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Student Portal Installation Step 2 - Set up and Configure the VETtrak Student Portal

If you are updating from a previous version of the portal, please read!

When updating from a previous version, your Web.config configuration settings and your NLog.config configuration settings will both be overridden with the defaults from the new files.

Before you perform the update we recommend you take note of any custom configuration you have set and then reapply this customisation after the update.

 

Obtain the VETtrak Student Portal ZIP file from VETtrak Pty Ltd. This can be obtained on the Downloads page in the Support Centre on VETtrak's website.

Before unzipping the ZIP file, right-click it, go to Properties and check the General tab. If there is an Unblock button, saying that the file has come from the internet, click the Unblock button followed by OK:

Extract the contents of the ZIP file to a folder on the web server. It may be placed in the web root if desired, which by default is C:\inetpub\wwwroot, or you can place it in any other folder. You may name the folder anything you wish. For the purpose of the examples in this document, we will assume the contents of the folder are extracted into C:\inetpub\wwwroot\VETtrakStudentPortal - i.e. it looks like the following:

Configuration Details

Configure the API by editing the Web.config file. This is an XML file that can be opened in a text editor. Find the <connectionStrings> element. Within this is an <add> element containing details of how to connect to the database. The <add> element must contain the following three attributes:

  • The name attribute must be “VETtrakDatabase”.
  • The providerName attribute must be set to “FirebirdSql.Data.FirebirdClient” if using a Firebird database, or “System.Data.SqlClient” if using a SQL Server database.
  • The connectionString attribute is a standard connection string that defines the database server, database filename (for Firebird) or database name (for SQL server), and the database username and password.

The contents of the connectionString should be the same as VETtrak uses to connect to the database; these can be checked in the VETtrak.ini file, or by running VTConfig in your VETtrak folder. See below for more details of what this should look like for each database platform.

Firebird

If using a Firebird database, the <add> element and connectionString should be in the format:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="FirebirdSql.Data.FirebirdClient"
           connectionString="
                     User=<databaseUser>;
                     Password=<databasePassword>;
                     Database=<pathAndFilenameOfDatabaseFileOnServer>;
                     DataSource=<serverNameOrIP>;
                     Dialect=3;
          "/>

For example:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="FirebirdSql.Data.FirebirdClient"
           connectionString="
                         User=SYSDBA;
                         Password=masterkey;
                         Database=C:\VETtrak\Data\VETtrak.gdb;
                         DataSource=192.168.0.40;
                         Dialect=3;
             "
/>

The components of the connectionString are:

  • User – the Firebird username to connect to the database (not the username used to log into VETtrak). This is almost always “SYSDBA
  • Password – the Firebird password to connect to the database (not the password used to log into VETtrak). This is almost always “masterkey
  • Database – the full file path on the server to the database file (usually called VETtrak.gdb)
  • Datasource – the IP address or resolvable name of the server that is running Firebird and on which the database file is located
  • Dialect – leave this as “3

SQL Server with SQL Server Authentication

If using a SQL Server database, with SQL server authentication, the <add> element and connectionString should be in the format:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"
           connectionString="
                          Data Source=<serverNameOrIP>\<instanceName>;
                          Initial Catalog=<databaseName>;
                          User Id=<databaseUser>;
                          Password=<databasePassword>;
              "
/>

For example:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"
           connectionString="
                          Data Source=DBSERVER\SQLEXPRESS;
                          Initial Catalog=VETtrak;
                          User Id=sa;
                          Password=sa;

           "/>

The components of the connectionString are:

  • Data Source – the IP address or resolvable name of the server that is running SQL Server, followed by a backslash and then the name of the SQL Server instance that contains the VETtrak database
  • Initial Catalog – the name of the VETtrak database on that server and instance
  • User Id – the SQL Server username to connect to the database (not the username used to log into VETtrak)
  • Password – the SQL Server password to connect to the database (not the password used to log into VETtrak)

