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Setting Up SharePoint Server 2013 to Host Apps

A PowerShell script is provided with SharePoint Server 2013 which is used to add app hosting to server functions. Creating a SharePoint 2013 testing environment – Part 8 – Configure SharePoint for hosting Apps, a video tutorial available to all subscribers to SharePoint-Videos.com, shows SharePoint admninistrators, developers, architects and power users how to successfully add the feature to a test environment for SharePoint 2013.

“We need to set up the SharePoint 2013 Farm to host apps”, Asif Rehmani, SharePoint MVP and MCT explains. He demonstrates how to use Powershell to customize a script included with SharePoint 2013 to do most of the work required to add this feature to server functions. All we need to do is to edit the path for the App Host Domain. The prefix is left as “apps”, while the domain of the farm host is added as the suffix. Once customized, the script is executed to build all of the components.

App services can be verified as running correctly from Central Administration. Click on “manage service applications” to verify proper operation for two services. The first is the “App Management Service Application”, the second is the “Settings Service Application”

You should also go to “Systems Settings” and then “Manage Services on Server” to check on a couple of other services. Once again, we verify “App Management Service” as running correctly. We also verify successful operation for the “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service”.

From this last screen, click on “Apps” to test the feature. Click on “Configure App URLs” to certify correct configuration, given the App Host Domain edited into the Powershell script at the start of the process.

Return to “Manage Services on Server” to check on whether the “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service” is running. In the video, the service is not running until Asif Rehmani starts it, noting “if you want sandboxed solutions to run, this must be started. It is not by default.” Once the sandbox feature is running successfully, ” . . . we can host sandboxed solutions with this test environment”.

Once everything is up and running and verified to be operating correctly, you then need to make a change to the hosts file. The test environment, as we noted in the first video in this series, is disconnected from the network. Asif Rehmani notes: periodically, “SharePoint needs to phone home”. To ensure success, Asif edits the hosts file to assign the location at microsoft.com to which SharePoint periodically connects to the localhost address for the server,

The final step in the configuration process is to set up Internet Explorer to work correctly in the test environment. This is achieved by running Internet Explorer, accessing Internet Options and, then, the local Intranet Sites group of settings, and unchecking “Automatically detect intranet network”. Next, click on the “Advanced” tab and add web sites for the test environment to the Intranet zone corresponding to your app server and everything else on your SharePoint farm. Use the “*” wildcard character along with the domains of the app server and farm to add all apps and sites to the Intranet zone for the test.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved