How to Create a Min Site for Testing

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A Min Site is used to test an issue to determine the context in which it is occurring. It is one of the ways to narrow down an issue, to see where it could be coming from. Often, you can create a min site and use the original site's database to see where the issue appears, such as in the site files or IIS.  "min site" means a site with the minimum number things needed to run Ektron.

Follow these steps to create a Min site for Testing:

  1. In the web root folder, create a new folder to hold the new site files that we will create.  Make sure that the new site does not reside inside another site. (IMPORTANT: Ektron does not support the installation of nested sites, each having its own web.config file. Nested sites can disrupt Ektron features, such as Aliasing, Menus, and eSync.)
  2. Use IIS to make a new site in IIS and point it to the new root folder created in the last step.
  3. In the new site window give the site a URL in the Host Name: field. The URL is not critical as long as it is unique. E.g. http://testingsite
    Note: It is not necessary to give the binding an IP address as the host name is usually sufficient. If you define an IP be sure the binding IP matches the hosts file. 
  4. Edit the hosts file on the server. Note that you may need to open Notepad as an admin to edit it.
    hosts file location: C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
  5. Add a new line with the hostname pointed to This will allow you to browse the site on the server. 
    E.g. testingsite
  6. To make sure the site will work as expected, make sure the new site's app pool is set up to run as a Network Service. You can do this in the application pools section of IIS. Click the desired app pool, go to Advanced Settings, and change the identity value under the process model to NetworkService.
  7. In the same window set the app pool to use .net v4.0(if on CMS version 8.5 or higher) and Managed Pipeline Mode to integrated.
  8. From the Windows Start menu, select Start > Programs > Ektron > CMS400vXX > Utilities > SiteSetup to launch the site setup utility.
  9. After running this utility, there should be a screen that shows three options: cms400 full installation, cms400 upgrade, and cms400 database setup. Select full setup.
  10. Next, the license key field should appear. If left blank, Ektron creates a localhost temp key that would allow for access to the site locally. If site access is needed from a URL other than localhost, then submit to Ektron support a request for a temp key for testing.
  11. Next on the screen are the site and host desired for the site. For the first drop down, select the Site made in step 2.  Leave Select host and enter host alone.
  12. The next screen asks where the site will reside. Browse to the new folder you created in step 1 and hit next.
  13. For the next screen use, the default value, so click Next.
  14. The next screen asks to select a search provider. At this point, select the preferred search provider used on the main site.
  15. The next screen asks which optional installs to include for this site. This is dependent on what is needed to test. For basic tests, the recommendation is to skip this section.
  16. The moving files box appears, and the files needed for a site to run start moving to the folders. At this time, permissions are applied.

This Is the last step for creating the site files. If the intention is to use the current database, navigate to the web.config and update the connection string to point to the current database.

If a new database is needed to test, if the issue is coming from the database, continue the site setup and follow the steps listed below.

  1.    To set up a database. Click Yes.
    • If using a separate database server, the following information is needed
      • database server host name or IP address
      • if the database server is on the same domain as the application server, it must support NT or SQL authentication
    • if the database server is on a separate domain from the application server, it must support SQL authentication
      • user must have database administrator or database creator privileges
  2. Enter the name of the database.
  3. Enter the username and password of a SQL user with DBCreator role. This user will create the database.
  4. Enter the password you want for your Ektron admin user.

    Note: in newer versions, it cannot be admin and this is not a SQL connection user user but Ektron only user. The admin user has access to all Ektron Workarea screens.

    Once the installation is complete, you may edit these values in the Ektron Workarea > Settings > Users screen.
  5. Enter the builtin user's password. The builtin user allows logging in even when the license has expired. You can also change user passwords with it so make sure it is a secure password!
  6. Click Next. The SQL Server DB Setup screen appears and prompts for database connection information.
    • Server-List the database server on this system. To setup the database on this server, accept the default. Otherwise, enter a SQL or SQL Express server that already exists. For SQL, this would typically be (local) if it's installed on the local server. Otherwise, enter the Server's name. For SQL Express, enter (local)\SQLEXPRESS.
    • Username-Enter the username that you will use to access the database.
    • Password-Enter the password that you will use to access the database.

NOTE: To use NT authentication, leave the username and password blank. This will set up a trusted connection.

After completed, the setup verifies the database connection information. If the database name already exists, a different name needs to be used. When a connection is made and the name is available, the installation program creates a database using the provided information.

Finally, finish the installation, browse to the site from IIS, and start testing.