SQL Server with Windows authentication

If using a SQL Server database with Windows authentication, the <add> element and connectionString should be in the format:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"
           connectionString="
                          Data Source=<serverNameOrIP>\<instanceName>;
                          Initial Catalog=<databaseName>;
                          Integrated Security=true

           "/>

For example:

<add name="VETtrakDatabase"
           providerName="System.Data.SqlClient"
           connectionString="
                          Data Source=DBSERVER\SQLEXPRESS;
                          Initial Catalog=VETtrak;
                          Integrated Security=true

           "/>

The components of the connectionString are:

  • Data Source – the IP address or resolvable name of the server that is running SQL Server, followed by a backslash and then the name of the SQL Server instance that contains the VETtrak database
  • Initial Catalog – the name of the VETtrak database on that server and instance
  • Integrated Security – leave this as “true” to use Windows Authentication

For Windows Authentication to work, the account set for the application pool identity (in the application pool’s advanced settings) must have access to the VETtrak SQL Server database.

Additional Student Portal options

Within the web.config file, it is also possible to set some preferences about the look and performance of your Portal.

CompanyName

This is the company name that will be shown in the front end of the portal.

<add key="CompanyName" value="VETtrak Pty Ltd" />

TimeZone

The time zone in which you have entered your class and event dates. This can optionally be shown on the schedule page to help your users correct for differences across state lines.

A list of time zone abbreviations can be found here: http://www.timeanddate.com/time/zones/

<add key="TimeZone" value="AEDT" />

Use "ShowTimeZone" to determine whether the time zone is shown to the user.

ShowTimeZone

Whether the time zone should be displayed or not. This should only be true if you have entered all of your dates and times into VETtrak within the same time zone.

Use "TimeZone" to determine which time zone is shown to the user.

<add key="DisplayTimeZone" value="true" />

ThemeName

The name of your theme. This setting is used when you have been supplied with a custom CSS file for your branding colours. You will be supplied with a folder which contains your theme; this will need to be extracted to Content/themes, and the name of that folder added into the ThemeName setting. Please contact VETtrak if you would like more information on this setting.

<add key="ThemeName" value="default" />

NumberOfDashboardClasses

The Student Portal dashboard allows students to see a list of their upcoming classes. This setting will configure how many classes the user will be able to see in the dashboard.

Default: 5

<add key="NumberOfDashboardClasses" value="5" />

NumberOfDashboardMessages

The Student Portal dashboard allows students to see a list of the messages they have been sent. This setting will configure how many messages the user will be able to see in the dashboard.

Default: 5

<add key="NumberOfDashboardMessages" value="5" />

NumberOfDashboardResults

The Student Portal dashboard allows students to see a list of their recently completed units. This setting will configure how many units the user will be able to see in the dashboard.

Default: 5

<add key="NumberOfDashboardResults" value="5" />

GoogleMapsApiKey

The API key to be used when displaying embedded Google Maps. Ignored if `EnableGoogleMaps` is false.

<add key="GoogleMapsApiKey" value="" />

EnableGoogleMaps

When viewing a class that has been assigned to a location with a full address, the Student Portal can attempt to display a Google Map embedded in the page. To enabled or disable this feature, use this setting. Note that if you want to enable this feature, you will also need a Google Maps API Key.

Default: false

<add key="EnableGoogleMaps" value="false" />

MaximumUploadSize

The maximum upload size (in MB) that the file upload feature will accept.

Default: 50

<add key="MaximumUploadSize" value="50" />

 

PermissionCacheTtl

Permissions are cached in memory, this controls how long they are cached for (in minutes).

<add key="PermissionCacheTtl" value="10" />

Default: not present in web.config

CacheTtl

Various other items are cached in memory, this controls how long they are cached for (in minutes).

<add key="CacheTtl" value="15" />

Default: not present in web.config

See also Setting up Student Portal preferences in VETtrak

NEXT: Step 3 - Add Application Pool.

PREVIOUS: Step 1 - Install / Check IIS

 

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    Tags:
  • student portal
  • installation
  • update
  • VETtrak 2017
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