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Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

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  • Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

    Steve or Anyone in the know,

    Your comments below were made some time ago and for v7 of Alpha. I am now in a position where i wish to run 2 applications on the same server. I did read in another thread that you recommended the DATA folder is placed outside of the A5Webroot. Do you have any further guidance on how i can run my two apps on the single server. My other dilemma is that one app uses Level based security and the other Group based. Is this going to be a problem?.

    Any advice here on will be wonderful. Also having a bit more info on the DNS and Alpha Web Profile settings would be fantastic.



    Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
    I have multiple, completely independant WAS applications on my Win2003 SBS.

    If you enter you get the main site. If you enter<app1> you get app1
    you enter<app2> you get app2

    But its the same server with different DNS settings with my Internet host. The addresses just point to the one static IP address for my router.

    For the app1&2, the web apps are published to:


    The data for these apps are in a \data folder under the appx folder:


    But that is only temporary during development phase to make it convienient for FTPing data files. In normal circumstances the data would be on an entirely different server. The Alias set in the Web Profile would tell the application where the data is.

    Clint - is the "upload dialog" the Publish Files dialog? You do have to create two different Alpha database applications, and a Web App Profile for each. But then it should publish properly.

  • #2
    Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

    I looked again and found part of the answer. But i am really interested to know more about the DNS configuration.

    Originally posted by Steve Wood View Post
    Well, I'll try to answer these then (and I agee, someone needs to write a laymans guide to the whole web publishing process).

    Before I do, you might go to my website and find the article named something like "ATEC - Hosting" which contains good info on hosting.

    Neither. Install the App Server with its default settings. htdocs and the like refer to IIS. Alpha DOES NOT run on IIS. Unless you need it for something else, IIS can be uninstalled from your VPS. It will probably cause conflict on port 80 if its is running.

    No. You install the App Server directly on the server from the download from Alpha Software. So, you have to have access to the VPS via remote control so you can see the desktop. If you cannot see your VPS's desktop, you cannot install the App Server.

    I think I got Q3 in a previous post.

    Suggested structure for multiple apps (without using Apache):

    c:\a5\a5webroot\project1\YOUR PROJ1 PUBLISHED FILES HERE
    c:\a5\a5webroot\project2\YOUR PROJ2 PUBLISHED FILES HERE

    c:\a5\project1\data\YOUR DATA FOR PROJ1 HERE
    c:\a5\project1\data\YOUR DATA FOR PROJ2 HERE

    Document Root is c:\A5\A5webroot

    Note that the data folders are OUTSIDE of the Document Root.

    URL is:

    Project 1:
    Project 2:

    Your FTP location for both would be c:\A5

    You should name project1, project2 with your desired application name.

    Each project needs its own profile, the Alias set as follows:

    Project1: [PathAlias.ADB_Path] = c:\a5\project1\data
    Project2: [PathAlias.ADB_Path] = c:\a5\project2\data

    Folders for FTP:

    Project1: files: a5webroot\project1, data: project1\data
    Project2: files: a5webroot\project2, data: project2\data

    That won't get you all the way, but the rest should jump out.


    • #3
      Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

      DNS is kinda outside of Alpha development. You set DNS at the ISP that maintains the Name Server for your registered domain. You just set the DNS to point to the IP Address of your router. And then on the router, route requests on port 80 to the particular machine that has the Alpha server running.

      If you're thinking, how do I map two domains to the same server so I have and, each pointing to one of the apps on the server, you can't.
      Steve Wood
      There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
      Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
      AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


      • #4
        Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server


        Thats good enough for me. Thanks.



        • #5
          Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

          Steve it can be done pretty easy using a windows server not xp

          You use the host header name tab in IIS manager I have had over 25 domains running on my old windows nt 4.0 box

          XP is also capable the draw back it the limited IIS for xp will only let you run one server at a time but the full version ie: windows NT 2000 2003 work fine and all sites can run at once

          the dns server must point to each domain which the windows server will sort out using host header names

          with XP you can use sub-domains however

          the dns server only points to

          I have been using windows server since 1997



          • #6
            Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server


            Not Alpha web applications since 1997. Any Alpha in this manner?
            Steve Wood
            There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
            Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
            AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


            • #7
              Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

              Hello Steve

              Only answering the dns side of the question New to A5 only a year or so with the desktop version Don't what WAS can do yet

              Again my answer was about the dns and windows server setup



              • #8
                Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                At the risk of confusing things further, it seems like Steve and Greg are saying things that seem different, but are actually compatible. I mention this for the sake of Dennis and others who may see this thread later. Much of what I'm about to say was culled from earlier threads on the same topic.

                If I'm understanding Steve, he is saying that one cannot run two sites (below) on the same machine (without external help).


