VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

Software Only Installation – Content Manager

VBrick has provided the following guidelines to help successfully implement your digital signage system.

Please read and understand the following information before installing the Content Manager software.

Prerequisites

Hardware Environment

See the

System Overview

for hardware requirements.

Virtual Machine

VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager Software can be installed on a virtual machine (VM). The minimum hardware requirements need to be dedicated to the server instance where VBrick Digital Signage will be installed.  In additon, the VM should not host any other web application or database.

See the

System Overview

for hardware requirements.

Hardware ID for Licensing

Email the Volume ID of the C: Drive of the Content Manager to [email protected]

and VBrick will send your licenses via email.

To find the Volume ID:

1. Open a Command Prompt on the Content Manager

2. Type “dir” at the command prompt and press Enter on your keyboard

3. Record the Volume Serial Number

Software Environment

Microsoft Windows Operating System

Windows Server 2008 (64-bit) or Windows Server 2012

The VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager software is designed to be installed and operated on a dedicated server. Sharing system resources with other applications can cause system performance issues and is not supported. When installing the Content Manager software on a clean operating system, the installation should be run against a local administrator account to ensure the properties and services will be installed correctly. Once the installation of VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager software is

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Software Only Installation – Content Manager completed, users can add the Content Manager to a domain. Security policies should be applied one at a time and tested for any conflicts. The use of standard images for larger clients has proven to be problematic and should be avoided whenever possible. 

Windows Updates

Apply all the latest important Windows Updates before installing the Content Manager software. Windows optional updates are not recommended.

Service Account

The following local Windows account is required on the Content Manager as a service account to allow

VBrick Digital Signage services to run with privilege: l

Name: vbuser l

Password: VBrickVBrick1!

l

Member of the local Administrators group only

Once the Content Manager software has been successfully initialized, a new service account may be created and applied to the services. The service account must be a member of the local Administrators group and must be granted the “Log on as a service” permission.

In Windows, navigate to the Users section under Local Users and Groups found in

Server Manager | Con-

figuration or Computer Management, depending on your OS.  Perform the New User action and create the new user, as follows:

1. User name: vbuser

2. Full name (optional): VBrick User

3. Description (optional): Account for all VBrick Services requiring Privileges

4. Set “Password” and “Confirm password” to: VBrickVBrick1!

5. Deselect “User must change password at next logon”

6. Optionally (but best practice if this will be the permanent service account), select “Password never expires”

NOTE:The end customer must administer this password.

7. After creating the new vbuser user, open the Properties dialog for it and select the “Member Of” tab

8. Add the newly created user to the local Administrators group and remove it from the (lower-privileged) local Users group

9. Save the changes and restart the Content Manager

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VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

Microsoft .NET Framework

Microsoft .NET Framework versions 3.5.1 and 4.0 are required. For convenience, the Microsoft .NET

Framework 4.0 installer is bundled with the installer and will run if .NET 4 is not already present on the server.

Ensure all important Windows Updates related to .NET Framework are applied before attempting to install the Content Manager software.

Configuring Roles & Features in Windows Server 2012

While configuring the roles and features, individually complete .NET 3.5.1 Framework before selecting the

IIS Role. If they are installed together, “Application Development,” a feature in IIS which is required for the

VBrick Digital Signage Web Interface to properly work, won’t be readily available until you revisit the roles and features window. It is best practice to only install .NET 3.5.1 Framework first, once installed, reopen the roles and features window and add the IIS role and configure IIS based on section 6.1.4.3.1 Configure

IIS v7.

Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS)

Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) is required to host the VBrick Digital Signage Web interface.  

It should be installed after .NET Framework 4.0, and must be installed with all updates applied prior to installing the Content Manager software.  IIS is included with the Web Server role in Windows Server

2008, and is an optional Feature of Windows 7.

Configure IIS v7

1. On Windows Server 2008, launch Server Manager and make sure the Role of Web Server (IIS) is added, or

2. On Windows 7, go to ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ from the Control Panel and expand Internet

Information Services, then

3. Verify that the following Role Services (Server 2008), or sub-features (Windows 7), are added: a. Common HTTP Features l

Static Content l

Default Content l

Directory Browsing l

HTTP Errors

32

Software Only Installation – Content Manager b. Application Development l

ASP.NET

l

.NET Extensibility l

ASP l

CGI l

ISAPI Extensions l

ISAPI Filters l

Server Side Includes c. Health and Diagnostics l

HTTP Logging l

Logging Tools l

Request Monitor l

Tracing l

Custom Logging l

ODBC Logging d. Security l

Windows Authentication l

Request Filtering e. Performance l

Static Content Compression f. Management Tools l

IIS Management Console l

IIS Management Scripts and Tools l

Management Service o

IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility o

IIS 6 WMI o

Compatibility

IIS 6 Scripting Tools o

IIS 6 Management Console

Application Pool

The Application Pool or Web site hosting the VBrick Digital Signage Web interface (typically Default Web

Site) must be manually configured to run under .NET 4.

