How to evaluate Commerce Server 2007

 The real quick installation guide from

Have you looked at the ”quick” installation guide for Commerce Server 2007?

21 pages of step by step instructions?

Most customers I know just sort of wing it trying to get Commerce Server going and then run into problems because they missed a step.

I needed a Commerce Server 2007 with a Starter Site that I can get up quickly, that I know works, and that I can let the customer change as a Proof of Concept. One option is to give him a virtual machine with everything already installed, but I then I have two options:

1. If I make the machine using evaluation software, next time I want to use the virtual machine much of the time periods are just about to expire.

2. If I use my own versions of software, I cannot leave the virtual machine with the customer. Plus I would like to teach him how to install and change his own machine.

For some situations it is enough to use the virtual labs for Commerce Server, but see that they do not have the Starter Site installed. If I just want to check something on the CSharp site, they are the quickest way I know: (see previous blog)

So here is the real quick installation guide we use in class.

What makes it real quick is that we have already downloaded everything we need onto a USB disk! The 30 days evaluation only starts with Step 1 and with a MSDN Windows 2003, is easily extensible to 120 days. (1 year if you use MSDN Commerce Server and Visual Studio).

Step 0 Download

Download everything you need. This is the longest part of the procedure, but only has to be done once! In class we go directly to step 1.1.

0.0  Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (30MB)

? Why not VMWare? Because we want to use the evaluation Virtual machine from Microsoft with Windows 2003 and SQL 2005 Preinstalled.

? Why not Virtual Server 2005 FP1? Because most of our developers have workstations.

? I have Virtual PC 2007 already installed, but I have some students who bring their own laptops, and so loaded this down all the same.

0.1 Download Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition 2005 90 Day Trial (2734.3 MB)

We had a DVD already with 180 Day Trial, and just uploaded to disk to speed up the installation. If our students have a MSDN licence, then we use that version.

0.2 Download the Commerce Server 2007 Evaluation Edition 120 Day Trial (62.0 MB)

Save yourself time later and unpack this file now.

If our students have a MSDN licence, then we use that version.

0.3 Download Microsoft Windows 2003 SP2 (62.0 MB)

This came out after the release of Commerce Server, but rolls up many of the smaller patches mentioned in the long installation instructions.

0.4 Download Microsoft SQL 2005 SP1 (252.7 MB)

0.5 Download ASP.NET Fix (KB913393) (34MB)

Save yourself time later and extract KB913393.exe from the CAB file now.

0.6 Download ADO .NET Fix (5MB)

0.7 Download the Starter Site (1MB)

Save yourself time later and unpack this file now.

0.8 Download the IIS 6.0 Resource Kit (5,8MB)

0.9 Download the Evaluation Virtual machine from Microsoft with Windows 2003 and SQL 2005 Preinstalled. (3504.9 MB)

This is the big one! I left it running overnight. Extract the files by clicking on the EXE, but do not start the virtual machine. This step took me 13 minutes. Make a copy now of the extracted files, if something goes wrong during activation you will not have to load them down again.

? Would it not be quicker to create my own virtual machine? As long as you have Windows 2003 installed and the whole of SQL 2005 including Reporting and Analytics, this is fine. But we have done our testing on the Evaluation Virtual Machine we downloaded

? I do not want my version to expire in 30 days. You are given an opportunity later to give a MSDN Windows key, so that the Windows version will not expire.

0.10 Create a virtual disk in an existing Virtual PC using the Wizard. Copy all the downloaded and extracted files from 0.2 to 0.8. into this disk.

Step 1 Preinstallation

1.0 Install Virtual PC 2007, if needed.

1.1 Setup and Start the Virtual PC (3 minutes).

In Virtual PC, run the wizard for new virtual computer. Use an existing virtual computer and point to the vmc file you extracted under Step 0.9. Leave the box checked to enter the configuration. You will get an error message that it is expecting Virtual Server. Click the box not to show this message again and OK. Click Settings and adjust the memory to 700MB or more. Click on Disk2 and link the installation disk you created on Step 0.10. Then, start the Virtual Machine

1.2. Sign in as Administrator and password Evaluation1. Use disk manager to give a drive letter to the installation hard disk.

1.3. Apply Windows 2003 SP2. 20 minutes. Restarts.

1.4 Apply SQL Server 2005 SP1. 20 minutes

1.5 Install Visual Studio 2005. 13 minutes

To speed up the installation I deselected the following:

Visual Basic,

Visual C++

Visual J++


Tools for Redistibuting

Crystal Reports

SQL Express Edition

Optional (Install MSDN 15 min)

1.6 Add the following components: (2 minutes)

Indexing Service

Application Server: ASP.Net, DTC

Application Server, IIS: FTP, SMTP Service

When you are asked for the CD browse to the c:\WindowInstallationFiles

1.7 Add the following components:

Run the KB913393.exe from the installation drive you made in step 0.10. (1 minute)

Run ndp20kb916002-x86.exe from the same installation drive (2 minutes) Reboots.

1.8 Add the administrator to the IIS_WPG.

Change the identity of the DefaultAppPool to Administrator

Do this first so can benefit from reboot

2.0 Install Commerce Server 2007

Select all options. It will not reboot. 8 minutes. Uncheck the box for configuration wizard.

Install the Business User Applications ( 1 minute)

Configure Commerce Server with the default options.(but I checked the box for create Virtual Root for staging). Ignore the warnings about Admin privileges and ASP net. (1 minute)

Use the Commerce Server Site Packager and unpack the StarterSite. (4 minutes)

2.1 Create the ASP.NET login in SQL2005 and give him the db_reader role for MSCS_Admin

2.2 RunIS60rkt.exe from the Installation drive.

Select Programs>IIS Resources > SelfSSL > SelfSSL

From the command prompt type selfssl /t /V:400

2.3 Now import the Starter Site catalog. (1 minute)

From the Install drive, where you had the starter.pup file.


Sampledataimport c:\Inetpub\wwwroot\StarterSite

And you are done! The installation itself takes just over an hour, which is doable in class. What is not possible in class of 10 students is to expect students to follow 21 pages, and have each student with an installation that works.

Perhaps having everything running as adminstrator might be strange, but wasn’t that the way we always used to build evaluation software before? In class, I first demo the working software, and the starter site. When the students are confident that their virtual machine works, we then introduce your favorite utility Azman and start locking things down.

I don’t expect that even my 4 page SpeedSmith Installation is without bugs, but I think it is a foundation to build upon. Let me know what you find. I will add blog entries for bugs I find in class. Can we speed it up still further? Windows 2003 SP2 is not strictly necessary, we could do individual hotfixes and save the 20 minutes, but that sounds like a temporary solution. We also want to do some performance tests with updating the virtual machine utilities.

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