First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

Microsoft has released its latest Update Rollup (UR) for System Center Service Manager.

With this UR, comes the long awaited (and newly designed) HTML5-based Portal! Despite the initial reports of issues (see this blog post: Microsoft Releases SCSM UR8 With the New HTML Portal – But Don’t Install It Yet!), I decided to install it in my lab environment to check it out.

 

Prerequisites

The first thing to note, despite the incorrect documentation, is that your Service Manager environment needs to be at Update Rollup (UR) 7 before installing the new portal. Note also, that traditionally UR releases culminate all other previously released updates (i.e. You don’t have to apply UR1, then UR2, all the way up to the latest. You just need to apply the latest UR to obtain all updates released to that point).

In the case of UR8, this does not appear to be the case. Not only since one of the pre-reqs is UR7, but also since UR8 does not have any installation against the other Service Manager components (i.e. the Management Server, or the Data Warehouse).

 

Import the Portal.MPB Management Pack

According to the instructions from Microsoft (Deploy the New Self-Service Portal), we need to first import the Portal.mpb Management Pack Bundle into Service Manager.

When I attempted to do so, I received the same message that everyone else has, that “the management pack already exists”. However, upon further investigation, note the Version number. The UR8 MPB has a version of 7.5.3079.509, whereas the SCSM installation (with UR7) has a version of 7.5.3079.0. So just slightly different.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal MP Already Exists

After successfully importing the Portal.MPB file, it’s onto the Web Server role.

 

Install the Web Server (IIS) Role

The next pre-req is to install the Web Server (IIS) Role, plus a few additional configurations.

According to the instructions, the IIS Role is required, along with following additional elements:

  • .NET Framework > ASP.NET 4.5
  • Security > Basic Authentication
  • Security> Windows Authentication
  • Application Development > .NET Extensibility 4.5
  • Application Development > ASP and ASP.NET 4.5

Now, you could following the instructions and use the GUI, or you could use the following PowerShell command:

Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server, NET-Framework-45-ASPNET, Web-Basic-Auth, Web-Windows-Auth, Web-Net-Ext45, Web-ASP, Web-Asp-Net45, NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45, NET-Framework-Core, Web-Mgmt-Console

Note: Microsoft’s instructions do not include the IIS Management Console. I have included this also in the PowerShell command.

 

Install the NEW HTML5 Portal

Now we are ready to install the new Portal.

Start by running the SetupWizard.exe as Administrator. Notice that there is only 1 option, to install the Portal.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Splash Screen

Of course, we get the standard License terms agreement.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Product Registration

Then we get to decide where to install it. Notice that the default location is in C:\iNetPub\wwwRoot\ directory, which of course makes sense seeing that it is a website.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Installation Location

Then comes the big pre-req check. One thing that failed on my pre-req check was HTTP Activation for the .NET Framework 4.5. This was not specifically mentioned in the Microsoft instructions, but I have since circled back and added it to the PowerShell command.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – PreReq Check

Once the Prerequisites check completes successfully, we can continue with the configuration. By default, the installer will look for an SSL certificate. This is optional though, so if you uncheck the “Enable SSL encryption” checkbox, you will also need to modify the Portal Port.

UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that on this screen we need to specify the Service Manager server.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Configure Portal Server

Next we need to set the Account that the Portal will use. Note that it says this will be the context that IIS will run under, and that this account should be a Service Manager Administrator.

Important: As of this writing, there is a bug where this account will be the account used to create and assign the Service Manager ticket, and not the user that is logged into the portal. See my post: Microsoft Releases SCSM UR8 With the New HTML Portal – But Don’t Install It Yet!.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Configure Portal Account

We also have the new screen about Diagnostic and Usage Data. Notice that this option is “on by default”. So if you want to turn it off, you’ll have to do so under Settings.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Diagnostic and Usage Data

Further, we have the option to opt-in with Microsoft Updates to keep the Portal component(s) up to date. Notice that the wording says “Microsoft System Center Technical Preview 4 Service Manager” (which as of this writing isn’t available yet).

Also, I personally opt-out of this option. Maybe because I’m originally a SCOM guy, and the UR’s are required to be applied in a specific order. I don’t want some of my components updating with me knowing, and potentially causing issues with mis-matched version levels.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Microsoft Updates

Finally, we are at the Summary screen, and we are ready to install.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Summary

My initial installation attempt failed. My log file was called “SCSMInstall01.log” and was located in C:\Users\<USER>\AppData\Local\Temp\2

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Install Failed

I noticed in the Log file that it doesn’t like that .NET Framework 3.5.1 is not installed. Again, this is not included in the original list from the Microsoft installation instructions. I have since circled back (again) to include this in the PowerShell command.

Note: You will need the Windows Server ISO, or Internet access to install the .NET Framework 3.5.1.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Log File

After installing the .NET Framework 3.5.1, and re-initiating the installation (the “Retry” button didn’t actually do anything), the installation did complete successfully.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal Install – Install Complete

Microsoft also provides the following command line example for installing the new portal:

SetupWizard.exe /Install:SelfServicePortal /silent /accepteula /CustomerExperienceImprovementProgram:No /EnableErrorReporting:No /SDKServerName:<SDK Server Name> /PortalWebSitePort:<PortNumber> /PortalAccount:<domain>\<user>\<pwd>

 

Complete The Installation?

Microsoft’s instructions state that to complete the installation you need to “In the Service Manager installation folder, navigate to the Bins folder, and copy the files to their respective paths.”

I find this step unclear, so I attempted to proceed without it.

When I launched the portal in Internet Explorer, but without having it in “full screen” view, I found that the menu text/display is garbled and impossible to read.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal – Non-Full Screen View

Also, clicking on any of the menu items throws an error. I determined this was because the install was on a new server, and the UR8 Portal installation does not prompt for any information about the Service Manager DB or DW, so how can it know about it?

I have sent this feedback to Microsoft, and will update this article (or post a new one, if they release a bunch of changes) accordingly.

SCSM-UR8-Portal-MP-Already-Exists First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

SCSM UR8 – Portal – Error

 

Conclusion

Aside from the reported issues (mentioned in my ‘Microsoft Releases SCSM UR8 With the New HTML Portal – But Don’t Install It Yet!‘ article), there are still some gaps in the documentation, functionality, installation, etc.

I have heard from Microsoft that they are tracking all of the reported issues, and are working on fixing the documentation. So, in short, stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “First Experiences With the NEW Service Manager (SCSM) HTML5 Portal!

  1. Robert R

    “the UR8 Portal installation does not prompt for any information about the Service Manager DB or DW, so how can it know about it”
    this is not true. the installer asks you for “SM Server Name”, here you specify the FQDN of your Management Server. this can also be edited in the web.conf file, where you customize Portal Name and Support phone number etc.

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