Help Server – Content Pane

During the recent installation of the Help Server an issue was encountered with the content pane (left pane) of the help screen being blank, and the search feature never return results.

Help Screen - blank contentThe exact cause of this problem has not been discovered, but how to avoid the problem and achieve a clean fully working installation has been.

If you have this problem, you need to uninstall the existing help server installation. Once the existing installation is removed then follow the instructions below:

Step 1 – New website

Create a new website from the Internet Information Services manager (IIS)

Help Screen - IIS createThe important information to populate is the site name, selecting the physical path to where the files will be stored, and setting the port. you can assign an IP address for the help server if desired, but in this example the port is being change to 81 so it does not class with the default website on this server.

Step 2 – Installation

Install the DAX help server from the installation disk, making sure you use the DAX proxy account username and password, and select the new web site created in step 1 for the installation location.

Step 3 – Permissions

Now the installation of the help server is complete the permissions to the website needs adjustment. From the IIS manager go to the advanced settings for your website and change the ‘Application Pool’ from the web site name to ‘DynamicsAX6HelpServer’.

Once changed your can go to the application pools and delete the original web site pool as it is no longer required.

Step 4 – Indexing

The standard installation of help server should load the content folder into the windows search index. This is a critical step, so should always be checked, as without this the system will not work.

Open the search index screen, found under the control panel and is called indexing options.

Help Screen - indexing screenYou should have the folder ‘Content’, as shown above, on the indexed locations. If this is not present then you need to press the modify button and select the content folder for inclusion. The content folder is located under the website directory you created to store your physical files: DynamicsAX6HelpServer\Contents

Once the content directory is inlcuded in the search locations you need to ensure the file contents is included. This is done from the advanced button, then selecting the tab ‘file types’.

Help Screen - Indexing - advanced typeEnsure the ‘Index Properties and File Contents’ is selected, and press OK.

Once does the system needs to index the files in the help server, this can take a while depending on the number of languages you installed. It is important that you let this stage complete before proceeding to configuring the DAX system and testing the help system.

Step 5 – Testing

Now the system is installed and indexed the DAX system needs configuring to access the help system. This is achieved from within DAX under the menu: System Administrator -> Setup -> System -> Help System Parameters

The URL entered should be as follows:

http://{server name}:{port}/DynamicsAX6HelpServer/HelpService.svc

Once entered it would be advised to restart the AOS. This is to ensure cached information is flush and the current configuration is used.

Step 6

The last stage is to test the help system. Open a system form, typically I use the user screen, and press F1. The first load of the help may take a few minutes, but you should see something like:

Help Screen - not blank

I would also recommended testing the search feature to ensure this is working. Enter something into the search bar and press search.

Help Screen - SearchFor this example I used the word ‘customer’ and the result was a number of entries in the help system.

If you encounter problems with the testing, the problems are typically either firewall issues or indexing issues.

Check your firewall ports are open for the web page you have created. You can manually test for firewall issues by opening a web browser and entering the following web address:

http://<server name>:<port>/DynamicsAX6HelpServer/Content/Microsoft/EN-US/UserHelp/6a9bdc61-b19e-4cea-8890-805a4ccba8b2.htm?DocumentSet=UserDocumentation&ContentLanguage=en-us&ResourceLanguage=en-us

If the above address opens a help page then the firewall is not the problem, and typically indicates there is an indexing issue, which will require you to re-work through step 4 to ensure the indexes are correctly setup, and may require you to rebuild the indexes from the advanced options.

If this has not resolved your problem then please let me know as I may have more information on this topic since this was written.

2 thoughts on “Help Server – Content Pane

  1. Vjeran Magdić says:

    Than you for this nice walkthrough.
    After finishing every step I still have problems with search and table of contents (There is no table of contents in help screen and search is not returning expected results).


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