Posted tagged ‘Service’

Creating a Custom Skin for the App Portal Website

October 24, 2013


The App Portal comes with a predefined set of skins that can be applied to change the look and feel of the App Portal Website.  These skins can be modified in a number of ways to be customized for your environment.  This post will walk you through the steps to create a new custom skin that will later be applied to the App Portal Website.

Creating a Custom Skin

Many of the elements in App Portal are constructed from Telerik RAD Controls for ASP.NET AJAX. These controls can be applied to App Portal like a custom skin. This allows flexibility in branding the App Portal Website. This method of branding for App Portal provides a graphically driven method of modifying the look and feel of the App Portal Website without custom coding. This is accomplished through the Telerik website:

There are two (2) steps in creating a custom skin and applying it to the App Portal Website. The two steps are:

  • Creating a custom skin for the App Portal Website.
  • Applying a custom skin on the App Portal Website.
Step 1: Creating a Custom Skin for the App Portal Website

To create a custom skin to use in App Portal, follow the steps below.

1.      Launch an internet browser and connect to

2.      On the Telerik Visual Style Builder page, click on the New Skin link.



3.      Enter a name for the skin in the Skin Name field, and then select a Base Skin from the drop-down list.



4.      Under the Skin Controls section, enable the checkboxes provided below.

a.      Button

b.      Calendar

c.      ComboBox

d.      DropDownList

e.      Editor

f.       FormDecorator

g.      Grid

h.      Input

i.       ListBox

j.       Menu

k.      PanelBar

l.       Rating

m.    Splitter

n.      ToopTip

o.     TreeView

p.      Window




Do not enable the Select all controls checkbox.  Microsoft Internet Explorer has a maximum of 31 style sheets that it is able to support.


5.      Click the Create button to begin editing the skin.



6.      Each of the controls that you selected will be listed in the right-hand pane.  Each control can be modified on the Colorize tab.  Most of the controls can be modified on the Fine-tune tab.  Modify each control as desired, ensuring to select Save wherever possible.



7.      Once you have made all desired changes, click the Download button to retrieve a compressed file containing the controls.



8.      Save the file to the desired location.

9.     Close the internet browser.

In the next post we will upload the custom skin to App Portal and apply it to the App Portal Website.


App Portal 2013–Post Installation Tasks

August 28, 2013


We have successfully prepared the environment and installed all of the components for the Flexera App Portal 2013.  Now we need to set the license file and connect the App Portal to the deployment environment (SCCM 2012 in this example).

Configuring Licensing

  • On the server which has the App Portal Website installed, launch Internet Explorer and connect to http://%computername%/ESD (e.g. http://FLEXAP/ESD).
  • When prompted to install the Internet Explorer Add-On, click Install.
  • You should see an App Portal web page appear with a pop-up window stating that your evaluation expired or that you are missing a license file.  Click the Add/Update license File link.


  • Click the Browse button, navigate to and select the .license file and then click Open.
  • Click Upload License.  Once you receive Upload Complete, click the Continue button.


  • You should now be at the Welcome to the App Portal! website.

Performing Basic App Portal Configuration

Now that we’ve added the license file we need to set basic security settings, connect it to our SCCM environment, and select our licensing collections.

Setting App Portal Permissions

Permissions for the App Portal are separated into two groups: Admin Security and Catalog Security.  Admin Security is used to define which users and groups can access and change administrative settings in the App Portal under the Admin tab.  Catalog Security is used to set which users and groups can access and change App Portal catalog items.

  • In the App Portal Menu, under Site Management, select Admin Security.
  • Click Add User / Group.


  • Enter the user or group you wish to add and then click Search.  Select the group name and set each right to Read / Write / Delete and then click Assign Rights.


  • Click Save back in the App Portal Website. This has granted full permissions to the user or group you defined.


  • Now click on Catalog Security, which is located under the Site Management sub-menu.
  • Click Add User / Group. Search for and select the user or group you wish to add.  Under Assign rights, set the following: Browse Catalog (View); Request on Behalf (Yes); Manage All Requests (Remove); Support Tools (View); Reporting (View); New Computer Deployment (Yes); Request Filters (Yes). Now click the Assign Rights button.


  • Click the Save button back in the App Portal Website.  You’ve now granted the user or group full permissions to the App Portal catalog.

Connecting to SCCM 2012

We are now ready to connect the App Portal to the SCCM 2012 environment.

  • On the Admin tab, under the App Portal Menu, expand Site Management and select Settings.


  • In the right pane, click the Deployment tab.  Under the Deployment tab, select the SCCM 2012 sub-tab.


  • Enter the name, database server, database name, and site code of your CAS (or single primary) in the provided fields and then click the Test button.  You should receive a message box stating your settings are valid, click OK.


  • Under User / Computer relationship set the desired relationship for your environment.  For this example, we will be using User Device Affinity, so I will select Use User Affinity.
  • Click Save and then click on the Common sub-tab.
  • Under Syncing Users and Syncing Computers select SCCM 2012.
  • Select SCCM 2012 for Evaluating collection membership.  Do the same for Inventory.