1. Navigate to Roles | Web Server (IIS) | Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager |

<server name> | Application Pools

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VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

2. Select the Application Pool associated with the Default Web site (typically DefaultAppPool) and click Basic Settings

3. Configure the .NET Framework version to v4.0 and the Managed pipeline mode to Integrated

4. Select Set Application Pool Defaults

5. Locate Enable 32-Bit Applications and set to True (only for 64-Bit machines)

MIME Type

The MIME type “*, application/octet-stream” must be added to the Web site in IIS hosting the VBrick

Digital Signage Web interface (typically Default Web Site).

1. Navigate to Roles | Web Server (IIS) | Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager |

<server name> | Sites | Default Web Site

2. Select MIME types and click Open Feature

3. If the required MIME type is not configured, click Add

4. Configure the File name extension to “.*” and the MIME type to “application/octet-stream” (both without the quotes)

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (or optionally, 2005) Express or greater is required.  SQL Server 2012 can be used if installing on Windows Server 2012. The following SQL Server configurations are required for

VBrick Digital Signage: l

SQL Server must be installed with the default instance of “MSSQLSERVER”.

l

The local Windows user account, vbuser, (member of the local Administrators group) must be able to authenticate and connect to SQL Server Database Engine via Windows Authentication.  Best practice is to install SQL Server while logged in as this account.

l

SQL Server Database Engine must be set to ‘SQL Server and Windows Authentication mode’

(Mixed Mode Authentication)

For convenience, the SQL Server 2008 Express installer is bundled with the VBrick Digital Signage Content Services installer. If the SQL Server default instance name “MSSQLSERVER” is not detected on the

Content Manager when the VBrick Digital Signage Content Services installer runs, it will attempt to install

SQL Server 2008 Express and properly configure it for VBrick Digital Signage.

Apply all important Windows Updates related to SQL Server prior to installing the VBrick Digital Signage software.

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Software Only Installation – Content Manager

Network and Security Environment

Network Identification and Resolution

The VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager requires a static network identification (DNS, WINS,

NetBIOS, static IP, etc.).  It must be able to resolve the network identification of VBrick Digital Signage devices (Channel Players, Room Signs, etc.), machines running VBrick Digital Signage software (Desktop

Messenger clients, Screen Saver clients, etc.) and network resources as configured in the product.

Firewalls

Network and PC firewalls must be configured to allow communication between the VBrick components,

VBrick Digital Signage software and VBrick publishers (Desktop Messenger, Screen Saver, and RSS). 

Depending on which VBrick Digital Signage features are used, the Content Manager must communicate over specific TCP and UDP ports, as follows: l

TCP port 21 Outbound (FTP) l

TCP port 25 Outbound (SMTP) l

TCP port 80 Inbound (HTTP) l

TCP port 110 Outbound (POP3) l

UDP port 123 Outbound (NTP) l

TCP port 6102 Inbound (CAP listener) l

TCP port 6104 Inbound (Screensaver client listener) l

TCP port 6500 Outbound (VBrick Multimedia Protocol Commands to channel players) l

TCP port 6501 Outbound (File transfer to channel players) l

TCP port 6502 Inbound (File transfer from channel players) l

UPD port 28500 Outbound (Desktop Messenger publisher broadcast) l

TCP port 28501 Inbound (Desktop Messenger client listener) l

TCP port 28502 Inbound (RSS Publisher distributor listener) l

TCP port 28503 Inbound (Enterprise Publisher distributor listener)

Proxy Servers

A proxy server can be used with the VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager Software.  If authentication is required, the VBrick Digital Signage service account must be given permission to access the Internet.

Domain and Group Policies

VBrick Digital Signage devices are not required to be on a domain.

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VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

If considering joining VBrick Digital Signage devices to a domain, it is important to note how group policies can impact the operation of the VBrick Digital Signage software. Often, group policies will render VBrick

Digital Signage inoperable or cause the system to have degraded performance. VBrick Digital Signage devices should not be considered desktop computers when applying security policies. It is the customer’s responsibility to understand this information and not to apply policies that will prevent the VBrick Digital

Signage software from operating in the local environment.

