App Portal: Requirements

Establish Governance to Check License Availability, Obtain Proper Approvals on Software Requests, and Reclaim Unused Licenses

Requirements

App Portal enterprise app store software requires certain systems configurations in order to function properly. These requirements are exact and if they are not present, it will have negative effects on the installation, operation, and experience of App Portal.

Environment Requirements

Prior to beginning App Portal enterprise app portal software installation, make sure that your environment meets or is able to meet the following requirements:

Requirement Description
Active Directory Microsoft Active Directory is required for App Portal. It is fully supported under Windows Server 2008 R2 or later domains operating at all functional levels.
DNS If you choose Reverse DNS as a computer discovery method during App Portal installation, a DNS service is required that supports and contains Reverse DNS Zones.
Active Directory User Discovery

Active Directory User Discovery must be enabled in System Center Configuration Manager and/or Altiris Client Management Suite for App Portal to function properly. Additional Active Directory user discovery extensions are also required.

Extend the attributes during the installation or manually using the Active Directory User Discovery method in the System Center Configuration Manager Console and/or Altiris Management Console. Include the following attributes in addition to the existing ones if performing manually:

mail
department
title
displayName
distinguishedName
manager
company
l (lower case L) (Only enter the letter l!)
postalCode
sn
givenName
physicalDeliveryOfficeName

Important • This is only required if you are using standard discovery from System Center Configuration Manager or Altiris. If you are providing a custom SQL script to perform user and computer discovery, these steps are not required.

Caution • The user discoverable attribute displayName is required to be extended in System Center Configuration Manager and/or Altiris Client Management Suite. This needs to be done before the running the App Portal upgrade, or else the user and computer sync process will fail.

Database Software Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 or later
SMTP Compatible Mail System App Portal requires an SMTP-compatible mail system. App Portal supports local and remote SMTP servers.
Internet Information Server (IIS) App Portal supports the versions of IIS that are installed with Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher. App Portal is installed into a virtual directory named ESD and accessible using http://alias/ ESD. A DNS A-RECORD must be created to access the site if you wish to use an alias.
Integrated Authentication App Portal uses a user's current Active Directory credentials to authenticate to IIS/ App Portal.
High Speed Connection The IIS server should be on the same physical network as the database server, and should be connected at a high speed (greater than or equal to 100 MBit).

 

Client Requirements

The following are the App Portal client requirements:

Requirement Description
Desktop Operating Systems
  • Windows 7 or greater
  • Mac OS X 10.7.x or greater

Note • For deploying software using App Portal, App Portal requires that the device needs to be managed by Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, Symantec Altiris, or Casper.

Mobile Operating Systems
  • Google Android
  • iOS
  • Windows Phone

Note • To deploy mobile apps using App Portal, the device needs to be registered and managed by AirWatch.

Browser

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or greater
App Portal requires that the client’s web browser be Internet Explorer 9.0 or greater; however Internet Explorer 10 or 11 are preferred for the best experience.

Firefox, Chrome
App Portal also supports Firefox and Chrome browsers; however these browsers do not support Active X and therefore will always discover the computer using the Reverse DNS discovery method.

Note • The fall back to ReverseDNS on these browsers is only done if ActiveX is the primary computer discovery method chosen. If the discovery method is set to SCCM, then App Portal will honor that for all browsers

Trusted Sites The App Portal website must be added to the trusted sites list for Internet Explorer.
For example:

http://APPPORTALSERVER

Important—This is very important.

Server Requirements

The following are the server requirements for the App Portal Web Service and the software App Portal installation platform: 

App Portal Web Service Installation

The following are the system requirements for the servers where the App Portal Web Service is installed:

Requirement Description
Authentication Windows Authentication
Microsoft .NET Framework A minimum of Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 is required on all primary sites
IIS App Portal supports the versions of IIS that are installed with Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher. The IIS Application Server and Web Server roles need to be installed.
ASP.NET ASP.NET needs to be installed.

For System Center 2007 Configuration Manager, the App Portal Web Service must be installed on every primary site server in order to service the System Center Configuration Manager clients at that site. For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch), the App Portal Web Service is only needed at the CAS or Central site.

Therefore, you are required to run the AppPortalWebServiceSetup.exe on each primary site, confirming the local server name and System Center Configuration Manager SQL Database of the primary site server. A default System Center Configuration Manager Collection called App Portal Collection for Site XXX will be created on each primary site. This collection will be populated as necessary to service the clients that report to that site.

