TaskCentre is normally deployed in a distributed fashion across an enterprise network. In this deployment, agents are needed to enable the TaskCentre server to communicate with other servers and to support event-driven tasks.
On occasion, a full-scale deployment may be impractical or undesirable. You may, for instance, have to use a single, standalone machine for field training or to demonstrate the product to a potential customer.
When a standalone set-up is unavoidable, it’s always best to make use of a virtual machine running a server operating system. This allows more features to be demonstrated than could otherwise be done.
To create a demonstration system, you need to carry out a number of tasks, which can be divided into two main stages:
Setting up the infrastructure Installing TaskCentre
- Setting up the infrastructure
- Installing the software
Setting up the infrastructure
Before installing TaskCentre, you prepare the supporting infrastructure by undertaking the following:
- Set up a virtual machine (you do this to enable you to use a server operating system)
- Install the application software that you wish to work alongside TaskCentre
- Set up the SMTP Virtual Server under Microsoft IIS
- Install an SMTP mail server (such as ArGoSoft Mail Server)
Once you have set up the supporting infrastructure, you can install the TaskCentre server, client and other features you will need on your demonstration system and then configure them using the Configurator.
An overview of the installation and configuration of TaskCentre can be found here.
A standalone system lacks the network infrastructure of a standard deployment; but you can put in place an infrastructure to provide as much of the functionality of a standard installation as possible.
You should prepare this supporting infrastructure before installing TaskCentre on the standalone machine. Considerations include deciding which operating system, virtualisation and third-party enterprise software to use, checking system resources and getting the necessary license for the standalone installation.
Your choice of operating system determines what features will be available for demonstrating.
A server operating system will allow demonstration of all the TaskCentre features.
A workstation operating system will impose restrictions on the TaskCentre features available. For example, you would be unable to deploy an SMTP virtual server or a web server that supports multiple web sites.
Virtualisation software should be installed on the demonstration machine. Both VMware and Microsoft virtualisation products are supported.
The resource requirements of a standalone installation are not as demanding as in a standard deployment. You should give due consideration to the influence of a system performance on a customer perception when delivering a demonstration.
On the demonstration platform, you will need to install the necessary third-party application software with which TaskCentre interacts.
Such applications may include Microsoft SQL server, Microsoft SMS Server, Microsoft Internet Information Services components, including SMTP virtual Server and Oracle Server products.
All partners receive their own set of TaskCentre license keys for in-house and demonstration use of the product. You will need to use one of these keys for the standalone installation.
Above: One of the tasks when creating a demonstration system is to set up mail routing.
TaskCentre both sends outbound email, used for example for alerts, and receives inbound email used for mail triggered events.
Inbound email is generated by a mail client; outbound email is generated from the TaskCentre server.
This example provides a scenario for a standalone environment. It doesn’t necessarily reflect normal practice in a corporate mail environment.
1. Outbound TaskCentre server mail
Outbound mail from the TaskCentre server is read by the mail client using the POP3 protocol and resides on the ArGoSoft Mail Server.
2. Outbound mail client- mail
Outbound mail from the mail client is used as a trigger opportunity for the TaskCentre server and is routed to the SMTP virtual server on Microsoft IIS.
3. Routing to ArGoSoft mail server
The mail coming from the mail client, which is used as a trigger opportunity, is then routed to ArGoSoft Mail Server via the domain routing ‘task centre.com’, set up in Microsoft IIS.
Now that you have some background to the requirements and limitations of a demo system, let’s look in more detail at the two main parts of the process -setting up the infrastructure and then installing TaskCentre on the demo machine.
Setting up the infrastructure
As you have learnt, before actually installing TaskCentre on the demonstration machine, you have to prepare some supporting infrastructure and software.
Let’s examine the following in detail;
- Deciding on virtualisation
- Installing additional third-party software
- Setting up the Microsoft SMTP Virtual Server
- Installing and configuring the ArGoSoft mail server
- Configuring the email client.
Set up a virtual machine
TaskCentre is designed to run on a server operating system. If you install the product on a machine not running a server operating system, some of its functionality will be unavailable.
For a demonstration machine, it is preferable to have the full TaskCentre feature set available for demonstrating.
One simple way of achieving this is to run the demonstration machine on a viral machine.
The required third-party applications
Having set up a virtual machine, you can install on it all of the third-party primary applications you’ll want to use with TaskCentre.
You may have to consult the relevant third-party documentation for guidance.
In order for the TaskCentre SMTP Agent to work, you need to have the SMTP Virtual Server, a component of Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) enabled. SMTP Virtual Server is a component of Microsoft Internet Information Services.
You enable SMTP Virtual Server by selecting Control Panel - Programs and Features - Turn Windows features on or off.
The server Manager dialog box opens. Here you select the Features folder in the navigation pane and then select the Add Features option.
Above: This opens the Add Features wizard. You select or clear the check boxes as required.
Configure the outbound port
Now when you open the Internet Information Services Manager, you’ll see the SMTP Virtual Server displayed in the navigation pane under the local computer name. Now you have to change the outbound connection port number for this SMTP Virtual server to 2525.
To do this you follow the following steps;
- Right -click the SMTP Virtual Server folder and select Properties (or select Action - Properties)
- In the SMTP Virtual Server properties dialog box, select the Delivery tab.
- Click the Outbound connections button
- Enter 2525 in the TCP port text box
Above: Outbound connections
Test the inbound port
Now you should check whether the inbound port is clear.
There is a simple test for this, as follows;
- Open the Command prompt
- Type Telnet Localhost 25
- Press Enter
Above: the response should indicate that the service is ready and that there are no blockages. Any blockages will have to be removed. The cause is often related to anti-virus or firewall software.
