Group Web Server FAQ

What is a “group” account?

A group account gives a specified group of users secure access to certain network resources on the truman domain.  In the case of a web account, this is desirable so that multiple specified people in an office or department can place files or have authoring privileges on that office’s or department’s web site.  

Why should I get a group account?

The past  model of having organization and departmental web sites stored in an individual’s personal web space makes management of that website difficult in the face of transitions, student worker fluctuation and multiple loci of content responsibility.  The Administrative Groups web server’s configuaration allows for multiple, specified Truman employees to gain secure access to the web space in order to maintain it, using their existing network logon IDs.  Access management is thus simplified on both the ITS/configuration side and the users’ sides.

How do I get a “group” account?

Fill out a “Group Account Request” form found on the ITS website forms page

Print the completed form, get your signatures and turn in at the Help Desk – MC 112

What name should I choose for account?

Current Internet protocols require that the name you choose must be 63 characters or fewer.  It may be composed of letters and digits, but may not be all digits.  The only “character” allowed is the hyphen (-) character.  Your web site name should also be representative of your organization, group, department or division.  Like personalized license plates – you may need to be creative in order to get your function across to the public.  Some current examples:  its = Information Technology Services; isupport = Truman Foundation; deltachi = Delta Chi Fraternity.  Please note that you may NOT use the abbreviation “TSU” in your web address.  However, as “truman.edu” will be part of your web address, there is usually no need for this type of identifier.  See the next question for related issues.

What is the URL of my new web site?

The URL for your new web site is “http://mygroupname.truman.edu”

This naming structure means your audience can much more easily find you.  Additionally this means that your printed materials never have to be updated with a new web address should ITS get a new server. 

How do my student workers gain access to update our web page?

We now grant access to the web page by the individual’s Truman network account. This ensures security and accountability. On the form, please specify the student worker’s name and account (i.e. John Smith, jls333) and he/she can access the webspace with their own username and password.

How do Windows users access the file space?

Windows users may use FrontPage or any other webDAV compliant application or webfolders to access their webspace.  Saving documents to this location will make them immediately available via a web browser.  Detailed connection options

 How do Mac users access the file space?

MAC users can access their webspaces using webDAV compliant applications or SAMBA in situations where webDAV is unworkable.  Additional server configuration may be required to accommodate these connections.  Please contact the Help Desk to request information and assistance with this (X4544). Detailed information on connecting to Helium with a Macintosh can be found in this WebDAV FAQ.

How do UNIX/Linux users access the file space?

UNIX users can connect to their webspaces via webfolders.  Additional server configuration is necessary to accommodate these connections.  Please contact the Help Desk to request additional information from a web technician.  Detailed information on connecting to a web account with a Linux system can be found in our WebDAV for Linux page.  

Why don’t my PERL scripts work on Helium?

 PERL has been installed on the server to process custom PERL/CGI scripts.  Often only minor changes are necessary to migrate UNIX scripts to work on the Win2000 platform.  First and foremost, .cgi extensions must be changed to .pl   Scripts which call the UNIX “sendmail” utility will not work.  Be aware that much of what custom scripts are written to do, can also be handled by FrontPage forms and associated options (including sending form data via e-mail).  The programming languages PHP and ASP are also fully supported on Helium.  You may need to refer to FrontPage documentation or other scripting resources for full explanations of these options.  Great (and free) PHP and ASP scripts exist to perform most functions you may previously used PERL/CGI  scripts to do.  An internet search using the key words:  ASP, PHP, script, free and your desired function should generate a number of hits.

I want to make a database-driven website; what are my options?

You may build any custom application you wish, using an MS Access database within the website.  External MS SQL database connections are not available for organizational websites at this time due to support and database management issues.  MySQL accounts are available to organizations upon request.  To request a MySQL account, please complete the MySQL Account Request Form.  Be aware that FrontPage has a number of templates and wizards available for building data-access webpages.

If I receive a MySQL account, how may I manage my database?

We provide the very popular web-based MySQL administration tool phpMyAdmin for all MySQL accounts.  You can find phpMyAdmin at http://mysql.truman.edu/phpmyadmin.  Your phpMyAdmin login information is the same as your MySQL information.  phpMyAdmin allows you to create, edit, delete tables and data in your database via a user-friendly web interface.

Why can’t I FTP to my web space?

FTP services to this web folder are not available.  However authorized users can transfer files via HTTP transfer in FrontPage.  Launch FrontPage, open your website by choosing “Open Web” from the file menu.  Type the internet address for your website in the location option box (e.g. http://jba.truman.edu) and click OK.  You will be prompted for a username and password (this is either the account name and password or your truman username and password if you are an authorized user on the account.)  Your web will open in a two-pane format which is similar to Windows Explorer.  A file opened in the right pane can then be saved or published to the web visible in the left pane.  This works well only over a fast (broadband) connection.  You may also have to add “truman” in front of your username.