  • Click the Save button.  Now click the Sync Data Now button.

Setting the License Collection

  • Under Site Management, select Settings.  Click on the Web Site tab and ensure that the General sub-tab is selected.
  • For Licensed Collection, select the SCCM collection for the devices that will access the App Portal.  Then click the Save button.

We’ve completed the post implementation tasks.  From this point we can begin customizing the App Portal for our environment and populating it will packages, applications, task sequences, etc…

App Portal 2013 Installation–Part 1

August 23, 2013


All of our prerequisites are done and we are ready to begin installing the App Portal.  We will be installing the components in the following order: App Portal Web Service; App Portal Platform. 

Installing App Portal Web Service

We will be installing the App Portal Web Service on FLEXCM1, the only SCCM 2012 server in my lab.  Remember, if you have SCCM 2012, this service will only need to be installed on the CAS (or single primary).  If you are installing this on SCCM 2007 then you will need to install this on the CEN and each primary site server.

  • Launch AppPortalWebServiceSetup_2013.exe as an administrator on your target server.
  • Click Next on the Welcome screen.
  • Accept the license agreement and then click Next to continue.
  • Select your Destination Folder and then click Next.
  • The next screen will be labeled Primary Site Server Setup.  This is misleading.  You will want to plug in the information that is relevant for your environment.  If are installing this on your CAS, then you would put that information in here.  In my case, since everything was local, the installer populated the correct information.  Once you have the correct information, click Next.

AP Web

  • Click Install on the Ready to Install screen.
  • The installation should be pretty quick.  Once it has completed click Finish.

Verifying the App Portal Web Service Installation

Now that the web service installation is complete, did it install correctly?  Let’s take a few steps to verify that it is installed and working properly.

  • Launch Programs and Features and look for an entry for App Portal Web Service 2013.  Close Programs and Features.
  • Launch Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager. From the local computer name, navigate to Application Pools.  Locate ESDWebService.  This service should be using v2.0 of the .NET Framework and be running as LocalSystem (Identity).

AP ESDWebService

  • Expand Sites > Default Web Site.  Click on ESDWebService. Under IIS, double click Authentication.  In the Authentication screen Windows Authentication should be Enabled while all other authentication types should be set to Disabled.

AP Web Service Authen

  • Close Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  • Open Internet Explorer and browse to http://%servername%/esdwebservice/esdwebservice.asmx.  You should NOT be prompted for a password and an ESDWebService screen should appear.
  • Click the link for Is2012 and then click Invoke on the next screen.  The value should be set to true (unless you are using SCCM 2007).  Close the results window to go back to the ESDWebService > Is2012 screen.  Click the here link.
  • Click the link for GetPackages, enter the SCCM server name for the strSiteServer value, and then click Invoke.  You should get an XML results screen containing some package information.

ESDWebService GetPackages

  • Close Internet Explorer and launch the Configuration Manager Console.
  • In Assets and Compliance, under Overview, expand User Collections and Device Collections.  Under User Collections you should see a new folder named App Portal Users for Site XXX (where XXX is your site code).  Under Device Collections you should see App Portal Devices for Site XXX.

AP User Collection

AP Device Collection

  • Close the Configuration Manager Console.  We have not validated that the App Portal Web Service has installed correctly and that it has the appropriate access to the SCCM environment.

In the next part, we will install the App Portal Platform…

Flexera App Portal Components

August 22, 2013


There are several components that make up the App Portal environment: App Portal Web Service; App Portal Web Site; App Portal Service; App Portal Database.

App Portal Web Service: The App Portal Web Service (ESDWebService) is an IIS web service that is used to interact with the host SCCM environment (2007 or 2012). The web service is configured to run as the Local System account on the SCCM server in which it is installed. In SCCM 2012, this web service needs to be installed on the CAS (or Primary Site Server in a single server hierarchy). In SCCM 2007, the web service needs to be installed on the CEN and each Primary Site Server.


App Portal Website: The App Portal Web Site (ESD) is an IIS website that both the users and administrators connect to in order to generate requests, perform administrative functions, and check status on existing requests. This website can be installed on the SCCM server, or on its own web server. The App Portal Web Site is the single point to connect for both administrators and users.


App Portal Service: The App Portal Service (ESDService) is installed on the same server as the App Portal Web Site. This service is used to interact with the App Portal Web Services installed on the SCCM environment. This Windows Service runs as the service account specified during installation.


App Portal Database: The App Portal maintains its own SQL database. It is recommended that this database exist on the same SQL server as the “primary” SCCM database (e.g. CAS, CEN, or primary depending on version and hierarchy).

The App Portal can be deployed as a single, two, or three tier application. The web service, website, service, and database all exist on one server as a single tier application. Two servers split the App Portal components in a two tier configuration. This is usually accomplished by the website and service existing on one server while the web service and database are present on the second server. In a three tier model the website and service exist on one server while the web service and database are split out onto two additional servers.

The following diagram displays the App Portal as a single tier application.


The following diagram displays the App Portal as a two tier application.


The following diagram displays the App Portal as a three tier application.