Aras Innovator is a powerful PLM platform designed for flexibility, scalability, and security. Although the task of managing product lifecycle for which it was designed is one of significant complexity, actually installing Aras Innovator is a relatively simple process compared with many other enterprise-level software products. Even so, installation can be made difficult if the pre-install environment is not correctly prepared, and the installation process itself does contain a few “gotchas” to be aware of. This article is intended to help make the work as painless as possible.
Note: We’ll be working with the latest service pack at the time for this discussion, Aras 11 SP14, but in general the same issues and concerns exist for any install of version 11. As well, we’ll be focusing on performing a basic, no-frills installation with all components on a single machine, and no domain accounts required.
The installation guide provided by Aras indicates three prerequisites to address prior to installing Innovator:
1. Web Server (Internet Information Services, or IIS)
2. Database Server (Microsoft SQL Server, full or express)
3. File Server
In addition to the prerequisites, the Aras Innovator Platform Specification document should also be reviewed to understand the hardware and software expectations of the underlying infrastructure. This may be less important in an evaluation environment. You can find the document here, Platform Specification.
Web Server (IIS)
Since Innovator is a web-based framework, the web server provides the services necessary to serve up content to the client browser. It’s important to note that IIS is not active in a default Windows environment; it must be enabled. Along with IIS, there are several features and role services that must also be installed. Below are the steps for enabling IIS and the required features in the Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 environments. Windows 10 is a great environment to use to do an evaluation but should not be considered for production use or a multi-user environment.
Windows Server 2016
Screenshots were taken from Windows Server 2016. Note that for Windows Server 2012, .NET 4.5 will be in place of .NET 4.6.
- Open Server Manager, and click Manage → Add Roles and Features
- In the Server Roles section, check the box for Web Server (IIS). If you get a secondary window that requests to add features required for Web Server, click Add Features:
3. In the Features section, make sure the following are checked:
a. .NET Framework 3.5 Features – This is not strictly needed for a default install of Aras Innovator, but there are still add-on components that may require it.
b. .Net Framework 4.6 Features
i. Include ASP.NET 4.6
4. In the Role Services section, make sure the following are checked:
a. Web Server
i. Common HTTP Features
1. Default Document
2. Directory Browsing
3. HTTP Errors
4. Static Content
ii. Health and Diagnostics
1. HTTP Logging
2. Request Monitor – Useful for troubleshooting a slow or unresponsive IIS worker process, as it allows you to capture information about the HTTP requests executing in a given process.
1. Static Content Compression
1. Request Filtering
2. Windows Authentication
v. Application Development
1. .NET Extensibility 3.5 (if you chose to install .NET Framework 3.5 above)
2. .NET Extensibility 4.5
3. ASP.NET 3.5 (if you chose to install .NET Framework 3.5 above) – If prompted, choose to add all features required to enable this service)
4. ASP.NET 4.5 – If prompted, choose to enable all features required to enable this service)
5. ISAPI Extensions
6. ISAPI Filters
b. Management Tools
i. IIS Management Console
ii. IIS Management Scripts and Tools
iii. Management Service (check this only if you want to be able to remotely manage IIS without having to log into the server itself
5. On the Confirmation section, click Install. Note that if the server does not have the required source files for all above features, it may need to obtain them from Windows Update, so access to the internet or a Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server may be required.
Windows 10 Professional
1. Start → Search for “Turn Windows Features On or Off”
2. Select all the options noted above for Windows Server, starting from step 3. Two things to note:
a. The Web Server (IIS) feature is listed as Internet Information Services.
b. Where .NET 4.6 is indicated, use .NET 4.7 instead.
Database Server (Microsoft SQL Server)
Aras Innovator uses a Microsoft SQL Server backend for its database. Below are the features and configuration options to include during SQL installation. This list applies to standard, development and express editions of SQL Server. Screenshots were taken from SQL Server 2016 standard. You can download SQL Server Express 2016 from this location, SQL Express 2016.
1. For Feature Selection: make sure the following is checked:
a. Database Engine Services – the core install required for SQL to work.
2. For Instance Configuration: choose Named Instance, and specify a name for the instance. It’s best to use a name that distinguishes this server instance in some way, such as “SQLServer2016”. Avoid specifying Aras or Innovator, as a database instance can hold many databases, and may end up being used for other applications. When you enter an instance name, the Instance ID will change to match.