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The Triaster Server Publication User

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The Triaster Server Publication User (or Triaster Services User) is the account under which automated publications run. It would be the account under which we'd install and configure Triaster Server, Visio and Process Navigator; it's particularly important that Visio and Process Navigator are configured under this account, as such configurations are user-specific. This article describes how that account can be identified, any dependencies, and how it can be changed.

Why might the account change? In the initial set-up of a Triaster Server, we may be supplied with a temporary account while a dedicated service account is sought. Or a Triaster Server where all resources are initially hosted on the one server, so a local account would suffice, may be reconfigured to, say, use a map store on a separate file server. In that case, a domain account would be required to replace the local one.

Requirements

These are the requirements of a Publication User account:

A local administrator

If a domain account is used, it only need be a local administrator.

An interactive account

Components of the solution are configured and run under this account.

Password never expires

Perhaps this isn't strictly true, but managing password changes for this account would be onerous, as is hopefully explained later.

Identifying the Publication User

Perhaps the easiest way to identify the Publication User is to check the account under which the 'Triaster Publication Server 2011' service runs.

Dependencies

There are components and their configurations that depend on the Publication User account, which would need to be amended if the Publication User account was changed.

'Triaster Publication Server 2011' service

This service would need to be reconfigured to run under the new account.

'Triaster Improvement Workbench Server 2011' service

If all resources are on the one server, this service would be expected to be run under the local System account, in which case, nothing needs to change. However, if resources processed by that service are elsewhere - for example, maps on a separate file server - it would need to run under a domain account, typically the Publication User account.

Visio

Although sessions of Visio run in an automated publication aren't interactive (as they are run by the 'Triaster Publication Server 2011' service), Visio does need to be configured under the Publication User account. This is the usual configuration for use with Process Navigator, described in this KB article:

'Configure Process Navigator for first use'

http://knowledgebase.triaster.co.uk/help-for-process-mappers/process-navigator/how-to-configure-process-navigator-for-first-use

DCOM configuration

On some systems, Visio automation instability needs to be addressed by a setting in DCOM, associating 'Microsoft Visio Drawing' with the Publication User, described in this KB article:

'Visio related errors on a server'

http://knowledgebase.triaster.co.uk/help-for-it-administrators/triaster-server/how-to-configure-visio-run-as-publication-user

This is a configuration where credentials are required.

Where 'Microsoft Visio Drawing' isn't listed under DCOM Config's 'Component Services', other remedies have been found to be sufficient. This has been more prevalent on 32-bit Windows Server 2008, but rare on other versions.

Process Navigator

Process Navigator's activation is user-specific, so activation would need to be checked and re-applied if the Publication User were to change.

'KillVisio.cmd' and 'KillVisioTasks.cmd' scripts

These scripts end Visio.exe processes run by the Publication User that may otherwise interfere with Visio automation. They are found in this location:

     Triaster\TriasterServer2011\PublicationFiles

They contain explicit references to the Publication User user-name (note, just the user-name; a computer or domain prefix isn't required).

Scheduled Tasks

There are Windows scheduled tasks related to Triaster Server that run under the Publication User account. Although, in some cases, they do not strictly need to, it's at least tidier that they do. This is another scenario that would require the credentials of the account.

MTop Search

The search capability commonly uses MTop Search Engine Composer, although a new search engine is available in Triaster Server 14.1. Its licence is user-specific, and is licensed by running MTop Search Engine Composer and using the details in 'readme.txt' in the MTop installer folder.

These details should help to give an insight into the role of the Publication User account. Changing that account isn't difficult, but the steps required are varied, and aren't obvious.

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