Create an SMTP domain
You have to create an email domain for the demonstration system. First you create an SMTP domain;
- In the Internet Information Services manager, expand the SMTP Virtual server nodeRight-click Domains and select New - Domains
- In the New SMTP Domain Wizard, select Remote and click Next
- Give the new domain the name taskcentre.com
- Click Finish to create the new domain
The new domain is now listed in the Manager.
Above: Next you configure its properties;
- Right-click the taskcentre.com domain and select Properties
- In the taskcentre.com Properties dialog, select the option Allow incoming mail to be relayed to this domain
- Select Forward all main to smart host and enter 127.0.0.1
- Click OK to accept your settings
Download mail server
With a standalone system, it isn’t possible to connect to a corporate mail server. If you are training or demonstrating TaskCentre from such a machine, you will want to have access to a mail server in order to demonstrate email features.
In these circumstances, we recommend an application called ArGoSoft Mail Server. This is a small, free mail server, which you can use to show users how the TaskCentre server works with an SMTP mail server.
You can download the ArGoSoft Mail Server installer from this web link: http://download.cnet.com/ArgoSoft-Mail-Server-Free/3000-2367_4-53039.html
Otherwise you can find a download page from your search engine. There are various versions of the product, but the freeware version is adequate for our purposes.
Install mail server
Above: To install ArGoSoft Mail Server, you run the executable, confirm the installation folder location and other options, then select the install button and let the installer run.
Turn on mail relay
After installing ArGoSoft Mail Server and starting the application, you’ll initially see a message that mail relay is currently switched off. Mail relay should be enabled so that TaskCentre hands its SMTP output to a receiving mail server in the last hop.
It’s important to understand, however that damage may result from enabling mail relay without to due protection to the server, most notably when the machine is connected to the internet. There is no risk if your virtualised machine is not connected to the internet.
To enable mail relay, follow these steps;
- Right-click the ArGoSoft Mail Server icon in the system notification tray and select Show
- Click the Options button (displaying a yellow cog-wheel icon) to open the Options dialog box.
- Select the General tab
- Tick the Allow Relay check box
Above: ArGoSoft mail options
Enter DNS Server IP address
Above: Now you have to set the DNS Server IP address. You set it to the IP address of the Local Host.
On the General tabbed page of the Options dialog box, you change the DNS Server IP address to 127.0.0.1
Add a local domain
Next you need to add the domain name that you intend to use on the demo machine.
We recommend setting this identifier to ‘taskcentre.com’. You do this on the Local Domains tabbed page of the Options dialog box.
Above: You type taskcentre.com in the text box and click the Add button
Above: Now you select the Ports tab of the Options dialog box and change the SMTP port to 2525. This will avert a clash with the SMTP Virtual server running under IIS.
Then you click OK to accept your settings and close the options dialog box.
Add an new user
You also need to add a demo user to the mail server.
Above: To do this you click the Users button to open the User Setup dialog box.
Here you click the Add New User button. In the Add New User dialog box you need to enter a name and password of your choice for this demo user. We have called the user ‘Demo’. its not necessary to enter a forward or return address.
You click OK to accept your settings and you now have an SMTP mail server running on the local machine, responding on SMTP port 2525 and pop3 port 100, and one user with the email address of .
Closing the ArGoSoft Mail Server window sends the application into the system tray, where it waits for email to arrive. It has the process name of mail server.exe and runs as an application not as a service.
Add new email account
You now need to configure the email client. It makes no difference whether this is Microsoft Outlook, Outlook express or another client.
Run the email client and add a new email account with the following details;
Profile name: TaskCentre Demo
Email Address: [or enter the address of the demo user you created]
Incoming mail POP3: 127.0.0.1
Outgoing mail SMTP: 127.0.0.1
Account name: demo
Above: A typical email client add account dialog box.
Having prepared and configured the supporting infrastructure and software for your standalone demonstration system, you can go ahead and install the TaskCentre product on the demonstration machine.
Install TaskCentre components
Above: To install the product, you run the TaskCentre installer. This opens an InstallShield Wizard which guides you through the installation process.
First you enter the product key and accept the license agreement. Then you select all the TaskCentre features that you wish to install. You also confirm or change the destination folders for the programme and temporary files.
Once all the selected features have been installed the wizard confirms the status and prompts you to let the Configurator application open when the installer closes.
For an overview of the installation and configuration processes click here.
Configure installed components
The Configurator application opens by default when the installer closes. You can also open it and carry out configuration at any later time.
Above: It displays the installed components and checks and reports on the prerequisite software and the suitability of the environment for them, leaving the user to make necessary adjustments.
For a detailed description of the configuration of the main components refer to;
Installing and configuring the server
Installing and configuring SQL the trigger agent
Installing and configuring the workflow components
Install tool packs
Once you have configured the installed features you may want to install and configure any additional tool packs that you may need for your demonstration system.
Click here for more information on Installing tool packs
TaskCentre is normally deployed across a network, the TaskCentre server using agents to communicate with other servers and perform event- driven tasks.
On occasion, when full-scale deployment may be impossible, the product may have to be installed on a single machine for such purposes as product demonstration or field training. It’s then best to use a virtual machine running a server operating system, to allow more features to be demonstrated.
Before installing TaskCentre, a supporting infrastructure should be put in place. This includes the virtual machine, third-party applications with which TaskCentre will work, the SMTP Virtual Server under IIS, an SMTP mail server such as ArGoSoft’s and the email client. The TaskCentre product can then be installed and configured on the standalone machine.
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Date: 11/03/2014 | Category: E-Learning
Last Updated: 09/10/2015
If you wish to provide feedback or require further assistance regarding this article then please contact the Orbis TaskCentre Helpdesk either by email or telephone.
Telephone: +44 (0) 1202 241115