Friday, July 5, 2013

Gallery Server Pro 3.0.1 Now Available in Web Application Gallery and Azure Gallery

On July 3 Microsoft updated its version of Gallery Server Pro in the Web Application Gallery and Azure Gallery to the latest 3.0.1 version. These versions make it easy to get up and running with a gallery without having to think about IIS settings, databases or other technical details.

Web Application Gallery

There are three ways to install a gallery from the Web Application Gallery:

IIS Manager

When you have access to IIS Manager, I recommend this approach. Open IIS Manager, navigate to your website, then select Install Application From Gallery in the right pane:


If you don’t see the link, install the Web Platform Installer.

Select the Applications tab, click Galleries from the left pane, then select Gallery Server Pro. Click Add, then Install.


Follow the prompts to finish the installation. Pretty easy.

Web host control panel

Many hosting companies are integrated with the Web Application Gallery, which offers an easy way to install Gallery Server Pro that avoids having to FTP the files to your site and configure permissions. For example, the Arvixe Control Panel has a Hosting Spaces section with a link to the WAG:


Click it and follow the wizard to install a new gallery instance to your website.

Note: I have seen cases where the hosting control panel defaults the application pool to Classic Mode. Gallery Server Pro requires Integrated Mode, so if you have any trouble, check this setting. Go into the Web Sites section, select your website, then check the Extensions tab:


Web Application Gallery website

The Web Application Gallery website lets you install Gallery Server Pro using the Web Platform Installer, which you will be prompted to install if necessary.


When you install through the Web Application Gallery website, Microsoft also installs WebMatrix and configures the gallery to run in local-only mode. The idea is that you can configure the gallery and then use the deploy feature in WebMatrix to push it to its final destination, which can be Azure, an FTP site, your web hosting company, or any other IIS destination.

This option has caused confusion with users who wonder why the gallery they just installed isn’t publicly available. Just remember that you have to publish it somewhere, even if it’s just pushing it to IIS on the same server.

Azure Gallery

Getting a gallery up and running in Azure takes just a few clicks. From the Azure Portal, click New in the lower left corner:


Then select WEB SITE and FROM GALLERY:


Select the Galleries category on the left, then Gallery Server Pro:


Click the next arrow, then enter your desired URL. Change the region if desired and finally select the checkbox to create the gallery:


After a few moments, your gallery is created:


Click the URL to view the gallery and set up the admin account:


Once the admin account is created, your gallery is ready to use.

Switch to SQL Server

The Web Application Gallery of GSP uses SQL CE as the database, but you can easily switch to SQL Server if you wish. Any time after installation, open web.config in a text editor (found in the root directory of the gallery). Update the connection strings section so that a connection named GalleryDb points to SQL Server. The easiest way to do this is to comment out the SQL CE connection, uncomment the SQL Server example, and edit it to point to your SQL Server. When you are done, it will look something like this:

<clear />
<!--<add name="GalleryDb" providerName="System.Data.SqlServerCe.4.0" connectionString="data source=|DataDirectory|\GalleryData.sdf" />—>
<add name="GalleryDb" providerName="System.Data.SqlClient" connectionString="server=(local);uid=;pwd=;Trusted_Connection=yes;database=GalleryServerPro;Application Name=Gallery Server Pro;MultipleActiveResultSets=True" />

The <!-- … --> around the first connection tells ASP.NET to ignore it, while the second connection instructs the gallery to store data in a SQL Server instance on the local machine in a database named GalleryServerPro, connecting with Windows Authentication. Save your changes.

Now go to the App_Data directory and add an empty text file named install.txt. If there already is one, you can skip this step. Gallery Server Pro detects this file and allows the creation of an admin account when present.

Use your browser to navigate to the gallery. Startup code will add the necessary tables and seed data to the SQL Server database and a message will appear instructing you to create an admin account. At this point the gallery is using SQL Server. The old SQL CE database at App_Data\GalleryData.sdf is no longer used and can be deleted.

These steps won’t migrate any data from SQL CE. There is a way to do that – consult the Admin Guide for details.

There you have it – several new ways to easily install a gallery!

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