Are my web files backed up?

 Weekly backups occur via an automated process.  In addition to that, it is not a bad idea to make a back-up copy on a personal drive if you have the space.

How do I put files on the new server once my account is activated?

This depends on how you are connecting to your webspace.  For most, who will be connecting via FrontPage you can import miscellaneous files or web pages you have created using programs other than FrontPage

by using the import tool from the File menu or by dragging and dropping to the FrontPage folder listing of your website.  If you are not using FrontPage as the gateway to connect to your website, you may open the website as a webfolder on your desktop and drag and drop files to that location.

 

 

 

  1. Launch FrontPage
  2. From the File menu, choose “open web”; in the location area type in the following:  http://mygroupname.truman.edu.
    It is important not use the “browse” option the first time you open your web.  It may take several seconds to open.
  3. Your web will open with an “explorer-like” Folder List on the left and a blank new page on the right
  4. At this point you have a number of options:  you can create a new web page in the blank one provided and save it to your open “web”.  You can choose “new” from the File menu and select a page based on some template and save it; or you can choose “import” from the File menu and insert a file or a whole folder of files and sub-folders that have been created in another editor other than FrontPage.
  5. If you close FrontPage today and want to re-open it tomorrow to work more on your web, you can either “open web” again as described above or you can find the connection inside the icon “web folders” listed in “My Computer” or “Windows NT Explorer”.

What web editor should I use to build web pages on the new server?

You can use any editor you wish to make web pages from Notepad to Adobe GoLive!.  However here are a few recommendations:

Beginning User who needs to make only basic pages: 

Microsoft FrontPage – available to all campus users in the academic labs and on office workstations.  Our licensing agreement also makes it available to all Truman employees for use at work or at home (contact the Help Desk to request disks).  Makes full use of the FrontPage Extensions available on the new server.  Fully supported by ITS.

Netscape Composer – available free world-wide; widely used on campus.

Beginning to Intermediate User who wants to start slow, but make use of forms, frames, tables etc.

Microsoft FrontPage – as above.

Advanced User who wants to manipulate the HTML as well as the “look” of the page and use advanced interactive features:

Microsoft FrontPage – as above

Macromedia Dreamweaver Studio – very full-featured and available from many commercial vendors.  Many tutorials are available on the web, but at this time DreamWeaver is not supported by ITS.

UltraEdit, BBEdit, or Editeur – very nice text editors that color-code your syntax and allow for sophisticated manipulation without the WYSIWYG interface.

I want to put forms on my web page but I don’t know how to write PERL scripts, now what?

 Form functionality can be built into any page.  Use the FrontPage Help menu to search for “create form” for more information on this topic.  Once you have built your form, you can right-click on the body of the form to access the “form properties” option.  In this property sheet you can define how the form data should be sent to you.  No custom scripts are required to send data to a database, to a flat text file or as an e-mail to one or multiple recipients.  See also the information on PERL alternatives above.

Can I use “server-side includes” on my web pages?

Yes, IIS 5.0 does support server-side includes.  A Web page that has included information must be saved with the file name extension “.stm” rather than “.htm or .html”.  FrontPage users can put in the “component” include file and still use the .htm or .html extension.

Why do a get a “Directory Listing Denied” error when I type in my new web address like you told me (http://mygroupname.truman.edu)

It probably means you have not placed a home.html or index.html page in your web space.  Browsers are “denied access” to list the contents of the web space by default.  Web pages with either of those two special names load automatically when browsers hit your web site.  You then move through the site via links on each page.  Alternatively you add the exact file name to the URL:  http://mygroupname.truman.edu/filename.html to reach specific pages within your site.

What are FrontPage extensions?

FrontPage Server Extensions are not essential to host FrontPage Web sites, but they do extend FrontPage Web sites with functionality such as multi-user and remote authoring support, search, forms processing, and usage analysis.” taken from the MSDN Online Web Workshop web site:                                                                                               
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa140165%28v=office.10%29.aspx

For more information see:  http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/frontpage/wpp/serk/ovwhatar.htm

 What kind of server is Helium?

Helium is a Windows 2003 box running IIS 6.0 web server and is FrontPage Extended –meaning that the full functionality of the FrontPage web authoring tool should be available.

Where can I find out more information about FrontPage?

The on-line help for FrontPage is useful or there are a number of great tutorials on the web.  I highly recommend the book FrontPage 2002 for Windows – Visual Quickstart Guide by Nolan Hester (ISBN: 0201741431) as a great introduction and resource guide to using FrontPage.