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MathClass Installation Instructions

MathClass can be installed using the Windows Installer from a .msi file which you can download from a link given below. The installation procedure must be done from an account with administrative privileges.


Pre-install Preparation:

  1. The MathClass website requires an instance of SQL Server 2008, which may be installed either on the same computer as the website or on a different computer. The instructions here assume that it is on the same computer. For MathClass websites that are not heavily loaded, the free SQL Server Express 2008 is quite adequate. The free SQLServerExpress 2008 can be downloaded using the link named "Try It" at http://www.microsoft.com/sqlserver; this will download the Windows Platform Installer which you can run to download and install the package. In Web Platform Installer, select the Web Platform tab:
    1. Select Web Server and click on the Customize link. The options depend on the operating system.
      1. For Windows Server 2003, select Internet Informations Services 6.0.
      2. For Windows XP, select Internet Information Services 5.1.
      3. For Windows Vista and Windows 7, one has several product features for which you need to check that at least the following are selected:
        1. Common HTTP Features. Expand and select Static Content and Default Document.
        2. Application Development. Expand and select ASP.NET.
        3. Compatibility. Expand and select IIS Metabase and IIS 6 Configuration Compatibility.
        4. Management. Expand and select IIS Management Console.
        5. Media. Expand and select IIS Media Services 2.0
    2. Select Frameworks and Runtimes and click on the Customize link. Make sure that .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 is selected. Go back to Web Platform.
    3. Select Database and click on the Customize link.
    4. Make sure that SQL Server Express with Service Pack 1 and SQL Server 2008 Management Studio Express are selected. and then click on Install.
    The installation takes a long time and you may be prompted either for the operating system installation cd and you may need to reboot multiple times. After each reboot, login and the installation will continue.


    MathClass should work on Windows 7, though it has only been tested on the pre-release RC Ultimate version. If you do the installation as indicated above, SQL Server Express 2008 SP1 will be installed, but expect the SQL Server Management Tools Express 2008 to fail. After it fails, reboot the computer (or else subsequent installs will fail) and then try again to install the SQL Server Management Tools Express 2008. The installation should succeed. Now go to the Microsoft website and download SQL Server 2008 SP1 (not SQL Server Express 2008 SP1) and run it. It will update the SQL Server Management Tools to SP1. You should then be able to use the package for MathClass.


    If you use SQL Server 2008 (standard), the installation typically proceeds as follows:

    1. Run setup.exe from the distribution dvd. From the Installation tab, select New SQL Server stand-alone installation or add features to an existing installation. There are over a dozen screens to the install; one will comment on a few of them. Select Perform a new installation of SQL Server 2008 on the Installation Type screen; on the Product Key screen, enter the product key.
    2. On the Feature Selection screen, make sure that at least Database Engine Services and Management Tools - Basic is selected.
    3. On the server configuration screen, you need to provide accounts under which the services will be run. For MathClass, NT Authority\Network Service will work.
    4. On the Database Engine Configuration screen, select Windows authentication mode and use the Add Current User button to make your currently logged in account a SQL Server administrator.


    Enabling Internet Information Services can also be done from the Add / Remove Software control panel plugin (called Programs and Features on Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008). From the plugin, select Add/Remove Windows Components (Turn Windows Features on or off on Vista, Windows 7, Server 2008). Either select the appropriate features or, in the case of Windows Server 2008, add and choose features for the Web Server Role. Use the Web Platform Installer instructions above as a guide to a minimal set of features required for MathClass.

  2. For Windows XP only, from a Command Prompt window, change the current working directory to %SystemRoot\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727 and enter the command aspnet_regiis.exe -ir
  3. Go to http://www.microsoft.com/downloads and download and install the Microsoft Web Enhancements (WSE) 3.0 package. The "Runtime" install is enough for MathClass to work.
  4. Skip this step if you are on Windows XP as MathClass will use the preinstalled Default Web Site. For other operating systems, go to the Start Menu->Administrative Tools and start the Internet Information Services (IIS) Management Console. Expand the local computer entry and right click Web Sites selecting New->Web Site to start the Web Site Creation Wizard. Use the wizard to create a website. For an isolated test site, you might use the localhost ip address ( making the site accessible only from the local computer.
  5. If the website is running behind the Windows Firewall and one needs to access the site from other than the local computer, add an exception to the Firewall for the port used by the website. The default port for http is 80.
  6. If the website is running under any operating system except Windows XP, add the MIME-type for the extension .svg with value image/svg+xml. This can be done from Properties on the website or from the MIME-Types applet in the IIS Management Console, depending on the version of IIS.