For System Center 2007 Configuration Manager, an advertisement folder called App Portal Advertisements for Site XXX will be created to contain the advertisements created by App Portal.

For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch), folders will be created called App Portal Users For Site XXX and App Portal Computers for site XXX.

App Portal Installation Platform

The App Portal enterprise app store software installation platform must meet the following requirements:

Requirement Description
Authentication Windows Authentication
IIS App Portal supports the versions of IIS that are installed with Windows Server 2008 R2 or higher. The IIS Application Server and Web Server roles need to be installed.
Operating System Windows Server 2008 R2 or later
Microsoft .NET Framework

Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 is required for App Portal.

ASP.NET

ASP.NET needs to be installed.

Setting Permissions: App Portal Service Account

App Portal requires that you identify an account (App Portal service account) to use for the interaction with SQL and Active Directory. The App Portal service account will require administrative permissions on the client workstations if you wish App Portal to successfully run machine policy evaluation for accelerated software deployments and rerunning advertisements as necessary.

The service account must have Read permission on the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager or Altiris Client Management Suite database in SQL and Read/Write permission on the App Portal database that gets created during the installation process. The Installer Account will attempt to provision the Service Account with DB_DataReader permissions to the SCCM database and DBO permissions to the App Portal database.

Supported Deployment Technologies

App Portal supports the following deployment technologies for software distribution:

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)
  • Microsoft System Center 2007 Configuration Manager
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
  • Altiris Client Management Suite 7.1 or higher
  • AirWatch 8.4 (for mobile application deployment)
  • JAMF Casper Suite 9.6.4

The purpose of App Portal’s support for multiple deployment technologies is to enable you to:

  • Provide a seamless end user experience while you are upgrading from older versions of System Center Configuration Manager to System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch).
  • Present a single App Portal instance to your users even if your organization uses both System Center Configuration Manager and Altiris deployment technologies across your enterprise.
  • Provide your users with a universal app store containing both desktop and mobile applications.

You enter the deployment technology connection settings by opening the Deployment tab on the Site Management > Settings view, and then entering the settings on the ConfigMgr, SCCM 2012, SCCM 2007, Altiris, AirWatch, or Casper subtabs.

App Portal can only be connected to multiple servers of the same type if they are set up in a hierarchical relationship, with only the “main” site’s connection information entered on the Site Management >Settings > Deployment tab. The following table describes the acceptable hierarchical relationships for the three deployment technologies:

Technology Description
System Center 2007 Configuration Manager Central Site > Child Primary Sites
App Portal supports multiple SCCM 2007 Child Primary Sites; however, they need to be in the same hierarchy of the Central Site that is configured in SCCM.
System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager
Single Primary Site OR Central Administration Site > Child Primary Sites
For System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch) or System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, App Portal / App Broker only communicates with one site: either a Single Primary Site or a Central Administration Site (which in turn replicates data to all Child Primary Sites).
Altiris Client Management Suite 7.1 or higher Single Primary Site OR Central Site > Child Primary Sites
For Altiris. App Portal only communicates with one site: either a Single Primary Site or a Central Site (which in turn replicates data to all Child Primary Sites).

Important • App Portal does not support connecting to multiple, disconnected deployment servers that are using the same deployment technology and version.

Note • When using System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 is required to be installed on the IIS server in order to run the App Portal service and web site. This is not required when using Altiris Client Management Suite.

Supported ITSM Systems

Both App Portal and App Broker include out-of-the-box support for integrating with ITSM systems.

App Portal

App Portal 2016 provides support for the following ITSM systems:

  • ServiceNow
  • BMC Remedy IT Service Management Suite

When App Portal’s ServiceNow or BMC integration is set up, whenever specified actions occur in App Portal (such as when a request is submitted), tickets in the attached ITSM system can be automatically opened or closed, or the status of a ticket can be reported on.

Note • If you would like to integrate with an ITSM system other than ServiceNow or BMC Remedy, you can use App Portal’s reusable framework to connect to and configure integration to that system.

App Broker

With App Broker for ServiceNow 2016, you can publish App Portal catalog items in the ServiceNow catalog. This enables ServiceNow users to request software directly in the ServiceNow self-service portal, with App Portal performing the license check and automated deployment.

Important • To use App Broker for ServiceNow, you must have a ServiceNow MID Server that has access to the App Portal / App Broker REST APIs.

Important • In order for the out-of-the-box App Broker workflow to function, you must have also purchased FlexNet Manager Suite and connected it to App Portal.

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