Installing and Basic Configuration of Microsoft’s HTML 5 Portal for Service Manager 2012

Microsoft today released their own HTML 5 self-service portal for Service Manager 2012. This is big news as the old portal was to be honest, just awful. It was awful to install, and awful to use and it required its own server. This lead to companies like Cireson and Sylliance creating their own HTML 5 web portals. I have personally used the Sylliance portal in a production environment and it was pretty great. But both of those options aren’t free and they aren’t cheap either. This new portal from Microsoft is completely free.

Note: I am installing the portal on a brand new install of Service Manager 2012 R2.

Installation

Prerequisites that may not be installed already:
IIS Services
– Basic Authentication
– Windows Authentication
– Microsoft IIS-feature ASP 

These are easy enough to install through PowerShell or Server Manager.

You can download the portal here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=49556

After downloading, extract the setup folder on your Service Manager Management server. Start the setup, but make sure you right click run as administrator. It won’t be able to communicate to IIS services if you don’t.

Run through defaults, changing anything you want for your environment.

Install the above requirements if you haven’t already. You should get the below:
 

Name your portal and tell it what port to use. For my purposes this is a lab so I don’t need SSL.
 

Give it a service account to use to run the service.
 

 Click next and in no time at all, you should have successfully installed.

So how is it? Its fast, very fast. Going from the old portal to this one is like getting out of a run down golf cart and getting into an Audi R8.

Customizations
The new portal being HTML 5 and CSS, means its highly customizable.

Here are the basic ones just about everyone wants to change.

The company logo is under inetpubwwwrootSelfServicePortalContentImages

The main configuration file is under inetpubwwwrootSelfServicePortalMain.config

This file allows you to change the portal name at the top, the contact phone number, the email address, default language etc.There is a whole block of customizable stuff.

Lets change a few of them.
 

Reload the portal and viola. All changes are there.

 It shows announcements from Service Manager just fine as well, by clicking the message icon in the top right.

Here is the generic incident request form. This can be modified in Service Manager, or can be changed to be a Service Request by default.

Installation and configuration took maybe 30 minutes in total. I’m very excited about the new portal and hope to show more things off as I find them. The Sylliance portal installation was easier, it was one PowerShell script as I recall. I have heard that the new Sylliance portal has dynamic forms but I have not used that version yet. I don’t think the new portal from Microsoft offers that, but lets hope they add that feature later. After all the portal itself was a result of Microsoft listening to the community through the user voice forums.

Hi, I’m Billy York.  I work in Cloud and Datacenter, specializing in monitoring and automation. Here you’ll find posts about System Center Operations Manager, Powershell, Hyper-V, Azure Automation, Azure Log Analytics and other Microsoft related technologies.

10 thoughts on “Installing and Basic Configuration of Microsoft’s HTML 5 Portal for Service Manager 2012

  1. I've already found a minor glitch after installing the portal in my test system. Viewing the "my requests" section from my 15" laptop results in not being able to scroll down to the Cancel button if there have been more than 2-3 action log entries. I end up having to adjust the zoom to be able to get to the cancel button and update button.

  2. 1366×768 is the resolution of my laptop. After coming into work this morning, I'm testing on my 23" monitor. Looking at the Service Catalog, I get the scroll bar for the services, but the last service offering only shows the top 1/4. I'm able to select it to bring up the request offerings, but just barely.

    I also noticed that I'm not able to unfavorite a request offering. I deselect the heart when I'm in the request offering, but it still shows up under my favorited items. Overall the site seems good, but I have a feeling more of these bugs are going to come up. Or perhaps, it's just my test system.

  3. I have successfully installed and configured the basics, name, phone number, email and language. I have no generic incident request form. Under Service Catalog is says No Offerings Found. How do I customize this and everything else in this portal? This is installed on my primary and only server, 2012 R2 SP1 CU2. Thank you.

  4. I found this in another blog. Is it true and if so where to import to?

    "For My Activities & Requests to work, new MP (portal.mpb) which is shipped with package needs to be imported first as it contains type projection used to load list for these pages"

  5. Hi Cathy,
    the portal.mpb should have been imported during the install. You can confirm it in the Service Manager console under Administration -> management packs. If it isn't you can import it from this menu, but if it isn't I would uninstall the portal and re-install.

    I do not believe that is the problem though, make sure that your generic incident request is published or wasn't accidently deleted, its under Library -> Service Catalog -> Request Offerings -> Published Request Offerings

  6. Thanks Billy, I understand now what is happening. This is a new project for us and we have only installed the System Center Configuration Manager so far. I got excited, tried to install the new Self Service Portal, before installing the Service Manager! Feeling silly. Yes I see your note above: "I am installing the portal on a brand new install of Service Manager 2012 R2" Do you suggest I install Service Manager on the same server as Configuration Manager? We are a small network of 1300 computers, with one primary SCCM site server, one SQL server and one fallback server so far. Thank you.

  7. Service Manager seems quite server needy. One management, one data warehouse and a SQL server instance. Because we are small, can we just use our existing SQL server, and install Service Manager and the Data warehouse on our existing server where Configuration Manager is already installed? Thank you.

  8. Yes. You can host the Service Manager database with the Configuration Manager database, but I would recommend not doing that, unless you up the specs of the DB server and put each database on different LUNs. The Data warehouse cannot be housed on the same server as the Service Manager DB, so you will definitely need a separate server for that.

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