Stephen Smith's Blog

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Sage ERP Accpac 6 Deployment

with 17 comments


With the next version of Sage ERP Accpac, we are moving to the Web. What does that mean for deployment? For workstations that’s easy, there is none, you just need the URL to point the Browser at. For Servers it’s a bit more complicated. This will all be setup for you by the Accpac Installation, but what are the components running now? What Web Servers and Middleware are we going to be using?

First which Web Server will we be using? Accpac itself isn’t dependent on the Web Server and will run with most Web Servers; however, SageCRM depends on Microsoft’s Internet Information Server (IIS). Hence we will be installing and supporting Sage ERP Accpac 6.x on IIS.

However Accpac doesn’t run from IIS like SageCRM does. SageCRM was developed from the ground up as an IIS add-in called an ISAPI add-in. This means SageCRM is a DLL that integrates directly into IIS and uses the IIS API for support. Sage ERP Accpac 6.x has been developed based on the Google Web Toolkit. This tool kit works best if the Server side of things is written in Java. IIS does not directly support running Java programs. To run Java programs to answer requests from the Web you need a Java Application Server. The function of a Java Application Server is to connect a set of Java classes up to URL’s, so when a Browser enters a URL that goes to the Java Application Server, this server provides the middleware to figure out which Java class to call and to call it in an appropriate manner. The Java Application Server that we are using is Apache Tomcat. However, again we haven’t done anything that ties us to this Java Server over any other, we just need to pick one to install and support, and Tomcat seems to work really well for us.

So how do Web Requests originating as URLs entered into a Browser make it to Accpac? The Apache foundation has created an IIS ISAPI add-in called Jakarta that will forward any requests meant for Tomcat received via IIS directly to Tomcat. It has a very high speed low overhead way of doing this to keep performance high. Basically Jakarta is configured with a set or URL patterns to forward and then it does this. Jakarta also can maintain multiple instances of Tomcat and act as a foundation for load balancing.

The URL requests, which we saw previously, are using the SData protocol. These SData requests are received into the Accpac Java Servlet (or program) that processes SData. This program running inside Tomcat then parses and processes the SData requests which are translated into Accpac Business Logic Layer (or View) calls. Calls to the Views are made through a Java Native Interface (JNI) Layer to execute as normal. JNI is the mechanism inside Java to allow calls to underlying operating system DLLs (or SOs in the Linux case). And then the Views call through to the database in the normal Accpac manner.

Below is a simple diagram of the main processes involved.

Since IIS is receiving the Web Requests, it is IIS’s job to handle the security of the connection between the Web Browser and the Web Server. Usually IIS will be configured to only accept connections via TLS (Transport Layer Security, previously known as Secure Socket Layer (SSL)). That means the Web Server will require a digital certificate to properly identify itself and avoid many Browser warnings. Fortunately setting up TLS for IIS is quite simple and with modern computers the overhead of this encrypted communication isn’t too bad.

Otherwise Accpac is installed on the Web Server as a normal server install and the installation of the database (probably SQL Server to share with SageCRM) is the same as previous versions of Accpac.

IIS and SQL Server will need to be installed first. Accpac’s installation program will install and configure Tomcat, Jakarta and all required Java components. The SQL Server can be the same or a different server from the IIS server depending on the server load.

Hopefully this give a taste for how Sage ERP Accpac 6.x will be deployed for all the new Web based screens.

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Written by smist08

January 30, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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17 Responses

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  1. Stephen – I’m totally on board with the login via URL on the workstation. Thanks for taking the time to provide this information!

    Wayne Schulz

    January 30, 2010 at 9:40 pm

  2. Stephen – your pictures aren’t making it into your posts. :-(

    Django Dunn

    January 30, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    • OK, I found the problem. Appears if I take a screen shot, paste it into Windows Paint and save it as a *.png file then it doesn’t work. If I past it into Photoshop Elements and save it then it works. Incidentally Photoshop Elements doesn’t seem to be able to read png files saved by Windows Paint. Not sure why it used to work, but anyway, I guess I can fix them all now.

      smist08

      February 1, 2010 at 11:44 pm

  3. [...] release of Sage ERP Accpac, with a release scheduled for the third quarter of 2010, according to Stephen Smith, architect at Sage Software in Vancouver, Canada. To replace what is currently a desktop [...]

  4. Can,t really say that I undersatnd everything I read. But thanks for the update. Will the footprint be thin?

    Robert Tan

    January 31, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    • That is the intent.

      smist08

      February 1, 2010 at 2:18 am

  5. I really like how the accpac install will be mainly handle by installer (e.g. Apache, Jakarta and Java).

    I was a little worried when I heard it was going to run on Apache instead of IIS (only because Sage CRM runs on IIS) but it looks like you’ve found a way to deal with that.

    Matt Smith

    February 8, 2010 at 4:57 pm

  6. [...] Sage ERP Accpac 6 Deployment Installing and Deploying Sage ERP Accpac 6.0A Setting up Sage ERP Accpac 6.0A Securely [...]

  7. We really love the new look and feel of version 6.0 too. We are having a couple of issues with Web deployment under 6.0. Does anyone have any experience in this?

    Michelle Poirier

    March 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    • What exactly are the problems you are having?

      smist08

      March 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      • First time signing in, it needs to install the .NET files. We then get an error connecting to the server.
        Runs fine from “inside”, but we are trying to access it from a browser at a remote location

        Michelle Poirier

        March 25, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      • Usually this means its a firewall problem. Make sure you open the ports you specified in the Web Deployment Wizard (usually 9000+).

        smist08

        March 26, 2011 at 3:10 am

  8. I know this is an old post and i know 6.0 Web Deployment is not for primetime yet. But i am doing it just for the sake of doing it. I am doing it on a 2003 x86 and on a 2008 R2 Standard x64 box.

    on the 2003 box, when running the Web Deployment Manager, the .net remoting is greyed out. IIS is installed and configured per sage documnetation. and active server page is set to allow. Yes, Sage Wed Deployment component is installed. .net framework 3.5 is also installed. Any Idea?

    on the 2008 box, tried to sign on, and receive the “error occured when connecting to ACCPAC server’ error. just for diagnostic, i have turned off the firewall. the login used is an Admin. any idea?

    ryn

    robert Ng

    November 10, 2011 at 2:05 am

    • I think the “.Net Remoting” option is only grayed out if it thinks the System Manager .Net Libraries component is not installed. Make sure this is installed or try re-installing it.

      smist08

      November 10, 2011 at 7:27 pm

      • I know it’s been 2 years since this post, but I am experiencing this grayed out issue with Server 2003, IIS6, .NET4. I’ve reinstalled System Manager, ran a Repair option .NET. Any advise is welcomed. Thanks.

        Need-Of-Help

        April 2, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      • I think your best bet is to contact tech support for this. Then they can remotely access your computer to see what is going on.

        smist08

        April 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      • In greyed out issue, I tried uninstall and install (no repair) the .NET component and it worked.

        James

        James

        September 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm


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