I’ve been fielding a number of emails from folks that are having Web Edition deployment issues. I think this is mostly because of the Real Studio training videos that show how to install a WE app on my BlueHost shared hosting account and on my MyHosting VPS account.
On the BlueHost account I could only get it to work if the Web Apps were placed in the cgi-bin directory. Otherwise, I had no special settings for PHP and the Apache Handlers were already setup to handle cgi applications.
The VPS account took a little more work as I had to installed the 32-bit compatible libraries via the SSH shell. This was kind of scary since I’m in no way a Unix guy, but I had no problems and it seemed to work. On this account, I found I could NOT install the apps in the cgi-bin directory, but I could put them in the directory of my choice. The only modification that I needed was the .htaccess file generated by Real Studio for every project. I had to add the following line to it:
AddHandler cgi-script .cgi
If I don’t add this line, the browser will simply display the text in the cgi file. I’m sure I could modify this file on my account, but so far have not found the location of it and frankly, this solution isn’t very hard or time consuming and it’s very easy to spot.
A couple of things that seems to affect your outcome:
1. Make sure permissions are set. The app folder and all of it’s contents MUST be 755. My FTP client, Transmit, lets me do this via its Get Info command. It even has a preference setting to allow me to set this automatically. The times when my app fails to launch I’ve forgotten to do this.
2. Uploading the entire directory. Many of us are on Mac OS X so we don’t even realize that there’s a hidden file in the build directory, named ‘.htaccess’. This file contains instructions for the server on how to handle the cgi file. If you forget it, it will fail.
3. Binary transfers. People that have been using FileZilla have had this problem. For some reason, it’s transferring the files as text and that messes things up. Have it transfer the files as binary. I’ve had no issue with Transmit.
What would be really useful is if the IDE allowed me to FTP the files automatically into the proper location on my server and set the permissions for it automatically. It would also be nice to have a hook into a running application that could force it to quit and install the new version, or, somehow have it wait until the app has quit and replace the files it needs to.
All-in-all, I’ve found 2011 R1 Web Edition apps to be fairly safe and reliable. The speed is a little slow, but I suspect it will get better over time. To be truly useful it needs some tweaks here and there and some major features added, but in reality this is version one. 2010 R4 was really a beta version and R5 (released in 2011) was another beta and RS realized that trying to do FastCGI just wasn’t going to work.
Any other questions? Tips? Rants?
Here’s a listing of the current Web Edition samples on the website. Most don’t do much accept demonstrate the events and a few of the methods available for each control.
WebSession (formerly Fun Facts)
Currently we have Google’s reCAPTCHA working and will post a video and sample project on that in the next couple of weeks. And more to come!