Offline installation of Zoo components

Sometimes you may need to install Helicon Zoo components on a machine that is not connected to the Internet. In this article we will show how to prepare offline installation packages for Zoo products and engines that you can use to install these components without Internet access. This could be also useful when you need to clone exact environment across different instances in the cloud, or when you need to save current state and version of installation package to reuse it for future installations.

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Helicon Zoo 3.0 what’s new

New version of Helicon Zoo is available for installation and this version is a significant step towards usability and application portability comparing the the previous. To install it open Web Platform Installer and install one of the Hosting Packages, one of the Templates or Helicon Zoo Module from Modules as usual. Below please find a list of most important changes in this major release:

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Debugging .htaccess with Helicon Ape

Helicon Ape incorporates a profound tool for debugging of web-sites as well as .htaccess files, e.g. rewrite, proxy and other directives in your httpd.conf, .htaccess and .htpasswd files. The debugger will show how the server processes your requests in real time while you are navigating web site in the browser window. For each server request it presents following information:

  • request and response headers,
  • cookies,
  • server variables,
  • environment variables,
  • merged httpd.conf and .htaccess files,
  • Ape debugging log messages with maximum verbosity.

Debugger shows verbose information not only for successful requests (status code 200), but also all others: redirects 3xx, client-side errors 4xx, server errors 5xx.

This debugger allows you to connect to a remote server and read debug information live. Only your session requests will be presented in the debugger window so other user requests will not be affected. This means you can run debugging in production environment.

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Installing ContentBox CMS on Windows with IIS

ContentBox CMS is a professional open source modular content management engine that allows you to easily build websites, blogs, wikis, complex web applications and even power mobile or cloud applications. In this article you will find an instruction how to install ContentBox CMS on Microsoft IIS web server using Helicon Zoo.

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Multi technology hosting with Helicon Zoo

When we were making Helicon Zoo our main goal, aside from technology integration, was to create simple and unified solution for hosting providers to offer all mainstream web technologies and application engines to users. And now with better integration into WebsitePanel 2.0 we are even closer to that goal. This article will show how to build the most advanced and technology-rich hosting and PaaS solution on a market.

Helicon Zoo is a solution to host web applications written on multiple technologies inside Microsoft IIS and as regular IIS web sites. These technologies include: PHP, Perl, Java, Ruby, Python, Node.js, Erlang and ColdFusion. And when we say, for example, Ruby we mean everything-Ruby. This includes Ruby on Rails, Sinatra, Thin, Goliath, simple Rack or FastCGI applications, etc. The same variety applies to other technologies like Java, Python, etc. Add here native IIS support for ASP and ASP.NET and you’ll get the most technology-packed hosting service available.

All these technologies can be installed on the same server, shared by all users and even mixed within one web site. Consider, for example, users may have their main web site content running on ASP.NET, blog made with WordPress (PHP), forum on DjangoBB (Python), online chat with Node.js, Git repositories with Java, helpdesk solution with Perl and e-commerce solution with Ruby on Rails – all running within the same IIS web site on the same server. Sounds hardly possible? Well, this is nearly how Helicon Tech web site works. Below please find instructions on how to set the same technology on your hosting.

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Running Python WSGI applications on Microsoft IIS

WSGI – is a web-server to web-application interaction protocol used by many applications written on Python. It is in fact a standard for all Python web-applications. Most popular web frameworks, including Django, CherryPy, Tornado, Flask, Google App Engine support WSGI. The initial version protocol specification can be referenced here – PEP 333. With release of Python 3 there is now updated protocol specification PEP 3333.

To host WSGI-applications with Microsoft IIS 7+ web server there is a unique and free solution – Helicon Zoo. Helicon Zoo in general is an integration platform to run multiple technology stacks in Microsoft IIS web servers.

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Hosting Git, SVN and Hg (Mercurial) repositories on Windows with IIS

Git, SVN and Hg (Mercurial) currently are the most popular version control systems. In this guide we are going to show how to host repositories for these systems on Windows with Microsoft IIS 7+.

We will be using a magnificent free and open source tool – SCM-Manager. This is simple and nifty looking manager tool for Git, SVN and HG written in Java. Probably the best thing about SCM-Manager is that it includes all dependencies inside and does not require you to download and compile any third party components. You don’t have to install Git or any other kind of servers to host repositories. It does require Python and Hg package to host Mercurial repositories, but these packages can be installed automatically into the SCM-Manager home directory directly form web interface. So if your host support hosting of Java applications you don’t need access to the server console to install some components or run additional commands.

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Running Railo on Windows with IIS in production

Railo is a free, open source CFML engine, that  is released under the GNU license. It is known to be highly performing and supported CFML engine available.  Most existing ColdFusion applications will work on it. This article provides simple instructions how to install Railo on IIS web server in production. This solution can be used to run CFML applications on your Windows servers or provide CFML hosting to others.

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Installing Perl Dancer on Windows with IIS

Dancer is a popular open source web application framework written in Perl and inspired by Ruby’s Sinatra. Here is a simple step-by-step guide to install Perl Dancer on IIS for production use.

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Deploying Java Servlet applications on Windows with IIS

Java platform is extremely successful in building robust and high performance web applications. Platform independence is one of the strength of Java engine and Helicon Zoo now provides a convenient way to deploy and run Java web applications on Windows platform with Microsoft IIS. To deploy Java Servlet application on IIS 7 you will only need to follow this simple instruction:

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