VBrick strongly suggests joining VBrick Digital Signage devices to a domain and adding group policies after the VBrick Digital Signage system has been successfully deployed and is operating as expected.

Then apply the policies one at a time, testing the impact of the applied policy on the VBrick Digital Signage functionality. Please consider creating an image of the machine as a backup before applying policies.

VBrick Digital Signage Content Services Software Installation

Procedure

VBrick Digital Signage Installers

Release 4.x.x is primarily delivered to customers with the following Microsoft InstallShield installers: l

VBrick Digital Signage Content Services l

VBrick Digital Signage Channel Player

Installers for other VBrick Digital Signage software components, e.g., VBrick Desktop and VBrick Desktop

Messenger, are bundled into the VBrick Digital Signage Content Services installer and most may be downloaded for convenience via the VBrick Digital Signage Web interface after the Content Services software has been successfully installed.  Other installers may be obtained from VBrick as needed.

The installers are available for download from VBrick.  Alternately, they may be delivered on DVD for an additional fee.

Best practices

To avoid problematic installations, VBrick strongly recommends the following operating system configurations:

1. Log into the Content Manager using the vbuser account to perform the installation.

2. Install VBrick Digital Signage Content Services software on a machine that is not part of a Network

Domain or had Group Policies applied.

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Software Only Installation – Content Manager

NOTE: See the section on Domain and Group Policies above.

3. Disable screensaver and power saving settings, since they can prevent the automatic VBrick Digital

Signage weekly reboot from occurring.

Prerequisites

Ensure all prerequisites documented above are met before continuing.

Installation of VBrick Digital Signage Content Services Software

1. Save the installation files on the Content Manager to allow them to be run locally.

2. Run Setup.exe with elevation (As administrator).

3. The VBrick Digital Signage installer will check for certain required prerequisites and will not continue until the prerequisites have been satisfied. VBrick bundles required versions of Microsoft

.NET Framework 4.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express with the VBrick Digital Signage 4.x

installer. If the required version of .NET Framework and/or the SQL Server 2005/2008 default instance name “MSSQLSERVER” are not found, the VBrick Digital Signage installer will prompt the user to install the missing components.

4. If missing perquisites were installed, stop the VBrick Digital Signage installation, verify that all important Windows Updates are installed, and then re-run Setup.exe with elevation.

5. Click the Next button to begin the VBrick Digital Signage installation. Select the radio button for “I accept the terms in the license agreement” and click the Next button.

6. Complete the Customer Information screen and click the Next button. On the Notice for Feature

Selection screen select the Net button.

7. On the Setup Features screen, accept the default selection unless otherwise instructed by a VBrick support representative. If you wish to select an alternative installation location click the

Change

button and specify the location, otherwise select the Next button. On the Ready to Install the Program screen select the Install button.

8. The Installing VBrick Digital Signage Content Services screen will provide the status of the installation.

9. As components of the ASP.NET are registered, a series of DOS screens will appear.

10. Once the installation is complete the user will be returned to the VBrick Digital Signage Content

Services – InstallShield Wizard; click the

Finish button.

11. Verify that all important Windows Updates have been installed. If not, then proceed to run all important updates and restart the server

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VBrick Digital Signage Technical Manual

NOTE: you may have to check for updates again after reboot.

Licensing and Initializing the Content Manager

1. Log on to the Content Manager with the username vbuser and password VBrickVBrick1!

2. VBrick will supply the licensing keys to the customer prior to the implementation of the Content

Manager.

3. The customer will be required to place the license key files in the License folder under the VBrick

Digital Signage Content Services installation folder. For example: C:\Program Files\Vbrick\Digital

Signage\Content Services\License

4. Run Start Icon | Programs | VBrick | Initialize Device with elevation (as administrator) to begin the process building the local VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager. This process will create the database and license the VBrick Digital Signage system. There is no user interaction during this process. The system will require reboot when complete.

If you encounter any problems during this process, e-mail [email protected]

.

Confirm VBrick Digital Signage Content Manager Operation

1. Open Internet Explorer and enter the address http://localhost

2. Enter the VBrick Digital Signage default username Administrator with the password vbrick

3. On the VBrick Digital Signage Dynamic Visual Communication screen navigate to Now Playing |

Play Lists to verify the thumbnails are visible. If the thumbnails are not visible, recheck the MIME

Types configuration in IIS as described earlier in this document

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