_Connection=no;User Id=askia;Password=askia123
- Click on Start > Administrative Tools > Services and start AskiaVista Manager service.
- Open Internet Explorer and go to http://localhost/AskiaVista.
- Connect with the credentials provided by the Askia representative.
- Go to View / Admnistration mode / Configuration / Licence management and generate the licence key.
- Contact Askia to receive a licence file.
- Update the licence with the licence file.
- The Survey structure generation will not works so close the popup window.
- Go to Configuration / Services management and restart both AskiaVistaServer and AVTasksManager.
- Go back to Surveys, right-click / Generate the survey structure of EX survey.
- Go to View / Analyse mode and open the survey EX.
- Try a cross-tab and try to export the result.
- Open a recent browser (IE 9+ / Safari / Chrome / Firefox).
- Go to http://localhost/AskiaVista6/.
- Enter the credentials you have been provided by the Askia representative.
- Open the EX survey.
- Run a cross-tab and export it.
- We strongly recommend you change your password after connecting.
Now that you are logged on, follow these steps to activate Askia Support:
In the View menu select Administration Mode.
Open the Configuration "accordion".
Browse to System configuration and double-click Services management
In the Misc tab:
- Activate the Allow askiavista to automatically search for updates option.
- Activate the Authorize Askia Support Team option.
- Click the Search for updates.
- Create a couple of user credentials for your team's Vista administrators.
License activation (applies only to a new cluster installation)
- Open the Configuration "accordion".
- Browse to System configuration and double-click on Licence Management.
- In the Upgrade Licence tab, click Download the licence key.
- Save the .ZIP archive and send it to your local Askia office or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updating AskiaVista v5 & v6
When updating to 188.8.131.52 or above, you may be required to install "ASP.NET MVC 4 for Visual Studio 2010 SP1 and Visual Web Developer 2010 SP1" in order for Vista6 to function properly.
You might receive a "Server Error in '/AskiaVista6' Application." error page when trying to load up http://localhost/askiavista6/ where it says something along the lines of "Count not load file or assembly 'System.Web.Mvc..."
The ChangeLog of 184.108.40.206 reads as follows:
"+ Task #6912: Migrate the project from ASP.NET MVC 2 to MVC 4"
WARNING: This document concerns versions 5.3.1.x or higher!
I. Setup the host
- Make sure that all minimum physical requirements are still met by the host server, as well as feature and software requirements.
- Download the latest version of the update_ package: http://installers.askia.com/helpdesk/askiavista/v6/Update_AskiaVista_6.X.X.X.zip.
- Check that the setup is unblocked.
Right click on the setup file then click on "Properties".
If there is a clickable button named "unblock" make sure to click on it, before validating with "OK".
- Extract the zip file.
II. Stop the services
- Stop AskiaVista
From the Windows Services console, stop the AskiaVistaManager service.
- Verify running processes
From the Windows Task Manager console, verify that AskiaVistaServer is no longer running:
- If AskiaVistaServer is still running, terminate the process.
- For Vista6: Stop AskiaVista Application pools (IIS Manager).
III. Save a backup
If you are running AskiaVista in a virtual environment, take snapshots of the relevant VM.
If you are running AskiaVista on traditional hardware server, backup the following items:
\AskiaVista\ (see: footnote1)
Make BAK files of:
- AskiaVista DB (see: footnote2)
- AskiaVistaReport DB (see: footnote2)
1. Copy the content of the unzip folders into the original one (so you don't lose permissions on the folder).
Decompress the update_askiavista_5.3.x.x ZIP archive.
Unzip AskiaVista.zip's contents to the server's \AskiaVista\ web application folder.1
Unzip AskiaCtrl.zip's contents to the server's \AskiaCtrl\ folder.
- Copy the folder /Askia/ from ManualSetup files to C:\Askia\.
- Under C:\Askia\AskiaCtrl\ run APIRegister.bat [AskiaAPI.dll, AskiaVistaCtrl.dll, XlsGen.dll registration] (with Administrator privilege).
V. Restart services
From the Windows Services console, start AskiaVistaManager service and start AskiaVista application pools.
Now log onto AskiaVista and check its core functions to ensure that all is running fine.
VI. (optional) Rollback
Revert to the snapshot of the VM made in step II.1..
Use the backup files made in step II. 2. and put them back in place.
1 When updating an AVS-only instance, you can skip this step, as the server will have no IIS and therefore no \AskiaVista\ web application folder; for more info on AVS-only instances, see the list of AskiaVista architectures.
2 Please remember that regardless of whether you have a single-instance or a complex, multi-server architecture, AskiaVista platform, you will always have only one SQL instance back-ending your AskiaVista platform, i.e. you only have one AskiaVista DB and one AskiaVistaReport DB to backup.
Older Setup files and Version History