                This is literally true.

                However, one might run two "sites" as


                Greg's suggestion implicitly included placing IIS (or Apache, equivalently) between the Internet and WAS.

                IIS/Apache could then remap


                This would also involve using port 80 for IIS/Apache and some other unused port for the WAS (e.g., 81), but that is no problem since the WAS would only be reached from IIS/Apache.

                I haven't verified this works, but it has been discussed in threads before and there seems to be no technical reason why it wouldn't work.

                If someone feels that this would not work for some reason, please let us know. I am hoping to do what I just described (which is merely a restatement of other people's ideas in earlier postings) in the not-too-distant future. I'd appreciate any insights someone may have.

                Moreover, there may be WAS framework consistency issues regarding security, as Dennis mentioned, but we haven't reached that level of detail here, yet.

                As always, I'm open to hearing differing opinions or a belief that I'm simply wrong ...



                • #9
                  Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                  Hello Dave

                  IIS using host header name is pretty simple to do

                  Apache is a little harder to use if you have never
                  wandered into the Linux world but can be done
                  method is name-based domains

                  I have only replied to the thread as I have dealt with both
                  main reason to use this type of setup it only uses one ip address
                  and with cable or dsl we can host our own servers now




                  • #10
                    Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                    Just to thow a little cold water on this, Alpha's policy (I don't work there, I just know the policy) is that one App Server licence is required for each unique Domain Name or unique Customer, even if on the same server through some means.
                    Steve Wood
                    Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
                    There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
                    Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
                    AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


                    • #11
                      Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                      Thanks for your input Steve

                      Where can I get the apache module for alpha5?
                      or at least read up on it. I really like the looks of alpha5
                      compared to clarion that I have been using and php for web apps

                      I am pretty adapt to apache as I use Linux most of the time
                      tired of the large amount of money to keep windows updated
                      and you have to keep a close eye on the server security in IIS

                      I have had apache mysql php running on a windows box for some time



                      • #12
                        Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                        Steve, you brought up a good point that I neither realized nor recall from earlier threads on this same topic.

                        If the WAS terms of service limit us to 1 site per license, then that's what we bargained for.

                        I can't, in good conscience, technically discuss something knowing the discussion will be used for something unfair.



                        • #13
                          Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                          I agree Dave it would depend on how the WAS license reads
                          after all you can buy the WAS license separate to put on a customers server
                          just part of the game I recall paying over $250 for just one ecommerce
                          site license and alpha's pricing is pretty good at that point

                          Just read this on the alpha site

                          Alpha Software Inc. has selected Firm Support Software Inc. to provide hosting services in a shared hosting environment. Firm Support is a full service hosting company and specializes in Alpha Five application hosting and consulting.

                          Not sure how it is set up though

                          I would like to know the differences between
                          basic WAS and enterprise WAS I will have to keep digging



                          • #14
                            Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                            It's one reason Alpha asks that you call them directly to discuss an Apache module purchase. I purchased several WAS licenses early on and keep myself within that range. In actuality, I hardly host anyone else's application, most of what I have on my shared site are draft client applications, my own experiments, and the like. Hosting-for-profit requires a lot more investment than I can muster.

                            Regarding alternative, (as far as I know -->) FirmSupport provides shared services (where you are one of many Alpha apps on one server), and VPS accounts. ZebraHost provides Alpha-ready VPS and Dedicated servers pre-installed with Alpha WAS.

                            On a shared server you only get FTP access and anything else you want you have to pay for as a service. With VPS or Dedicated you can get access to the desktop and install your own software. Last I saw, shared service is about the same price as renting a VPS.

                            Personally, I have a dedicated server and scrapped my VPS account because it performed poorly. VPS' start to cost too much as you beef up the RAM and drive space.
                            Steve Wood
                            Join the ALPHA DEVELOPERS NETWORK
                            There is no Cloud. It's just someone else's computer.
                            Web - Mobile - Hosting - Products - Frameworks - Developer Resources
                            AlphaToGo | IADN (100% Alpha Anywhere Websites)


                            • #15
                              Re: Running Multiple Apps on Single Web Server

                              I stumbled upon this information in the Alpha online FAQ today (off the current Alpha website). It seems to dispell the notion that running several sites from a single server (machine) from a single WAS license is not OK:


                              How many licenses are required for the Application Server?

                              The Application Server licenses are sold and installed per-server. We don't limit how may sites or applications you can host on a single server with a single license. It is quite possible to host multiple sites on a single server.

                              If you use one server to host multiple web sites, you only need one license.

                              If you use one server per web site, such as each store having the server installed locally, you would need one server license for each site.

                              see item 8 under