Installing Self-Service Portals Manually

NetHelpDesk comes with two general web interfaces; one for “End-users” (the people you support) and one for “Agents” (the people who support the End-users.)

They are both available from the one website setup in IIS, and can be automatically setup for you, using the NetHelpDesk installer when installing the main Windows program.

However, you can choose to install the web interfaces on any other server, such as one in a data centre, or a website specific server. The Web Interfaces do not necessarily need to be installed on the same server as NetHelpDesk. Whatever your decision, NetHelpDesk supports your choices.

To setup the web portal, you must be using IIS Manager 7 or newer from Microsoft, and automatically comes with Windows environments as standard. You can set up as many Web Portals as you like, and customise each one per Customer if required.

Before you start

Before beginning the installation, a few steps need to be checked:

IIS Manager

To check if you have IIS installed, or to add it in, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Features On or Off

CGI Module

To check if you have the CGI module as part of the IIS install, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Features On or Off > Internet Information Services > World Wide Web Services > Application Development Features.

If you cannot see the web server role service initially, scroll down, and also make sure the ASP role service has been added to change size limit permissions.

Web Portal 1

.net Framework 3.5

Most new Windows environments will already coming with .net Framework 4.0, but unfortunately, this is doesn’t include previous .net Framework versions. You will still need to install 3.5 as well. It may already be installed.

Server 2008

Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off > Server Manager.

Click Features > Add Features > .net Framework 3.5.1 features. No restart is required.

All Other Windows Environments

Go to: and download the installer file.

This installer is from the Microsoft Website. Check the MS website for updates, if required. No restart is required.

Web Portal 2

Once IIS with CGI Module and .net Framework 3.5 are installed, the web interfaces can now be setup.

Installation of Web Interfaces

With the Web Interfaces, you have several options:

OPTION W1: Use the installer to very quickly setup the web interfaces using IIS v7.0 or newer, if you said “NO” to setup during the initial install,


OPTION W2: Click “No”, and install the web interfaces manually on the same server, or a different machine, such as a dedicated web server.

Whichever option you decide, ensure that the elements in the “Before You Start” section above have been completed before proceeding.


Congratulations! You have installed component 2 of NetHelpDesk! Wasn’t that easy?

If you prefer to set up the web interfaces in IIS manually, either to understand the architecture, or install in a different environment to the main NetHelpDesk installation (e.g. a dedicated web server), these details take you through manual setup for IIS v7.0 or above.

These are the basics for the smartphone apps setup as well but further manual steps will need to be carried out for that installation.


ISAPI and CGI Restrictions

In the IIS Manager, click on the top tree node that has the name as your server, then click on the icon for ISAPI and CGI Restrictions in the right window. If you cannot see this icon, please go back to the pre-configuration steps above relevant to your IIS version.

Web Portal 3
Web Portal 4
Web Portal 5

Handler Mappings

Windows Authentication – Auto-login for Internal Users Only

What this will do, is allow the end-user to be automatically logged into their account using their account they use to authenticate against your domain.

If their Windows Username is specified in their end-user account in the NHD treeview, and they have authenticated on the machine they are logging in on with the same name, this will allow them to login without any further credentials.

User Access Levels

To run a website in IIS, nominate a user who will have full access to the web site files and grant them the correct access. The standard IUSR account is perfect for this. In IIS:

Virtual Directories

Web Portal 6

Attachments Size Limit

IIS automatically sets the size limit of file attachments. To edit, go to the website level, double click on ASP, and under limit properties.

Maximum Requesting Entity Body Limit – Set usually to 200,000. Change to at least 2,000,000.

Web Portal 7


Have you changed NetHelpDesk’s Default Folder Settings?


Connecting Web Interfaces to the NHD Database

For the web interfaces to be meaningful and useful, they need to be connected to your NetHelpDesk database.

Standard Installation

If using the installer on the same server, this is done for you. The wb2 application that drives the web interface looks for the NetHelpDesk.udl file in the folder above its install location. So, in the standard installation using the installer, wb2 is found in the …\NetHelpDesk\Web folder, and so looks to the root of the …\NetHelpDesk folder for NetHelpDesk.udl.

Web Interfaces Installed on Different Server

If the web interfaces are installed on IIS on a different server to the main NetHelpDesk install location, you will need to tell the web interfaces how to connect to the database. In this case, you will need to take a copy of the NetHelpDesk.udl file and place in the …\NetHelpDesk\Log folder (specified in the cnetweb.ini file) and rename the file to be: NHDatabase.udl.

Windows Authentication

If your end-users and Agents are inside your domain, and you are using LDAP / Active Directory integration, you may want them to be automatically logged in. To do this:

Web Portal 8

Just make sure you are on the latest stable version to benefit from all the new functions NetHelpDesk has to offer. Our team are here to answer any questions you have. Just contact us to see how we can help you.

Our software is available on multiple platforms...

NetHelpDesk is available on a range of devices with industry-leading functionality available throughout.

  • Windows Phone

    Windows Phone

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  • Windows



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