Download and run mc1.msi Download mc1.msi and run it. (For Vista and Windows Server 2008 where user account control is running, start a command prompt by right clicking and selecting Run As Administrator and then cd to the download directory and use the command msiexec /i mc1.msi to avoid user account control (UAC) difficulties. There are five screens of parameters:

  1. In the first screen, select the website you created for MathClass and leave the Virtual Directory and Application Pool parameters with their default values.
  2. In the Database and Website Location screen:
    1. The Database Server is the instance name of the local SQL Server database manager. If you are using SQL Server Express 8.0, the instance name should be machine\sqlexpress where "machine" is the name of the computer. (If you are using the default instance, the instance name would just be "machine".)
    2. The Help EMail Address is the email address to be used by the MathClass help system.
    3. The Website DNS name is the fully qualified domain name for the website. If you are using the localhost ip number for the site, just enter localhost for this parameter. If you are using the Default Web Site, use the computer's name.
    4. The Mail Server DNS Name is the fully qualified domain name for the an smtp mail relay server through which MathClass will send mail.
  3. In the Auxiliary Server Locations screen:
    1. ChatServer DNS Name is the fully qualified domain name for a server that will run the chatserver Java server application. (This distribution is not yet ready; just leave the default value.)
    2. Video Server DNS Name is the fully qualified domain name for the video server. This would be a Windows media server on the local computer or the website DNS name if one is not running media server.
    3. Video Root Path is the directory where MathClass will put video files. If one is running media services, pdate the default value to reflect the location of the WMPub directory. Otherwise, provide the full path to the WebPages\Videos\whs subdirectory of the root directory of the website.
    4. FTP Server Root Path is only used for uploading screen images to the chat server. Just leave the default value.
  4. The Auxiliary Account Authenticator screen parameters are only used when users authenticate through a Windows active directory domain. If this feature is not required, just leave the default values.
    1. The Active Directory Domain Name DNS Name is the fully qualified domain name for the active directory domain.
    2. The Distinguished Name specifies a directory tree containing the accounts for all users which need to be authenticated. Leave no spaces in the string.
    3. The mc account is the account name of an active directory account that is used to obtain diagnostic information in case a user authentication against the domain fails. This account needs to have read access to employeeNumber for the user accounts and this field must be set up with unique values for each account in the active directory. The field value should be the account name and password separated by a semicolon character. (The password will only be written to an encrypted section of the web.config file; however to minimize security concerns, the account should not be one with special permissions beyond what is mentioned above and having its password set to never expire.)
    4. The account prefix is an alias for the domain. (When the user wishes to authenticate via the active directory, he/she uses this prefix followed by a backslash and their active directory account name in the login field.) The organization is the name of the organization hosting the active directory. The field value should be the account prefix and organization separated by a semicolon character., for example: MS;University of Kentucky
  5. The Database Attach screen is used to indicate whether or not the installer should attach the two mathclass databases to the SQL Server. If the SQL Server is on the same computer as the website, let the install program attach the databases. Otherwise, leave them unattached as you will need to copy the databases (located in the mc\app_Data subdirectory of the root directory of the website) to the computer hosting the SQL Server instance and attach them manually.

Post-Install After the installation is complete, MathClass will be installed and running.

  1. If one is running on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista, the Application Pool Managed Pipeline Mode should be changed from Classic to Integrated. This can be done from the IIS management console.
  2. Make sure that the application pool Identity (typically Network Service) has modify access to the WebPages directory tree and read and execute access to the mc directory subtree of the root of the website. In addition, give this account modify permissions on the %SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\Temporary ASP.NET Files directory tree. (Replace Framework with Framework64 if the website is running as a 64 bit application.)
  3. If the newly installed MathClass is going to be accessed through the net, you should use the IIS management console to install a certificate for the website, bind the website to a port for https: access, and require https: access for the subtree rooted at mc.
  4. The webserver needs to login to SQL Server to run stored procedures in the two databases. The account that does this depends on the version of IIS and whether or not the SQL server and web server are on different computers.
    1. For Windows XP (IIS 5.1), SQL Server and the web server are assumed to be running on the same computer and the account is machine\ASPNET where "machine" is the name of the computer.
    2. For other operating systems, the account is usually NT Authority\Network Service when SQL server and the web server are on the same computer and machine\$ otherwise where "machine" is the name of the webserver computer. For Windows 7, it is IIS APPPOOL\mathclassAppPool instead of Network Service.
    From the SQL Server (Express) 2008 Management Console, go to Security -> Logins and add an entry for the appropriate account. Then set User Roles for each of mcASPNETDB and mcDB databases so that the account is allowed to login and has dbowner rights on the database. (Alternatively, allow the account to login and give execute permission for all stored procedures.)
  5. Copy the mc1.msi file to the mc\docs subfolder of the root directory of the website.
The installation is now complete. Start a browser and login using the account root with default password: chgThisPwd! (11 characters, case sensitive). Change the password, and update the e-mail address, and affiliation of the root account. Also, if an Auxiliary Account Authenticator was set up, verify that its organization matches the affName field of a row in the KyAffiliations table of the mcASPNETDB database.


It is recommended that the root account not be used for everyday administration. Instead, create a standard user account for these purposes and give it appropriate permissions (from a root account login session). Using the new account for everyday administration should facilitate transition to future versions of MathClass.

modified: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Modified 1/18/2008 12:55

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